Sports memorabilia market - 2013 auction review

Baseball continued to lead the way among US sports memorabilia auctions in 2013. Whether it was jerseys, signed balls and bats, or trading cards - the appetite for rare memorabilia from America's "national pastime" remains impressive. Across the pond, memorabilia from Britain's "national obsession", football, still dominates the auction scene. Were you expecting otherwise?

Top sports memorabilia sale in 2013

Jesse Owens' Olympic gold from 1936 made $1.4m

  • Some events are so momentous they transcend the sporting arena. Jesse Owens' four gold medals at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in defiance of Hitler, certainly falls into that category. It was no surprise therefore that one of the gold medals Owens won auctioned for $1.4m in December, setting a new record for Olympic memorabilia in the process. The sports memorabilia world record remains Babe Ruth's earliest game-used jersey, which made $4.4m in 2012.

2013's important sports memorabilia sales

Schilling’s sock sold for $92,613

  • Who wants to own a bloodied sock? When it belongs to Curt Schilling, and was worn by the Red Sox pitcher during his memorable performance in game two of the 2004 World Series, there are plenty of takers. It's why the sock made $92,613 in February.
  • Trading cards continue to perform well - with baseball the top variety. A 1909 T206 "Jumbo" Honus Wagner made $2.1m in April - the record for an undoctored baseball card. See "It was a year to forget for…" below.
    T206 Honus Wagner
    The most valuable undoctored Honus Wagner ever auctioned
  • Wayne Gretzky is still "the great one". The Edmonton Oilers jersey "Gretz" was wearing to score his 500th goal, as well as the night the Oilers clinched the 1987 Stanley Cup, auctioned for $297,995 in June.
  • Nat Lofthouse's barge on the keeper to score Bolton's second goal in the 1958 FA Cup Final wouldn't be allowed today. Lofthouse's medal from the final sold for £20,625 ($33,010) in November.
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates uniform that Bill Mazeroski was wearing when he struck his walk-off home run to take the 1960 World Series made $550,000 in November.
  • The Nikes Michael Jordan wore during his iconic "Flu Game" in 1997 auctioned for $104,795 in December, breaking the record for a pair of game-worn shoes.

It was a breakout year for...

1882 FA Cup programme
The Old Etonians won 1-0

  • Football programmes, which made headline news in May when the earliest FA Cup Final programme, from 1882's match between Old Etonians and Blackburn Rovers, came up for auction. The £30,000 ($45,788) football programme record it set could provide a boost to rare football programmes across the board.

It was a year to forget for…

  • Bill Mastro, the sports memorabilia dealer who finally admitted to trimming the edges of the famed Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner card in the 1980s. Mastro bought the card for $25,000, selling it on for $110,000. It last changed hands in 2007 for $2.8m.

One you may have missed…

View our sports memorabilia for sale


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