Collecting With Jeff – September News Letter – by Jeff Figler

September 28th, 2010 by

Early bobbleheads hold some value

Bobbleheads are among the most popular current collectibles. Bobblehead dolls are also called bobbinghead dolls, or even nodders. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the word “nodders”, but that is only my opinion.

What I do know is that the dolls, call them whatever you like, are very collectible, and some have become quite valuable. They are popular because they are colorful, lightweight, and affordable (if not free). Many professional sports teams have used them successfully as promotional items. And it really doesn’t even matter who the doll is of. I remember going to a game in Arizona, and they had a bobblehead doll giveaway of a player who wasn’t even on the team any longer. Go figure. I guess that when you go to the expense of making ten or twenty thousand dolls, then you had better at least give them away. Most youngsters would not even care who the doll was of.

However, recently I was sent an email from someone who had accumulated a few promotional dolls from stadium events, and he wanted to know if they were worth much. Unfortunately, no. The dolls that are worth the most are the ones that are from the early days, let’s say from the early 1960s to the late 70s. The two most valuable player dolls are of Roberto Clemente and Willie Mays. In good condition, which is often a problem, these dolls can go for as much as $2000.

Why I would have passed on the ARod ball

You may have read that the ball that Alex Rodriguez hit for his 500th career home run was recently auctioned by SCP Auctions.

The high bid for the ball was $103,579 including a 20% buyer’s premium. Pretty good price I would say, but knowing SCP Auctions president, David Kohler, I am sure he thought it could have gone for more. I would have said the same thing. Kohler is one of the true professionals in the industry, and has a huge collection of Lakers (Minneapolis and Los Angeles) memorabilia. I have to admit that I never have been a huge Laker fan, but some marvelous players have worn Laker uniforms. But don’t try to sell me a James Worthy or Gail Goodrich jersey.
I applaud the winning bidder of the Rodriguez ball, but if it were me, I would have saved my money and in a couple of years go after the A-Rod homerun ball that passes Barry Bonds’ career home run total. It is inevitable that the record will be broken. Bonds “retired” with 762 homers, and A-Rod now has 583. Rodriguez is 34 years old, and will probably need four or five years to reach Bond’s mark, if he stays healthy. Staying healthy is always key, but the Commissioner’s office will jump for joy when Rodriguez passes Bonds, probably in 2014. That ball would be worth going after, and might fetch over a million dollars, maybe even a couple of million.

But you know what? There happens to be another ballplayer who has 366 career homeruns and is only 30 years old. Hmm. Try Albert Pujols. However, Rodriguez may have too far of a lead already for Pujols to catch him. Should prove interesting.

Trivia Questions

1.  Which former tennis great had a brother who pitched for the San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays?

2.  What is the record for the most runs scored in an inning in MLB game since 1900 by one team?

3.   Who is the only college football player to have won the Heisman Trophy twice?

4.  What is the NFL record for the most consecutive road games won?

5.  Who were the five original members of the Baseball Hall of Fame?

6.  Who holds the NBA record for most rebounds in a game?

7.  Which NFL team holds the record for the most two point conversions in an NFL game?

8.  Who was the first NFL quarterback to throw more than 4000 yards in three consecutive seasons?

9.  Who holds the modern American League record for wins in a season?

10. John Wooden has won the most NCAA college basketball tournament national championships.  Who is second?