Tips For Preserving Sports Memorabilia
Preserving a baseball or any other memorabilia for that matter is due to collectibility, the monetary or sentimental value isn’t difficult, but does take some investment in terms of a storage medium and safe practices to ensure longevity but also quality. But it isn’t as easy as buying a case and throwing it in there.
Want to keep your collectible baseball in as good of quality as it deserves? Here are 5 tips for preserving a baseball.
You Can Show Class With Glass Displays, But It Takes Care
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For both preserving and also displaying a baseball, whether it’s an autographed or another collectible ball, one of the best methods is storing it in a glass display. The size of your collection isn’t really a barrier, as there are glass displays for single balls all the way up to large, custom museum-caliber baseball displays.
Glass or Plastic requires occasional cleaning as glass picks up lint, dirt and other detritus easily. So if you aren’t good with dusting and cleaning every week or so, it’s not the best pick. We did find a very cool trick to solve this issue – take some dryer machine lint and rub it on the case. The dust will magically avoid this area when falling.
Acrylic Baseball Displays Can Offer As Good A Viewing For Less
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However, if you aren’t an institutional-grade collector, acrylic baseball displays can offer all the benefits of a glass display, but at lower cost and without the same amount of hassle.
Cleaning is still required periodically, of course, but the requisite frequency – depending on the quality of the acrylic or Plexiglass – may be diminished compared to glass displays. However, do be sure to select an acrylic or plexiglass display that can be cleaned without leaving the residue of cleaning product. You want to see the baseball, not Windex or other cleaners.
Also be sure to consider your living situation. Do you have a whole room you can dedicate to sports memorabilia? If you don’t, then acrylic or plexiglass displays are far more ideal, making them one of the best choices for the typical person. Some displays, especially those in cube form like the Ball Qube, can be stackable, minimizing the amount of requisite space. You’d be surprised how large a collection can fit in a small space with the right display.
Minimizing UV Exposure Is Crucial
Whatever storage method you pick, what you have to look for over any other aspect is UV protection. Glass, Plexiglass, and clear acrylics all can offer protection from ultraviolet light, but the degree of protection depends heavily on the quality of the material in question. If a glass display doesn’t protect your collectibles from UV light at all it’s worthless; if a Plexiglass display can keep it looking vibrant and attractive for decades, it’s brilliant.
This is especially true if your collection includes autographed baseballs. UV rays cause yellowing and decay of a baseball and signatures that aren’t protected from UV rays go from readable and meaningful – or more to the point, valuable – to worthless in short order.
So, unless the baseball in question is going to be locked in the dark virtually all of the time…make sure that your baseball display offers UV protection.
Store Safely And Away From Direct Sunlight
While a case that offers UV protection is certainly a requisite, you also need to make sure that your collection is stored in a safe manner and away from direct sunlight. Just because you wear sunscreen doesn’t mean you won’t burn or can’t get melanoma, UV protection is only part of keeping your collectibles safe from the ravages of sunlight.
Therefore, one of the best steps in preserving a baseball is to keep it stored out of direct sunlight.
Additionally, you’ll also want to store it somewhere safe. A single baseball on a shelf is okay but isn’t necessarily best stored on a shelf that you frequently pick things up from and place them back on with great frequency. Keep collectibles out of high-traffic areas.
If you have small children, make sure that your baseballs are stored away from where they regularly walk or play, and well above their reach. Many children are able to reach countertops before 2 years of age, so bear that well in mind.
Handle With Care…But Enjoy!
When preserving a baseball collection or a few memorabilia balls, it’s best to handle them as infrequently as possible. In fact, it’s best to put them in a case and never touch them again if at all possible. However, there are going to be times when you want to hold it in your hands – just make sure you handle with care.
Clean your hands first, and to prevent the natural oils of your skin from marring the surface of the ball, only touch the stitches if at all possible.
But also, take the time to enjoy them! Part of a collection is having something that you admire, an item that’s desirable or an item that has great sentimental value to you. Take time to enjoy it. But make sure you do what you can to ensure that it lasts.