We may not always think of sports publications--even old ones--on the same level as vintage baseball cards or hard to find autographs. The numbers prove otherwise. Vintage sports publications are actually considered 'hot' in terms of total sales. Unique pieces often find their way to eBay, generating a crowd of bidders who appreciate their scarcity. From simple quality to popularity, the best of the best bring out collectors who aren't shy about bidding to win.
Here's a look at the top five sports publication sales on eBay over the last 30 days:
*1902 Rose Bowl program; Stanford vs Michigan. This was the first Rose Bowl ever played--100 years ago. Heritage Auctions offered a copy that had a detached front and back cover but was of strong quality inside. It sold for $17,999 on November 30.
*1926 World Series program. This one knocked the socks off bidders. Tucked inside the original mailing envelope from the St. Louis Cardinals, the program had the look of one that had been printed in October of 2011, rather than October of 1926. There's no way you would argue with dealer Henry Yee that it was indeed the 'finest' '26 Series program in existence. It started off at 99 cents...and sold for $3,000.
*1974 Ali-Foreman Rumble in the Jungle Program. Not many Americans were in attendance when Ali and Foreman duked it out in Zaire. This program, from a 'well traveled' gentleman, according to the seller, was printed in French and came with two ticket stubs from the fight. Starting at $9.99, boxing collectors bid this one up to $2,592.
*1914 World Series program. 48 bids were placed on this program, featuring the Miracle Braves of Boston. It went for $1,536
*1912 Detroit Tigers programs. Try finding century-old baseball programs. There just aren't many out there. With the Tigers' collector following, it's not surprising that this 24-page program for a regular season game between Ty Cobb's team and the legendary Philadelphia A's sold for $1,500.