November 15, 2010, - 11:21 pm
I like to collect stuff. I collect way too much stuff, despite the fact that I don’t really have room for it (and am trying to downsize and get rid of some of it). So, I understand those who collect coins, stamps, historical documents, etc. What I don’t understand is those who collect and buy someone else’s sports trophies. Why?
Kirk Gibson Winning the World Series w/ the Detroit Tigers: Why Would You Want His Trophies?
Over the weekend, an online auction of Detroit Tiger baseball great Kirk Gibson’s prized memorabilia ended. Gibson, who auctioned the items for his charitable foundation, said he worried his stuff might one day end up destroyed by fire. So, I guess he decided to give that worry to someone else and parted with his stuff, netting $1.2 million for the stuff. Almost all of his things put up for auction–a prized bat he used to hit a home run in Game 1 of the 1988 world series (which went for $575,912.40), his MVP plaque, his 1988 World Series players’ trophy, and his road uniform–were bought up by a father and son in California. They paid $153,388.80 for a helmet Gibson wore hitting the World Series home run.
Can they really ever recoup what they paid? Is it really worth that much? During the same auction, the late Ty Cobb’s bat sold for only $75,330. (FYI, I grew up right near Ty Cobb’s home, the one in which he lived when he played for the Tigers.) What did they get out of it?
If they were buying it as an investment to flip for more money, I can see it. But apparently, they weren’t. The father and son, Chad and Doug Dreier of Santa Barbara are fans and wanted this stuff for their collection.
But here’s what I don’t understand: they didn’t earn these trophies or wear these uniforms. Kirk Gibson did. I have the same thought as I do of a friend who bought and now wears a Brooklyn World Series championship ring:
You didn’t win it. You didn’t earn it. So, it’s weird to me that you get enjoyment out of it. The only trophies I want on my mantle are the ones I won. Buying someone else’s trophies doesn’t buy you their talent or their accomplishments. It only buys you empty mementos, whose intrinsic value is exclusively that of the person who earned them.
Beautiful things are a different story. Stamps, coins, jewelry–they all have beauty in them, different designs, pictures, colors, shapes. And there is probably some good resale value in it, if you chose right in your collection. And I collect Jewish U.S. military memorabilia, including dogs tags, but for a specific reason: I am confronted by so many anti-Semites who do not know the bravery and contributions of Jewish men in building and securing America, and I want to make it into an exhibit or book of some sort.
But Kirk Gibson’s trophies? You didn’t win them, so how can you really enjoy owning them? Again, I don’t get it. It reminds me of J. Peterman buying Kramer’s life stories on “Seinfeld.” But, at least, he bought those memories and experiences he didn’t personally have, for catalog material.
Would you buy sports trophies someone else earned? Why? What do you get out of it? Again, if it’s as an investment, I get that. If it isn’t, why?
Tags: bat helmet, Chad Dreier, Detroit Tigers, Doug Dreier, Kirk Gibson, online auction, Santa Barbara, someone else's trophies, Sports, trophies, trophy, Ty Cobb, World Series