The Curiosity Podcast

Why Do Humans Collect Things? Confessions Of A Sports Collectible Expert

What gives a collectible item its value? Certified sports memorabilia expert Michael Osacky has been the official appraiser for athletes from the Chicago Bulls, New York Yankees, and other professional teams, and he sheds some light into the world of collecting.

Lots of people own old books, ticket stubs, or baseball cards, but some of those items are valued at tens of thousands of dollars, while others aren't worth a penny. Michael digs into why there's such a discrepancy by getting into what collectors find valuable, along with a little history lesson on the hobby itself. Stream or download the podcast using the player below or find the episode everywhere podcasts are found, including iTunes, Stitcher, and Gretta.

The Value of Collections

Michael Osacky, certified sports memorabilia expert, discussed:

  • The importance of personal stories and history when curating a collection.
  • The history of autographs and why they have value.
  • Why collectible memorabilia produced after the 1970s rarely has much monetary value.
  • How collectors use look, feel, and even smell to determine the authenticity of an item.
  • Why the monetary value of collectible items can vary wildly over time.
  • Similarities across different collectible items, like sports, coins, stamps, and other collections.
  • How errors or misprints can affect the value of a collectible item.
  • The value of a "phantom ticket" for a concert or sporting event that ended up not happening.
  • How an athlete or celebrity's infamy can affect the value of associated memorabilia.
  • The best way to use the internet to research the potential value of your items, and how many people use eBay for research the wrong way.
  • Is an item labeled "collector's edition" worth any value to collectors, or is it just a marketing tactic?
  • International interest in sport memorabilia and why they're looking into collectible items as an asset class for their portfolios.

Listen to the episode to hear the full story! Click here to follow along with a written transcript of this episode (and share clips with your friends).

Michael Osacky and some of his Cubs memorabilia

Show Notes And Related Links

About the Curiosity Podcast: Curiosity makes you smarter – and so will this podcast. Each episode features experts in every field who explain why their knowledge is important and why you should care. Developed as an audio companion to the existing Curiosity experience, you'll learn about your brain and your body, outer space and the depths of the sea, how history shaped the world into what it is today, and more. From the largest galaxies to your smallest brain cells, hosts Cody Gough and Ashley Hamer will share their curiosity to help you understand the world better.

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Written by Cody Gough July 25, 2017

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