Sports memorabilia evokes nostalgic moments for fans

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
November 11, 2016

Oh, what some fans will do for a piece of sports history—or rather what they’ll do to capitalize on its monetary value.

Sports memorabilia is a way for fans to reminisce about a historic game or player they loved or team they loved to root for.

Seattle Goodwill continuously receives unique sports memorabilia pieces, and visiting our online or eBay store is a great resource to find rare items to add to your collection.

Sports memorabilia comes in many forms, but the autograph is most popular when it comes to collectibles. Seattle Goodwill Auction Lister Nick Dotson, who specializes in sports memorabilia, said there are several keys when deciphering the authenticity of an autograph.

  1. Look for location: Think of the typical environment when fans ask players to sign something. A lot of jockeying for position. Maybe a few elbows are thrown. Point is, the athlete is trying to sign as many autographs as possible to satisfy the awaiting mob. The player is not going to be neatly signing in a spot that takes into consideration of how the item looks. If there are a number of cards all signed in the same spot, avoiding key features of the item, there’s a good chance it could be a fake.
  2. Go online and compare: Odds are you aren’t the only one who ever received a certain athlete’s signature. Looking at how a player’s signature shows up multiple times should give you an indication of whether or not the one you are looking at resembles the others.
  3. Inspect closely: The difference is in the details. While you’re comparing online signatures, there are certain qualities of a signature you should evaluate. Look at how the first letter of the first name starts. See if certain cursive letters are left close or open. Turn the autograph upside down to give your eyes a fresh take.
  4. Pen color: If you’re looking at a sports memorabilia piece with multiple signatures, take a glance at the pen color. Odds are, everyone who signed the item wasn’t waiting in line to sign the same ball with the same colored pen. Most likely, an authentic piece, will have multiple signatures in different colors.

Check out this top five list of the most expensive pieces of sports memorabilia ever sold from You never know, a priceless Seattle Sonics piece could pop up on one of Seattle Goodwill’s online stores any time, and proceeds go to funding our job training and education programs.

  1. Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey ($4.415 million)
  2. James Naismith’s 1891 Rules of Basketball ($4.3 million)
  3. Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball ($3 million)
  4. Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card ($2.8 million)
  5. Paul Henderson 1972 Jersey ($1.275 million)
  6. Babe Ruth 1923 First Yankee Stadium Home Run Bat ($1.265 million)
  7. Sheffield Football Club Rules, Regulations & Laws ($1.24 million)
  8. Muhammad Ali 1965 Floyd Patterson Fight Gloves ($1.1 million)
  9. Babe Ruth’s 1919 Yankees Contract ($996,000)
  10. FA Cup ($956,000)


Andrew is a Content Specialist for Seattle Goodwill and has a wealth of writing, communication and digital media experience. He loves all things sports related and owns a treasure trove of memorabilia. He also enjoys storytelling, the outdoors and sugar is his kryptonite.

Add a Comment | Comments (0)
700 Dearborn Place S, Seattle, WA 98144 • (206) 329-1000 • 1 (877) GIVE4GOOD • View Mobile Version of Website
Copyright © 2017 Seattle Goodwill. All Rights Reserved.