I do a bit of memorabilia collecting, and this fascinates me beyond comprehension. By leaps and bounds, the most popular Padres player ever is Tony Gwynn… or is he? SCP Auctions just had an amazing set of memorabilia that recently ended. They had a handful of Padres items up for auction. I show the winning bids in the screengrab above. There were 3 autographed game-used Gwynn jerseys, one autographed game-used Gwynn helmet, and a rather random 1970 game-used from a coach by the name of Dave Garcia. Two things to note about that random jersey, it’s the 2nd year of the Padres in MLB, and the jersey is no. 2. Even though it’s obviously not a Jerry Coleman jersey, he did wear number 2 as manager for the Padres.
Let me do the math for you on the above auction items… for 3 Gwynn jerseys, a helmet, and a 1970 jersey, the total sale price for all of them was ~ $4,020. The total sale price for one Rickey Henderson signed game-used jersey was $5,777. That’s a difference of $1,757. Does anybody else find that fascinating? Somebody paid $1,757 more for ONE Rickey Henderson Padres jersey than multiple people did for three Gwynn jerseys, a Gwynn helmet, and a 1970 Padres jersey. Incredible.
Listen, I understand the legend that is Rickey Henderson. A national legend, not just a San Diego legend. He’s played everywhere. Oakland (four times), San Diego (twice), Toronto, Anaheim, Seattle, LA, Boston, NY (both teams). Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci wrote an article in 2003, quoting Trevor Hoffman, “I don’t know how to put into words how fortunate I was to spend time around one of the icons of the game, I can’t comprehend that yet. Years from now, though, I’ll be able to say I played with Rickey Henderson, and I imagine it will be like saying I played with Babe Ruth.” (Btw, Babe Ruth watch up for auction by SCP as well… it went for a cool $650MIL) Rickey Henderson is a larger than life baseball legend, and he wore a Padres jersey for a few years. Still was fascinating to see how much more money was spent on him as a Padre than Mr. Padre himself.
So, what’s all this say about San Diego collectors? We’re cheap? Maybe. More likely is just that it says more about the collectors market nationally… even globally. People don’t care about San Diego if they’re not in San Diego… simple as that. Maybe. Who knows, but I’ve enjoyed pondering it.