10 Sports Collectibles That Sold For Record Prices

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Do you like Steph Curry or Aaron Judge? Great athletes, nice guys, fun to watch — but do you like them enough to pay almost $150,000 for their jersey? Both Curry’s and Judge’s game-worn jerseys have sold for record prices this summer, and every day seems to brings news of another record-breaking sports memorabilia sale. Here are just a few of the sports collectibles that have sold for record prices in the past few years.

 

10. Super Bowl III Ticket

© SCP Auctions

Back in the day, a football fan could pick up Super Bowl tickets for next to nothing. The average ticket for Super Bowl III — the game where Joe Namath guaranteed his Jets would beat the Colts — sold for $12. An unused ticket from that game sold for $59,098 in 2017, an auction record for a single sports ticket.

 

9. Johnny Unitas 1960 Game Uniform

© Grey Flannel Auctions

Is Johnny Unitas the greatest quarterback of all time? That’s a debate for another day, but Unitas is definitely the greatest in one respect — his autographed, circa-1960 game-worn Baltimore Colts uniform sold for $118,230 in 2015. According to auctioneer Grey Flannel Auctions, that’s a record for an NFL uniform.

 

8. Steph Curry Game Jersey From 2017 NBA Finals

© Keith Allison

The Golden State Warriors star poured in 26 points in Game 3 of the 2017 NBA Finals. The jersey he wore in that game turned in even more impressive numbers, selling for $135,060 at an auction later that month. That’s an NBA record for a game-worn jersey.

 

7. Aaron Judge Debut-Game Jersey

© Arturo Pardavila

The Yankees outfielder has become one of the biggest stars in American sports since making his MLB debut in 2016. Steiner Sports auctioned off the jersey he wore in that debut in July 2017 for $157,366, the most paid for any game-worn jersey in any of the four major U.S. sports in the past 15 years. Judge’s memorabilia has been selling for big prices across the board. The jersey he worn when he hit his first career grand slam sold for $45,578 in June. A month later, a signed Judge rookie card sold on eBay for more than $14,000.

 

6. Michael Jordan 1984 Olympics Shoes

© SCP Auctions

Before Michael Jordan became MICHAEL JORDAN, the rising basketball star played on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team in Los Angeles. ESPN reported the autographed shoes Jordan wore in the Gold Medal game against Spain sold for $190,373 in June 2017, a record for game-worn shoes.

 

5. Michael Jordan 1984 Olympics Jersey

© Stefano Cazzaro

If the shoes Michael Jordan wore in the 1984 Olympics are worth $190K (see No. 6 above), then his jersey from those same Olympics must be worth more. Jordan’s game-worn jersey from those Olympics sold for $273,904 in June 2017, believed to be a record for a basketball jersey.

 

4. LeBron James Rookie Card

© Goldin Auctions

Cards issued for a player’s rookie season are generally the most sought-after and valuable cards. It goes without saying the bigger the star, the greater the rookie-card value. LeBron James’ 2003 Upper Deck Exquisite Collection series rookie card sold for $312,000 in 2016. A couple of caveats — James had signed the card, and it included an NBA logo taken off his rookie jersey.

 

3. Babe Ruth Signed Contract From 1918

Credit: Library of Congress

Back in 1918, the Red Sox signed a young outfielder/pitcher named Babe Ruth to a $5,000 contract. Ruth, who’d hit two home runs the year before, would obviously go on to bigger contracts as he became a legend with the Yankees. That 1918 Red Sox contract sold for $1.03 million in 2014, a record for a signed sports contract, according to psacard.com.

 

2. Honus Wagner Baseball Card

© Goldin Auctions

When it comes to the most valuable sports card on the planet, there is no contest. The famous T206 Honus Wagner card has been smashing sales records almost every time it’s been auctioned in recent years. A T206 Wagner sold for a record $3.12 million in 2016. Why is it so valuable? The cards were issued as part of a series in cigarette packs between 1909-11. Wagner, a Hall of Fame shortstop who played with the Pirates, ordered production of his card halted, possibly because he did not want children buying cigarettes to get his card. As a result, as few as 50 of the Wagner cards were issued.

 

1. 1850s Baseball Rules Document

© SCP Auctions

In April 2016, a little-known document known as the Laws of Base Ball sold for $3.26 million. How is that possible? Even hard-core baseball fans are likely unfamiliar with the name Doc Adams. But the mid-19th century player and baseball executive has in recent years finally gotten credit for inspiring many aspects of the modern game, including the 90-foot distance between bases, nine-player teams, nine-inning games, and the position of shortstop. In 1857, he authored a document, Laws of Base Ball, that is self-explanatory in nature. It sold as part of a collection of historical papers for just $12,000 in 1999.

But in the years since, Adams’ legacy in the sport has become better understood, leading to the $3.26 million document sale in 2016. It’s interesting to note that a similar document, featuring 13 rules of basketball as defined by basketball inventor James Naismith, sold for $4.3 million in 2010.

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