Quick Answers to Your Burning Collecting Questions: Cards & Memorabilia

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GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA FEBRUARY 20, 2018: An Olympic pins collection seen during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

I enjoy writing articles about a hobby I love. Writing gives me a way to express my opinions and beliefs about collecting, sports cards, memorabilia while reaching a broad audience of varying collecting experience. These articles don’t come easy and I invest a lot of my own time into these for you, the reader. The reception has overall been mostly positive.  Everyone has critics and despite my years of collecting, there are always people who have forgotten more about collecting than I know. I enjoy connecting with my fans, mostly through Twitter. They give me feedback, suggestions, and share their own collecting stories with me. They also have a lot of questions for me. Questions that are good and valid, but the answers to them are not long enough to justify a whole article.
Until today. Today, I will be providing short answer to some of your burning questions. Most of these questions are ones that multiple people have asked me in one way or another.

Quick Answers to Your Burning Collecting Questions: Cards & Memorabilia

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Q: Can you tell me how much this (card/memorabilia) is worth and/or is it real/authentic?

A: No I cannot.  I am not a respected price guide or authenticator among collectors and the industry alike. However, I will be glad to give you my opinion and point you in the right direction to someone who can be of assistance.  For determining value of a card or memorabilia, checkout Beckett’s price guides or eBay’s completed/sold listings. For getting an item authenticated, try PSA/JSA and Beckett, who are two of the most trusted authenticators in the hobby.

Q: Do you recommend any prospects to invest in now that I can sell for profit later or why don’t you write about prospects whose cards/memorabilia is selling well?

A: Prospecting is an extremely volatile market. For every Mike Trout there are about 100 Mike Olts. Busts. People who tear up the minor league farm systems and training camps only to choke in the big leagues. Conversely, there are those who have average performances in the minors and emerge as superstars in the pros. It is too difficult to predict and measure accurately. Additionally, I do not want someone to follow my advice and get upset that they lost their money because one name I picked busted. There are several other writers out there who cover prospects and rookies to watch. I also want to focus more on collecting as a whole as opposed to one portion/aspect of it. However, I do think Michael Chavis and Austin Riley are two baseball prospects whose cards and memorabilia are highly undervalued.  I have purchased their autographs and plans to resell in the future. But, please do not blame me if you invest in them and they do not pan out. Do your research.

Q: What do you collect/privately collect (PC) and why?

A: I collect baseball and hockey. I recognize there is value in football and basketball but neither sport as really interested me the way baseball and hockey do. Additionally, I played baseball and hockey growing up. A majority of my collection for baseball is either of New York Yankees or the Washington Nationals, two of my favorite teams. For hockey, I focus on goalies, as that is the position I play.

 

Q: What are some of your favorite cards/memorabilia items in your PC?

A: One of my favorite cards is a 2008 Upper Deck dual autographed card of Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra numbered /50.  It was a college graduation present.  I also really like my 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Bryce Harper autograph gum back variation.  Instead of having stats on the back, it has an ad for bubble gum designed to look like it is from the 1940s.  I have relic cards of Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Ted Williams. Mantle, Robinson, and Jackson are all game used bat relics while Williams is a game used jersey.  For hockey, I have a Upper Deck Artifacts dual patch card of Tuukka Rask. The card is numbered /5 and has two pieces of his laundry tag from a game used jersey, one of which has the Canadian flag on it.  I also have a signed goalie stick signed by Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils.

 

Q: Are there any cards or pieces of memorabilia you won’t collect?

A: I usually stay away from the most basic sets like Series 1 and Series 2 of Topps and Upper Deck.  I like my collection to have some flair and uniqueness to it. That being said, these sets are your standard meat & potatoes sets. Basic designs and formats. Not really eye popping. But they have their fans and are where cards got their start. As for memorabilia, I’m not a fan of game used or signed jerseys. They are difficult to maintain, display, and cost a lot of money.  I will get one eventually just to say I have one, but I like signed baseballs, bats, sticks, and pucks a lot more.

Q: Where do you get most of your cards/memorabilia from?

A: Online. Most come from eBay. I rarely buy boxes.  I buy singles/lots. I also do a fair amount of business on Twitter with other collectors and followers.  I rarely use COMC, except I am building a set of a 100 cards on there and waiting to complete it before having it shipped to me. I am about 3/4ths of the way done.  After moving, I no longer have a LCS (local card shop) to go to, which is probably best for my bank account. Occasionally, I will buy retail from places like Target to satisfy my cravings to open something.

 

Please keep your questions coming! I love connecting with my fans and fellow collectors.  I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.

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