Display Cases for Autographed Footballs are Important

November 4, 2012 by  
Filed under Autograph Info, Football

If you have a collection, buying a few display cases for autographed footballs can be just what you need to actually keep them safe and sound. The truth is that a signed football is quite expensive to buy, not to mention hard to get sometimes, so you might as well take good care of it. There are thousands of people who have found out the hard way that leaving a signed football out in the open can destroy the look and the value of the ball.  In this article, learn how to find autographed football cases with no problem and at the cheapest rates.

What kind of football cases are available?

display case for footballsThere are many ways to store autographed footballs, but the most common is putting them in glass or plexiglass case. Most of them are usually shaped as a box. Another way is also to place it on a small cube or stand, and then you can simply place the football on the stand. Others like to place these grand stand cases and mount them to the wall.  Both will showcase your footballs nicely

Benefits of display cases for autographed footballs

- They Keep The Autograph Looking Good

Using a Sharpie or buying a ball signed with a Sharpie is advised, but sometimes even autographs signed with such a good marker can fade after a few years if not protected.  They won’t, however, if you just take the necessary step of protecting them.  Keeping them out of the sunlight and away from the hands of children as much as possible is just as important as the case itself.    Autographed football display cases will keep the oils in your hands from destroying the ball over time, yet you’ll still be able to see the ball, especially if you buy a case that’s clear all the way around (most are designed this way).
- A Place To Stay

It is nice to have your autographed football in a case to give it a nice place to stay. It is definitely worth it in the end to get a nice looking case to make sure that it can stay safe. It is great for also showing it off to friends.  It’s easier to make a ‘case’ that they should be displayed if they’re in something that looks good!  Learning how to display sports memorabilia is actually an important part of being a collector.

How To Find Display Cases For Autographed Footballs

The best places to find a variety of display cases for autographed footballs are through this link to Amazon.com.   It’s why we’ve partnered with them here on Diamond Autographs.  They offer a tremendous variety and the best prices. It is common for different cases to cost anywhere, from $25 to $100 depending on the design. The best deals are usually the ones between $25-$75 and those that are in the $40-50 range. They are definitely much more sturdy and reliable for when they are accidentally dropped.  Avoid cheap models, but try not to buy anything that costs way too much since the cases essentially all do the same thing.  However, if you’re building a super high quality display or have a very, very special football, buying the high end, glass-enclosed type models would certainly be a good idea also.

eBay is another alternative.  Click here to see what is available now.

Display cases for autographed footballs are wonderful to own. If they aren't used, the football with the autograph can really look different years from now. Being careful with how you actually care for your football is definitely worth it. Consider buying from either eBay or Amazon to save time.

Autograph Signings Offer One-on-One Opportunity

Pursuing sports autograph signings is nearly as exhilarating as the games you attend. Obtaining autographs is an exciting way to get close to your favorite athletes, whatever sport they play. It's a way to show that you are a true fan, not only of a specific team, but of the best players in the game. Team balls are a perfect souvenir once you get them signed, and these balls may eventually be worth a good deal of money.

Before you attend sports autograph signings, allow yourself time to wait. If the athlete is popular, there may be lines of many people forming outside the venue where the signing will occur. If the area where the signing will be is a smaller venue, you may have to form lines, which certainly beats the alternative of pushing and shoving to see who gets up to the table first. Still, this means you need to watch the weather, because you may be standing outside for some time. Wear shoes and clothes that are comfortable, since you may be standing for awhile.

If you have an item already purchased that you would like signed, such as a ball or program, it's best to take those with you, rather than count on there being items available for purchase at autograph signings. Sometimes they have items for sale, but they may run out before you get to the front of the line.

Be prepared to tell your favorite athletes what you'd like to have written on your souvenir item. If you can get more than just their names, that's always a plus. A special message doesn't need to take a long time to write, and it will make your autograph different from the rest, should you ever decide to sell it. In addition, it will make the item more special to you if it is personalized. A clever saying can be a good idea, if the athlete is signing more than just his name. You may want to make a note of what you'd like him to write with his name, because you may forget it when you come face to face with your all-time favorite player. At some paid autograph signings, you'll have to fork over a little more to have an inscription added.

Autograph signings are not the place to get autographs for twenty of your closest friends, either. Even though your friends will want you to get an autograph for them, too, asking for a lot of them is usually annoying to the athlete, and it also is not fair to all those people standing behind you in line. At paid signings, you'll pay for each autograph ticket so 'extras' aren't possible. Try it and you'll probably be asked to leave.

