Jon Teitel attended the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore last August. This is the 9th installment in his photo essay about the dealers he interviewed and the stories of the college basketball memorabilia that they were offering for sale and/ or auction. We will be presenting this in installments over the next several months.
Sports card and memorabilia collecting has made a huge evolution over time, for better or worse. Many adults have fond childhood memories of buying packs of cards that had bubble gum inside and then placing the cards into the spokes of their bicycles. However, in the 21st century collectors have locked up their valuable treasures in a “look but don’t touch” philosophy as the friendly pastime has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
I got to speak to Brett Lowman of Play OK Antiques (www.playokantiques.com), who had several antique basketball items available for purchase:
1. A lace basketball from the 1920s or 1930s that was in surprisingly good condition. Brett recalled buying it it at an antique show or flea market. It was on sale for $350.
2. Nowadays if you want to buy a basketball at your local sporting goods store it comes in a nice package, but back then a ball would often came deflated in a box like this. After buying the ball you would have to take it home and then inflate it yourself. The box has some wear and tear on it, and was listed at a price of $125.
3. The final item is almost a century old. A combination blue and white jersey and shorts with the letter “K” on it was available for the low, low price of $375.