Autographed Bats: Tips for Collecting

Autographed bats are unique collectibles and can be a great display piece. Bats are one of the most recognizable pieces of equipment as even non-sports fans identify a bat with the sport of baseball.

While fans can collect a variety of autographed bat models and sizes, most are usually either brown or black. On light brown bats, most collectors prefer a blue or black signature.  Silver or gold is generally the choice of most for black or dark brown bats. The best item to use when obtaining a signature on a bat is a medium-sized tip Sharpie marker. These dry quickly and present a clear, bold signature when the player takes his time.

Because bats are somewhat large, many collectors avoid them. However, their size can actually be an advantage. Bats can hold a good number of signatures and are perfect for collectors who like team-signed items. The barrel of a bat can hold an entire 25-man roster of a baseball team and is a more attractive option than a team-signed baseball.

Game Used Bats

game used batsFans can also collect autographed game-used bats. These types of bats generally display some wear, but many collectors feel that it offers a more authentic-looking feel. Authenticity, of course, can be an issue. But there are great sources from which a collector can purchase authentic bats including eBay. Professional Sports Authenticator  and MEARS are two bat authentication companies.

Display Options

While significantly larger than other items such as photographs or baseballs, when displayed properly, autographed bats can be perfect in a setting such as a game room or office. Bats can be stored or displayed in a variety of options.

A rectangular glass case can be placed on a desk or stand, allowing the bat to be easily seen while keeping it out of the hands of guests or children. Bats can also be displayed on a shelf out of reach. UV-coated glass is the best option as that will block out most of the light, which can cause a signature to fade. Some of these display options can be rather costly, but there are less expensive choices available. For display, a clear plastic case can be used. However, while this more inexpensive than a glass case, it may not protect the signature as well as light will get through.

Storage

If storage is the only concern and the bat does not need to be displayed for guests to view, a good affordable option is a triangular or circular cardboard mailing tube. The tube will keep light away from signatures and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

Bats, unfortunately, cost significantly more than other signed items such as balls or photographs - a good player model bat can cost more than $100.00. But when autographed and displayed in the appropriate setting, they make for excellent display pieces.

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