Baseball has long been the cornerstone of the sports memorabilia hobby. It's rich history and countless sub-plots have been interwoven into the story of America ever since it's professional debut in the mid 1800's. And while other sports have at times stolen the spotlight from America's pastime, baseball has played on; continuing to capture our imagination and inspire our youth. For those reasons and many more, the demand for baseball autographs, is as strong as it ever was.
Just Collect, an industry leader in the vintage sports cards and memorabilia market, has for ten years offered our clients the tools and the expertise necessary maximize the value of their prized autograph collections regardless of whether it's a single signature or a hoard of hundreds, or even thousands, of pieces.
Today and everyday, we are looking for prime examples from such legendary names as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Cy Young, Sandy Koufax, Walter Johnson, Rogers Hornsby, Roberto Clemente, Stan Musial, Grover Alexander, and Satchel Paige, as well as team signed material from such storied franchises as the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Boston Red Sox, and Cincinnati Reds.. Rare autographs originating from teams of the former Negro League and early squads from the PCL (Pacific Coast League) are also of great interest to us.
Autographs alone are great but when found on an object with historical significance of it’s own, they instantly become outstanding and exponentially more valuable. Early autographed game used jerseys, bats, gloves, cleats, team jackets, tickets, programs, postcards, bases, stadium signs/artifacts, baseballs, and baseball cards (rookie cards especially) top of our list of highly desirables and are extremely popular with collectors.
On the subject of signed baseball cards, rookie year specimens are by far the most sought after. The combination of a Hall of Fame autograph on that player’s first year offering is undoubtedly a rare find and as such commands a premium price and as with most things baseball memorabilia-related, Babe Ruth is still the King . According to PSA/DNA a gum card with an authentic ink sample from the Bambino is worth $8000. Find a signed card example from the “Big Six” though and be the first! With none having surfaced to date, and his autographed photos going for around $20K, a discovery like that would send shock waves throughout the hobby!
Those two are just the tip (top) of the iceberg though. There are dozens of other Hall of Famers whose vintage signed rookie cards we’d love to purchase because not only are the signatures themselves hard to come by, but getting that signature on a decent looking card is truly something special.
Cards aren’t the only "flat" that deserves a bit more detail. Autographed vintage photos, of which there are two types: color prints and original wire photos/silver gelatins, have seen their prices skyrocket in recent years due to their mix of rare ink and aesthetic value as a piece to decorate a home or office with. Between the two the original wire photo/silver gelatin is more valuable, as they can be traced back to collections belonging to major newspapers and news outlets. These black and white beauties offer the perfect canvas for a strong signature to shine against and often they will be accompanied by a newspaper clipping, typed caption, or editorial notes on the back.
The second category of photos, the modern color prints, are much more frequently found, as private companies tended to print hundreds of them and sold them to the public. While their vibrant images pop off the surface they also sometimes detract from the overall appearance of the autograph as the assortment of bright colors tend to interfere with the black or blue ink of the signature. The best of this bunch are usually signed in grey or silver sharpie which renders the best results over a dark part of the photo. Either way, autographed photos of the game's best are valuable, and are continuing to grow in popularity.
We are also looking to purchase memorabilia and signed items from historic dates and events in baseball. That includes material related the 1919 Black Sox, Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round The World”, Ruth’s “Called Shot”, Roberto Clemente’s last game, ticket stubs from any early World Series, perfect game, or no hitter. In short, if the moment was memorable, we want the memorabilia that was there.
Over the past decade or so, card companies have started producing new types of cards to meet the demand of younger hobby enthusiasts. These cards are called relic cards, (sometimes referred to as "jersey cards" or "patch cards") which feature a piece of game used jerseys of today's brightest stars. After seeing that market take off, card companies like Topps, Panini, and Leaf started getting these superstars to also autograph these cards, and started making limited runs of each (serial numbered). As you can imagine, even though these cards are "modern", since they are serial numbers, signed, and contain memorabilia, they are rare and highly sought after. Just Collect is actively buying these autographed jersey cards of Mantle, Ruth, and Gehrig, and would also be interested in larger collections as well.
So dust off those old albums and unearth that old shoe box and give us a call today. Just Collect's staff is ready to accommodate all of your buying and selling needs. We offer free appraisals by appointment at all of our five satellite offices nationwide and accept submissions by mail daily, and if your collection is too large to ship, we'll gladly come to you. Ideally, the autographs we're seeking will have been authenticated by a respected third party (PSA or JSA are preferred) prior to us viewing them but by no means is this a deal breaker. Unearthing fresh and previously unseen material and bringing it to market is something we pride ourselves upon.
We not only cater to the private collector but also to former players and their families, MLB executives, team trainers, and equipment managers, both current and past, who have accumulated pieces throughout their tenure, and now need to streamline or liquidate their collections. We are here to facilitate that process, and look forward to sharing these treasures, and their stories, with the world.
Call us today to discuss your options. Our knowledgeable staff is here to answer any and all questions you may have. You can reach us at 732-828-2261 Monday-Friday, from 8AM - 6PM. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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