Pro Sports Franchises Becoming Wise To Value Of Sports Memorabilia

By Richard Mueller    

At one time, they were simply hand-me-downs. After using them for a year, professional sports franchises would send their game used equipment and game worn jerseys to their minor league clubs. Some made them available for sale to recreational leagues.

In the last ten years or so, however, collecting game worn gear from pro sports teams has become an extremely popular exercise. The teams are now trying to cash in on the craze--or at least earn money for charity. Sports collectors love the authenticity, even if the days of getting something free may have passed.

Major League Baseball now employs an official authenticator at most games, tagging game used items removed from play with a special hologram and documenting each. The items are sometimes sold at auction through the league's website, while the teams retain control of some of the uniforms, cracked bats and other items that would at one time been considered junk or items to simply give away to fans who asked. Some teams, like the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Red Sox have entered into agreements with memorabilia companies who retain the exclusive rights to acquire and sell those sports collectibles. It's a lucrative arrangement for both, with superstar game bats and jerseys selling for hundreds of dollars, even if they've only been used once or twice.

Some NBA teams have done the same, agreeing to assist a company in cataloging their game used items for resale or auction. The league has a contract to sell All Star game memorabilia or items from other special events to one company, Meigray. It's a far cry from the days when players gave away their uniforms, such as was the case in 1976 when Julius Erving, the biggest star in the American Basketball Association made good on a promise to give his All Star uniform to a ball boy. The boy kept the uniform for 32 years before consigning it to an auction house where it sold for over $180,000.

The NHL and even some minor league hockey teams have contracts with Meigray for the sale of game worn and game used collectibles. The contracts have allowed teams to reap benefits from an area that was once simply an expense.

Even minor league baseball teams hold 'garage sales' after each season to sell off used and unused team equipment and souvenirs.
Many items are also obtained by trading card companies, where the jerseys, bats and even helmets and caps are sometimes cut up into tiny pieces where they are used to create special one-of-a-kind memorabilia cards inserted into packs.

When and Where Should You Wear Professional Sports Jerseys

By Nicole Roberts 

Are you a sport fan and wish you could wear your professional sports jerseys everywhere? Of course, you know this is not possible, but it doesn't stop you from dreaming and it may make you wonder just what it the proper places to where your sports jerseys. After all, you certainly do not have the jersey to only where to sporting events, so then what is the proper etiquette of where and when to wear your jersey?

First off, kids and retirees seem to be the ones that can wear their professional athletics jerseys anywhere they wish, as it seems "cute" to society that children and seniors are such sports fans, but to everyone else, male and female, there are times when you simply should not where your sports jerseys, such as to your board meeting, for example. Moreover, you probably would not want to wear it to a job interview. There are just some places where sports memorabilia have no place.

So then, where can you wear it? After all, you are very proud of it and you want others to see it, not just hang it in your closet. Of course, where professional sport jerseys are always welcomed and admired is at actual sporting events, which can be at an actual sporting game or just watching a game on a Sunday afternoon at your friend's house. Of course, this is dependent on the sporting jersey you are wearing. For instance, if you are invited to a sporting event to watch a game and no everyone is for the opposite team and you show up in professional sports jerseys for the opposing team, you might not get a lot of love.

Therefore, the reason you should ever wear your sports jersey is to support your favorite team, not try to stand out in a crowd that you know full well is not for the team you are sporting around. On the other hand, you do have a right to let everyone know who you are for and in some instances and gatherings, this can be fun. You might even begin placing bets with other members in the group on who will win the game, which adds to the fun of entire situation.

The point is, always assess the situation before you show up in your professional sports jerseys, yes, you love the team, but not everyone does, so therefore, be sensitive to those that may take offense or think you are wearing it in bad taste. You want to support your team, but do so in a way that is actually supportive and not controversial or purposely trying to make a stand for your team when you know the feelings of the group you are going to be a part of for the day. It is no different from being invited to a Republican party and showing up wearing supportive gear for the Democrat, it just is bad taste. When you are invited to a sporting event, think about those that will be present before you put on that sports jersey.