There are many ways to find local sports autograph signings. You can check the website of your favorite teams, or check sports autograph sites to see if there are any coming up in your area.

Curt Schilling Red Sox Autographed 2004 World Series Baseball - Steiner COA
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Alfonzo Soriano ~ Official MLB Autographed Baseball w/ COA (Steiner)
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David Robertson Signed New York Yankees 8X10 Photo Steiner Sports coa
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NFL Autographs: A Guide to Buying the Best

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Football, Sports Autograph Articles

Across the board, prices for highly valuable baseball autographs are much more expensive than NFL autographs.

This could possibly be due to the fact that baseball as an organized, competitive pro sport has simply been around longer than the NFL. It could also be due to a long period of time when Major League Baseball was more popular than the National Football League. Whatever the reason, there are probably some currently exceptional values out there for the most desired NFL autographs. But you have to seriously search them out. Of course, if you want the best and the rarest, like anything else, you're going to have to spend a little more.  But it's certainly worth it.

NFL autographs are perfect for the fan caves where millions sit and watch games every Sunday from September through early February.

Jerseys, helmets, photos and other display worthy pieces are a natural fit.  So what should you buy if you want to collect or enhance your current collection?

The most popular players all have definite criteria and niches. Certainly  Hall of Fame enshrinees are at the top of the list when it comes to NFL autograph collecting.   Players who've won one or more Super Bowls or are Super Bowl MVPs also rank high.

Statistical records leaders is another area that collectors use as a theme. Passing and receiving and rushing champions will head this list, so we're talking about such elite players as John Unitas, Joe Namath, Otto Graham,  Sammy Baugh, Don Hutson, Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Bronko Nagurski, Walter Payton, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.  We're also talking defensive linemen Deacon Jones,  Alan Page and Merlin Olsen. Highly valued autographs from other NFL legends would include linebackers Sam Huff, Jack Hamm, Ray Nitschke and Dick Butkus, also defensive backs Mel Blount, Dick "Night Train" Lane, and Mel Renfro.

Not many people collect manager autographs in baseball, but football fans are a little different.  Not many would turn down an NFL signed item from the likes of  Vince Lombardi, George Halas, Don Shula, Bill Walsh, Paul Brown, Chuck Noll or Sid Gillman.

Other NFL autograph collection themes can center around Rookies of the Year or members of the NFL's All-Time Team.

Jerry Rice autographed jerseyAmong the modern era icons that bring NFL autograph collectors to eBay autograph listings in droves are  Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Steve Young, Tom Brady, Drew Brees,  Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Bruce Smith, and the late Reggie White.

It's very important to only purchase professionally authenticated NFL autographed items for your collection, as you can trust these sources more. There's less chance of you wasting your money and getting ripped off.  Different autographed items will be priced differently.  You can look to purchase specific photographs, either action shots or static, posed head shots. Jerseys, helmets and autographed footballs are also mainstream when it comes to NFL autographs.

A clear signature that isn't smudged or faded is important. Just because you can get a John Unitas autograph on an NFL football doesn't mean it will be extremely valuable wherever you try to sell it. Quality is as important as who signed it and its rarity.  Be sure yours doesn't have a noticeable flaw.

Most modern era authenticated items will be in good shape.  No one plays with an autographed football anymore like they may have done 40 or more years ago!  Still, don't be afraid to ask for multiple photos of any item when you discuss purchase with a seller.

If you're buying as a gift or may someday resell your item, it's best to stick with the best you can afford.  The most popular player, the best quality item from the top authenticators with the cleanest, most eye-appealing signature you can find.  NFL autographs, like anything else, are best enjoyed when they are of high quality.   Click here to shop for authenticated NFL autographs.

Autographed Helmets Growing in Popularity

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Baseball, Football, Sports Autograph Articles

Autographed helmets are becoming more popular with collectors, especially those who focus on football memorabilia. Programs and rosters are reminders of a game, but a helmet is a colorful piece of the history of the sport and your favorite star's place in it.

Athletes who sign football or baseball batting helmets will sign them as clearly as they can, of course, but the signature may have some lines that look different, because of the uneven surface they are writing on. This makes it even more important to have a competent expert's certificate of authenticity included before you purchase it, to make sure that the autograph is authentic.

