An autographed baseball memorabilia collection is a great conversation piece for sports fans or collectors of Americana. Starting one can feel like an uphill climb, though. You might wonder where to get your start with signed baseball memorabilia, and here are 5 suggestions.
Think about the type of collection you want to develop. Someone who loves a particular team or era could focus on memorabilia from appropriate players, for example. You could also try to collect something like balls or bats signed by entire teams. Developing a theme will give your collection greater coherence, allowing even a small one to make sense as a conversation item.
You don't want to dive into collecting with big money. There is a high risk of mistakes, and it may take some of the fun out of it if you're focused on building the collection or spending a certain amount. Start small. Focus on getting some baseball cards or balls with signatures. If you get the chance to get something like a batting helmet, gloves, or a bat, that can diversify your collection without breaking the bank.
As you develop confidence, you can begin to up the ante. Likewise, you'll get to know dealers and other collectors as you build your way up. The person who you talk to about a small item today could become a connection several years from now when you want to go bigger.
Monitor Prices and Trends
There are plenty of resources that list prices and trends for memorabilia. It is a good idea to develop a spreadsheet of your targets and enter the prevailing prices. If you see changes in online auctions, for example, that will give you an idea of where the market is headed. Especially if you want to collect signed baseball memorabilia as an investment, get a sense of where prices and tastes are going.
Collecting can become addictive, and it's a good idea to approach your collection with a set budget. If something is priced out of your range, you can always negotiate or simply move on. Folks who are collecting for the love of the game will agonize less by sticking to a budget, and investors should budget for the practical goal of being profitable.
Be Patient and Learn
It takes time to build a good collection. Take your time and try to absorb as much knowledge as you can. Go to conventions and shops both as a buyer and a student. Most of all, have fun getting to know the game better.