While there was certainly other big
news in the world of sports collecting, such as the death of icon
Joe DiMaggio and the huge auction of Barry Halper's historically
significant baseball collection, no single player, team or event
approached the marketability of the U.S. Women.
Because the Women's World Cup was
such a phenomenon, the retailing and collecting worlds were
ill-prepared. Indeed, most of the collectibles and products didnít
even hit the market until after the fact.
Because of this, there are fewer of
the standard collectible items, such as pins, that are normally
produced for big events, and more of a concentration of big ticket
personalized items, such as autographs and equipment.
Months after the World Cup ended,
and after the end of the holiday shopping season, an eBay search for
Mia Hamm produced 86 listings, many from the aforementioned
autograph and memorabilia categories. Signed jerseys were attracting
bids of $175 and up, and autographed photos $40-$50.
There are, however, alternative for
collectors with more modest budgets.
One company, Roox Sports, has
produced two different sets of Women's National Team cards, while
Wheaties has produced cereal boxes featuring eight of the players.
Many magazine covers featured the
Women's team, including Time, Newsweek, People and Sports
Illustrated. In fact, in its entire nearly 50 year history, SI has
only had seven soccer covers, two of those last year featuring the
Women's Team. The first cover appeared the week after the final, and
featured Brandi Chastain's shirt waving celebration. The other
cover, in December featured the team's selection as Sportswomen of
For collectors still interested in
getting a more personal memento of the team, the players are very
accommodating about signing autographs, both following games and at
An interesting area of pursuit for
collectors of the Women's National Team is from the players' college
days. Most of the major soccer schools produce team media guides,
and some of these have turned up on internet auctions.