Sports Stars Try To Beat Tax Increases By Selling Their Memorabilia

By | November 13, 2012

Businessweek: High-end sports memorabilia about to hit the market

Serious sports memorabilia collectors salivate over the prospect of new merchandise hitting the market. After all, there is only so much memorabilia from one specific athlete to go around. Collectors must act quickly, or they lose out on some of the most highly sought after collectibles.

However, some very good news recently emerged that pointed to signs that a laundry list of valuable sports collectibles are about to hit the market. Bloomberg Businessweek revealed this revelation in a recent report. The article examined how many high-profile athletes are liquidating their private stashes of memorabilia. Some experts speculate that tax increases on income from investments are also forcing these legendary stars to get rid of these valuable materials, which, in the government’s eyes, are considered investments. Some ex-athletes simply run into financial trouble.

Priceless items from sports legends soon available

The report, penned by writer Ronald Blum, highlighted exciting items that were poised to hit the market, showing that no collection is ever complete. These stragglers are arguably the most valuable of memorabilia. These are the items that athletes found so important, they initially held on to them.

One example is a precious heirloom belonging to ex-New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen. The 83-year-old Larsen told Businessweek that he would be auctioning off the jersey he wore when he tossed a perfect game during the 1956 World Series. While this item will no doubt fetch a pretty penny, Larsen vowed that the money would go to fund his grandchildren’s education.

Ozzie Smith

This is a selfless move that other high-profile athletes seem to be adopting as Businessweek also recorded that legendary Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight would be selling off his NCAA championship rings along with other priceless possessions. Here are some of the other items the article announced would be hitting the market.

  • Boxer Evander Holyfield’s championship title belts
  • The original agreement Pete Rose signed that signified he was banned from baseball for betting on the game
  • Ozzie Smith’s Golden Glove Awards

Collectors to pay top dollar

Items from the golden era of sports don’t come without a hefty price. Take, for example, these prized items, which Businessweek used to highlight the value of rare sports memorabilia.

  • 1920s Babe Ruth jersey (sold for $4.4 million)
  • 1934 Babe Ruth hat ($537,278)
  • The ball that rolled through Bill Buckner’s legs during the 1986 World Series ($418,250)
  • Kirk Gibson’s bat that he used to hit a game-winning home run during the 1988 World Series ($575,912)
  • 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card ($2.35 million)

Are collectors crazy?!

Shelling out that kind of money for sports memorabilia might seem insane, but, as Businessweek pointed out, the market has surprisingly stood strong, even compared to things like the stock market or a traditional 401(k). Collectors view these items as investments, which can later be sold off for significantly more than they were purchased for.

This same trend applies to not just athletes, but celebrity memorabilia in general. The market is full of collectors ready and willing to snatch up the next best thing, and from the sounds of it, sports fans will have a whole new cache of goods to bid over very soon.

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