Sports Trading/Collect Cards/autographed baseball

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Question
My grandpa was a bat boy for the brooklyn dodgers when Jackie Robinson was first signed and for a few years after that.  Because of this he was able to get autographs from the entire team on baseballs, and eventually passed them down to me.  I am looking into selling a few of them now and I was told by a local sports memorabilia store that they were worthless because he varnished the baseballs after getting the autographs.  They offered me $50 for them but I said no, I am pretty sure they were just trying to swindle me with that.  So my question is, does the varnish ruin the value?  All of the names are crisp and since i got them I have kept them all in individual ball displays and have never taken them out or handled them by hand.  

secondly, where would a good place be to get these appraised and put on auction, or should I avoid auction and sell some other way?

thanks

Answer
John,
  Yes, they are worth substantially more than you were offered. And yes the varnish does lower the potential value significantly. That being said, Autographed team baseballs from the Dodgers with Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella, that are varnished should be worth between $1,000.00 and $4,000.00 each. That is a wide range, but it has to be as I have not seen the balls. It depends on condition and how many of the current team actually signed.
 I am on the road right now and can not look up any phone numbers for you right now, but You might look up Joshua Evans at "Lelands" Auctions. He is a good place to go for New York items. Check him out on the internet and make sure you are comfortable with he and his business. And see what he would put as an auction estimate. My estimates are from experience of a few years back, his estimates would be current.
 On these kind of items, my first thought would be they would get the best price at auction, but you have to make that call.
Good luck with your wonderful items. Also any Dodger clothing would be of extreme interest to any collector.

Sports Trading/Collect Cards

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Bob Livingston

Expertise

I can answer questions about Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and Football cards printed before 1980. Also I can answer some questions about pre-1980 Sports Memorabilia, autographs, and Unlimited Hydroplane racing and memorabilia. I also can answer questions about pathological collecting and hoarding. And questions about liquidating collections and hoards.

Experience

My brother and myself have been dealers and price setters in antiques, sport cards, Unlimited Hydroplane racing and local Pacific Northwest sports cards and memorabilia. We were owners of University Trading Co. and U-Trading Cards (In Seattle Washington) from 1980 until retirement in 2006. 35 years of experience as consultant with medical professionals for compulsive behavior and collecting. 20 years experience as consultant for insurance companies specializing in collectibles and sports memorabilia.

Organizations
Washington State Sports Collectors Association

Publications
Pricing information on Baseball cards, Basketball card and Football cards was supplied to Jim Beckett by myself and my brother for inclusion in his price guides.

Education/Credentials
I have made hundreds of thousands of deals in the collecting field. And in so doing I have made lots of mistakes. I remember some of my good deals and all of my mistakes. General Education: St. Martins University 1979, University of Washington 1983, Ho Chi Minh University

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