memorabilia

Highest Priced Sports Memorabilia Ever Sold

If you’ve got a sports memorabilia collection that you’ve been building for a few years, chances are that you’ve pined after some fairly high-priced items online or at an auction. It’s not the only way to build a collection, but simply buying items that you want is a pretty straightforward way to go about it.

How expensive were those items you saw? A thousand dollars? Five thousand? Ten? Well, prepare to be blown away, and perhaps a little jealous, when you see this list of some of the most expensive sports memorabilia ever sold.

Hank Aaron’s 755th Home Run Ball

Until Barry Bonds came along, Hank Aaron held the record for the most home runs hit in a career—at a staggering 755. When the 755th ball went to auction, it was sure to fetch a hefty price, and it didn’t disappoint, with a buyer purchasing it for $650,000.

Babe Ruth’s 1932 Jersey

Babe Ruth memorabilia could actually make up most of this list. His jerseys and home run balls attract jaw dropping prices. We’re including this one specifically because it’s part of the greatest Ruth legend there is—the called shot. This was part of the uniform that Ruth was wearing when he called his shot and hit a home run against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series. It went for just shy of a million at $940,000.

Muhammad Ali Gloves From Floyd Patterson Fight

Interestingly, these sold for more than his gloves from his fight against Sonny Liston. These gloves, from his 1965 fight against Patterson, are the most expensive Ali memorabilia ever sold at a staggering $1.1 million.

Sheffield Football Club Rules, Regulations, and Laws

Football, or soccer in American parlance, makes it onto this list through this book outlining its rules. The Sheffield Football Club was founded in 1856, and put out this rule booklet the next year. It went for $1.24 million.

Paul Henderson 1972 Jersey

Don’t know who Paul Henderson is? Then you’re probably not Canadian. While he doesn’t have a lot of name recognition outside the boundaries of Canada, Henderson is an absolute legend up north. That’s because he played a key role in helping Canada win the hockey Summit Series against the USSR during the Cold War. The story behind it is actually really interesting, and his jersey ended up selling for $1.275 million.

Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card

Wagner was one of the great early baseball players, and his name is familiar to us even to this day. His card became so rare because it was produced by the American Tobacco Company. Wagner didn’t want children buying cigarettes, and refused to let the company feature him anymore. Hence, a super rare card that was sold for $2.8 million.

Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball

Barry Bonds would go on to beat McGwire’s single season home run record, but for a few years McGuire was king of the long ball. In 1998 he would hit 70 home runs, breaking the previous record of 61. And that 70th ball would go on to sell for a whopping $3 million.

1891 Rules of Basketball

Created by James Naismith, these are the rules that started it all. The original rules of basketball, created by Naismith, ended up selling for $4.3 million—and they still aren’t the most expensive item on this list.

Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey

The honor, of course, goes to the Sultan of Swat. The 1920 jersey is known as “the most desirable baseball artifact” and was sold in 2012 for $4.415 million.

So yeah, some collectors’ pockets are deeper than others. Still, you can easily build a great collection of your own without dropping the GDP of a small island nation. Just make sure you keep it all protected for years to come with durable, clear, and beautiful BallQube cases!

 

collecting

New To Collecting? How To Care For Your Collection

Collecting sports memorabilia is a fun and rewarding hobby that millions of Americans participate in each year. There’s a huge community both online and off, and it’s full of people who genuinely want to show off their collections and help others get started.

If you’re new to collecting, you may have a few questions about getting started. One of the most important questions you need answered is about proper care for your collection. How do you keep it all in great shape? Luckily, that’s our specialty at BallQube, so we thought we’d give you a few pointers to keep in mind as you start building your collection.

Case It Up

Our first and foremost recommendation is to get display cases for the items in your collection. There simply are too many things that can happen to unprotected treasures in a home. Our cases come in all shapes and sizes, so chances are there’s going to be one for whatever piece of memorabilia you need to protect.

But putting them in cases isn’t just about protection, it also makes it easy to arrange and clean your collection. Think of it this way—you want the dust to accumulate on the outside of your case, not on the item itself. Then it’s just a simple matter of finding the time to do some light dusting.

