History a Big Part of Sports Memorabilia Appraisal

Leila Dunbar spent several years working on some of the biggest sports memorabilia auctions while employed by Sotheby’s in New York.

Now she’s running her own appraisal company and doing some work for the Antiques Roadshow.

“There’s a demand for the best of the best out there,” she says.  “Mediocre pieces, though, are easy to find, so the market for them has shrunk significantly.”

It may be a bit unusual for a woman to know so much about sports memorabilia, but it’s a natural fit for a former athlete who cut her teeth on giant local outdoor flea markets.

In this interview, she talked with Collector’s Weekly about what’s hot, which items she loved seeing the most and how she appraises some of those big ticket items now that she’s doing work for the Yankees and the USGA.