Is your sports collection public or private? Barry Halper

Some people are introverts, while others are extroverts.  Introverts keep to themselves and the extroverts are the opposite.  Have you ever been to a magic show in Las Vegas and been asked for an audience volunteer?  The person who jumps on stage to help out the magician perform his illusion is the extrovert.  The same can be said for sports memorabilia collectors. 

The introverts unassumingly can amass a large collection without anybody knowing.  This person’s spouse is always aware to the collection, but never really knows the amount of money spent on the collection.  If the spouse knew how much money was spent on the collection, he/she would probably ask for a divorce.  The majority of the Sports Memorabilia collection is housed in safety deposit boxes across numerous banks.  This is where the best and most vaulable baseball cards, bats, & autographs are stored.  Nobody ever gets to see the collection, except for the owner when he stops by the safety deposit box twice a year.  Many people can not understand why such a fantastic collection would be kept in private.  It usually has nothing to do with security, it usually has everything to do with the owner being a private person without an ego.

The extroverts are somewhat different than the introverts.  These owners’ “show-off” the collection, and throw dinner parties quite often for everybody to see the newest piece in the collection.  This sports collection might have more pieces than the introverts, and it is probably worth alot less than the introverts.  Everybody in town knows about the collection.  Mr. Owner gets asked all the time about it while taking the dog for a walk, or coaching little league baseball.  Nothing is held in safety deposit boxes.  The collection is equally spread across most of the rooms in the house, which makes for a great tour.  

Besides the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Barry Halper’s Yankee and Sports Memorabilia Collection is one of the most famous public collections.  Not that many people saw his collection before his untimely death in 2005. Barry was a partner in the New York Yankees which gave him with unparalleled access to celebrities and athletes on a daily basis.  Mr. Halper’s collection would have been a dream to see.  Email me if  you were one of the few to see Mr. Halper’s collection.  I would love to talk about it.  

For more information on this topic or pictures, visit www.baseballintheattic.com

    

 

Public or Private?

Some people are introverts, while others are extroverts.  Introverts keep to themselves and the extroverts are the opposite.  Have you ever been to a magic show in Las Vegas and been asked for an audience volunteer?  The person who jumps on stage to help out the magician perform his illusion is the extrovert.  The same can be said for sports memorabilia collectors. 

The introverts unassumingly can amass a large collection without anybody knowing.  This person’s spouse is always aware to the collection, but never really knows the amount of money spent on the collection.  If the spouse knew how much money was spent on the collection, he/she would probably ask for a divorce.  The majority of the Sports Memorabilia collection is housed in safety deposit boxes across numerous banks.  This is where the best and most vaulable baseball cards, bats, & autographs are stored.  Nobody ever gets to see the collection, except for the owner when he stops by the safety deposit box twice a year.  Many people can not understand why such a fantastic collection would be kept in private.  It usually has nothing to do with security, it usually has everything to do with the owner being a private person without an ego.

The extroverts are somewhat different than the introverts.  These owners’ “show-off” the collection, and throw dinner parties quite often for everybody to see the newest piece in the collection.  This sports collection might have more pieces than the introverts, and it is probably worth alot less than the introverts.  Everybody in town knows about the collection.  Mr. Owner gets asked all the time about it while taking the dog for a walk, or coaching little league baseball.  Nothing is held in safety deposit boxes.  The collection is equally spread across most of the rooms in the house, which makes for a great tour.  

Besides the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Barry Halper’s Yankee and Sports Memorabilia Collection is one of the most famous public collections.  Not that many people saw his collection before his untimely death in 2005. Barry was a partner in the New York Yankees which gave him with unparalleled access to celebrities and athletes on a daily basis.  Mr. Halper’s collection would have been a dream to see.  Email me if  you were one of the few to see Mr. Halper’s collection.  I would love to talk about it.  

For more information on this topic or pictures, visit www.baseballintheattic.com

    

 

What would you ask your favorite sports star if you met him in person?

