Coolness and collecting join hands.
I opened up our local paper this morning and on page three saw a giants close-up of the T206 Honus Wagner card that’s in Gary Cypres’ collection. Cypres, readers know, is the guy who has turned his collection of rare sports memorabilia into a museum, based in Los Angeles. By all accounts, the collection is incredible. But the caption below the Wagner card, which appears to grade about VG, read that it was "worth $2 million".
Of course, we all know that while a decent Wagner card is valuable, the only Wagner we know that’s been sold for $2 mill or more is the one graded PSA 8. I’m sure many advanced collectors probably saw the Associated Press caption and the same reference in the story and scoffed at its inaccuracy. Many times we hear laments that the mainstream media doesn’t know squat about sports memorabilia. But as a whole, the article was a huge dose of positive publicity at a time when it’s needed most. It seems a lot of the stories out there have to do with the "falling values" of sports cards and memorabilia, and while that’s not true, the perception is there.
Not only does the story on the LA Sports Museum that’s up on the AP wire focus on the value of the collection, it also delves into the history of the pieces and how interesting, relevant and downright cool they are. And whether you’re a big time auction house owner, a small-time card shop owner or a collector, that’s publicity you can’t buy. Anytime you see a feature-length story on the sports collecting hobby/industry focused on the real core value of why many of us deck our walls with vintage sports photos year round, it’s a good thing.
Yes, it would be nice if there weren’t mistakes when reporters who don’t know a lot about the hobby delve into it. But these days, it’s a good idea to be thankful there are still a lot of folks out there who think sports collecting is cool enough to write about–and read about. I know I am.