After winning its first World Series since 1995, the Atlanta Braves could see memorabilia from its historic victory generate big demand on the sports collectibles market.
Whether it’s the bat used by World Series MVP Jorge Soler, the home run ball hit by Freddie Freeman in Game 6 or the ball from the final out, memorabilia from the 2021 World Series could fetch big prices.
“Collecting is really an emotional hobby so when a team wins a World Series, the fan base really gets behind it and they want a memento, they want something that is going to remind them of this great experience, this great time,” said Dave Amerman, head of consignment for Goldin Auctions. “So, anything, whether it’s from the current players or even past players and teams, people are going to want to collect those items.”
Several Braves World Series items were donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame, where they will be on display through next October. They include:
- Spikes worn by Game 6 starter Max Fried, who pitched six shutout innings to earn the victory.
- The batting helmet worn by Soler.
- The bat used by Freeman when he doubled and homered in Game 6.
- The glove used by NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario.
- The cap worn by Game 3 starter Ian Anderson and a ball he threw during the game.
- Spikes worn in Game 6 by reliever Will Smith.
- A cap worn in Game 6 by shortstop Dansby Swanson.
- A jersey worn in Games 1 and 2 by manager Brian Snitker.
Goldin has already seen items from Braves players spike in value in recent months. In its most recent auction, it sold:
• Hank Aaron’s 1974 batting helmet, which he wore when he hit home run number 714 to tie Babe Ruth’s record, for more than $221,000.
• A signed Ronald Acuna Jr.’s 2017 1st Bowman rookie card (Black Label grade from Beckett) for nearly $100,000.
• A signed, game-used home jersey worn by Freddie Freeman during his rookie season in 2011 for $13,000.
• A signed, game-worn home jersey from Chipper Jones’ rookie season in 1995 for $10,000.
Acuna’s rookie cards continue to soar in value even though he missed half the 2021 season and did not play in the World Series. Amerman believes Freeman’s rookie jersey would double in value after his World Series victory.
And items from World Series MVP Jorge Soler could be in high demand, especially the bat he used to slug three home runs in the series, including a mammoth three-run blast to spark the Braves in the deciding Game 6.
Amerman, who is taking consignments for Goldin's next auction, says Soler items could be “astronomically valuable,” selling for five or even six figures.
“Right now, it’s a possibility because emotions are running strong,” he said. “It will definitely be higher than your typical Jorge Soler bat, ball or jersey, for sure.”
The balls and gloves used to record the final out could also command big prices. Closer Will Smith recorded the final out on a ground ball to shortstop Dansby Swanson, who threw the ball to Freeman at first. The gloves Cubs’ teammates Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo used to record the final out of the 2016 World Series sold for about $500,000 each in 2019 and will be up for auction at Goldin again in 2022.
“The final out ball is always a big one,” Amerman said.
Any memorabilia item from Freeman should also attract big dollars. The 11-year veteran and 2020 NL MVP homered in Game 6 and won his first World Series.
“I love Freddie Freeman’s final home run ball,” Amerman said. “It could very well be his final home run as a Brave, and with him being a big contributor to the Braves over the last decade, that ball would certainly be five figures-plus, and probably even a little bit more right now.”
Freeman memorabilia, he said, should see a big spike in value after the Braves’ World Series victory.
“Winning the MVP last year and then coming out and winning a World Series and being kind of the cornerstone for that franchise, I feel like he is going to really start getting the respect of the really big-time [collectors],” he said. “I believe he is a Hall of Famer and will be when his career is over, so I think his value should start being recognized like that. Personally, I think Freddie Freeman is a great buy right now after the World Series."
The Braves World Series victory could also impact the value of memorabilia of Braves legend and Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, which has also enjoyed a spike since his death in April. Aaron’s rookie card has set records this year. And in addition to his 1974 batting helmet, an Aaron jersey photomatched to that same day sold for $160,000 at Goldins.
Aaron was honored prior to Game 3 in Atlanta and his famous number 44 was etched into the center field grass at Truist Park this year and sewn onto the jerseys of Braves players. Major League Baseball plans more Aaron tributes during the offseason and next year.
Amerman says the increased attention on one of the greatest players of all time will cause his memorabilia to continue to rise.
“We saw a real big spike on Hank Aaron values recently … and I think we will continue to see a rise in Aaron’s value over the next year as well,” he said. “His name was certainly mentioned many times during this series and that just inspires people to go out and think of Hank Aaron when they are shopping. It definitely increases his value and popularity.”
World Series tickets will also be in high demand, especially with new electronic tickets making the paper and cardboard versions much more rare.
Ticket values have soared in recent years, with Michael Jordan’s debut ticket selling for $25,000 and Tom Brady’s debut ticket attracting $72,000, a record for modern tickets.
Amerman says World Series ticket collectors will have a much more difficult time finding 2021 stubs with the move toward mobile tickets.
“Those tickets are going to have a great value,” he said. “You might even get back what you paid to get in the game from someone looking to buy it. And they can get the players to sign them, so it makes a nice collectible as well.”
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