Can the Phillies make you rich?

PHILADELPHIA - October 22, 2009 Their stock is at an all time high when it comes to collectibles.

"Whenever a team is having great success, like the Phillies, there's always a spike in interest in the memorabilia," said Dan Imler of Hunt Auctions.

Every win brings more value, and prices could really spike if the Phils become the first back-to-back World Series winner in a decade.

Even the older stuff is catching the wave.

A Mike Schmidt model bat, signed by Mike Schmidt (and he actually cracked it during a game) could fetch upwards of $2,000.

"If you had a game-used bat or a game-used jersey from a player, something like that has great investment potential."

Even something as simple and plentiful as a rally towel will gain in value over the years. So, hang onto them. But, if you're going for the big ticket items, don't get carried away by your enthusiasm for the team.

"People get so caught up in the euphoria of it, they want to have a 'signed this' or a piece of memorabilia or something. It's prime territory for the bad guys," said Sports Memorabilia Expert Ted Taylor.

As always, it's buyer beware. It's easy to make forgeries of autographed baseballs and bats, so you've got to make sure it's been authenticated and comes with a matching certificate.

Even if you do get the real thing, remember that today's hot market could eventually cool off.

"A signed baseball, for example, could get $150 or more. Ryan Howard's now hot, so it's probably two-and-a-half," said Taylor. "It's the timing on the thing."

So, If you're collecting just for the love of the team, no problem.

But, if you're planning to make a killing later, don't bet the kids' college fund.




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