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How to Invest in Baseball Autographs to make MONEY!

October 30, 2020 7 min read

How to Invest in Baseball Autographs to make MONEY!

This video is about how to invest in baseball autographs. Although there are many similarities, the strategy is slightly different from collecting, as our main goal is to try and make MONEY.

  • Baseball autographs are some of the most sought after items in the sports memorabilia industry.
  • Autographs from Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig are sought after by collectors both in the United States and Internationally.
  • Baseball, up until recently, has always been America’s favorite game and thus it’s favorite sport to collect.
  • Just about every kid grew up playing baseball. We grew up with the game and watching our hometown players as well as the big-leaguers.
  • I remember as a kid, often playing in the back yard as if I was Will Clark and sporting that unique batting stance of his.
  • Just about all of us collected baseball cards as a kid.
  • Naturally, this is the sport that most collectors start with when beginning to collect autographs.
This video is going to have 3 parts:
  1. Which authentication is best.
  2. The types of items I forecast to go up in value the most.
  3. What players I recommend and see as a SAFE bet to increase in value.


There are many different authentications when it comes to baseball autographs.

  • The BEST one and the one I prefer is Major League Baseball authentication (MLB).
    • These are signings where MLB has a representative present for the signing and witness the athlete signing your item. The item is then logged into their online database with item and date it was signed.
    • MLB authentication is also the #1 authentication when it comes to game used items. This means a representative got the item directly from the athlete and witnessed its usage. 

Other witness authentication similar to MLB are PSA/DNA, JSA, and Beckett. All 3 of those companies offer a witness COA.  They also offer “opinion based” COAs, meaning according to the known examples in their database they can deem an autograph authentic in their opinion. You can tell the difference in the credentialing because it says “WITNESS” on the witness COAs.

  • Fanatics is another very good one.
    • What’s nice about Fanatics authentication is they are one of the license holders that get to have MLB authentication at their signings. So any baseball autograph will have Fanatics and MLB authentication already on the item.
  • TRISTAR also handles some baseball signings, they focus mainly on Texas players, but they are reputable and they witness all their signings.
  • Steiner Sports (which was bought by Fanatics), did have a good reputation with Yankee players. Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera were their exclusive athletes for a long time.
    • Just be careful of holograms of theirs without #s on them. There has been some confusion as to whether some of these were stolen at one time, but many fraudulent items have popped up with just their hologram on them. I would only buy a Steiner MLB autograph with Steiner # hologram and MLB authentication on it.

In regards to game used items (not autograph authentication), MLB authentication, PSA DNA, and Mears are some of the best authenticators.

2nd Part – Best type of items to get

Here are the types of items I see increasing in value. As a side note, there are MANY different items to collect, so this isn’t going to cover everything, so don’t come hollering at me if I forgot to include your favorite funko.
  • Autographed baseballs.
    • Clear cut favorite as baseball’s most popular item to collect.  Baseballs with special inscriptions, or on specialty balls are the most sought after. Don’t shy away from single signed baseballs especially on deceased players.  Mantle, Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, all highly sought after and can be very valuable.
  • Autographed jerseys.  
    • Stick to officially licensed ones. You know me, I talk about this all the time. You only buy the jersey once, so get the real deal. Pay special attention to Jerseys with special inscriptions such as "WS CHAMPS" or Hall of Fame inscriptions - you want the Superstars and NOT David Eckstein, although he was a WS MVP, he’s not going up in value.
  • Game Used items.
    • You can do these signed or unsigned. Obviously, these are much rare than a non-game used item.  These types of items do tend to hold their value extremely well due to limited supply and demand.  Best types of game used items?  Really anything.  But bats and jerseys seem to be most popular with fans and novice collectors.
  • Autographed bats can be hit or miss sometimes.
    • It really depends on the player. They can be hard to display and can require a special display case. I personally am not a huge fan, but I know many collectors that do like them. They are just not my favorite based off personal sales data.

2nd Part – Items to avoid

  • Photos that do not pertain to a special play or game.
    • Just a random photo doesn’t tend to go much up in value.
  • Batting helmets. Works for some players, but for some reason these never caught on as much as football helmets. 
    • Most likely due to it being odd when it is displayed. The way it does not sit straight up, sits sideways, and with the one ear hole showing doesn't make it a great showcase item in a collection.

