The 31st annual National Sports Collectors Convention begins in Baltimore on Wednesday, and the uncertain economic climate hasn’t dampened enthusiasm for a sometimes pricey industry — local collectors say this is still one of their busiest weeks of the year.
Exhibitors say the demand for sports memorabilia since the 2008 recession has gone two ways — while interest has dropped for the “manufactured” memorabilia, the value of the more rare items has increased.
“We didn’t see a change in interest in the older, true collectible stuff,” said Bill Huggins, co-owner of Huggins & Scott Auctions in Silver Spring. “The ‘true’ stuff is stuff usually [manufactured before] 1970 and it didn’t have a value before. Hence if you’re cleaning out your house, those are first things that get thrown away. Those have really held value through the economic recession.”
The items that have taken a bigger hit are collectibles like limited edition prints or autographed items that don’t have historical significance. (Think Nolan Reimold bobble-heads.)