Collecting sports memorabilia has been a pastime enjoyed by most of the population for a number of years, but now there are many fans who have reached the point where their collection is worth millions of dollars. It isn't just the fans who have been able to reach such heights with their collections either since there are a number of former stars who have also been collecting throughout their career and now value their collections in the millions as well.
Some fans don't even realize that they are collecting memorabilia. It becomes something that is so normal for them that they don't have to think twice about the fact that they are doing it. This is why many of these fans have been able to take over their own houses and lives with the level of collecting that they have done in recent years.
While there are fans who enjoy going to games and sharing their passion inside a stadium, there are others who decide that the best way to share their passion is to collect memorabilia that surrounds their favorite sport or team.
The following list looks at 25 sports memorabilia collections that have been valued in the millions. These are the fans of their sports that have gone above and beyond to ensure that they remember all of the highs and lows that came with supporting their team.
26 Pele's Soccer Memorabilia - $4.8 Million
Pele is considered to be the greatest footballer in the world by many fans of the beautiful game, but according to LoveMoney, the retired star decided to auction of the biggest collection of football memorabilia in the world a few years ago when he decided to sell off all of his medals, trophies and personal belongings in order to raise an impressive $4.8 million or £3.6 million.
There aren't many fans who could match the memorabilia that Pele collected from the golden era of football, which is why it's seen as one of the most expensive collections in the world.
25 Sports Cards And Memorabilia - $12 Million
There have been some impressive sports memorabilia collections that have gone to auction over the past few years, but back in 2016, a new record was set when the ten most valuable sports cards were sold at auction along with a number of other pieces of memorabilia for more than $12 million.
The collection included a number of authentic baseball cards and according to Forbes, the auction price meant that Jumbo Honus Wagner became the world’s most valuable baseball card, while the laws of Laws of Baseball document sold for around $3 million.
24 Marshall Fogel's Baseball Memorabilia Collection
Marshall Fogel has been collecting baseball cards ever since 1989 and has since amassed one of the most complete and expensive baseball card collections in Denver. Fogel has always been a fan of the sport and even though there is no official valuation on the collection, the fact that many of his prized photographs, tickets, bats, and gloves are now on display in the History Colorado Center’s exhibit entitled “Play Ball!" just shows how much the town values his passion.
It's Fogel's love of the game and the fact that holding the relics of history that led to him to acquire so much memorabilia over the years.
23 Shawn Chaulk's Impressive Hockey Collection
Like many sports memorabilia collectors, Shawn has been collecting his Wayne Gretzky inspired merchandise and memorabilia for most of his life. He decided back in 2013 to put some of his collection for sale, which impressively includes game-worn jerseys, game-used sticks and other equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to CBC, much of the fan's collection was lost last year during a fire, but he was still able to grab many of his jerseys and collectibles before he exited his house. Before the fire, it was noted that his collection was worth millions of dollars.
22 Ken Kendrick's Baseball Cards - $2.8 million
Ken Kendrick started collecting baseball cards when he was just a child, but he purchased the rare Honus Wagner card back in 2007 for $2.8 million dollars. This was the icing on the cake for Kendrick, whose collection was missing a centerpiece.
PSA Card reports that Kendrick doesn't collect much outside of his cards, even though he does own a few autographed baseballs and has framed photos with some of baseball's Hall of Famers who he is friends with. However, the added value of the rare baseball card that features Wagner takes his collection up to more than $2 million.
21 Joel Platte Sports Immortals - $250 Million
Joel Platt stated that it was Babe Ruth that came to him in a dream and told him, "You can be a baseball player or open a museum to sports legends.” The latter seemed to be the choice of the former shortstop and it's now led to him creating one of the biggest sports memorabilia collections in the world.
According to Bloomberg, the one million-piece collection is valued at around $250 million and includes some of the most memorable objects from the history of sport, including Cassius Clay’s Olympic jacket.
20 Gary Cypres' Sports Museum of Los Angeles - $30 million
Gary Cypres has spent more than three years collecting some of the biggest parts of baseball's history in his 37,000-foot warehouse in Los Angeles and the former investment bankers collection is now believed to be worth around $30 million and it includes the game-worn jersey of Jackie Robinson, which could easily fetch $2 million at auction.
Despite setting up an entire museum of collectibles, CNBC reported that Cypres keeps his collection to himself. His warehouse was featured on an episode of Secret Lives of the Super Rich back in 2017 where he was finally able to share his collection with the world.
19 Bill Mastro's Collection
Bill Mastro is one of the most famous sports memorabilia collectors in the world and is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of the collecting industry. His collection includes many objects from the history of baseball, including Babe Ruth signed items and New York Yankee's merchandise. Mastro was also the seller of the raw Wagner card that sold for more than $2 million in 2007.
