What’s the best place to get an autograph? Either the stadium or a signing event put on by the team are your best bets. But what’s the best place to find an autographed ball, jersey, card, or other memorabilia? That’s a little trickier. You never know exactly where you’ll find some autographed memorabilia.
Stumbling upon a rare and valuable autograph is every memorabilia collector’s dream, so we wanted to give you some ideas to get started on the hunt.
Many people holding garage or yard sales simply want their stuff gone. We’ve all heard the stories of someone picking up a priceless antique for five bucks at a garage sale, but it’s true that you can find memorabilia there, too. An old box full of baseball cards may not have been thoroughly examined before being put out on the curb, and signatures can easily go unnoticed on old gloves, balls, and other items.
Estate sales can turn up some impressively rare items, and there isn’t always huge competition for them. An estate sale happens when someone needs to liquidate a large portion of their property, either because of a death or a move. If a family simply can’t deal with the amount of possessions left behind after a loved one dies, they might hold an estate sale to dispose of them. Is there an old ball or bat with a signature on it that no one can decipher? Why not take a chance on it? You could easily find some hidden gems.
Thrift stores like Goodwill are another place that can occasionally turn up something exciting. Again, it all comes down to people getting rid of their extra “stuff” without really going over it carefully. Plenty of kids play around with autographed items when they’re younger, not really thinking about their worth. That can easily lead to a valuable autograph on a dinged up ball or piece of equipment that gets donated. Chances are the people putting it on the shelves aren’t keeping a sharp eye out for valuable autographs, so with some persistence and a little luck you might find something worthwhile.
It’s the oldest story in the game—an old signature or rookie baseball card is forgotten in an attic and becomes insanely valuable. If you or your parents tend to keep an attic or room full of old possessions, it’s worth it to go through them and see what you can find. It’s not always easy to remember what happened to that autograph you got 20 years ago, so why not give it a shot? It might turn out that your most valuable autograph was with you the whole time.
At BallQube, we’d love to hear your story about a rare find, so leave them in the comments below! And when you do find that autograph that makes your jaw drop, protect it with the most reliable, durable cases in the world.