3rd Part – Players to buy

Now that we know the type of authentication and items to buy, who are some of the best players to invest in. I will give you some picks at the end of maybe some undervalued ones that you can pick up for much cheaper.
  • Go back and watch my video I did on investing/collecting. I talk about a specific 7 characteristics I follow when buying players.
    • We are going to put that in play here. Essentially, I am looking for "likeable" players, big time stats, don’t sign much, hall of famer careers, maybe a notable moment or two, playing for a good team, consistent, etc….
  • I realize, some of these autographs may be out of the reach for some just starting off, but there are some deals to be found on a few of these guys. Start with what you can afford and work your way up from there. As a reminder, we are looking for guys that are safe, "increasing in value" type players. Rookies are fun to go after, but they are extremely volatile. I want you guys to make MONEY. You may have to be patient, but here are some guys I feel are can’t misses.
    • Mike Trout – today’s Mickey Mantle. 3 x MVP.  Very likeable.  TONS of stats.  Every signing sells out.  Is there anyone that doesn’t like him?  Every collector wants his autograph in his collection.
    • Mickey Mantle – a well priced, authentic, Mickey Mantle signed baseball sells in about 5 minutes. He’s that popular.  Especially items with inscriptions.  Baseballs with him a MUST for a collection. 
    • Willie Mays – I have made a video about why you should be buying Willie Mays and the types of items. Go back and watch that.  I will put a link here.  Stay way from the SAY HEY hologram items.  Really, any authentic item of his (they are getting harder to find) is going to go WAY up in value.  Mays is getting way up there in age and is not signing anymore.  Like me and you, we will all leave this earth at some point.  Make sure you pick up an authentic autograph of his before they are priced out of range.
    • Sandy Koufax – this guy has a mystique about him in the collecting world. 4 x WS champion for a major franchise the Dodgers.  Hall of Famer.  STUD pitcher.  4 freaking no hitters.  Your high school you went to doesn’t have 4 no hitters.  Plus, I do like his connection to the Jewish culture.  I think that is a big plus when it comes to collecting.  Whole other set of people that we know will be interested in his autograph.  Just don’t see that much today.
    • Jackie Robinson – goes without saying how important he was as a player to the game and to the country. Tough autograph to find.  But GUARANTEED to be on EVERY collectors list. 
    • Babe Ruth – another autograph that goes without saying. THE most sought after baseball autograph of all time. Autographed baseballs are available and they are EXPENSIVE!  So save your starbucks coffee each morning and brew your own stuff.
    • Lou Gehrig - fan favorite, previous owner of all time consecutive game played steak.  Too many stats to list here.  If I have to tell you who he is then you shouldn’t be collecting baseball autographs.
    • Joe Dimaggio – will always have ties to Marilyn Monroe, Yankee for life.


Who are some guys that I think are still way undervalued that are not on the above list?

  • Ken Griffey Jr. For as many signings as he has done recently with TRISTAR, I still feel he is extremely under priced.  Especially for a guy that just does not sign in person.  HUGE fan favorite.  As a kid, THE KID, was who we all emulated to be. 
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. I mean autographed baseballs at $150 just seem like a steal for this guy.  Granted, he hasn’t done anything yet award wise, but this guy is a talent.
  • Ted Williams. – autographed baseballs for under $500 just seem like a steal to me for a guy like this. Is he a top 5 baseball player of all-time?  I think so.  Played for an iconic franchise in the Boston Red Sox.  Just seems very undervalued.
  • Hank Aaron – I did a whole other video on him as well, I will link that up here, but you can find signed baseballs for under $200 on the home run king. That just seems wrong to me for a guy that doesn’t sign much, is getting up there in age, and has THE STATS to back it up, plus a memorable play in the 715 home run.


  • Pretty much any "steroid era" ball player not named Barry Bonds. As an exception, I do think Bonds will have some value if he gets into the Hall of Fame. Again, i made an entire video on his collectibles as well. 
  • Steroid guys are TOUGH sells in my experience. They just are. Let’s stay away from them for now.

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