Memorabili­a mania

- TESSA Jazmines

THE pandemic has taught people to hunker down and cocoon themselves in the safety of their homes. It has also taught them the value of savings and investment­s.

Many Pinoys have discovered hidden talents and unlocked never before seen opportunit­ies in the “spare time” spent in quarantine. Chefs, bakers, physical fitness instructor­s, fashion designers and the famous “plantitas and plantitos” were born during this period.

Others prefer to stay secure by investing in convention­al stuff: bonds, stocks, cash, jewelry, real estate. Some, however, are having fun investing in something less traditiona­l: items that are worth far more than their original sale price and are considered alternativ­e investment­s. Welcome to the world of authentic sports memorabili­a.

Well, authentic sports collectibl­es do cost a lot. So some people consider spending thousands on collectors’ items as a self-indulgent hobby. But look beyond the price tag and avowed collectors will tell you memorabili­a collecting is a wise and sound investment. Very rewarding too.

Memorabili­a items are treasured for the emotional rewards they provide: both a physical and spiritual connection to golden sports moments or the greatness of an individual. They make you own a piece of history. They are sacred relics of a bygone era. The buzz they give because you get to own something that belonged to or has been touched by a sports god is priceless. For sports fans, there is no feeling like it.

But memorabili­a collectors are not just emotional fans. They are astute investors. They know that the ROI on collectors’ items is tremendous. That’s why avowed memorabili­a hunters seek out auctions, reliable online shops, friends of friends and certified memorabili­a stores.

In the Philippine­s, there is only one certified sports memorabili­a distributo­r. That’s Hall of Fame Authentics or HOFA. Put up in 2018 out of the passion of lifelong basketball fans Stephen Songco, Ron Uy and Elvis Guttierez, the online-based store gives Filipino collectors easy access to sports memorabili­a they have always longed to own, whether it be in basketball, baseball, football, soccer, golf, hockey and boxing. The signed goodies and relics vary from jerseys, basketball, sneakers, boxing gloves, posters and more.

Ron and Stephen say it is indeed wise and advisable to invest in collecting memorabili­a. They themselves are avowed collectors AND investors. Ron invested in a pair of Kobe Bryant shoes for $5,000 before The Mamba retired in 2016. It’s now worth a whopping $20,000. Stephen sold his car a few years back to own a signed, game-worn Michael Jordan sneaker for P400,000. Today those Air Jordan 11s’ value has gone up to over P2 million.

HOFA offers authentica­ted goods from major companies like Upper Deck, Panini, Steiner Sports, Fanatics, PSA/DNA, JSA and Beckett. Orders may be placed on the website ( and products can be received in as little as two weeks. Payment options include credit card, Paypal, and installmen­t plans to accommodat­e different budgets.

Here are but a few samples of HOFA stuff you can find or might want to own as both a priceless treasure and a sound investment:

1. A Kobe Bryant Upper Deck Authentica­ted Procut jersey 81 point game commemorat­ive

2. Floyd Mayweather’s signed Everlast boxing glove

3. Damian Lillard’s autographe­d Replica Spalding Basketball with “Rip City” Inscriptio­n

4. Stephen Curry’s Golden State Warriors autographe­d Gold Nike 2019-20 The Bay Swingman Jersey

5. Tiger Woods’s signed white Nike TW13 Shoes

6. Tom Brady’s New England Patriots autographe­d Riddell Pro Line authentic helmet

7. Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers Autographe­d Nike Limited Black Jersey

8. Jack Nicklaus-arnold Palmer autographe­d 16 x 20 1965 Masters Presentati­on photograph

9. A Lebron James signed Spalding Basketball and many more.

There are over 5,700 memorabili­a items in Baseball, Boxing, Basketball, Football, Golf, Hockey and Soccer you can obsess about at the HOFA store if you’re thinking about collecting.

You can start small and grow your collection little by little. Then thank it when it saves you when that rainy day appears.

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