As you all know I love cut autographs and with the bevy of different Leaf, Upper Deck and TRIStar releases out there that cater to the cut autograph only there are a lot of them available on eBay.  What I find to be the most interesting is the price disparity between the different sports.  Football may be king of the ratings, but baseball rules the hobby world.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the cut autograph arena.  While pricing out autographs, the trend I saw was:

  1. Baseball – HOF and popular players dominate a very pricey sport.
  2. Hockey – Orr, Howe, Gretzky, and Lemieux command more than their football and basketball counterparts.
  3. Football – Because of it’s team sport designation, older players simply don’t command the same price point as baseball and hockey.
  4. Basketball – Forget about value.  Hall of Famer’s cut autographs can be had as low as $10.

For an example, let’s take college basketball legends and NBA Hall of Fame members Magic Johnson and Jerry West:


This card can be had on eBay for $61, arguably the best two Lakers of all time.

Now let’s go to football, Here is a Joe Namath card, probably one of the most iconic quarterbacks ever to play football and also a Hall of Fame member:

This card, and many like it run in the $35-40 region.  Now let’s hit up hockey:

This Maurice Richard is going to set you back over $500.  True it is UD and limited to 10 but if you look online you can get any cut of Richard for under $200.  Finally let’s hit up baseball:

This one will set you back $5000.  Again, this is of 7 and is Upper Deck but each of these player’s certified cut auto cards routinely run in the 800 – 1000 range.

So you can see my point, baseball is king, and hockey is two with football and basketball lagging behind.

Have you spotted any deals on eBay that are along the lines of this?

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2 responses »

  1. Nathan says:

    I agree that baseball is king, and there are some pretty obsessive hockey collectors up here in Canada driving up prices. But I think that in your example the biggest factor is actually living vs. dead. Richard and Mantle cannot produce new autos whereas Johnson and Namath can.

  2. chuckneo says:

    I think what you’re saying holds true – but keep in mind there are other factors. The biggest being if the athlete is deceased – so Maris is worth much more because he died before the sports memorabilia really blew up. Mantle has always been hugely popular.

    Also, some athletes just don’t sign much. Sandy Koufax is notable – he commands more than an Aaron or Mays even though he isn’t as popular, because he never signs anything and they sign more frequently (or at least they used to). Finding a Michael Jordan or Ken Griffey signature usually requires something from UD Authenticated – so their signature is more valuable for similar reasons.

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