There is a diverse market for antique sports memorabilia. After all, there are sports fans across all generation and there is a wide range of sports to choose from as well.
The history of sports memorabilia collecting started as old as the history of sports itself. When sports became an organized form of competition, it was then when the collecting culture began.
You can find antique sports collectibles that range from popular to bizarre. Indeed, you can collect sports trophies, cards, and even old sports items from popular sports personalities and athletes.
If you are able to authenticate and provide documentation for these antique items, you could potentially command a high price for these items.
Antique sports collectors do so due to their emotional connection to the sports and their favorite sports teams. In addition to the connection with the favorite sports teams, there is also a decorative appeal to these collectible items.
In auctions, the sports items that generate the highest bid are ones that have a distinctive feature or those linked with high-profile associations or history.
Want to know what your antique sports memorabilia are worth?
You can start with our comprehensive guide so you can find out how these items are valued.
When talking about sports memorabilia, there are plenty of them in the market. There are a variety of sports memorabilia collected by fans from all over the world. This is your list of sports collectibles to choose from:
Football apparel and souvenirs
NFL or National Football League is one of the most popular sports leagues in the world. Therefore, there are plenty of NFL apparel and souvenirs that avid sports fans can collect.
The most popular NFL apparel collected includes jerseys, shirts, jackets, hats, watches, and key chains. Super Bowl memorabilia and gear, in particular, are highly in demand. There are also some NFL items that are used as home décor such as team banners, flags, signs, posters, and car accessories.
Basketball apparel and souvenirs
The NBA is the world’s biggest basketball league and also the most popular. Hence, you will find plenty of NBA apparel and souvenir items that are valued at a high price in the market, such as jerseys, jackets, caps, t-shirts, posters, cards, and more. If you can get NBA sports memorabilia linked with some of the greatest players in the NBA, you can also get a higher value for those. Some of these players include Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and so on. Apparel items that are associated with these players can cost a lot!
Baseball apparel and souvenirs
Just like NFL or football, baseball is also a popular sport worldwide. The MLB (Major League Baseball) is one of the most recognizable leagues in the world. Some of the most popular baseball items include baseball bats, batting helmets, bobbleheads, jerseys (autographed and game-worn), t-shirts, vintage photos, throwback jerseys, posters, and prints.
Racing apparel and souvenirs
Racing fans are not as widespread as basketball or football fans; however, these are also loyal and die-hard fans. Hence, they are willing to pay a huge chunk of money to get their hands on rare souvenir items from their favorite racing teams and personalities such as Indy, Formula 1, or NASCAR shirts, jackets, caps, photos, posters, and other forms of souvenirs.
Boxing is one of the globally popular types of sports. Hence, it comes as no surprise that boxing fans would clamor over rare and antique boxing items such as autographed boxing gloves, match posters, or any items linked to boxing legends such as Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Frazier, and more.
There are a few other classifications of sports memorabilia that fans from all over the world are willing to pay a high price for. Some of these include hockey apparel and souvenirs, golf apparel and souvenirs, horse racing souvenirs, tennis apparel and souvenirs, soccer apparel and souvenirs, and cycling souvenirs.
In general, if you own any of these sports-related items that are antique, you should have an expert look into it so you can determine its worth:
In the succeeding sections, you will learn in more detail about the factors that can affect the value of your antique items.
While antique pieces do have an innate value in them, this value can fluctuate depending on other factors such as the brand of the sports memorabilia (typically used for assessing apparel, jerseys, caps, or other antique sports collectibles that can be worn), its authenticity, any history or provenance, and the overall condition of the collectible piece (this is why it is important to know how to care for your antique items).
1956 SANDY KOUFAX AUTOGRAPHED BROOKLYN DODGERS GAME WORN HOME JERSEY (MEARS A9) – THE HOBBY’S ONLY FULLY AUTHENTICATED, UNALTERED JERSEY WORN BY KOUFAX IN THE HALLOWED CONFINES OF EBBETS FIELD!
