Vintage Baseball Autographs | A Good Investment?
So, you want to know if vintage baseball autographs are a good investment? Well, it really
depends on a number of things. There’s the obvious quality and authenticity of the signatures but who
the autograph is from can impact the overall value and desirability to collectors as well. More important
than anything though when collecting vintage autographs is how common or uncommon the signature
of the player is.
Even if you can’t get your hands on
some of the more desirable or valuable memorabilia, the one good
thing about collecting vintage autographs is that they will almost
always appreciate in value over time – even outperforming some
A word of caution though, collecting vintage autographs is only a
worthwhile venture if you are knowledgeable about the vintage
industry and fair values for autographs themselves. The reason why
it’s so important to know what you’re getting yourself into is
because of all the fraudulent pieces being sold and traded online today. For example, Babe Ruth is one
of the most sought after autographs in the hobby today and a single signed baseball of his could be
auctioned off for $60,000 dollars or more.
The PSA/DNA (Professional Sports Authenticator) company, which has evaluated approximately three million
autographs since its inception in 1998, rejects roughly 60% of all Ruth signed memorabilia sent to them
for authentication and grading due to “discrepancies” against his known signature. Forgery is a serious
problem for collectors and even more so for those that are just getting into the collecting hobby. Another leading autograph authentication company is JSA (James Spence Authentication)
If you have ever purchased a vintage autograph from the internet then there is a good chance you have
been a victim of fraud and don’t even know it. So, although there is a great deal of value to be had in
collecting vintage autographs you must be cautious with your approach because you could end up with
a few pieces of memorabilia that are worth far, far less than what you paid.