Keep It High And Dry

Moisture is bad for pretty much anything in your collection. That’s because excess moisture speeds decay and can easily destroy the value of something you intended to keep for years. Unfinished basements or garages aren’t the proper place for a budding collection. They tend to be less temperature controlled and can become more humid, as well.

But Not Too Dry

But don’t think that exposing them to high temperatures or direct sunlight is the answer. Sunlight is a natural enemy of colors and signatures, and those UV rays can fade both of them in a relatively short period of time.

The best idea is to treat your collection as you would with any other valuable item in your home. Keep it in a room with a mild temperature that you can control when the weather outside shifts from one extreme to the other. Keep items away from direct sunlight if you can, or get cases with UV protection.

Avoid Over-Handling

This rule can be hard to follow, and it’s really up to you how strictly you want to enforce it. On the one hand, constant touching and handling of items can cause wear and fade or smudge autographs. But on the other hand, sometimes you just have to get that autographed bat down from the case to let your nephew take a few swings. You have to decide where you want to draw your line, but it may be best to err on the side of caution.

Starting a collection that needs some protection? We have everything you need to keep your memorabilia in pristine condition. And if you have any other tips for caring for your collection, then leave them for the rest of us in the comments!

collecting

The Best Collection Of Them All?

Collectors often look for one very specific type of item, or at least limit their collection in some way. Boundaries are a necessary part of having a collection. Those boundaries define the collection.

There are many, many kinds of collectors, collecting everything from stamps to action figures to Russian nesting dolls. Of course, at BallQube, we’ve always been about sports memorabilia. It’s where our expertise lies, and we’ve met all kinds of collectors along the way.

So how do they stack up? Which collectors have the best stuff? It all depends on your perspective. Here’s how we see it.

Baseball Memorabilia Collectors

The traditionalists in the house. Most people start off collecting baseball cards during childhood, so this is really the logical jump. Baseball collectors have a lot of stands and cases around the house because most of their memorabilia tends to roll around if given half a chance. They’re probably devoted to a team, but don’t discriminate when it comes to finding rare autographs.

Football Memorabilia Collectors

There’s a 100% likelihood that they have a “game room” or some other form of Sunday retreat. Or Saturday retreat. And of course there are those Friday games, too. And now the NFL is putting them on Thursday; I mean no one asked for that, but here we are, you know?

The room is almost certainly decked out in a two-color scheme, and so is most of their memorabilia. Football collectors tend to be more rabid in their support for a single team. They have a pro team and a college team. That is all.

Golf Memorabilia Collectors

Golf collectors have a gigantic TV in their basement and surround sound that makes the announcer’s whisper sound like the roar of the ocean. They take it all in while sitting in the most deluxe recliner you can imagine. It’s like being at the course, except with A/C.

They most likely display their signed memorabilia separated by which golf tournament they attended to get it. “The first row is from the Masters in ’03, the next shelf is from the Davis Cup in ’12. What a trip that was.”

Wheaties Box Collectors

Wheaties boxes are collectible, sure. With all the other items out there to have a room devoted to, it’s definitely different, but we don’t judge. In fact, we make a case specifically to hold those delicate boxes and keep them from damage. It’s like the opposite of judging. Enabling, really.

Is there a best type of memorabilia collection to have? Sure, it’s the one that you love and want to keep adding to. So don’t worry about what type of collection you have. Whether you’ve got Wheaties boxes or golf balls, baseballs or football helmets—or any other sports memorabilia—we’ve got you covered with a case for it.

Check out the selection online, and you’re almost guaranteed to find a case that works for your collection.

BallQube fan

A Family Tradition: From Gretzky to Steen

Over the years, we’ve developed quite a number of loyal customers who choose BallQube to protect all of their valuable and treasured memorabilia. It’s an amazing experience when we get to meet and talk to some of the people who trust us with their collections.

One of our most valued customers for many years has been Todd Schumaker, a St. Louis native with a love for all things hockey, but especially Blues hockey. In particular, he’s a huge collector of Brett Hull and Wayne Gretzky memorabilia, including his prized possession–the stick Gretzky used when he broke Gordie Howe’s all-time career points record in 1989.

Gretzky’s mark will almost assuredly never be broken, and Todd has the stick that made it happen—signed by both Gretzky and Howe. Which of course, he trusts a BallQube case to hold.

