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gamebird
03-11-2018, 11:00 AM
I understand that no one has a crystal ball and knows the future values of autographed baseballs. I have been looking at Babe Ruth autographed items and quite frankly the price range is out of my reach. Does anyone see Mantle/DiMaggio/Williams reaching these extreme values in the future. Now I understand the "Baba Ruth" thing, (rarity-age of item thing) but does anyone believe that the Mantle/DiMaggio/Williams autos will bring that kind of value in the future?.....or is there just to much "availability" for their signed items?

RelicSports
03-11-2018, 11:08 AM
I don't believe they will ever reach a Babe Ruth-esque price unless they are special autographs (rookie year single signed ball, rookie cards signed, special photos, etc). But I have to imagine that they will continue to increase in value over time as they are legends of the game and will always be a key part of its history...just my two cents

Duluth Eskimo
03-11-2018, 11:32 AM
No, there's just too many and the demand is not there with today's collectors. I brought a Babe Ruth signed ball in to show the Cub Scout troop I volunteer with and every kid, father, mother, and grandparent knew who Babe Ruth was.

Also, the ridiculous amount of forgeries hold the Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio market down. If there were no forgeries, the prices would be much much higher.

thetruthisoutthere
03-11-2018, 11:40 AM
No, there's just too many and the demand is not there with today's collectors. I brought a Babe Ruth signed ball in to show the Cub Scout troop I volunteer with and every kid, father, mother, and grandparent knew who Babe Ruth was.

Also, the ridiculous amount of forgeries hold the Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio market down. If there were no forgeries, the prices would be much much higher.

Jason is so right about the forgeries of Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio, Mays, etc.

The forgeries have diluted our autograph hobby.

In my humble opinion, 80% of those who buy autographs are impulse buyers and delusional autograph collectors who think that when they purchase a set of Mantle, Williams and DiMaggio autographs for $45.00 because they think they got a deal and "stole" it from everyone else.




https://www.ebay.com/itm/DiMaggio-Williams-Mantle-Autographed-8x10-Photo-Certified-/112842889575?hash=item1a45f5d967%3Ag%3A1lkAAOSwRbZ alY~R&nma=true&si=8uX1yUGSsPcVJjvpfRUgwBWPo7k%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

whitey19thcentury
03-11-2018, 03:20 PM
Kind of on a tangent, but keeping to the title of this post: I wonder what the values of autographs will be in the future, too.

Now, I know Ruth, Mantle, Cobb, Clemente, etc etc etc will hold, but what about non-Hall of Fame players who died early/are tough autographs, etc. It seems that collectors of those players are not really in their 20s or 30s, with a few exceptions I know of.

When collectors of those players are ready to sell or pass away, I am not sure that there is a younger kid out there who will want to buy a Wilcy Moore (may be a bad example since he was a '27 Yankee, but you catch my drift). It seems that the "younger generation" or autograph collectors are interested in mainly current players and entertainers.

The market is so diluted by 3x5s now, it is adding to the fact that the supply out equals the demand. I know I am somewhat guilty of contributing to that since I purchased a large chunk of inventory from the MacAlister collections. I was getting upwards of $75 on Duffy Lewis signed 3x5s, but 100+ index cards later, I was lucky to get $10.

packs
03-12-2018, 08:27 AM
I don't really agree that because there are a lot of Mantle / DiMaggio items in the hobby the price won't escalate to Ruth levels. I don't think any single human being signed more autographs than Babe Ruth and there are mountains of them out there. Quantity didn't sap the Babe and his autograph isn't valuable because its scarce.

Mr. Zipper
03-12-2018, 08:48 AM
I don't really agree that because there are a lot of Mantle / DiMaggio items in the hobby the price won't escalate to Ruth levels. I don't think any single human being signed more autographs than Babe Ruth and there are mountains of them out there. Quantity didn't sap the Babe and his autograph isn't valuable because its scarce.

Sure... the Babe signed a mountain of autographs. But the vast majority of them have not survived or are in poor condition. At the time of signing, it was not a "collectible."

Mantle, DiMaggio and Williams would sign thousands in a sitting many, many times... and they were all immediately placed in protective sleeves or ball cubes.

You can find THOUSANDS of authentic Mantles for sale in mint condition at any given moment. You can't say the same for the Babe... not even close.

packs
03-12-2018, 08:56 AM
Why don't you let 70 years pass? We're comparing a guy who died in 1948 to guys who died in the 90s. Obviously there is going to be better condition material because less time has passed. If Ruth's autograph wasn't a collectible, why did he sign so many? His autograph is not valuable because it's scarce. It's valuable because of his following, fame, and legend. That's criteria that Mantle and DiMaggio meet as well.

