07 Jul Sports Detectives
If you don’t follow the merchandising side of sports you’d be surprised to know how valuable some items that are associated with sports have become.
The championship cups of legendary soccer leagues can go for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The FA Cup is the oldest soccer competition in the world and has been going strong since 1871. During all that time there have only been four championship cups ever made, and only one was sold to a private, anonymous buyer, for a whopping $956,000.
Being the most popular sport on the planet, soccer memorabilia is some of the most valuable sports memorabilia out there, but they pale in comparison to baseball and basketball memorabilia. Babe Ruth, one of the greatest baseball players in history, has some of the most expensive memorabilia dedicated to him in the world. His 1919 Yankees contract sold for $996,000, his 1923 first Yankee Stadium home run bat sold for $1.265 million, and his 1920 Jersey sold for an astonishing $4.415 million.
Unfortunately, because or in spite of their value, a lot of sports memorabilia have gone missing or have been misidentified over the years. Private investigator Kevin Barrows and sports reporter Lauren Gardner team up to hunt down some of the world’s most valuable and important items for they must not be allowed to simply vanish.
From Mohammed Ali’s missing Olympic gold medal to Dale Earnhardt’s first race car, their searches for legendary sports items will be fascinating journeys.
Tuesdays at 4 PM on Smithsonian Channel (ch 226, from 7th July)