In The Beginning

Todd’s love for collecting began when he was a young boy. His mother was a figure skater, and his best friend’s dad just happened to be the trainer for the St. Louis Blues. With those kinds of connections to the sport, it’s no wonder that he grew up loving the game. Because of his friend’s dad’s position with the team, the two boys would spend time down at the old Checkerdome.

That was when he first met Gretzky, who gave 10-year-old Todd one of his hockey sticks. The meeting happened in 1985, when Gretzky was playing a game against the Blues. Todd was sitting in the stands watching the Blues skate before the game, when The Great One suddenly skated up to him and began chatting. The end result was that Todd received a stick and lifelong passion for collecting—especially Gretzky memorabilia.

Todd now has somewhere between three and four thousand autographed pucks, along with plenty of other hockey memorabilia like gloves, sticks, and jerseys to go along with it. Much of it is split between Gretzky and Brett Hull, another Hall of Famer and a legend in the Blues organization.

However, he likes to emphasize that he isn’t the type of guy to hang around players, hoping for a ball or bringing twenty pucks to the rink to be signed. He likes growing friendships with players and collecting the more meaningful items he obtains in the process –  and he especially enjoys watching those players give away memorabilia to young kids.

Like Father, Like Son

In fact, Todd’s 11-year-old son Tristan was the recipient of a gift reminiscent of the one his father got from Gretzky all those years ago. In 2017, the Blues played the Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in the Winter Classic. Tristan’s favorite player is Blues forward Alexander Steen, and after the game, Steen decided to throw his stick into the crowd just above the dugout. Guess who was sitting there and caught the stick?

Yep, that’s Todd and his son Tristan, getting a stick from Tristan’s favorite player. It really is amazing how memorabilia and collecting get passed down through generations. That’s the type of thing we love to see at BallQube—a young kid getting something special from their favorite player.

If you’re wondering how Todd keeps all these pucks and other items on display, then you need to watch this video. Seriously, chances are you’ve never seen anything like it.

Todd built a new house in 2004 and made sure that he had a fully finished basement to keep all his memorabilia. It’s an amazing collection, and the display is simply beautiful.

In the past, Todd had to lock it all away in boxes–there simply wasn’t room to safely display it all. But with a new basement and a little help from stackable BallQube cases, he can display a lifetime of collecting.

From Todd himself:

“BallQube’s customer service is great! It’s so important to have that; they’re always there for you. That’s why I get everything from BallQube. Kathryn from BallQube is wonderful to work with – you just can’t go wrong buying from them.”

We’re just happy that Todd can finally show off his fantastic collection. If you’re in need of some reorganizing when it comes to your collection, then check out our huge selection of cases at BallQube.

autographs

Heartwarming Autograph Stories

Too often we hear about the trouble that professional athletes get into. The vast majority are hardworking, loving people, but it’s always newsworthy when they make poor examples of themselves. Yet we don’t always hear about the good things that these athletes do, like taking the time to make a young person’s day with an autograph. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up today, then take a few minutes to read some of these heartwarming stories. You’ll be glad that you did.

Jose Fernandez Asks Fan For His Autograph

Before his tragic death in a boating accident, Jose Fernandez was known as a dominant starting pitcher for the Miami Marlins, and an all around good guy who was full of energy and excitement. He made the game more fun to watch.

And he was also great with the fans. After he saw a young fan crying in the stands, Fernandez approached him and asked the kid for his autograph. Fernandez asked for the autograph to keep for himself, while of course offering up his own autograph for the sad young fan. Watch the video on Instagram for some bittersweet feelings.

“The Best Day of My Life”

For kids, getting an autograph from their favorite player can be a little overwhelming. Even being in the same building as their idol is awe-inspiring, so it’s little wonder than an autographed t-shirt from Sidney Crosby drew this reaction.

It really is amazing what a simple autograph can do for a young fan.

Trout Autograph Brings A Fan To Tears

For exhibit B on the power of autographs, we bring you Mike Trout, possibly the most underappreciated superstar in baseball today. Fans outside of the west coast may not get to see him often, but those that do are enamored with the center fielder for the Angels. Just watch this young fan’s reaction to getting an autograph from him.

