The video from the Topps ‘relic room’ we’ve posted is either really interesting or really sad, depending on your point of view.
Memorabilia card collectors who chase bat barrel cards or those carrying swatches of vintage uniforms will probably get a kick of it. Those who prefer their vintage memorabilia stay in one piece will loathe it.
I’ve never really understood the memorabilia card attraction, but I’m OK with it as long as what’s being cut up isn’t truly rare. I’m afraid that isn’t always the case. The video shows a Jim Brown jersey that seems to show incredible game use, a Bill Walton Blazers jersey that’s ready to be sliced up and a Mickey Mantle shirt that’s already in pieces. In the background is an autographed Dr. J shirt. Those are items that shouldn’t be destroyed. We even see the nameplate on a Josh Gibson bat that’s already part of a set and there can’t be many of those out there. A Mickey Mantle bat? I’m probably OK with that because it seems like there are at least a couple dozen authentic Mantle bats out there. Losing one cracked bat from a post-War Hall of Famer isn’t the end of the world.
I understand the card companies need to do what they can to make money and keep collectors interested in buying their products. I just hate to see historic museum pieces mutilated in the process, no matter how attractive those cards might be. There has to be a better way. What about creating a nice museum with all of this stuff and letting redemption winners fly to New York (or California in the case of Upper Deck or Texas in the case of Donruss) to see it? Put them up at a nice hotel, take them to a game and give them a less rare game-used piece to take home as an additional prize. Keep it a mystery or let them choose something from a well publicized list. It would be the ultimate vacation for collectors and I’m guessing there would be a lot of interest.
Maybe let the winner borrow the game used jersey for a year. Impractical? I don’t know. With proper insurance, I think true collectors would be very good caretakers.
I wonder what the people who cut the really good stuff up think when they turn on the slicing and dicing machine. It’s a job for someone without a conscience.
We’re not one to dish out a lot of investment advice. "Buy what you like" is really a good motto. I’m squarely in the vintage sports card camp if I have to recommend something, but I’m going to say that Brett Favre autographed stuff might also be a good place to put your money if you’re hoping to buy something that you’ll not only like, but will appreciate in value.
Favre’s recent rejuvenation has his popularity at an all-time high. He’s football’s Michael Jordan and if the Packers reach the Super Bowl, look out. If they figure out a way to beat the New England Patriots, he’ll be bigger than Elway and Montana and Marino were at the height of their success. As good as Tom Brady might be, Favre is more popular. His age, his battles with painkillers and alcohol, his records, his love for family and the sheer size of PackerNation have turned him into an icon much bigger than what he was after the Packers first won the Super Bowl. Sports Illustrated recently did an unprecedented triple printing of the Sportsman of the Year issue with Favre on the cover. Hundreds of thousands were sold.
Yet you can still buy a Brett Favre Autographed Football for $319 if you shop around. Autographed photos one are going for less than $150. You can’t buy ARod’s jockstrap for that but on the likability meter, Favre wins by a landslide. A couple of guys were arrested last year for selling fake Favre signatures. I can’t imagine why you’d try to do that when the prices are reasonable enough for just about anyone to buy a real one.
I suspect the price is going up, even if Favre doesn’t sign a new deal with a major memorabilia company. He’s signed a lot of stuff, but the demand is very strong. If the Pack reaches Phoenix, those who set up at the Super Bowl card show with Favre autographs should do a phenomenal business.