When it comes to baseball memorabilia, there are few names more iconic than Willie Mays. The legendary outfielder was a key member of the New York Giants dynasty in the 1950s and is widely considered one of the greatest players in MLB history. A signed Willie Mays baseball is therefore a highly sought-after item, with prices depending on a number of factors.
Generally speaking, a Willie Mays signed baseball is worth anywhere from $500 to $5,000. The condition of the ball, as well as the quality of the signature, are both major determinants in determining value. balls that have been autographed by Mays in recent years are typically worth less than those signed by him during his playing days.
Of course, some signed Willie Mays baseballs have sold for much higher sums. In 2016, for example, one ball autographed by the Say Hey Kid himself went for an impressive $22,705 at auction. So if you happen to have a Willie Mays signed baseball in your collection, it could be worth quite a bit of money!
Willie Mays is one of the greatest baseball players of all time, so it’s no surprise that his autographed baseballs are worth a lot of money. Depending on the condition of the ball and the signature, a Willie Mays signed baseball can be worth anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these balls, make sure to keep it in a safe place!
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How Much is a Willie Mays Signed Baseball Worth
When it comes to the value of a Willie Mays signed baseball, there are a few factors that come into play. First and foremost is the condition of the ball. A ball that is in mint condition, with Mays’ signature looking as clear and crisp as the day it was signed, is going to be worth more than a ball that has been well-played and is starting to show some wear and tear.
Secondly, where and when the ball was signed can also affect its value. A ball that was signed at an event like an autograph signing or during a private meeting is going to be worth more than one that was simply mailed in for an autograph. Finally, how many other signatures are on the ball can also impact its value.
A ball with just Mays’ signature is going to be worth more than one that has been signed by several other players as well.
How Many Willie Mays Signed Baseballs are There
Willie Mays is a retired professional baseball player who spent the majority of his 22-season career playing for the New York/San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, and his uniform number 24 is retired by both the Giants and the MLB. In 1999, he was voted onto Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team.
Mays signed his first professional contract with the Giants in 1950, and he made his major league debut just two years later. Throughout his career, he appeared in 24 All-Star Games and won two World Series titles with the Giants. He was also named National League MVP twice (1954 and 1965) and won 12 Golden Glove Awards.
Since retiring from baseball in 1973, Willie Mays has worked as a special assistant to the San Francisco Giants organization. In this role, he works with Giant players on their hitting techniques and serves as a goodwill ambassador for the team. He also makes occasional public appearances on behalf of various charities.
Given all that he’s accomplished during his lifetime, it’s no surprise that Willie Mays memorabilia is highly sought after by collectors. His autograph is especially popular, and baseballs signed by him are some of the most valuable items on the market today.
That’s tough to say for sure since there’s no central database tracking such things. However, based on sales data from major auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s, as well as private dealers specializing in sports memorabilia, it’s estimated that there are between 500 and 1,000 Willie Mays signed baseballs in existence.* And considering that those balls typically sell for tens of thousands of dollars each (if not more), it’s safe to say that they’re quite rare indeed!
*It should be noted that these estimates only apply to official Major League Baseballs (i.e., balls used in actual games).
Who Has the Most Expensive Willie Mays Signed Baseball
Willie Mays is a retired professional baseball player who played the majority of his 22-season career in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the New York/San Francisco Giants, before finishing his career with the New York Mets. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979, his first year of eligibility.
Mays signed his first professional contract with the Giants in 1951 for $4,000 ($41,600 today), and made his MLB debut later that year.
Throughout his career, he was paid relatively modestly compared to other superstars of his era; at its peak from 1965 to 1972, his annual salary never exceeded $130,000 ($850,000 today). In 1952, Mays received a raise of $500 to $5,500 ($54,700 today); after he won Rookie of the Year honors, he was given another raise to $7,500 ($79,100 today). In 1958 he reached a high point in salary when he signed a three-year contract for $85,000 per year – roughly equal to Mickey Mantle’s salary at the time.
In terms of raw dollars adjusted for inflation as of 2018 dollars Willie Mays falls somewhere in between Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb on this list. The most expensive Willie Mays signed baseball according to public sale records is currently held by Heritage Auctions and sold for $191,200 on August 3rd 2018. The ball was originally purchased at a 1982 auction for just over double what it went for 36 years later.
While there are many private collectors with much more valuable items in their portfolios it’s unlikely that any one person holds all 10 of these items simultaneously so we can say with some certainty that Heritage Auctions currently has possession of the most expensive Willie Mays signed baseball.
If you’re lucky enough to have a Willie Mays signed baseball, you may be wondering how much it’s worth. Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer, as the value depends on a number of factors including the condition of the ball, where and when it was signed, and whether or not Mays inscribed anything on it. In general, however, a Willie Mays signed baseball is worth anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.