The best sporting collectibles you could get your hands on
Memorabilia and collectibles have long been a part of sports fandom, and for good reason. Sporting fans are proud of their allegiances and are always looking for ways to express them, and collectibles are one of the most appealing ways of doing this.
This is largely because of their scarcity; there will only be a certain number of a particular collectible – sometimes just one – and it takes a dedicated and resourceful fan to get their hands on them, thus proving their passion for that particular athlete, team or sport.
Plus, some collectibles are a literal part of history; perhaps it’s a piece of kit worn by an athlete during an iconic event, or some equipment that was used in a game like a ball or a glove.
These items can mean a huge amount to fans and so there is a healthy marketplace for them, though the more rare a collectible is, the more expensive it will be. So, we’re going to run through a handful of collectibles that you could get your hands on fairly easily without completely emptying your bank account.
First off, it’s worth discussing NFTs – or non-fungible tokens – which are essentially pieces of digital art or memorabilia that can be purchased and become uniquely yours. Though they have no physical form, they can feature autographs, images, videos and more of prominent sports stars and teams.
The DraftKings Marketplace, for example, includes NFTs for athletes like Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Naomi Osaka and more. DraftKings releases these assets in batches, with differing levels of rarity, providing people the opportunity to own them.
There are various different platforms which sell sports NFTs and some athletes collaborate with artists to create truly unique assets for people to buy. Once you buy an NFT, you receive a certificate of ownership that is protected and validated on the blockchain.
Now, onto more tangible collectibles and one of the most interesting ones you can get a hold of is a seat from the Milwaukee County Stadium. Now, it might seem strange to purchase a metal chair, but these items have plenty of historic value.
The Milwaukee County Stadium was demolished in 2001 to make way for a new stadium, Miller Park, in its place. The County Stadium opened in 1953 and was used across a multitude of sports, most prominently baseball and American football.
Teams like the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Braves called the stadium home and regularly played there, making the stadium an iconic part of the city.
Before it was demolished, many of its seats were salvaged and have become available to buy. Prices can vary, but usually you would be looking at a few hundred dollars to own one of the seats.
If you’re not looking to spend that much on collectibles, then you might consider bobbleheads. They might sound a bit infantile on paper, but these figurines are extremely popular and easy to get your hands on.
They are a cartoonish rendering of famous athletes, and they’ve been around for years meaning there’s an enormous collection available to buy. In team sports like basketball, you can get bobbleheads of prominent players when they were at different teams; for example you can still find LeBron James bobbleheads from when he was playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
This also makes them particularly great for building collections; you can pick up bobbleheads of all the different players in your favorite team, or perhaps various different versions of the same athlete.
Plus, they’re affordable; most bobbleheads won’t cost more than $20, though the rarer ones will naturally come at a higher price.
At a more local and personalised level, you can also get involved with baseball trading pins. Youth and local baseball teams will, traditionally, have some custom trading pins made for their squad and fans.
Then, at tournaments and events, players, fans, coaches and officials get together to meet and trade pins. Not only is it a great way for these teams to socialise, but these pins also serve as great collectibles that are personalised and meaningful.
The most popular form of collectible is a signed item, and this can come in a variety of forms. The most common you’ll find is a signed photograph of an athlete, and the image will usually be an action shot of them competing in their respective sport.
These are usually quite affordable as there are many of them available on various different markets. More expensive signed items are pieces of equipment, like a boxing glove or a baseball.
If you’ve got cash to burn, then you could keep an eye out for worn pieces of kit. A famous example of this is Muhammad Ali’s robe and gloves, which were worn by the man himself and are worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Obviously, such collectibles aren’t much of an option for everyone, but if you’re able to afford them, they can be hugely valuable and are of course one of a kind.
Sporting collectibles come in a wide range of options and prices, but there are plenty of them available to most fans who want to get their hands on a piece of memorabilia.