Braves Fan Gets A Better Ball

During a Braves game in May, a man reached over the railing to snag a ball that was hit down the first base line. He then gave the ball to a young kid. Almost immediately, a security guard came to eject the man who had reached over the railing, as well as taking the ball from the kid.

Obviously, this was some terrible optics for the Braves organization, and it seemed unnecessarily cruel to take the ball from the young fan. Luckily, that wasn’t the end of the story. The fan who was ejected was later able to return to his seat, and the fan who had the ball taken from him got an even bigger surprise.

Instead of the ball that was taken, he’s being given a baseball autographed by Braves star Freddie Freeman, and he’s being invited back to celebrate his birthday at a game in June. Sometimes things do turn out alright in the end.

Autographs from player represent a special bond between them and their fans. Have some autographs of your own that you’d like to protect? Then check out our line of durable, clear cases—there’s one for just about any piece of memorabilia you’d like to display.

apps

Apps For Enhancing Your Experience At The Game

Fewer young people are tuning in to watch baseball games on TV, which may seem like bad news to those who love the game. The good news is, attendance at games is staying relatively high. The appeal of the ballpark is still a draw for young and old alike. Part of the lack of viewership may also be because of changing usage of technology.

Millennials don’t have as much of a connection to traditional outlets like television, but they do stay up-to-date on their phones. And with good reason. There are a ton of great apps that can actually enhance a stadium experience, and teams around the country are trying to make it easier for fans to use them at the game. Here are just a few of the best apps available.

MLB At Bat

The MLB At Bat app is definitely one of the best apps out there for those who want to get the most out of their game experience. You can use the app to watch every out-of-market MLB game live, though blackouts apply. Live look-ins at games keep you in the know even while you’re watching your game live at the ballpark. And you can get replay video clips and explanations of the calls. For someone sitting in the stands and watching it live, that’s a must. You can also stream radio broadcasts that let you listen to the announcers call the game, even when you’re sitting in the stands.

MLB at the Ballpark

This app isn’t just about watching some clips on your phone—it’s meant to directly enhance your experience at the ballpark. Using the MLB at the Ballpark app, you can check your team’s schedule and ticket info, get directions to the ballpark, and find parking near the stadium. You can even use it to order food and drinks at the stadium.

FOX Sports Go

The FOX Sports Go app allows you to watch games and shows from FOX Sports, FS1, FS2, your FOX Sports Regional Network, FOX Deportes, FOX College Sports, and FOX Soccer Plus. You have everything you need to keep up with baseball, basketball, college sports, and even soccer while you’re at the game. It’s great for anyone who wants access to their favorite shows and teams at any time.

CBS Sports Fantasy Baseball

Going to the ballpark with your friends is a great time, and if you’re in a fantasy league, it can be even more exciting. Keeping tabs on your fantasy league while you’re at the ballpark is easier than ever with the CBS Sports Fantasy Baseball app. You can get the latest scores and news on your players who are playing in other games, and even make trades and change your lineup from the ballpark.

Going to the ballpark for a game in the summer is one of the enduring American traditions, so we hope we’ll see you out there this year. Just remember to make sure you have a safe way to display any foul balls or home runs you catch this year!

Collectors

5 Things Only Collectors Would Understand

Whether your collection takes up three different rooms in your house, or just a few shelves, you likely have a passion for the pieces of memorabilia that you collect. It’s a feeling that not everyone understands, though. But other collectors understand, and at BallQube, we do too. So take a look at the five things that only true collectors would understand about the lifestyle.

1. Buyer’s Remorse

But we don’t mean buyer’s remorse in the common usage. The buyer’s remorse that collectors feel is saved for the items they didn’t buy. The classic “one that got away” may in this case be an autographed baseball that they were outbid on. Not everyone has unlimited funds to sling around, but you always wonder, “What if I had just gone a little higher…?” It’s probably best you didn’t take out that second mortgage, but still.

2. The Random Facts

Most collectors are a font of random knowledge on their subject. You don’t get into collecting without an interest in the subject at hand, and that interest only grows over time. You have to know why you want a piece of memorabilia, right? How else are you going to impress upon your wife the importance of having that hockey puck signed by Gretzky? “Honey, he has so many assists he’d still be the all-time points leader even if he had never scored a goal.” Point, you.

