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by Ameesh Morjaria  

Collecting sports autographs is one of those unique hobbies that many people start at a very young age. Whether it be Michael Jordan flying in for dunk or Joe Montana finding a receiver for a game-winning touchdown, these are the memories that stay with us for years and instantly turn us into fans of the player and the game.

As we continue to watch with amazement the brilliance, the talent and the special gifts athletes have to thrill so many spectators, we cannot help but want to savor the moment and accomplishments of these athletes. Autograph collecting allows us to remember fondly the countless special plays athletes make during their illustrious career. So how do we determine the value of sports autographs?

The value of a sports autograph vastly depends on numerous factors. First and foremost is supply and demand. A Michael Jordan sports autograph is far more sought after than a John Paxson autograph. The more achievements, awards, trophies and championships a player wins, the more media coverage and attention is paid to that athlete which in turn leads to more fan demand thus driving up the value of the autograph.

The memorabilia the athlete has signed also plays a valuation role. A signed game jersey, basketball, helmet, etc. has far more value than a signature on a piece of lined paper or plain white T-shirt. If a player signs a sports memorabilia with his team logo on it also increases the worth of the autographed sports memorabilia. The more authentic the paraphernalia, the more the autograph fetches.

The condition of the signed item is also important. An item that has no alterations or defects enhances the value of the autographed sports memorabilia. An autographed Kobe Bryant basketball card in perfect condition will be more sought after than one that has a crease or clipped edges.

Next, how was the autographed sports memorabilia signed? A Sharpie marker tends to write clearly and smoothly and usually does not smear or fade over time.. Pencil signatures tend to fade and do not create as clear a signature as a permanent marker or pen.

Another important value point is where did the autographed sports memorabilia come from? A signature from a vendor who exclusively contracts with the athlete can provide solid documentation of authenticity and usually verification. This will likely drive up the price of the autograph, however you will be assured of an investment that will rise in the future rather than depreciate.

Collecting autographed sports memorabilia is an exciting hobby. If done right and with a little research, you can find top-notch athletes on hundreds of great autographed sports memorabilia items that will be sure to capture your competitive spirit as well provide a great investment vehicle in the future.

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