Sold for $414,279 on http://scpauctions.com
If your antique sports item is not graded or certified authentic, you need to have it authenticated by a third-party expert before you can sell it. You can find an expert appraiser that can evaluate your items for its rarity and history. However, there are also certified sports memorabilia authenticators. Here are some of them:
Professional Sports Authenticator
This is an independent organization that is capable of grading and authenticating your sports collectibles. They have a 10-point scale and the quality of your items can be graded that way.
Beckett Grading Services
This one is affiliated with Beckett magazine, which also uses a 10-point scale like the PSA. BGS is unique though as they have a secondary rating for specific antique items like cards. They use secondary evaluation by checking the corners and edges of sports cards.
Global Authentication Inc.
This organization is specifically concerned with grading sports memorabilia such as trading cards, autographed items, and other documents that have historical value.
There are thousands of sports memorabilia out there – even old and antique ones. But how do you ensure that yours is of real value? Essentially, any sports memorabilia that is manufactured before 1969 or any date that is older is considered valuable. There are also sports memorabilia that are manufactured at a later date that are considered high value because of their rarity (or ones that are considered limited edition). If you own a piece of sports memorabilia and you cannot determine its actual value, it is best to look for an expert antique appraiser who will look into the item on your behalf.
In general, these 3 factors can affect what your sports collectibles are worth:
Antique sports memorabilia are considered rare since they are typically manufactured in small quantities. If you are lucky enough to get hold of these items, you need to take proper care of it (especially if you intend to sell it). The condition of a sports memorabilia can significantly cause its value to go up. On the flip side, an antique memorabilia that is in poor condition will not be as valuable as ones that are well cared for.
In order to preserve the antique items, you need to follow these 5 easy tips on how to care for and protect your sports collectibles:
If you want to buy antique sports memorabilia online, it is important to know what the value is through the expertise of a fully licensed appraiser. You should never buy or sell antique items without being checked by an antique appraiser. If you are a buyer, it is one way to ensure the authenticity of the vintage sports collectibles. If you are a seller, it will enable you to determine the closest estimate of the market value for the said sports memorabilia.
When it comes to antique sports memorabilia, you can find antique appraisers at Mearto. Make sure to exploit this opportunity to get maximum value on your vintage items.
Click the "Get Started" button below to set up a free account.
Answer a few simple questions and upload images of your item.
Receive a specialist's valuation by email in 24 to 48 hours.
Get help with the next steps, including consignment and sale.
As seen on:
I am so happy to have found Mearto. Their team of seasoned professionals provide a wealth of knowledge in tandem with excellent customer care. They provided an expert valuation and advised me sell a painting that I purchased for just $10 at an estate sale for nearly $1,000 on eBay. I have used them on several occasions and have been extremely pleased every time.
Mearto provides exceptional service at an exceptional price!
I used the Mearto authentication service to develop a history of a family owned piece with little to no provenance, except being owned by my family for 65 years. They came back with a 20 page extensive report and included a full page bibliography for reference. The “Stylistic Observations” section of the report was most enlightening comparing my piece to the original, which was on public display in the 1940’s.
I’m very happy with the results!
Very polite and professional services that they provide, my appraisal involved looking into an oil painting by an artist whose work is over 400 years old. Not only did they write about the artist but also where he was from and where he was born and most importantly the value, I'm impressed. (worth every penny).
I will always use Mearto for future appraisals.
The authentication report we received from Mearto was very well researched and written, as well as detailed and comprehensive. From an examination of the artist's signature to a discussion of the figural representations in the work, Mearto's art specialists took the time to explain in non-technical terms their findings. Professional, responsive, and kind are just a few words to describe their communication throughout the process-- definitely money well spent!
We needed a watch appraised and I found this website via Google. Having never doing this before, I was hesitant to submit a payment before receiving any information, I'm glad I did. David was very helpful and patient addressing my questions, and explaining the process. He was very thorough and knowledgeable. Should I have another opportunity, I would not hesitate to contact Mearto again.