Many of us dream of the day when we get the chance of a lifetime to meet our favorite athlete.  The day when that dream turns into reality, is a day to never be forgotten. 

Just like anything in life, you must prepare for this day.  If you do not, you will probably freeze up and not be able to utter a single word.  Trust me, I have seen this happen countless times before.  A fan approaches the table to get his baseball, photo, or bat signed by his favorite athelte.  Next thing you know, somebody says next and it is the next person’s turn. 

You must understand that the athlete probably has several hundred, if not one thousand pieces that he has to sign in a few short hours before heading off to the airport.  There is no time to lolligag.  Everything moves so fast.  If you have questions, ask them.  The athlete may or may not be in a good mood that day.  Some might be brief and some love to chat with their fans.  Regardless, it is senseless to pay money for an autograph and not be able to chat with him. 

If you are going to engage with your favorite sports star, make sure you have the right information.  One time I sat next to a superstar who was signing autographs.  One guy came up to him and started talking endlessly and rambling on and on.  The guy was saying how big of a fan he is and how many games he attended to watch his favorite outfielder.  The superstar just smiled at the guy and nodded his head.  The superstar whispered to me, “I never played outfield.  I think he is confused.  He is probably talking about my teammate who is signing autographs 4 tables down.”

 When the time comes, don’t be nervous and do some research.  Asking intelligent questions and being confident will make your “dream” moment last forever.

 

For more information and pictures, visit www.baseballintheattic.com

Baseball cards can put a smile on your face

No matter what decade or generation we grew up in, we all can remember opening up those packs of baseball cards.  A few friends’ would go into the local pharmacy, card shop, or five & dime to buy the packs.  The weekly chores that we did in the yard, on the farm, helping out around the house, being a newspaper boy or working on cars would help finance our junkie habit.   

We would save up money in search of that elusive Mickey Mantle, Ernie Banks, Tom Seaver, Cal Ripken, or Alex Rodriguez card.  We all had our favorites’.  Ironically, those were also worth the most.  Sometimes that smile that we walked in with turned upside down (frown) after we opened the pack(s) to receive a bunch of worthless players.  Without fail, one of my friends’ always got the “great” card.  Sometimes jealousy began to settle in.  Why was Jimmy always getting the best cards?  What was his secret in picking the packs?

Speaking of which, most venues that sold the baseball card packs allowed the children to pick their packs.  We would stick our hands deep into the box and carefully chose the pack that we thought was going to have that hundred dollar card.  More often that not, we chose to pick the packs from the bottom.  I do not know why that is, but looking back, it wasn’t so wise.  The packs are randomly distributed into the box and after several years of choosing packs on the bottom, I was not very successful. 

After opening the packs, I remember putting the best ones into plastic sleeves.  I would then ride my bike back to a a friends’ house and start negotiating for a trade.  The deliberations would go on for hours with a stalemate.  Trades were rarely made.  Somebody would usually get a phone call as night began to fall from a mother saying that Tommy had to come home for dinner .

Regardless of what cards you found in the packs, it always put a smile on your face knowing that next weekend was going to be different and you were confident that you would find that elusive Mickey Mantle.

Please visit www.baseballintheattic.com for pictures and more information 

How emotionally attached are you to your baseball cards/memorabilia?

Many of us can point to our favorite baseball card or autograph.  There is a story of how each item was obtained.  Some items might be family heirlooms while some autographs were obtained in person.  Maybe you got your favorite players’ autograph while staking out the team parking lot after a baseball game.  Maybe you got the autograph on a dinner napkin while seeing the athlete at a random restaurant.  Regardless, you always will have a story.  Some better than others.

Selling a baseball collection can be difficult for many reasons, including the ones listed above.  We share such a sentimental value with the pieces.  They almost become members’ of the family.  In one family’s case, the collection was loved more than the family members’ because the collection never talked back and they never got into trouble with the law. 

You must become emotionally detached when it comes time to sell the collection.  You must understand that the buyer of the collection does not care how you obtained the collection.  The buyer will not pay you a premium because your collection has been handed down for two generations. 

