BRONX, N.Y. — Baseball memorabilia guru Brian Cataquet, who runs Tobeeecat Auctions, a well known online sports card and memorabilia company, has received hundreds of emails from baseball fan collectors who are a little wary about their sports investments, asking the same question. “Has the weak economy hurt the baseball card and memorabilia industry?” To answer this question in one word, the answer is, No!
In an economy that is currently labeled a “Danger Zone,” with the Stock Market over the last several months falling over 1,000 points. Households in foreclosures totaling 900,000 in the U.S., that’s over 76% from last year, the sales of baseball cards/memorabilia remain firm.
While retail sales dropped to 0.4% in December, a record low since 2002, Baseball cards and memorabilia sales have actually soared in prices. For example, in a December Sports Auction that took place in Chicago, a 1912 Jim Thorpe candy baseball card called a Colgan’s Chip sold for $51,896. A 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card in Near Mint sold for $34,156, A 1955 Topps card set in near mint sold for $50,476. A 1910 Pittsburgh Pirates Card set called Tip Top Bread which featured 25 members of the Pirates including Honus Wagner sold for $69,253.
In January 2008 when statements like “Stocks fall, Recession ahead” or “U.S. Heading for a Deep Recession” were being said, baseball memorabilia skyrocketed in sales. Look at these figures. In a sports auction that took place at Sotheby’s in New York City in Jan. ’08 a 1917 Ty Cobb game used bat sold for $87,114. A 1921 Babe Ruth game used bat sold for $79,015. A 1965 Mickey Mantle bat sold for $26,698. Jimmie Foxx’s 1939 game used bat sold for $24,216. Barry Bonds 754 home run ball sold for $26,936. Even photographs were selling at an all time record high. A 1920’s Miller Huggins (Yankees manager) autograph photograph fetched $18,574.00.
According to Cataquet, “At this present moment there is currently an auction taking place ending in two weeks in New Jersey which features a Cigarette card of Honus Wagner (T206) that grades poor and the bid is at $150,000 which I believe will sell for close to $250,000. In that same auction there is a 1914 Babe Ruth card that has a bid of over $155,000 and I believe that card will fetch for over $220,000. So baseball collectors do not worry the current state of the baseball card and memorabilia market is strong. In a better economy it would be even stronger for vintage baseball. With all this said during a weak economy, this shows you the strength and importance of our national game in this country.”
About Brian Cataquet
Brian Cataquet is a leading expert in the field of vintage baseball cards and vintage sports memorabilia. His website is http://www.BrianCataquet.com. To contact Brian (718) 409-6429.