Baseball lost one of its most promising young players Sunday with the death of Oscar Taveras. The Cardinals’ outfielder and his girlfriend were killed in an auto accident in the Dominican Republic.
A total of 624 Taveras cards have been issued so far with 254 different autographs. Dozens were sold on eBay after news of the crash Sunday night and a few hundred were listed for sale, but it’s hard to imagine they’d appreciate much in value over the long-term–at least not as much as they might have if he’d had an opportunity to fulfill the promise he showed during his brief time in the big leagues.
A Chicago area collector’s nightmare came true in August when two armed men forced their way into his home, beat him, forced him to open a safe and stole nearly $200,000 worth of vintage baseball cards. Wheeling, IL police say one of those two men has now been arrested.
According to the Journal-Times, 19-year-old Martrell E. Robinson of Chicago has been charged with home invasion after an investigation.
Some of the cards turned up online and others were sold to dealers who worked with police to return them. An Ohio shop owner helped identify Robinson as one of the suspects. There was no word on the second person involved in the robbery.
James Spence Authentication has confirmed that it handled a review of more than 2,000 Jameis Winston autographs. In Jacksonville recently, James Spence III told the Florida Times-Union that there was no way to determine with certainty whether those items were signed in a single autograph session.
“Five dealers may have five friends with mini helmets they want to get authenticated. It may come in as 25 of the same item but that doesn’t mean one dealer has all of those helmets in his possession,.” said Spence.
Spence, son of company founder James Spence, said some who don’t understand what authentication is about have tried to place blame on the company for the publicity over the autographs.
The World Series is all about memories and some of those physical mementos are worth a lot of money. Items associated with Hall of Famers from years ago are the most pricey, of course, but for fans, there are items that don’t cost an arm and a leg, but are still great collectors items.
David Seideman, writing for Forbes.com, talked to yours truly and some other industry folks about Series memorabilia for this story.