(“Collectors Corner” by Rich Mueller, Managing Editor of Sports Collectors Daily) – Next time you hear someone in the sports memorabilia business complain that “all of the good stuff has been found”, feel free to let out a hearty chuckle. Or give them a smack upside the head. It’s April or “auction month” if you’re scoring at home and it doesn’t take much detective work to see that great finds are alive and well. The auction companies are still finding great material, whether it’s in the form of ‘new to the hobby’ consignments or great old pieces that have been sitting quietly in private collections.
Heritage Auctions has a phenomenal 1887 Allen & Ginter advertising poster as item #1 in its current sale as well as three historic jerseys that we haven’t seen up for bid before.
There are other sales with previously unknown pre-War baseball card collections and antique pieces. Vintage signed photos. Just about everything you can think of.
Are they working harder to get them? Maybe. But that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? There’s much more awareness now among the public thanks to TV programs like Antiques Road Show, Pickers and Pawn Stars. People see the episodes and recall something they’ve got in the attic and start looking on the internet for places to sell it.
The internet itself is a treasure trove of information about sports cards and memorabilia. Someone who might have given up in frustration fifteen years ago and sold an item at their local flea market or through an antique dealer now has a much easier time finding the rapt attention of a sports memorabilia business owner or auction house.
It’s great for collectors who now have a chance to buy some fresh material. It’s good for the auction houses who get to handle it…and maybe the next, similar item that someone finds.
And it’s great for hobby news outlets like ours who get to write about the stuff. Auction catalogs are like little trips to the Hall of Fame that you can take without leaving your favorite chair.