Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Significant, interesting and a little strange at times… Many reasons to check out Heritage’s archives database

Jan, 6, 2010
Written by Chris

It’s only natural to concentrate on the major sports of baseball, basketball, football and hockey when you think about some of the most notable and unique pieces in the hobby.

However, if you normally only have an eye for the classic pinstripes, the extraordinary lumber or the fantastic garments of the gridiron, hardwood and ice rink, I urge you to escape your comfort zone in order to explore the amazing memorabilia that surfaces from some of the more obscure sports.

All it took was a quick run through Heritage’s handy archive database, and I was able to pick out some of the most peculiar, and at the same time, significant pieces of memorabilia, which have nothing to do with the major sports.

When searching through the archives, I like to search from highest price to lowest, but there’s no rule when surfing through our amazing variety of sold auction lots. Here’s a select few I picked out in order to show the collecting public that even some of the “smaller” sports should still have a place in your memorabilia show room, right alongside some of the top dogs that regularly frequent the hobby world.

Some people refer to the legendary horse Secretariat as one of the best athletes to ever live, and others don’t feel comfortable placing an animal next to names like Ali and Jordan. All debating aside, this 1973 Secretariat Triple Crown worn bit and bridle, which the famed horse wore during the peak of its career has got to be one of the most intriguing pieces Heritage has ever offered. This Hall of Fame-caliber lot realized more than $26,000 in our May 2005 Signature sale.

The sport of boxing has graced the collecting world with many spectacular, and sometimes, downright peculiar robes and trunks over the years. Sold by Heritage in October 2008 for nearly $20,000, this beautiful blue and gold satin garment was worn by boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson. There’s just something about this robe from Robinson’s Gold Glove days in New York that’s sure to impress collectors, even if they aren’t boxing fans.

Interesting and eccentric pieces of memorabilia don’t always have to be pricey. Now, I’m not sure if wrestling should actually be considered a sport, or merely entertainment, but there’s no question that these crazy guys are great athletes. Offered in September 2008, for a little more than $1 per card, is this set of 1954-55 Parkhurst Wrestling cards. Colorful characters such as Gorgeous George, Primo Carnera and Mighty Atlas are featured in this rare and affordable collection.

Now, I’m not going to lie. I am in no way a NASCAR fan, and don’t think I’ll ever spend more than a few minutes watching cars drive around a track, but how cool is this item that we sold in April of this year? This uniform, which was worn by the iconic Dale Earnhardt Sr. during his 1996 Daytona 500 race, realized $12,000 in our Signature sale.

Whether it’s these types of unique items you’re looking for, or you simply want to find out the realized prices of your personal memorabilia collection, I want to stress that our auction archive database is unmatched in the sports memorabilia industry. The photo quality and lot descriptions, and the vast array of pieces we have sold over the years are just as impressive as the site’s user-friendly features.

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-Chris Nerat

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