Duluth Eskimo
03-12-2018, 12:39 PM
Mantle and DiMaggio aren't at the same level as Babe Ruth. Ruth transcends sports. As you know, many people refer to others as "The Babe Ruth of fill in the blank". Per my example with kids at the Cub Scout pack or on my son's baseball team, every kid has heard of Babe Ruth and that will continue forever. My son has no idea who Mantle or DiMaggio are and there are autographed photos of each on my walls. Ruth is the "Babe Ruth" of baseball. Everyone else, is everyone else. You can agree, disagree, like it or not, but it's the way it is. There will always be a market for Ruth. Mantle and DiMaggio collectors are dying off each day.

packs
03-12-2018, 12:46 PM
Mantle and DiMaggio aren't at the same level as Babe Ruth. Ruth transcends sports. As you know, many people refer to others as "The Babe Ruth of fill in the blank". Per my example with kids at the Cub Scout pack or on my son's baseball team, every kid has heard of Babe Ruth and that will continue forever. My son has no idea who Mantle or DiMaggio are and there are autographed photos of each on my walls. Ruth is the "Babe Ruth" of baseball. Everyone else, is everyone else. You can agree, disagree, like it or not, but it's the way it is. There will always be a market for Ruth. Mantle and DiMaggio collectors are dying off each day.


Transcends yes, but we're talking about autographs and collecting. Do you think there is a significant market of collectors who will buy Babe Ruth but have no other focus on sports?

Mr. Zipper
03-12-2018, 02:00 PM
Why don't you let 70 years pass? We're comparing a guy who died in 1948 to guys who died in the 90s. Obviously there is going to be better condition material because less time has passed. If Ruth's autograph wasn't a collectible, why did he sign so many? His autograph is not valuable because it's scarce. It's valuable because of his following, fame, and legend. That's criteria that Mantle and DiMaggio meet as well.

In 70 years, these will still be a zillion signed Mantle, Dimaggio and Williams items in near mint condition.

Are you really making the argument that someday a signed Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams baseball will sell for $50,000+ like a minty single signed Ruth ball would today? (Adjusted for inflation, it would be a lot more than $50,000.)

:confused:

csotus
03-12-2018, 02:15 PM
In my opinion this correlates with my other hobby of coin collecting. The younger generation appear to have no interest in collecting coins and those that do have a small interest find real quick that the fakes from China really dilute and negatively effect the market. The fakes are so good that at one time or another expect to get burned.

With autographs, the same concept applies. I agree with the poster who mentioned non-HOF players. I think 20 years from now the only names that will be valuable are the instant name recognition. I personally dont see Mantle, etc getting to Babe's value level. I think both will increase, but Babe is the Babe, simple as that.

packs
03-12-2018, 02:19 PM
In 70 years, these will still be a zillion signed Mantle, Dimaggio and Williams items in near mint condition.

Are you really making the argument that someday a signed Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams baseball will sell for $50,000+ like a minty single signed Ruth ball would today? (Adjusted for inflation, it would be a lot more than $50,000.)

:confused:


I am making the argument that scarcity isn't what makes Ruth's autograph valuable. You're the one who said that because there are a lot of Mantle and DiMaggio's out there they won't ever be as valuable. My point is there are just as many Ruth's as there are anyone's autograph. A ball that's snow white today is not guaranteed to be snow white in 70 years either. I have many balls from the 90s that have already turned brown and you're assuming a lot when you say they'll all survive.

While I don't think anyone will match Ruth's value, I think Mantle and DiMaggio will certainly increase because they have similar things working for them: career Yankees, the biggest sports personalities of their day, and a similar folk hero legacy.

David Atkatz
03-12-2018, 03:18 PM
Mantle and DiMaggio values will never reach Ruth levels. Never.

Ruth transcends sports. Mantle and DiMaggio do not.

Every single post-playing-days Mantle and DiMaggio ball is in a ball cube, and has been virtually from the moment it was signed. They are pristine, and will remain so.
Most Ruth-signed balls are in lousy condition.

Everyone who wants a high-quality Mantle or DiMaggio has one. Not so for Ruth.

Sorry, packs. Your kids ain't gonna cash in on the modern stuff. ;)

packs
03-12-2018, 03:20 PM
I've already cashed in. I paid $50 each for Mantle and DiMaggio in White Plains back in the 90s. I'm sitting on a tidy profit after only a few decades.

Baseball Fan
03-12-2018, 03:32 PM
I am making the argument that scarcity isn't what makes Ruth's autograph valuable. You're the one who said that because there are a lot of Mantle and DiMaggio's out there they won't ever be as valuable. My point is there are just as many Ruth's as there are anyone's autograph. A ball that's snow white today is not guaranteed to be snow white in 70 years either. I have many balls from the 90s that have already turned brown and you're assuming a lot when you say they'll all survive.

While I don't think anyone will match Ruth's value, I think Mantle and DiMaggio will certainly increase because they have similar things working for them: career Yankees, the biggest sports personalities of their day, and a similar folk hero legacy.

