Sports Memorabilia Investments - a Thin Line Separates a Home Run From a Strike Out

The Thrilla in Manila,’ the fight of the century as it was called pitted two giants of world boxing against each other in Manila, Philippines in 1975. Joe Frazier was looking to unseat Muhammed Ali and claim the word heavyweight title. Muhammed Ali seeking to win what many considered was the decider between the two. The hype and animus between the two was at a fever pitch, even more so because Muhammed Ali, as was his habit, had tried to break Frazier’s calm and make him angry by calling him a Gorilla, and had even come up with an insulting taunt “It will be a killa and a thrilla and a chilla when I get the Gorilla in Manila.”

What ensued was fourteen long rounds of gut pounding mayhem, midway through the bout Ali has supposed to have told his trainer “Man, this is the closest I've ever been to dying." A sentiment shared by ‘smokin’ Joe Frazier who was fighting blind by round thirteen. At the end of the brutal fourteenth round Frazier’s coach, Edie Futch, stepped in and ended the fight, unbeknownst to Frazier's corner at the end of the same round Ali instructed his corner men to cut his gloves off, but his coach ignored him, thereby handing the victory to Ali. Ali would later tell his biographer Thomas Hauser, "Frazier quit just before I did, I didn't think I could fight anymore."

Neither would ever be the same again.

So how much would you pay to own the boxing gloves worn by Ali or Frazier that day. What would its worth be to a collector today? – ‘Priceless.’

A funny word that, the term priceless tends to come into play when the historic or sentimental value of an object far outweighs its intrinsic value. An object whose worth truly lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Sports Memorabilia falls into this category. A jersey worn by Magic Johnson, a baseball signed by Roger Clemens, a helmet initialled by Marino, all these would usually evoke a sense of nostalgia in us, reminding us of a youth spent worshipping the titans of the playing field, and our dreams of emulating and/or even surpassing their prowess. Most of us would remember collecting baseball cards or trying for autographs, leaning over the parapet or lining the stairs trying to catch the eye of our favourite as he/she came striding down like the colossus they seemed to us.