If you are a particular fan of one team or one or more players, autographed helmets make a bold statement in your collection. They stand out and are a natural draw to the eyes. Better still, they sit quite naturally by themselves, or in a case.

When you collect items from your favorite team, you'll always have your eyes open for different or unique pieces of memorabilia, and autographed helmets certainly fit that description. A bold Sharpie signature done in a color that matches the color of the helmet is quite striking. Larger helmets can accommodate multiple signatures while mini helmets are much cheaper, don't take up as much space and are generally meant for 1-4 signatures.

The originality and style of some throwback helmets, or helmets used in prior seasons, will make them an even more interesting part of your memorabilia collection. For true pro football fans, there are few items considered more cool than helmets of the style worn in the pre-1970s era, especially the old AFL designs.

When you have autographed helmets in your private collection, you'll enjoy the touch that they add. Regardless of whether your collection is large or small, autographed helmets will definitely stand out among the rest of your memorabilia.

It's harder to judge the authenticity of autographed helmets, since the surface is so uneven, so be sure to have an experienced dealer authenticate it for you.

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Why Collect Autographed Sports Items?

Fans have been collecting sports autographs for about the last century, although it didn’t really become widely popular until Babe Ruth autographs became a treasure to most Americans.  Ruth signed thousands of items during and after his legendary baseball career.  People got them because it gave them a special, if only brief, connection to one of their heroes.  It was one thing to say “I met the Babe”.  It was quite another to be able to prove it.

The same holds true today and sports autographs are one of the most popular forms of collecting.  Athletes are center stage 365 days a year.  They’re more visible thanks to TV and the internet.  Collecting signed items is a little tougher than it used to be.  Aware of the value of their signatures, some athletes make themselves harder to find, even in public.  Not all are worth money, but superstars are deluged with requests from fans who want that special piece for their collection but also by part or full-time sports collectible dealers who are obtaining the signatures to re-sell.

Athletes should know, though, that most people who buy or chase after autographs are pure in their intent.  They love to have a tangible connection to their favorite teams, players and to the history of the games themselves by collecting relics both past and present.  It’s a memory preserved for all time and a colorful way to decorate an office, sports room or kids room.  They’re conversation pieces and anyone who is a sports fan appreciates the time and effort it took to track down that special sports autograph.  A baseball sporting the autograph of Babe Ruth is worth thousands of dollars today because there is still a greater demand than the supply that exists in the marketplace.  It’s a terrific connection to the game’s past.

While autographs of Hall of Famers and deceased players might cost quite a lot, the beauty of autograph collecting is that you can start with a small budget and still have a nice collection.  There are plenty of well-known players whose autograph is still very inexpensive on eBay or Amazon.com.  Some retired players sign thousands of items.  As famous as he was, Nolan Ryan autographs are generally less than $75 because the great pitcher has always been so agreeable to sign.  He did so in part to keep the value down so he wouldn’t have to deal with sneaky, overbearing dealers.

Sports autographs provide a way for a collector to turn a run-of-the-mill piece of sports memorabilia such as a card or 8x10 baseball photo into a special piece with increased value.  More than anything though, collectors just like to accumulate items that mean something to them.  It’s fun, it’s relaxing and it’s a challenge.  What more could you ask for from a hobby?

What Makes Sports Autographs Original?

Seeking authentic baseball autographs in this day and age can be difficult for several reasons. The last thing a collector wants to worry about is whether an autograph is legitimate or not. When you are spending your hard-earned disposable income,  you don't want to imagine that you are being ripped off. But it's absolutely the first thing any serious baseball autograph collector should think about. So what makes sports autographs original?  In 2006, the HBO show "Real Sports" unveiled some not so complimentary issues about the baseball autograph collecting hobby/industry.

People were getting scammed hard with forged autographs.

Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

In fact, many baseball autographs are still faked these days for monetary gain and it's made the industry as a whole very nervous and sometimes difficult to enter for a “newbie:. At the same time, it really makes you appreciate those items in circulation that are legitimate. But how do you determine whether or not an autograph is authentic?  It’s not really that hard and these days there are experts in the field to help separate the good from the bad and make your buying experience much more palatable.

Reputable companies who can provide proper authentication are in high demand due to the amount of non-genuine autographs that still exist; companies that can make the grade, if you will. There are many sports memorabilia authenticators on the internet who provide such a service but we've narrowed it down to a handful that are generally well respected in the industry. Here are some companies who can provide that exact expertise to help you avoid fakes and establish a serious autograph collection with as close to ironclad authentication as you can get.  Letters of authenticity are really letters of opinion.  But these companies have studied thousands of exemplars, and are familiar with common fakes, keeping mistakes to a minimum.

