New Book Highlights Sports Memorabilia

Collecting Sports Legends A new hardcover book offers a sports collectible ode to some all-time greats.

Joe Orlando, president of PSA, has authored a new book melding sports collectibles with sports history.

Collecting Sports Legends – The Ultimate Hobby Guide (Zyrus Press, Fountain Valley, California, 2008) is being billed as the first book of its kind to blend career highlights of America’s top sports stars with images of memorabilia related to their careers.

“It’s a book for all sports fans, not just collectors. You don’t have to be a collector to enjoy sports history as seen through the collectibles. It’s a way to learn about and appreciate the greatest legends and their careers through their sports cards and other items. It helps bring these sports heroes to life,” explained Orlando.

The glossy, 376-page, large 10” x 12” coffee table-size format provides readers with over 500 photographs of diverse athletes from Babe Ruth to Tiger Woods, and vintage to modern hobby collectibles. The book also gives experts’ tips on starting or building collections of trading cards, autographs, game-used baseball bats, historic game tickets and unopened packs.

Orlando and various hobby experts selected what they believe are the best sports memorabilia pieces related to their selections of the icons of baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey and other sports.

The rankings lists include:
  • The top 250 individual sports cards and experts’ rankings of the top 20 of all time (not surprisingly, the famous T-206 Honus Wagner card is #1)
  • The top 30 complete card sets of all time; the top 100 sports autographs with a ranking of the top ten (Babe Ruth’s signature is number one)
  • The top 40 game-used baseball bats (Ruth again number one)

  • A chronological list of the top 15 sporting event admission tickets of all time
  • The top 25 unopened sports card packs (1952 Topps baseball card packs are rated #1)

Orlando offers his top ten tips for building collections, emphasizing important guidelines for both beginning and experienced collectors who are looking for direction as well as what to look for and what to avoid.

“Nothing quite like this has ever been done in our hobby on this large scale. It’s the first time a book has blended all these collectibles areas into one book, providing insight and details about the sports stars’ collectibles,” Orlando explained.

“People love sports, and our hobby is an extension of that love,” said David Kohler, President of SCP Auctions of Mission Viejo, California, one of the country’s largest sports collectibles companies. “It is sometimes hard for a collector who has recently come to the hobby to fully understand sports collecting. This book will provide them with a clear path on how to move forward from the interest stage to becoming a knowledgeable collector.”

The book was released last week and is now available on