Steiner Sports says it has sold $3 million worth of Derek Jeter memorabilia since last Saturday, when the 37-year-old Yankee captain reached the 3,000 hit mark. Hitting a homer–and having superfan Christian Lopez give it back no doubt helped push the feel good story forward and compelled many to plunk down $700 for a signed baseball and $600-800 for an autographed photo.
Yankee fans have coveted Derek Jeter autographs for years, but the milestone puts him in a unique position as the only Yankee to reach 3,000.
But what’s the role of player achievement items–created in the moment and often priced at a high level–in relation to game-used items or one-of-a-kind pieces? Would you rather have an $800 Jeter signed photo or put the money toward a Ty Cobb autograph or one-of-a-kind vintage photograph?
Columnist Paul Sullivan of The New York Times writes about two distinct markets and the business of sports memorabilia.