Baseball traces its beginnings to the mid-19th century. By the turn of the century it had become America’s national pastime.
The superstar has always been the key element in the game. Baseball greats were popular visitors at banquets, parades, and more recently at baseball autograph shows. Autographed items, especially those used in an actual game, command premium prices. The bigger the star, the bigger the price tag.
References: Mark Allen Baker, “Sports Collectors Digest Baseball Autograph Handbook, Second Edition,” Krause Publications, 1991; Mark Baker, “Team Baseballs: The Complete Guide to Autographed Team Baseballs,” Krause Publications, 1992; David Bushing, “Sports Equipment Price Guide,” Krause Publications, 1995; David Bushing and Joe Phillips, “Vintage Baseball Glove 1997 Pocket Price Guide, Vol. 1, No. 5,” published by authors, 1997; Douglas Congdon-Martin and John Kashmanian, “Baseball Treasures: Memorabilia From the National Pastime,” Schiffer Publishing, 1993; Kevin Keating and Mike Kolleth, “The Negro League Autograph Guide, Antique Trader Books,” 1998; Mark Larson, “Sports Collectors Digest Complete Guide to Baseball Memorabilia, Third Edition,” Krause Publications, 1996; Mark Larson, Rick Hines, and Dave Platta (eds.), “Mickey Mantle Memorabilia,” Krause Publications, 1993; Tuff Stuff (eds.), “Baseball Memorabilia Price Guide,” Antique Trader Books, 1998; Jim Warren II, “Tuff Stuff’s Complete Guide to Starting Lineup: A Pictorial History of Kenner Starting Lineup Figures,” Antique Trader Books, 1997.
— Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”