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Coolest Sports Memorabilia of 2008

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It’s that time again.

These were the stories that keep us all believing the next great find is right around the corner.

Part Casey Kasem. Part Dick Clark.

Part a compelling need to keep alive a tradition we started way back in…2007.

Sports Collectors Daily published over 1400 stories over the last twelve months. Some of our most popular involve things we wish we could have found.

It’s our top five list of the coolest sports memorabilia to enter the hobby in 2008.

Babe Ruth autographed baseball 5. The Babe Ruth "Time Machine" Baseball: Babe Ruth signed thousandsof autographs during his lifetime. "Signatures" as he called them. He was such a big deal that not a lot of people ever threw their Babe-a-bilia away. Many of the signed baseballs aren’t exactly pristine 60 years after his death. But early in 2008, a retired dentist called Memory Lane auctions with the story of a gorgeous Ruth ball he’d stored in the same box since getting it at an American Legion baseball tournament just before the Babe passed away. Snow white with a classic sweet spot signature, the ball sold at auction for over $81,000.

4. Dual Hall of Famer Gamer: He was a North Carolina batboy in 1959 and Rodley Redd latched onto a piece of history. He saved a minor league hand-me-down jersey that is 100% unique. Redd was working for the Raleigh Caps when Carl Yastrzemski was beginning his pro career. The jersey Redd owns was worn by Yaz that season, but inside was a nametag showing the jersey had originally been worn by Bob Feller in 1954 when the club had been an Indians’ farm team. As of last summer, Redd had no interest in selling.

Vintage Cracker Jack baseball cards


3. Ultimate Walk-In:
Why do dealers still go to baseball card shows with big signs saying "We’re Buying!"? Because once in a great while someone does still show up with an old, forgotten box of baseball cards. One man popped into a show and paid Huggins & Scott a visit carrying a pile of 275 1914 and 1915 Cracker Jack cards that had been in the family for years. They went to SGC faster than you can say "prize inside" and were sold at auction over the summer in several different lots.

T206 Honus Wagner 2. Honus in the House: What do you do when you need some quick cash? Sell a few duplicates on eBay? One Georgia man was looking for stuff to sell when he "remembered" some old baseball cards that were handed down. He dug them out and sent them to Beckett which found–you guessed it–a T206 Honus Wagner inside–the first Wagner to surface in several years. Beckett let Robert Edward Auctions handle the sale of the cards. The Wagner card received a ‘1’ from Beckett’s Vintage Grading service, but even in poor condition, it brought $317,250 in REA’s spring auction.

1. What’s in Your Closet?: We’re betting it’s not a century-old baseball board game. While cleaning an old closet at the Bingham-Waggoner estate near Kansas City, a curator discovered an 1893 Zimmer’s Base Ball game. Picturing players like Cy Young, Buck Ewing and Ed Delahanty, the game sat undisturbed for decades inside what was once a servant’s bedroom. It’s now on display at the home. The story is worth another look courtesy of a Kansas City TV station: