WILLIE MAYS Autographs are WAY Undervalued Right Now!
June 09, 20216 min read
So Willie Mays is an athlete that pretty much all of us have heard of, unless you're like that Geico person you've been living under a rock for a while, but Willie Mays is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Let's talk a little bit about why you should be investing in Willie Mays and then we will talk a little bit about how to go ahead and invest in and Willie Mays. Let's start off with why you should invest.
Let me read some statistics to you real quick. Mr. Mays is a baseball Hall-of-Famer, two-time MVP, a 24 time all-star, that's pretty much like every season he played he was an all-star. You're not gonna see that anymore with any players right now, there's just too much competition going on, you're just not gonna see the quality player that Mays was. It's just incredible. World Series Champion and a 12-time gold Glover so he can hit and he could also play defense. Another good reason to invest in Mays is he is actually, in my opinion, a fairly affordable autograph right now. You get guys like Mickey Mantle who are $600 or $700 for a quality baseball jersey and bats are way above that. So for Mays right now, I think he's a very affordable autograph and another reason to be investing.
This is just part of life, and part of sports, and part of collecting autographs, is that the man is 89 years old right now, and it's just the way things go in our industry. It's not something a lot of people like to talk about but guys don't sign autographs forever and Mays hasn't been signing autographs for quite a few years now. So there's a very limited supply out there of good quality and authentic autographs. So now that you decided, “Hey, Mays is someone I want to have in my collection. I want to get his autograph. What should I get?”
Now there's some things that we need to talk about here when it comes to Willie Mays and really this comes with every athlete. We want to talk about authenticity. If you're unfamiliar with Willie Mays there's a lot of autographs out there that have this quote-unquote “Say Hey Hologram” on there. You'll see these all over the place. Cheap autographs and you're thinking wow that's a great deal, it comes with his authenticity hologram on there, I'm gonna pick that up. Do me a favor do yourself, stay away from any item that has the “Say Hey Hologram”. There are some that are good and there are some that are bad but from my research for this video the ones that are currently out there, the majority of them are very bad. They all look exactly the same, these are not authentic, you'll see this little “Say Hey Hologram” in the corner of the photo or if it's on a baseball it’ll be on the back of the baseball. Do yourself a favor and stay away from these guys. Even if there are some that are third-party authenticated. In just my opinion I personally would stay away from those type of authentications for Willie Mays. So getting something that doesn’t have the “Say Hey Hologram” that is PSA authenticated or JSA authenticated or that could authenticate without that hologram is a pretty good bet.
So now when you're looking at Mays there's a couple things to look at when you're looking at his autograph, and those “Say Hey Holograms”, if you see them online, you will see that they are pretty much essentially the exact same signature all over the place. It's like they were signed almost yesterday. You'll see baseballs too with that hologram. Pretty much any Mays item with an inscription, like his Hall of Fame year or 660 homeruns, but pretty much just throw that away. That's not real. Some of them look like they were just signed yesterday like their ball blue and like perfect and you're like, “What the heck, Mays hasn't signed consistently in probably 15-20 years.” We did a signing with him probably back when I was with another company probably back in the mid-2000s, so 2007 or 2008 and that was 12 - 13 years ago. I think he did one back in New York a couple years later after that but that's pretty much been it. So there's not a lot of quality stuff out there so if you see something that's got big bold signature on there probably time to run away.
So what you want to look for is there's a style of Willie Mays autograph that has a lot of flair to it. He really tends to write that way so when you see those hologram items that are really stacked together and it almost looks like everything is perfectly spaced, that's not a signature that you want. You want one with a lot of flair, a lot of height to it, sometimes especially on that “M”. You'll see what I'm talking about when you start looking for some of these Mays autographs.
Now that we've talked a little bit about authenticity and what to look for let's talk a little bit more about the fun stuff here, like what do you get from Mays. My personal preference here is go with the autographed baseballs. There are some really nice ones that are still available. You're gonna have some balls that are gonna have some toning and some staining just because they were signed so long ago with Mays, so that's to be expected, but right now I mean you can get a nice baseball for about $150 - $160. So for me for a Hall-of-Famer getting an authentic autograph on the most collected item for baseball players, which are autographed baseballs, that's a steal right there. I mean I'd be picking those up left and right if I could. So I would definitely do that for your collection. Getting am autographed Willie Mays baseball
Second thing is getting photos. Now Mays of course had the most famous, I would say probably one of the most famous plays, of all time. Certainly one of the most famous baseball plays of all time with the catch. Now again these are all over the place with a “Say Hey Hologram” on there. Stay away from those. The last research I did on one of these that I know is 100% legit, that's $400 for an 8 X 10. So these photos are getting really pricey and if you see one that you like that's authentic I would definitely probably pick it up because these authentic ones are not gonna be easy to find. Bats are another one that are semi affordable. Probably in the $400 or $500 range depending on which type of bat you're looking for. They can be more expensive than that. Bats are just not my thing. I know a lot of guys like them but they just take up too much space for me so not my cup of tea when it comes to baseball collectibles.
The last piece is a jersey. Those are right about $1,500 plus right now. Just make sure that you are getting an officially licensed Jersey. Getting that China stuff or the custom stuff, the custom stuff being that it's not officially licensed and it just says like San Francisco on the front or something like that, so it's not like it's a majestic Jersey or like a or throwback jersey, you don't want to do those. My personal preference, if you're getting Willy Mays, an iconic guy, get a real Jersey okay. Get a real authentic jersey. You're spending a good amount of money on it, get a nice quality jersey. Again you will see the hologram everywhere on these and if they are cheap that's the big red flag. Don't do that. Look for that nice big flare autograph on that instead of that short little blocky one. In my opinion those ones are no good and I would stick with a nice flare one.
So those are the items I would get from Mays. There are some other really cool Mays photos out there, don't sleep on those. Besides The Catch, there are some really iconic ones out there so just kind of keep your eyes peeled for those, and those ones actually tend to be probably more authentic than The Catch one because everybody wants The Catch one but they forget about these other cool iconic images of Mays. So something to keep in mind when you're out there looking for Mays and adding him to your collection.
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