Like Any Market Vintage Gloves Have Ups and Downs by Joe Phillips

Back in the summer of 2012, a classic find of mint condition baseball cards were located in the attic of an Ohio home.

These cards, though not in a particular valuable or rare issued set from the 1920s, took the baseball collecting world and especially the venerable card market by shock and the find was valued by some in the millions of dollars.  The eventual auction house hired to  auction the cards was cautious not to offer all the cards out at once because it might create a temporary filling of the hobbyists buying tank.   Sales distribution was deliberate and careful.

Most notably two years ago at the National one particular dealer in vintage photographs had cornered thousands of rare original photo prints archived in The Sporting News (“Bible of Baseball”) files and buyers thronged to the booth with the images.  Soon thousands of new original photos were flooding the marketplace from the national and other distribution areas.  What resulted was that the market price for those and most old original pictures plummeted.

In the fall of 2011, something similar occurred in the glove market as a Texas ebayer suddenly was selling hundreds of rare and not so rare gloves basically it seems from one collection.  In addition were nice boxes with their gloves The listings were described hurriedly  and without much care or great appeal. Done in assembly fashion.  All the listings were monotonously similar “Ultra Rare”; when in fact most were not particularly rare, conveying an erroneously mind set for collectors new to the hobby. .  But by anyone’s reasoning,  it created a buyer’s market at the time that has carried over for the following year, and perhaps will last longer.

Besides some treasured hall of famers, came scarcely ssen gloves like Willie Miranda, Lyle Judy, Herman Franks, Hal Warslter. Hal Schumaker, Bud Clancy, Dario Logianai, Johnny Mostil, Del Pratt, Zeb Terry, Jo Jo White, Aam Comorosky, Monte Irvin, Jack Burns, Zeke Bonura, Jimmy Gleason, Jesse Craddock, Tom Bridges, Johnny Croner.  On and on . . . of often “seen only once before” gloves were being offered.

The glove buying market, not particularly a wide niche one, began to absorb as much as it could but soon the sponge was soaked.   The normal postings of gloves from various sellers around the country felt the impact seeing prices for their offerings grow weak.

As glove collectors we may be feeling the impact of this “glove spigot release” for some time.  Hopefully,  it has attracted some new buyers to our hobby at the same time.

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