Opinion: Is sports memorabilia really worth it?

Aaron Judge, a Yankees superstar, broke another former Yankees superstar Roger Maris’s single season home run record in American League history on Oct. 4, 2022. A Rangers fan named Cory Youmans was at the Globe Life Field watching the Rangers play versus the Yankees. Judge hit a ball deep to left field, his total home run count increased to 62. Cory Youmans was the lucky fan that caught the ball, a piece of history that could be worth an insane amount of money. A California auction house offered Youmans $2 million, but he rejected the offer. This ball is valuable, but is it really worth $2 million?

People are paying an absurd amount of money for sports memorabilia, even for random or weird things. Some of these include Ty Cobb’s dentures, a urinal signed by Barry Sanders from the old Lions stadium and even chewed gum. It feels like every day of the year there are millions of dollars being spent on things like sports cards and other memorabilia. 

There is always a trading card one-upping another card in terms of prices. In Aug. 2020, Angel’s superstar Mike Trout 1 out of 1 card sold for $4.1 million, due to the popularity of Mike Trout. Almost exactly a year later, an early 1900s Honus Wagner card sold for $6.9 million, almost $3 million more than the Mike Trout card. In August, a 1952 Mickey Mantle card topped $12.6 million at an auction. With that amount of money, you can buy 10 median-priced Granite Bay houses and still have $600,000 left over.

Why would people spend all this money on a seemingly useless object made of wax or cardboard?

Sports memorabilia, whether it’s sports cards, balls, jerseys or even athletes’ contracts can be sold for massive amounts of money for one reason: they are a part of history.

The market would not exist if people didn’t care about these objects and the meaning behind them. While how rare memorabilia is might play a part in its value, no one would buy the objects if they didn’t have a  historical significance. That’s why people buy sports memorabilia. Sometimes memorabilia could be important to someone because it has a sentimental value, like if it’s related to their favorite team or favorite player. Plus, memorabilia can be almost an investment in a sense because as time passes, the more valuable the item can get. 

The argument that sports memorabilia is worthless junk that no one in their right mind should buy for millions and millions of dollars is silly.                

While a lot of people believe that sports memorabilia isn’t worth it at all, I believe it’s an important part of our sports culture and we should preserve these objects, just like any other historical artifacts in history.