Everybody thinks that their collection is worth the most.  It is true.  I have yet to meet somebody who thinks that their collection is worth less than six figures.  I am a collector, but a realist.  I am able to buy collections from a private seller and pay more than dealers.  (dealers are looking to flip the items.  collector’s will keep most of the items )

Some people are looking for buyers’ to carry on the tradition of the collection.  They place ultimatum’s on the collection.  For example, “You must pass along this baseball card to your son.” Or “You must put this Yankees team auto ball on the top of your fireplace for good luck.”  It can sound absurb, but i do understand it.  I am a collector at heart, and I am grateful for any collection i can pass along from generation to generation.

For more information and pictures, please visit www.baseballintheattic.com

 

The Art of Collecting Sports Ephemera. What kind of collector are you?

Collecting Sports Memorabilia is something that most of us love to do.  Whether it is that impulse buy at the local card shop or winning an ebay item at the last second, we all love to show off our collection. 

One must realize that there is not a bottomless pit of money, especially in this economy.  The world of sports collecting includes many different categories.  Sports cards, autographs, bats, (game used and non game used) autographed baseballs, pins, rings/trophies, and the list goes on and on. 

I have seen collections that include all of the above.  I have also viewed collections that focus on one particular area of interest.  Zeroing in on what excites you, makes the art of collecting more enjoyable not just for the viewing public, but for yourself.

The collectors who focus on one area, such as baseball cards, are more passionate and usually have the scarcest or rarest item for that category.  For example, a baseball card collector might have all the error cards from the 1909-1911 tobacco set.  The Plank, Ty cobb with a Cobb reverse, Sherry Magee (Magie),etc.  If I asked this collector to name his favorite card in the collection, he would rattle it off at the top of his tongue without blinking an eye.  The collectors’ who focus on just one area of collecting become “experts” and will go the extra mile to find the true rarity.  The “one trick” pony also tends to take a bigger pride in his collection.  These people tend to set goals and attain them.  They know what they want, and how to get it. 

Somebody who collects cards, bats, baseballs, and pins, would be unsure how to answer that question.  Everything is his favorite.  This person usually has a big ego and usually just buys for the quantity and not the quality.  The big collections are great to view, but the owners’ are generally less interesting. 

It doesn’t matter what type of collector you are, sports memorabilia collections are fun to view and be around. 

For more information on this topic and pictures, please visit www.baseballintheattic.com

 

 

How come my sports collection is not worth more?

 

Possessing a vintage baseball card or sports collection doesn’t entitle somebody to significant amounts of money.  Listed below are 10 top reasons why your baseball cards and/or sports memorabilia collection might not be worth top dollar.

 

1.     The baseball cards you have are all of “common” players and not the Stars (Mantle, DiMaggio, etc.)  The “stars” and “Hall of Fame members” command a much higher price tag.

2.     Your baseball cards look like they have sharp corners, but upon measuring each card, it becomes clear that the cards were trimmed (A process used to make trading cards have sharp corners).   This is tampering.  Buyers don’t like to purchase restored/trimmed cards.  They want to buy cards that have the same dimensions as when they left the factory a number of years ago. 

3.     Personalized autographs command less value than non-personalized autographs.  A personalized autograph is less valuable when it comes time to resell the item.  A baseball signed by Mickey Mantle personalized to “Bart Smithers” might carry a very high sentimental value to you because you met Mr. Mantle and he signed it for you.  To meet an athlete in person, let alone a guy in the Hall of Fame like Mickey Mantle is an experience you will never forget.  This is a memory that you will share with your friends and grandchildren forever.  I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of professional athletes and each one has a different story.  However, unless you can find another Bart Smithers who wants to buy this ball, you might find it hard to resell it.  Mr. John Smith doesn’t want to have a Bart Smithers signed baseball.  If Mr. Mantle would have just signed his name on the sweet spot, your baseball would command a higher resale value.  Nobody wants to display an autographed baseball on their bookshelf or fireplace that doesn’t have their name on it.  When Mr. John Smith decides to resell the baseball at a later date, he will have the same problem as you had.  People deduct value because of the personalization. 

