They are unique items—one of a kind and virtually unsellable in the open market.
Recent thefts of valuable sports memorabilia including Yogi Berra’s World Series rings, Roger Maris’ MVP trophy and Hickock Belt, some pricey boxing championship belts and even the 1903 Belmont Stakes trophy haven’t been solved.
The thefts aren’t taking place in one area and the items stolen can’t be sold on the open market because of the publicity surrounding their disappearance.
So what’s happening?
It’s a question investigators across the country are trying to answer.
“It was definitely somebody with experience who knows what they are doing,” one law enforcement official told the New York Times, which carried this story about the hunt for clues.
Pawn Stars is adding another sports memorabilia expert to its roster.
Dan Wulkan of Memory Lane Auctions has already shot three episodes, the first of which will air Monday, May 22.
Wulkan appeared on the show a few years ago as a seller but was recently called back to apply for a regular role as one of the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop’s experts who assist Rick Harrison and his group of employees as they try to buy or pawn items from customers who offer items during tapings of the show at their Las Vegas store.
“I ended up going through a bunch of interviews with the production company in New York and lo and behold they wound up offering me the opportunity to be a sports expert on the show, Wulkan said. “They’ve hired me to appraise any types of memorabilia or cards.”
Wulkan says even though the show is taped and shot like a reality show, the transactions are real.
“Unlike a lot of reality shows, Pawn Stars is real. The negotiations are real.”
Wulkan talked about how he got his start as a young collector/dealer in the the hobby in an internet radio interview with Auction Report’s Ryan Friedman and me.
Autograph expert Steve Grad and local sports card shop owner Jeremy Brown are also involved as experts on the popular History Channel Show, which is now in its ninth season.
It’s card buying trip season for dealers, who head out in the spring and summer, hoping grandpa’s attic yields something really good or collectors come visit them, looking to sell what they own.
Sometimes the trips yield some great finds. Sometimes not so much…but you don’t know unless you go.
On his most recent trip to Pennsylvania and Maryland, Dave Hobson of BaseballCardBuyer.com landed a couple of big scores including a “vending type” find of several thousand 1971 Topps basketball cards which contained between 15 to 25 pack fresh copies of each card in the set in the original vending boxes (some were sent off for grading including a Rick Barry rookie card that recently landed a 9 from PSA).
Hobson is off to the Midwest this time, visiting Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago May 17-19 hoping to score again with better quality cards and memorabilia. You can set up an appointment by emailing him through BaseballCardBuyer.com or calling (888) 665-4999.