Where Are All The Jackie Robinson Single Signed Baseballs?
Jack Roosevent ‘Jackie’ Robinson was the first black African-American baseball player to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. This, along with an exceptional baseball career, albeit only 9 years has seen a high demand for signed memorabilia, which unfortunately for collectors appears to be quite scarce.
For most memorabilia collectors now, eBay is the obvious place to start online. Here, there are a few team signed baseballs from 1950-1955 where Jackie Robinson’s signature is present. The starting price for these balls is around the $3000 mark. There appear to be no individually signed balls, although there are many replicas which sell for the $70 mark.
To find one of these rare items, buyers would have to trawl the online auction sites, and when found, these little balls appear to be the ‘gold dust’ of the sporting memorabilia world. At a recent sports memorabilia auction house, a Jackie Robinson single signed baseball in good condition sold for a staggering $21,500 including buyers premium. At another auction, this time Imperial Sports Auctions, bidding closed at over $5,000 and the ball came with its own authenticity letter from James Spence from the JSA.
There are a few reasons why the prices for these items soar to astronomical prices. First of all, Jackie did not sign a lot of things. In those days, players did not sign the volume of items that modern pros do, so even back in the 1950s, there wasn’t a high volume of goods around. As time goes on, and the increasingly few baseballs get snapped up by trophy hunters, the value will only go up. Ten years ago, a very high quality single signed ball would have sold for around $8,000 – $10,000. Now, it won’t fetch any less than $15,000.
Jackie Robinson autographs and memorabilia will continue to be in demand for many years to come, and anyone wishing to purchase any sort of signed memorabilia will have to fish deep into their pockets for it. Since the retirement of his iconic number 42 jersey by Major League Baseball, this has only increased demand, and if you want one of those rare little signed balls, you are probably going to have to sacrifice that new Porsche for it!
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