3. The Display Is Half The Point

Any collector worth their salt wants to keep their collection protected from the elements—as well as other people. But most collectors also love to show off their collections. Otherwise you end up sitting in a room by yourself, slowly turning into the Gollum of sports memorabilia. Sure, the collection is precious to them, but they also want to share it with others.

4. Getting Nervous About Its Safety

So you may have your collection safely tucked away in display cases, but every now and then you’ll probably get something down off the wall or the mantle to show a friend or relative. This is a pulse-pounding moment in many cases. Are you really handing over your autographed Mickey Mantle ball to your nephew? Has he washed his hands recently? How’s his grip? You want to share your collection, you really do. It’s just, sometimes you worry.

5. That Moment When You Realize How Big Your Collection Really Is

There isn’t a defined amount of memorabilia that distinguishes a small collection from a big collection. But there’s always a moment when you step back, look at the collection that you’ve amassed, and suddenly realize you’re the owner of a pretty big collection. It’s a moment of pride, awe, and wonder. If you haven’t experienced it yet, don’t worry. You’ve still got plenty of collecting left to do!

Collecting is a great hobby, but it can take time and dedication to build up to a great collection. Keep that collection safe from dirt, dust, and even UV rays with BallQube cases— the clearest, most durable cases on the market.

BallQube Supports Baseball For All

Baseball has been described as our national pastime, and millions of children grow up loving the game. However, there tends to be a gender divide when it comes to who is told they can play baseball. Once they reach a certain age, girls are often told that they’re supposed to play softball, while boys play baseball.

Why? The game itself doesn’t discriminate, and there’s no reason that girls can’t, or shouldn’t, play baseball. This is an issue that Baseball for All is tackling, and BallQube is proud to help them expand opportunities to play baseball to everyone who wants to play, not just the boys.

In fact, over 100,000 girls play youth baseball, but that number drops to about 1,000 who play in high school. They didn’t stop loving the game, but in many cases, there aren’t leagues or opportunities for girls to continue playing baseball as they get older. Girls are usually told that they can’t play baseball in high school, and that they should play softball instead.

While softball is a great sport for many girls, it doesn’t address the fact that thousands are being told they can no longer play a sport that they love.

Baseball for All is a grassroots organization that’s addressing this imbalance in opportunity and providing girls a way to keep playing the game they love. The organization fosters, encourages, and provides opportunities for girls to keep playing baseball.

Teaching, mentoring, and empowering girls is the foundation behind Baseball for All, but they also provide resources for parents and players to start their own teams, leagues, and tournaments.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the movie A League of Their Own, and the legacy of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, the organization will be holding their opening ceremonies on Beyer Field—the home of the AAGPBL Rockford Peaches.

At BallQube, we know that for any kid, getting the autograph of your favorite player is an essential part of the baseball experience. That’s why we’re donating 250 of our BallQube baseball cases to Baseball for All, so that the girls can not only get the autographs they want at the opening ceremonies, but keep them protected for years to come.

That autographed ball can serve as a reminder of both the game they love, and the fact that they can do anything—not just what society tells them they should do. Because if you tell a girl she can’t play baseball, what else will she begin to think she can’t do?

Baseball really is for everyone. Arbitrary decisions about who gets to play only hurt the popularity and reach of the game. If we want everyone to enjoy the game like we do, then we need to stop telling girls that they need to find a new sport. There shouldn’t be constraints on who gets to play after a certain age, and we’re proud to help Baseball for All as they address this important issue.

If you want to learn more about the opening ceremonies at Beyer Field or supporting this great organization, then visit Baseball For All’s website.

YMCA

Why The ‘Y’

To some people, the YMCA is just a goofy song and dance they used to do when they were kids. But to anyone who grew up with a Y in their town, the YMCA is much more. It’s a place where they could go swimming, shoot hoops, or just hang out when they were younger. YMCAs across the country are an important part of the culture in a city. At BallQube, we’ve always been fans of the Y, and we wanted to share with you just what makes it so special to us.