PSA/DNA- Professional Sports Authenticator is a third party service that grades sports cards and autographs. It has also been called an "Industry Giant" by those in the know. The services they provide could tell you if a card is mint or not mint or whether a card has been trimmed or not. But they also certify autographs. PSA claims it has the hobby's most experienced grading experts and it still stands as one of the most trusted in the biz. Their strict standards seem to put them over the top in the eyes of many sports collectors. Once a card or autograph has been certified, the item is marked with an invisible DNA laced link. It is naked to the human eye but it is verifiable through an infrared laser. If you are searching for items on EBAY and you see that an item has been certified by PSA/DNA then you can look it up by a specific number. A Certificate or Letter of A uthenticity also is provided by PSA.

James Spence Authentication- James Spence Authentication is another reputable company offering similar autograph authentication services. JSA provides authentication letters, standard certification and even a clause called "And When I Die". That program is--- you guessed it---centered around a collector's last will and testament and what to do with a valuable collection once they pass away. James Spence Authentication says it will quickly eliminate the vast majority of non-authentic  autographs.

Mounted Memories - Mounted Memories is another reputable company that authenticates autographs. Just like PSA/DNA and James Spence, Mounted Memories is one of the most recognized names in the sports collectibles industry.  The company usually enters into agreements with the athletes for ‘private signings’ where a player signs a certain number of autographs for a free.  The items are then distributed in the marketplace with a COA.

Steiner Sports- Steiner Sports boasts that it's the top distributor of authentic sports collectibles since 1992. If you plan to buy from the website, each and every hand signed autograph is witnessed by a Steiner Sports representative.  Like Mounted Memories, Steiner has a large client base among pro athletes and is always adding to it.

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Manny
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Types of Signed Collectables

The best thing about signed collectables is that you’ve got plenty of options for what to collect and how to do it.  There are some variations of the theme based on the particular sport you’re collecting, but here are some options for advancing your sports autograph collection.

Baseball Autographs

You can buy a baseball autographed by a Hall of Famer.  You can purchase a team signed baseball.  Signed collectables from baseball can also include jerseys, bats, 8x10 or larger photos, baseball cards or programs.  Generally, flat items are going to be cheaper.  They’re easier for the athlete to sign and don’t have the premium attached to them that other items do when sports memorabilia companies enter into a contractual agreement with a player.  However, some prefer to make a splash with a larger framed autographed piece like a signed jersey or signed baseball collection you can display on shelves.

Football Autographs

Autographed footballs, of course, are very popular and they lend themselves to autographs better than baseballs because of their size.  Despite the pebble grain, a good Sharpie signature on a football (silver ink looks great, by the way) is a thing of beauty.  You can also buy footballs with special white panels to add multiple signatures (it is hard to buy a team-signed football because it’s difficult to write small on them.  Signed NFL jerseys are another hit with collectors.  You can buy jerseys with the signature on to the numerals.  Autographed helmets look great, too—full size or the newer mini helmets designed to hold just one or two autographs.  The mini helmets require a smaller shipping charge, of course.   Yes, you can buy authentic football autographs with no trouble at all.

Basketball Autographs

Signed basketballs are probably the most popular item in this category.  They’re great for individual signatures or for teams, since only about a dozen to 15 names are necessary.  Black Sharpie on an orange ball looks great.  Blue or another dark color works too.  Many collectors also like signed NBA jerseys because they are usually colorful and look great framed without taking up a huge part of your wall.  Again, 8x10 autographs are colorful, easy to store and very inexpensive signed collectables.   Signed NBA memorabilia is rapidly growing in popularity because of the game's worldwide exposure.

Hockey Autographs

NHL players are usually very generous when it comes to autographs.  You can have them sign a hockey stick, a photo, a jersey or even a hockey puck.  Signed pucks can easily be displayed and look great with a light or gold colored Sharpie signature on the top.  They usually answer their fan mail so signed hockey cards are easy to collect and very cheap.  Buying authenticated hockey autographs via eBay or Amazon.com is easy and usually very inexpensive.

Be sure to do your homework and make plans when adding to your signed collectable stash.  It’s no fun having items you don’t have room to store, but it’s a lot of fun when you know what you’re buying is authentic.