It is almost comical how people who are involved in a specific hobby and who hold incredible interest in something can often seem the hardest for whom to buy a gift! It is like, “I know they love baseball cards and memorabilia and autographs and such, but how do I know whichone to get?” When we ran our local card shops this was the most frequently asked question in the month of December!
Everyone is different, of course, and there are some collectors with incredibly specific details to their hobby (e.g., only one player or one team). However, for most collectors, especially those who collect one or more of the major sports, it is hard to go wrong with the best of the best, that is, collectibles that center on and around the Hall of Fame! Many hobbyists envision their collection as their own version of Cooperstown anyway, and you need some Hall of Fame items to make that real.
The nice thing is that “the best” does not always mean the most expensive. Oh, sure, a Hall of Fame player is going to cost more than a utility infielder or a long relief guy, but not everything has to be in the Babe Ruth/Mickey Mantle stratosphere. Here are ten terrific Hall of Fame gifts ideas (most of them very limited type items which adds to the desirability!) that are available as of this posting. In fact, we have provided an active link (just click on the item’s title) with each one so that you may get to it quickly if it is still available.
GEORGE KELLY Autograph, 2010 Historic Autographs “HOF & All-Star” Edition PSA/DNA Perhaps you would like to go a bit more “old school” with your baseball gift. This certified autograph is from a Hall of Fame player who last played in 1932 for the Brooklyn Dodgers! His nickname was “High pockets,” and Kelly was a two-time World Series champion (1921 and 1922). He led the National League in home runs once (1921) and runs batted in twice (1920 and 1924), and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973.
CASEY STENGEL, Historic Autographs The Decades 1950s—3 of 5 Some people have the theory of gift giving that one should “go big or go home.” This autographed item counts twice in this regard. First, it is a huge signature that fills up the card. Secondly, not too many baseball men were larger than life in a greater degree than the “Ole Perfessor.” This is a must have autograph not only for Hall of Fame reasons, but for Yankees fans to be sure.
CARL HUBBELL Autograph, 2010 Historic Autographs “HOF & All-Star” Edition PSA/DNA Twice voted the National League’s Most Valuable Player, “King Carl” Hubbell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1947. During 1936 and 1937, he set the major league record for consecutive wins by a pitcher with 24. However, he is well-remembered for the 1934 All-Star Game, when he struck out five of the game’s greatest hitters in succession.
CAL RIPKEN JR., Orioles—2015 TOPPS FIRST HOME RUN MEDALLION Of course, not all great Hall of Fame gifts need to be autographed. This is a beautiful example of modern memorabilia created by the Topps company…and highly sought after by collectors! Few players are as sought as the Iron Man, Cal Ripken, and this inexpensive piece would be a sweet addition to almost any baseball collection.
TRAVIS JACKSON, N.Y. Giants—1961 Fleer, Autographed—JSA/Beckett Authenticated Being in the Baseball Hall of Fame does not necessarily guarantee that you will be a household name. Travis is a good example of that today. And that is too bad as Jackson was regarded as one of the premier defensive shortstops of his time. He batted over. 300 six times, including a career-high. 339 in the 1930 season, and hit 21 home runs in 1929. He was on four NL pennant-winning teams and one World Series champion (1933). Any Hall of Fame collection is incomplete without him, and this is a nice find on the ’61 Fleer.
BILL DICKEY, Yankees—2010 Razor Sports Icons (Beckett slabbed)—12 of 16 Still staying in the era before and during WWII, this gift is from another of the New York Yankees’ all-time greats! Bill Dickey spent his entire career with the Bronx Bombers, and was an eleven time All-Star as well as an eight-time World Champion as a player. He is baseball royalty.
MAX CAREY/EDD ROUSH dual autograph—2010 Leaf Sports Icons—5 of 7 We will complete this list with one more “dual” autographed piece, and we will again go “old school.” After all, these are much harder to find, and for the great price on this piece, you may well have enough left to buy a modern Hall autograph. Max Carey starred for the Pirates, helping them win the 1925 World Series. During his 20-year career, he led the league in stolen bases ten times and finished with 738 steals, a National League record until 1974 and still the 9th-highest total in major league history. Roush finished his 18-year career with a. 323 lifetime average, 268 stolen bases and 182 triples. He never struck out more than 25 times in a season and had 30 inside-the-park home runs. Oh, he also used a massive 48-ounce Louisville Slugger (the heaviest bat used in baseball), and claimed that he never broke a bat in his big league career.