While team balls and tickets are red-hot on eBay, the white-hot items that trumps the rest are press pins, very limited production media credentials that have been around since 1910. They’re perfect for eBay: Small, lightweight, easily photographed and something difficult to forge or alter, as opposed to the classic trimmed or recolored vintage Topps, Leaf or Goudey card.
While original 1911 Philadelphia A’s press pins can sell for north of the $20,000 mark, those super-high-end pieces rarely make it to eBay. Instead, owners sell them through more traditional sources. But in the last few years, some of the top World Series pin bids include $5,758 for a 1922 World Series Yankees press pin, and $5,500 for a 1917 White Sox World Series presser. Keep in mind each team issues a pin each year, so a “set” includes both teams.
If that kind of cash is a little out of the reach of your paper route budget, consider saving up some nickels, dimes, fives and twenties for the following (prices reflect actual winning bids on eBay) and celebrate your team’s last Series:
• $43 for a 50-year-old 1958 Milwaukee Braves pin
• $48 for a 1961 Reds pin
• $46 for a 1956 Yankees pin
• $47 for a 1980 Royals pin
• $49 for a 1959 Dodgers pin
• $46 for a 1968 Tigers pin.
Sure, the older you get, the more they cost when you start looking for pre-1950 pins. Furthermore, compulsive collectors will go for “phantom pins” — prototypes created by jewelry vendors like Balfour for teams that never made it ($1,000+ for a 1949 Red Sox pin). For the most part, however, they’re truly affordable little collectibles, and they’re not limited editions created for the collector market.