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Need a Gift for a Sports Collector? There’s Still Time

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What do sports collectors want for Christmas? Depends on their interest, of course, but if you think it’s too late to find something good, think again.

It can be a fruitless exercise.

Tell someone who doesn’t share your passion for the sports collecting hobby what you want as a gift this holiday season and you’re likely to get a blank stare. They have no idea what a 1941 Play Ball is or how to find an authentic game-worn jersey or which box of 2008 football cards to buy.

But sports collectors are actually really easy to buy for. And if you’re a collector–buying for another collector–there’s still time get something that isn’t generic.

Here’s a list of over 1400 items from eBay sellers in the sports card and memorabilia category who have made a commitment to fast shipping, many of whom will go the extra mile to send your package today–or in the next couple of days via overnight mail.

What makes a cool Christmas gift for a collector who, for once, would like to add something to that collection without having to pay for it themselves? Here are a few ideas:

  • T206 cards Who doesn’t like the little buggers? Cool, classic, colorful and really not all that expensive unless you’re talking high grade Hall of Famers. And remember…there will be a buzz next year with the set turning 100 years old. We even know one big league baseball team that plans on an ode to the T206 set on their game tickets next year. Not only a great gift, but one that might appreciate nicely over the next twelve months
  • Vintage football cards: We grew up with baseball cards. We’ll grow old with football cards. Football’s popularity continues to skyrocket and vintage football rookie cards (and star cards) are still undervalued. High grade rookie cards from the 1960s, 70s and even the 80s will always have a following thanks to the game’s steady popularity and expected global growth.
  • Anything Babe Ruth: We keep waiting for Babe Ruth baseball cards and memorabilia to get lost on the current generation of collectors. Not a chance. The Babe played his last game over seven decades ago, died 60 years ago and he’s still red-hot. The Babe had a ton of cards and not all of them are four and five-figure items. Buy the best you can afford, but buy the Babe–and think out of the box. Old photos, newspapers and other Babe-a-bilia is always welcome by any collector with a lick of sense.
  • Coffee Table Books: We love Stephen Wong’s Smithsonian Baseball, but there are dozens of other sports books that pay homage to old sports memorabilia and the like. Search a few keyword via Amazon and you’ll find something interesting. They’ll get it to you by Christmas, too.
  • Current wax boxes: Even if you’re an old curmugeon who normally wouldn’t be caught dead ripping a box of cards issued post-1975, a true collector will always feel like a kid with a hot-off-the-presses box of cards at Christmas. Late-season issues usually picture the players in their current uniforms, too. If you’re not a collector or don’t know the market, there are plenty of places out there to get the dope on what’s hot. And if you’re the recipient and don’t want to keep the cards, give them to a kid and help create a new generation of collectors. Lord knows, there aren’t enough of them.
  • Old wax packs: It’s a little trip back in time. Who doesn’t like the feeling of ripping into a pack of cards that was sealed 30 or 40 years ago? What’s inside? Could be commons. Could be a perfect rookie or star card. Bet you can’t last 24 hours without finding out.

Your chances of finding a local baseball card show between now and Christmas aren’t great, but if you’re at a loss, check the phone book and patronize the nearest card shop. If they’re on top of things, they’ll probably offer some sort of gift certificate and giving the giftee a choice in this whole affair isn’t the worst idea.