Autographed Sports memorabilia has lost a lot of value in recent years.
One of the main problems is that there is more fake autographs out there than real ones. There are scam artist faking items for a living. There are relatives and friends of famous players who have perfected the signatures of their player to near perfection and are making livings selling fakes. A relative a Joe DiMaggio has made a fortune selling signatures that they have signed themselves. Also, it has become a sport in China scam people in the US out of money. Large Companies in China make Huge Money by coping nearly everything of value in the US to sell to us here in the US under a con of false claims that they are real.
This has caused many collectors to totally lose interest in collecting.
With autographed baseballs true value will come from several factors:
#1 Who Signed the Ball - The Bigger the Name the More Value
#2 The quality and Clarity of the signature - The Better the signature the more value
#3 Does it have a Certificate of Authentication - all collectors want quality certificates
#4 Who did the Certificate - Only a handful of Authentication companies are accepted
Only when all these factors are perfect does a baseball have high collector value.
If any of these 4 factors are missing or of bad quality - value is almost gone.
There are only 3-5 certification companies that are accepted by everyone and greatly increase the value of the items that are certified.
The problem is that these few companies charge between $100-1,000 per signature to authenticate and because there are so many fakes out there even these companies do not authenticate much anymore. Even they know that almost all signatures are fake and they are very reluctant to put their name on a cert.
The bad thing is that even if a Certification Company Declines your autographed piece and will not authenticate a signature for you they will still charge you the $100 - 1,000.00 with No refunds. I know this because I have lost lots of money with items that are KNOW are real - but, they will not authenticate. They still charged my charge Thousands.
This is why autographs with certificates are worth much more money.
If you have good clean signatures of key players and/or teams with top quality certs - You may have some big money in your memorabilia. These are the rare collectibles that collectors are looking for.