4.     Your signed Babe Ruth baseball has 6 other signatures on it.  Babe Ruth is one of the greatest signatures to obtain.  Everybody would like to have a Babe Ruth autograph.  However, most of them do not want a Babe Ruth autograph with several other autographs on the same baseball.  Some people might think that the baseball should be worth more because it has more signatures.  This is false.  There is not much demand for this type of item.  Therefore, your item will still sell, but for a much lower price.

5.     Keep your autographs in a cool, dry area.  Exposure to sun and other harsh climates can do damage to the signatures.  Sunlight can yellow the baseball.  Putting your baseball in a ball cube is probably a good idea if you want to protect it from fingerprints, etc.  However, do NOT apply shellac to any of the signatures.  For those of you who do not know, shellac is a substance used to preserve the signatures on a baseball from ever going away.  The idea being, if I apply a coat of shellac to the signatures on the baseball, they will never go away.  This form of preservation used to be very popular.  Nowadays, it is a sure way to decrease the value of your collectibles. 

6.     Besides a baseball card having sharp corners and free of creasing, it must be perfectly centered to receive top dollar.  Perfect centering is both up and down and left to right on the card.  Off-centering greatly detracts from the visual greatness of the card. 

7.     As I stated above, having mint corners and a perfectly centered card are crucial.  However, creasing is one of the easiest ways to get less money for your card.  Creasing is usually more evident in the lower condition cards.  However, I have seen creasing in some better condition cards.  Sometimes the creasing might not be evident to the naked eye.  Furthermore, creasing might only exist on the back (rear) side of the card.  It is important to look at BOTH sides of the card. 

8.        Supply and Demand are driving forces in any market.  The Sports Collectibles market is no exception.  For example, you just found 2,000 1952 Topps High numbered common cards.  These cards are worth more than the lower numbered cards.  Furthermore, there has not been a find of this magnitude in ten years.  As you can imagine, there will be some serious demand for your 2,000 cards.  Therefore, you will get a nice premium for your collection.  However, let’s say that the exact opposite occurred. The supply of 1952 High numbered cards greatly outstrips demand because there have been several recent finds.  Card dealers and collectors do not need any more cards from this set and it seems like this set is not that hard to find anymore because the 1952 Topps cards seem to be popping up on a monthly basis.  The extreme supply filled everybody’s wants lists and there is not any more demand for this issue.  The above example demonstrates the supply/demand forces at work.  Remember, your collection is only worth what somebody else wants to pay you for it.  It is not determined by how much you think it is worth.  The seller always has a bias because it is their own collection. 

9.       The New York Yankees have won 26 World Series titles since the inception of baseball.  This is by far the most titles by any baseball team.  Being that New York is a large state, they also have a huge fan base.  Many baseball players who played on the Yankees became included into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  If you grew up in the Bronx you probably only collected New York Yankees collectibles.  However, if you grew up in Michigan, you only had the Detroit Tigers to root for.  They have only won 4 World Series Championships compared to the Yankees 26.  Michigan is also much smaller in size and population.  Only a few Tigers’ players’ were inducted into the Hall of Fame.  You probably haven’t even heard of most of them.  Depending on where you grew up, you collected baseball cards of the region or state.  However, Yankees sports memorabilia is worth considerably more than the Detroit Tigers memorabilia.  The region where you grew up in determined what you collected, and several decades later, affects the value as well.

10.      Not everything vintage is worth something.  Baseball Cards, Game used bats, signed baseballs, championship rings, unopened baseball packs, and World Series press pins (in no particular order) are just some items that are worth money.  Old newspapers and ticket stubs are generally not worth anything.  If you’re favorite hobby was to collect tickets stubs as a kid, your collection is virtually worthless compared to your buddy who collected baseball cards. 

 

For more information please visit www.baseballintheattic.com

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