Signed Sports Jerseys

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Signed sports jerseys have risen to prominence in the past few years thanks to a handful of factors. First among these is the proliferation of sports and recreation bars, many modeled on that of television's now-famous Cheers, where everyday people can go and enjoy a brew with the neighborhood folks while watching the game. To make their establishments more authentic, bar owners often shell out big bucks for signed sports jerseys to hang on the wall alongside autographed pictures and trading cards.

Another factor that has led to the growth of the signed sports jerseys market is the overstock of more traditional collectibles such as cards. When every 10-year-old can head to the local convenience store and pick up a few "wax" packs (not to mention hop online and buy cards directly from internet retailers) the demand for some memorabilia plummets. It's much less common, however, to find genuine game apparel at nearby retail shops and, even, online.

The Popularity of Signed Sports Jerseys

Where cards and posters may jog their collectors' memories of days spent in the bleachers chowing on smoky peanuts, jerseys are documents of the actual game. Here it's important to distinguish between those uniforms worn on the field and in locker rooms and those manufactured by a collectibles company. A verified "game" jersey may command outrageous sums, as there are precious few of them on the market. Signed "factory" jerseys, on the other hand, are fairly abundant.

This shouldn't diminish the worth that signed sports jerseys have for the individual collector. For one thing, most children can't afford to lay out thousands of dollars for an authentic Roger Clemens or Barry Bonds jersey; most can hardly afford those of a Triple-A right fielder. For another thing, the value may be every bit as much sentimental as it is economic, and if a signed replica jersey gives you satisfaction, that's reason enough to own one.


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