For many of us sports are as a big a part of our childhood memories as birthday parties and summer vacations. We loved going to the ballpark to watch the game, then hanging out afterward hoping to get an autograph from our favorite player. Weekends were spent watching as many games as possible on television and cheering so loud we could be heard down the street. Although we dream of being a big league player someday, for most of us it is nothing more than a dream. Instead we continue to pass on the love of sports to our children, while others allow it to become their passion.
The oldest form of collectable sports items is the baseball card. Started in the late 1800s by a tobacco manufacture, the cards were printed on the back of the package and contained basic information about the players. Quickly picking up popularity, cigarette manufactures begin to do the same, and eventually gum manufacturers who brought in a younger audience. Although production declined during WWII, Topps chewing gum came out with new color cards that had the players picture, vital information and current statistics that quickly helped revive the phase. Today, cards are made for nearly every sport including baseball, football, and basketball and, depending on the condition and the player featured, can be worth thousands of dollars.
Another popular item to collect is equipment from their favorite sport or player; including jerseys, hats, and balls. The items can either be from a particularly important game, such as the Super Bowl or World Series, or they can be autographed. Having both the item and the signature makes the item worth even more.
Anytime you collect anything it is important to watch out for frauds. It’s best to keep the phrase “If it sounds too good to be true it usually is” as a motto that can save you a lot of money and heartache. The world of sports collection can be fun and exciting when done with your eyes open. A fan of the NFL enjoys watching the game, but an avid collector looks for ways to preserve the sport and its history one item at a time — whether it’s signed footballs, NFL watches, or player bobbleheads.