Not saying you are right or wrong, but it seems tough to believe that there are just as many Babe autographs out there as Mantle, DiMaggio or anyone else who had a full playing career and also took part in show signings and company signings for years after their careers.

packs
03-12-2018, 03:46 PM
Ruth was the most famous man on earth for much of his life and he signed autographs for anyone and everyone who asked him for one. This is pure speculation on my part but I'd guess he signed a million autographs in his life.

Duluth Eskimo
03-12-2018, 03:56 PM
Transcends yes, but we're talking about autographs and collecting. Do you think there is a significant market of collectors who will buy Babe Ruth but have no other focus on sports?

156% absolutely yes and I'm sure every bigger autograph dealer could tell you a story about some financially well off person who was looking for or bought a Babe Ruth signed baseball for himself, but had zero interest in much else.

David Atkatz
03-12-2018, 04:17 PM
I've already cashed in. I paid $50 each for Mantle and DiMaggio in White Plains back in the 90s. I'm sitting on a tidy profit after only a few decades.A tidy profit. But not a Ruthian profit.

packs
03-12-2018, 04:47 PM
A tidy profit. But not a Ruthian profit.

I of course don't think Mantle or DiMaggio will be as expensive as Ruth, but I do think they will continue to climb because they have a lot going for them.

Topnotchsy
03-13-2018, 08:43 AM
I may be biased but the only player who I think has a shot of reaching Ruth levels of transcendence is Jackie Robinson. I collect Robinson, (so as stated I may be biased), but I think the reasons I collect him are the reasons he could one day be viewed on a similar level to Ruth. His importance and fame extends way beyond baseball.

Runscott
03-13-2018, 04:30 PM
If Cobb prices can't come close to Ruth, how can we expect Mantle and Williams to?

thetruthisoutthere
03-13-2018, 05:14 PM
If Cobb prices can't come close to Ruth, how can we expect Mantle and Williams to?

+1

Klrdds
03-13-2018, 05:28 PM
Maybe the only one to come close to Ruth could be Gehrig . But yet Gehrig never transcended baseball as Ruth did.

packs
03-14-2018, 02:10 PM
Cobb never had the celebrity that Ruth had and is a poor comparison. Yes, Ruth was an all world talent like Cobb, but his autograph is not expensive solely because of how well he played baseball. I would say Mantle and DiMaggio shared a similar spotlight in public consciousness in comparison to Ruth, though of course Ruth is always king.

When people talk about the greatest active player, Mike Trout's name is usually brought up. When people talk about how great a player Trout is, the man they typically compare him to is Mickey Mantle, not Ty Cobb.

I think in the long run Mantle outpaces DiMaggio but I think both players will see their memorabilia increasingly rise as time goes on and they may be some of only a handful of players who are immune to time and shifting generations.

tazdmb
03-14-2018, 02:57 PM
This doesn't pertain as much to certain players as it does to future values in general. I (was) a member of Autographs 101 on Facebook and they had over 20,000 members as well as other autograph social media sights with thousands of members each. Every one of them wants a Mantle as bad as a Mike Trout (granted the average age is these members is probably around 20). They want to show off that they have all the autographs of the current superstars.

Bottom line, kids/young adults are still collecting baseball autographs today in probably a bigger proportion than they did when I was a kid. I am hoping/banking that a 1% of these kids will grow up, become wealthy and then want to go after the HOFers of past generations. Not just the Mantles/Mays but also the Bottomleys and Wagners.

My guess is that Trout signed more autographs last year than Wagner signed in a lifetime. Supply (excluding forgeries) isn't growing for deceased HOFers, I am hoping that the Demand will.

Runscott
03-14-2018, 03:07 PM
Cobb never had the celebrity that Ruth had and is a poor comparison.

Okay, well that'll shut me up - you've still got the touch.

packs
03-14-2018, 03:18 PM
Do you disagree? It's not a critique, just what I think.

dgo71
03-14-2018, 05:33 PM
I don't see why any player would "catch up" to another. I would think as time moves on, values for everyone would increase proportionally. But it'd still be Ruth > Cobb > Mantle, etc. I don't think Mantle would jump exponentially and not see a similar increase in Ruth's value. What would, 20+ years after Mantle signed his last autograph, predicate such a drastic spike in his value that wouldn't also effect the value of Ruth?

EDIT: Or is the question simply, in a vacuum, will a Mantle signed baseball ever command $15K (or whatever a nice Ruth currently sells for)? If that's the question, it would depend on the direction the hobby goes in over the next 60 years or so. Who can say? Personally I'd like to think in 2080 there will be some young collector dreaming of owning a Mantle the way people today dream of owning a Ruth.

Kco
03-15-2018, 11:37 PM
Iíve been collecting Mantle and DiMaggio for years now (10+), and I can find nice, clean examples of both for roughly the same amount or slightly less now than I was in 2008. I donít ever see either of their prices jumping too drastically. I just picked up two very clean DiMaggio and Mantle balls last week. Both full LOAs. I paid $375 on Joe and $450 on Mantle.