Mastro ran into a few issues a few years ago and because of this, he was forced to sell off much of his 800-item collection, which was said to be worth millions of dollars.
18 Nigel Wray's Sports Collection - $30 Million
Nige Wray's is the chairman of Saracens Rugby club and according to the Daily Mail, he is also the owner of Britain’s finest and most valuable collection of sporting memorabilia. Wray started his collection more than 25 years ago and has since amassed an incredible amount of memorabilia, which is made up of hundreds of artifacts dating back to the early 19th century.
His collection includes England Captain Bobby Moore's shirt that was worn at the 1970 World Cup as well as Stanley Matthew's shirt from Blackpool's triumph in the 1953 FA Cup finals, which are two of the most celebrated sporting moments in British history.
17 Women's Baseball Card Collection - $1 million
Mental Floss reported back in 2015 that a woman brought her collection of baseball cards onto an episode of Antique Roadshow where the collection was said to be worth at least $1 million. The woman's name was never disclosed, but it was reported that her great-grandmother ran a boarding house in Boston in the 1870s, a place where many of these famous baseball players would visit, which is why the collection also includes a number of handwritten notes from the players as well.
The experts who were part of the show claimed that the collection was "the greatest archive [she's] ever had at the Roadshow."
16 The Bobby Moore Collection - £1.45 million
Bobby Moore was the England captain that was able to finally lift the World Cup trophy with his team back in 1966 and since his passing, The Standard reported that his former team West Ham United has shelled out £1.45 million so that they could acquire the complete collection of merchandise from his lengthy football career.
This includes his most sought-after possession, which was his 1966 World Cup winners medal, along with many other pieces of memorabilia that the club now has on show at their museum in London.
15 Karl Kissner's Baseball Card Collection - $3 million
Time reported that Karl Kissner came across an old box of baseball cards in the attic of a house in Ohio, but at the time he was unaware that the box's value was around $3 million. Kissner and his family were cleaning the house when he came across the box, which contained around 700 cards that are believed to have once been owned by his grandfather.
Kissner's family has since split the cards between them and decided to sell many of them at auction, but incredibly the collection contains a Honus Wagner card in pristine condition, which could go for around $2 million alone.
14 Andy Fogel's Met Collection
Andy Fogel was bitten by the collecting bug back in 1987 and ever since he has been working tirelessly to create a collection that includes more than 4,000 pieces. Fogel himself even loaned The New York Mets 100 pieces of his collection for their 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium celebrations, which included game-used bats, game-used jerseys, pins, souvenirs, and autographs.
While the man who is referred to as the Medici of Mets collectors has already sold off a number of his items in his collection, including a jersey worn by Mets third baseman Ed Charles in the 1969 World Series for $20,000 he is still reported to have one of the biggest and most expensive Mets collections in the world.
13 Philippos Stavrou Platini's Football Collection
While it is currently unknown just how much Philippos Stavrou Platini's collection is worth, the Frenchman made records and news around the world last year when his name went into the Guinness Book of Records for having the world's biggest collection of memorabilia.
The Daily Mail reported that Platini's collection included 40,669 items in what he has called the "Museum of Platini" in his home, which also doubles as a kebab shop in his small village in Cyprus. Platini, also legally changed his name to add the Frenchman's surname since he has always idolized the football star.
12 David Kohler's Laker's Collection
David Kohler has been collecting memorabilia relating to the Lakers over the past few decades and his impressive collection has been featured in a number of magazines, with NBA.com even releasing a video of his impressive attic.
Kohler is the president of SCP Auctions and boasts an impressive collection which, according to Bleacher Report, includes a pair of glasses from George Mikan along with a signed, game-worn jersey from just about every single player that has ever played for the Lakers and still he continues to pick up rare objects relating to the Lakers on a regular basis.
11 Corey Shanus' Baseball Collection
Corey Shanus first bought a pack of Topps Trading cards back in 1963 and ever since he has worked to create his own collection of baseball cards and memorabilia. The real estate agent stated that he caught the collecting bug from his mother, who once traded in art, coins and silver.
Shanus' collection includes bats, baseballs, photographs dating back to the early 19th century as well as a 1909 Honus Wagner T206 trading card, which alone cost $25,000. He continues to buy and trade in memorabilia, but it is currently unknown how much his impressive collection is worth.
10 Young Fan's Baseball Card Collection
Baseball cards have made up much of this list since it's obvious that the more historic cards that feature some of the legends of the game have been picking up a lot more money at auctions. A young fan's collection was brought to light last month when it was reported that he owned more than 3,000 cards dating back to the early 19th century.
