Sports memorabilia

The Babe's bat

The bat that Babe Ruth used in 1923 to hit the first home run in Yankee Stadium recently sold for $1.26 million.

(from Scholastic, 2005)

St. Louisans enjoy sports--football, baseball, soccer, basketball, racing or any of the dozens of others played by local professional, college, or high school teams. 

Mint condition : how baseball cards became an American obsession
Dave Jamieson.
New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, c2010.
- There are hundreds of thousands of dedicated baseball-card collectors across the country, and they spend a lot of money on their hobby- From Phoenix, AZ, to Manassas, VA, on almost every weekend during the year a baseball card show is held
Busted! : the inside story of the world of sports memorabilia, O.J. Simpson, and the Vegas arrests
by Thomas J. Riccio.
Beverly Hills, CA : Phoenix Books, c2008.
WHY did Tom Riccio find himself in the middle of what is being called the most famous robbery in U.S. history? WHY is Tom Riccio considered by both the prosecution and the defense to be the most important witness in O.J. Simpson's Las Vegas trial on charges of armed robbery?
Seemed like a good idea at the time
David Goodwillie.
Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2006.
Collecting sports memorabilia
Michael McKeever.
Brooklyn, N.Y. : Alliance Publishing : Distributed to the trade by National Book Network, c1996.
Includes index.
Malloy's sports collectibles value guide : up-to-date prices for noncard sports memorabilia
Roderick A. Malloy.
Radnor, PA : Wallace-Homestead Book Co., c1993.
Witness the most comprehensive listing of noncard sports collectibles ever assembled. A roster of sports artifacts and autographs are featured, from the five major sports, auto racing and Olympic subjects, to soccer, horse racing, golf, tennis and more! Listings are by team or individual in 15 categories.

Like sports enthusiasts everywhere, St. Louisans collect autographs, programs, equipment, apparel, and trading cards connected to their favorite sporting event or personality. 

Each piece of sports memorabilia tells its own story and evokes its own recollection.  Owning a program from a favorite sporting event brings back exciting memories, while owning the ball hit out of the park by a baseball player for his 500th homerun likely creates a life-long bond with that player. 

Some memorabilia has more than a sentimental value; it can be an investment.   The growing number of collectors makes sports memorabilia a billion dollar a year industry. 

Those new to collecting sports memorabilia, particularly autographed items, need to exercise caution.  The FBI estimates that over 50% of all autographed sports items on the market are forgeries.  It is important that those seeking to buy or sell sports memorabilia work with sellers like Upper Deck or Topps that will authenticate materials, provide references, and appraise memorabilia. 

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff