(CBS) — The passing of Cubs great Ernie Banks is prompting some fans to seek out his baseball memorabilia. There’s plenty of stuff on eBay, but experts say the not as much as you might think because as CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports people with the good stuff are hoarding it.
A signed baseball by the legendary Ernie Banks was worth about $75 before his passing and according to Michael Osacky, it it’s now up to $140-$150.
Osacky makes his living appraising, collecting and selling baseball memorabilia. He got Banks to sign a baseball a few years ago and says it is, “not for sale.”
Osacky says he’s not alone.
“I’m talking to a lot of clients these past couple of days and they’re telling me they’re not selling these items,” he said. “They’re holding on them as memories.”
And thousands may have memories of getting Mr. Cub’s autograph.
“He was very visible, he was always at the ballparks, he was at shows signing autographs and when he would see people, fans he would not only shake their hands, but he’d be very interest in their stories,” said Osacky.
Osacky believes the ball Banks hit to mark his history making 500th home run belongs to a private collector in New York and it’s not for sale.
Now you will find lots of Ernie Banks items on eBay, especially baseball cards, but the good stuff, personalized balls, the signed rookie card, authentic jerseys, signed programs are a little tougher because people like Osacky are hoarding them.
“I feel like the memories I had with him are all over this baseball and I could just never part with it,” Osacky.
If you find some more sought after items, expect to pay. Ernie Banks’ 1954 rookie baseball could cost you more than thousand dollars.
A jersey that Banks wore during a game in the late 1960’s recently sold for $30,000.