Sports Collectors Daily reported that the collection could be worth more than $1 million and ironically his mother could easily have thrown it away without noticing before the collection was valued.
9 Douglas Wielinski's Yankee Rookie Cards - $2.4 million
Douglas Wielinski's collection was said to have contained 10 1952 Yankees Mickey Mantle rookie cards that could have been worth up to $3 million, but it was all lost when a plane hit his home.
The family went on to sue the airline for the loss of this memorabilia and a settlement was reached a few years later, but this is still considered to be one of the biggest losses to sports memorabilia collecting, since there must have been an impressive story behind the fact that Wielinski owned 10 of these rare cards.
8 Hector Santiago's Sports Memorabilia Collection
Hector Santiago may be a sports star himself, but that hasn't stopped him from asking a number of his teammates for their signed jerseys over the years. He is fondly known as "Hector The Collector" by his friends. The Star Tribune estimates that there are 850 autographed items in his home, including roughly 300 baseball jerseys, close to 100 bats, 50 pairs of shoes.
Santiago started his collection back in 2014 when he lost a bid on Albert Pujols autographed spikes. He casually approached his teammate the following day and told him he tried to buy his shoes, which he found hilarious and then told him that he would give him a pair. Santiago has no inventory of his collection so its value is unknown.
7 Barry Halper's Record Collection - $21.8 million
Barry Halper was noted to be one of the biggest sports memorabilia collectors in the world. Halper had been collecting for most of his life and Major League Baseball even acquired a portion of his collection back in 1998 and donated them to the Hall of Fame.
The following year, Halper gained a record $21.8 million dollars from a weeklong auction at Sotheby's. The collector amassed more than 80,000 items throughout his time as a collector and many of these items have since been bought by Major League Baseball and many other collectors around the world.
6 Jim Ancel's Babe Ruth Collection
Jim Ancel was part of Secret Lives of the Super Rich back in 2016 when he showed off his multi-million dollar collection, which includes a number of Babe Ruth items. This also includes his bat, which has eight notches in it that signify his eight home runs. This is worth over a million dollars alone. Ruth's hat is worth $20,000.
Jim himself stated that he doesn't collect for financial gain. Instead, he likes to spend money on these items so that he can wear and use them. His collection is estimated to be around $2 million.
5 Rick Probstein's Collection - $15 million
Rick Probstein's love of baseball started when he was just nine years old when he started selling his baseball cards at the flea market. Just two years later he became Delaware’s largest baseball card dealer after his father bought the inventory of a shop in their hometown.
More than three decades later, Rick is now eBay's largest seller of collectible items and sells around $15 million worth of baseball cards, sports memorabilia, and other collectibles a year. Probstein has created his own business and even employs 15 people now to help him to sell his memorabilia.
4 Ian Wright's former collection - £7 million
Ian Wright is remembered as one of the most popular footballers in the world after his time at Arsenal, but the striker also managed to collect a number of items throughout a time as a footballer, including signed shirts, goal of the month trophies and his This Is Your Life red book.
These items were all brought anonymously when Wright's wife failed to keep up with her storage payments on their lockup in Orlando. The collection was repossessed and has since been sold at auction, which has left the former footballer heartbroken.
3 Charlie Sheen's Babe Ruth Collection - $4.4 million
Charlie Sheen may be famous in his own right, but he spent his money wisely when he purchased Baseball legend Babe Ruth's 1927 World Series ring and the original copy of the document selling Ruth to the Yankees from the Boston Red Sox in 1919.
Sheen decided to sell these items on last year and managed to amass a total of more than $4 million for the two items. Ruth's ring went for an impressive $2,093,927, which broke the record for an athletes Championship ring at auction since Julius Erving's 1974 ABA championship ring went for $460,741 in 2011.
2 Rob Mitchell's Sports Memorabilia Collection
Rob Mitchell is a long time collector of sports memorabilia and rose to fame back in 2001 when he purchased Shoeless Joe Jackson's famous Black Betsy baseball bat for a record price of $577,610 making it the most expensive bat ever sold.
This was just another addition to Rob's already impressive collection, but it's reported that the former owner of the item wasn't happy with the price since he expected to receive much more from auction, while Rob himself thought he got a bargain considering the history Jackson made with that bat.
1 Lorenzo Fertitta's Impressive Collection
Lorenzo Fertitta and his brother Frank have been collecting artwork and sports memorabilia for most of their lives, and it's thought that it was a trait that both boys gained from their father. But despite this, it wasn't until 2012 that Fertitta purchased boxing legend's Muhammed Ali's gloves from his 1965 fight with against Floyd Patterson for $1.1 million.
Ali was known affectionately as the sports personality of the century and many believe that the price of these gloves was much cheaper than expected given the fact that he had such an impact on the sporting world.