Sports history is on sale everywhere you look inside the Auction of Champions Warehouse in North Phoenix.
“That’s Aaron Judge’s signature,” said co-owner Alex Krantz. “Pretty unbelievably Babe Ruth’s hand was on this ball. You can see he signed there.”
Krantz gave ABC15 a tour of the items his company sells on behalf of collectors.
“This is Floyd Money Mayweather’s autographed boxing glove,” Kranz said.
Many people will pay a lot of money for some of their favorite athletes. Last year alone, he spent $24 billion out of an estimated $12 billion.
“You know what to buy for your 10-year-old. It might be the player of the day, or a $50 autographed photo, but when you attend a game with the Hank Aaron jersey, We’re looking at hundreds of thousands of people, so it’s all over the place,” Kranz said.
In February, Kobe Bryant’s jersey, worn during his only MVP season, is expected to fetch as high as $7 million.
Items can be inflated in price, and while it’s a good investment and great conversation starter, it’s important to know that what you’re buying is the real deal.
“The main thing in this industry is authenticity, [because] There are a lot of fakes out there,” Kranz said.
Kranz said third-party authentication systems such as PSA and JSA are essential to avoid falling for fakes.
When it says it comes with a certificate of authenticity, ask who can verify it.
“I hate to pay $500 for an autographed Mickey Mantle baseball and a year later find out it’s not real,” Krantz said.
With so much history yet to be written into the chronology of sports lore, it’s hard to say whose mark will become the next legendary collector’s item.
“Every piece has a story for someone,” Krantz said.