A veteran collector's advice on sports memorabilia

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
A veteran collector's advice on sports memorabilia
Hall of Fame Authentics owner and managing partner Ron Uy
Instagram / Ron Uy

MANILA, Philippines — As sports fans begin to invest more and more in their respective fanbases, buying signature shoes, basketball cards, and the like, the hobby of collecting sports memorabilia has gotten a shot in the arm.

Buying an athlete's signed jersey, autographed posters, game-worn shoes, or even a commemorative t-shirt or pennant are slowly becoming the ultimate dream of a fan wanting to own a piece of their favorite athlete and team.

But it may be daunting for some newcomers to start their collection, with a lot of questions needing answers — Who do I start with? Where do I even get authentic memorabilia? How am I sure I'm getting my money's worth?

The Philippines' very own Hall of Fame Authentics (HOFA) owner and managing partner Ron Uy, also a veteran collector himself, offers a few tips on how to delve into the niche but special hobby.

Focus on the sport you love

While Uy himself is a rabid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and the late Kobe Bryant, and thus has a wide collection of memorabilia related to the marquee franchise, he says it doesn't always have to be most popular of sports or athletes.

For a collection to be priceless in the eyes of its owner, Uy says there must be a relationship between the collector and the memorabilia they have.

"Pick the sport that you feel a very strong connection to," said Uy.

"Maybe your dad taught you to love the game when you were little, maybe you fell in love with it on your own. Twenty or thirty years later, you still have that same love and passion for [it]. Buy memorabilia items based on that," he added.

Celebrate favorite teams, players

Of course, it's a no-brainer to want to own memorabilia of the teams or athletes that you like.

If you're a die-hard Lakers fan, or a New York Mets fan, or have pledged your allegiance to the likes of great athletes like LeBron James, Tom Brady, Serena Williams, etc., it is only logical to have them at the centerpiece of your collection.

"Owning a thing or two signed by your idol, whoever he or she is, will be a treasure of all time," said Uy.

Be specific in looking for memorabilia

Being in the hobby for many years, Uy knows the nooks and crannies of sports memorabilia, and he knows that not all signed products are the same.

He thus advises those just starting out to be very particular with what they want.

After all, spending your hard-earned money on something like sports memorabilia should reward you with something that pleases you through and through.

"Pick out the [memorabilia] that suits your taste or really speaks to you," said Uy.

"Pay attention to the color, consider the design. Most importantly, look at the price. Do the necessary pros and cons exercise," he added.

Start your own memorabilia collection through Uy's own company HOFA, the only authorized internet retailer of authenticated signed sports memorabilia in the country.

Despite only being launched in 2018, HOFA has a wide range of memorabilia with a vast array of items from various sports like basketball, football, soccer, boxing, and golf.

Check out hofa.ph or their Facebook and Instagram pages for more information about the hobby.

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