The Young Men’s Christian Association, or YMCA as most of us know it, began in 1844 in London. Its aim was to use Christian principles to help young men spiritually and intellectually, and keep them out of trouble. Over time, however, the aspect of physical health was also added, and this created the YMCA triangle of spiritual, intellectual, and physical health.

Part of the mission of the Y is to encourage social interaction, foster a sense of belonging, and help keep young men out of trouble and focused on building a healthy foundation for the rest of their lives.

The Y is also a place where community flourishes and people have a chance to get to know each other and build relationships. The essence of a healthy community is building positive relationships with others.

The Y also makes sure that it offers opportunities for athletics and sports programs to people of all economic backgrounds. There are some sports and organizations that unfortunately keep themselves behind a paywall, where the cost of participation is too high for many young kids who would love an opportunity to play. The Y isn’t like that. They open their doors to people of all economic situations, and provide physical activity and games that anyone can play to stay healthy and have fun.

The Y has even made huge contributions to the sports landscape. That signed Michael Jordan basketball on your mantle might not be there if it wasn’t for the Y. James Naismith was working at the YMCA International Training School in Massachusetts when he came up with the idea for basketball. Once the popularity of the sport was discovered, YMCAs across the nation played a major role in spreading the game around the country.

In addition to basketball, volleyball was also created at a YMCA. It too was successful in part because of the system of YMCAs across the country that began to spread the game.

Today their message and their goals are still the same. Young people need a place where they can focus on having fun, developing as individuals, and staying out of trouble. The Y provides all of that through donations, volunteers, and community support.

So don’t forget about your local Y when you start looking for a place to swim laps, lift weights, or play a pickup game of basketball. If you’ve been thinking about volunteering, head down to the Y and see if they could use your help. A commitment to our kids and our community starts with one person’s actions—and that could be you!

collector decor

Creative Decorating Ideas For Collectors

If you’ve been building a memorabilia collection for a while now, then you know the dilemma that you face. Namely, how to organize your collection into a respectable looking display. Just letting things pile up in a corner of the den isn’t ideal, and it certainly isn’t doing anything for your room’s aesthetic.

At BallQube, we know a thing or two about organizing memorabilia. It’s what we’ve been doing since our founding. With that in mind, we thought we’d bring you some creative ideas for decorating and organizing your collection.

Crown The Room With Smaller Items

This is a good strategy for both looks and practical reasons. If your collection takes up multiple walls, then the way you arrange it will have a huge effect on how it looks. Smaller items like framed cards or baseballs can go anywhere. So try placing them in a ring around the entire room, just under where the ceiling meets the walls. If you have enough cards, balls, bats, or other memorabilia to complete the circuit, it will have an impressive effect.

Use The Stairway

Stairways are traditionally underutilized when it comes to decorating, because people are moving through them quickly, not sitting and staring. Usually a couple framed photos on the landing is about all that you’ll find. However, you can use this to your advantage if you have a lot of framed, flat memorabilia like jerseys, baseball cards, or other signed pictures. Try placing them along the wall as you ascend the stairs.

If you do have a landing, leave smaller pieces on the stairs and use the landing to show off bigger objects like jerseys. This works even better if the staircase you choose is leading up or down to your main collection, say, in your finished basement.

Organize By Sport Or City

If you do general sports collecting and don’t stick to just one sport, then you can make a statement by splitting your collection into different subsections. Your first thought might be to go with a wall for baseball, a wall for football, and a third for hockey, but there are other ways to split things up, as well.

Try splitting your collection up by location. Your Mets and Knicks memorabilia can live in one area, while your Pistons and Tigers collectables can have their own wall. The geographical split can provide maximum distinction, and prevent your memorabilia from running together.

Spell Something Out

NYC, STL, TEX, LA—nearly every city or state has a recognizable abbreviation that you can work with. If you’ve become dedicated to a certain type of memorabilia—baseballs, for example—then this idea could work best for you. Choose a wall and begin to arrange your collection in the shape of your favorite city’s letters. You can do this by putting up some creative shelving, hanging pictures in the shape, or by stacking up cases of your memorabilia to create the letters.

If you do decide to stack, just know that BallQube’s cases are perfect for the job. They’re built to fit together precisely so that you can stack them and arrange them however you like.