Taking up a serious hobby like collecting might come off as an intimidating venture at first, especially when you’re talking about hoarding precious items like signed sports memorabilia. Whether it’s the amount of dough you have to fork in or the meticulous safekeeping it entails, there are more than enough reasons to dissuade you from buying that signature-laden Michael Jordan shoe or Kobe Bryant jersey.
Hardcore Los Angeles Lakers fan and co-founder of Hall Of Fame Authentics Ron Uy admits, “Minsan talaga when you’re a fan, you get so crazy about something that you just got to have it. When you think about all the money I spent on sneakers, magkano rin yun, tatlo o apat na pares, sana meron pala kong signed ball. Ganun yung naging mindset ko, so I sold all my sneakers and started focusing on signed memorabilia talaga.”
Hall Of Fame Authentics founders Elvis Gutierrez, Ron Uy and Stephen Songco
It doesn’t matter if you idolize a fringe player like Rick Mahorn or look up to a generational superstar such as LeBron James, there’s always something out in the market to fulfill your guiltiest pleasure. For Uy, he has signed jerseys of former Lakers D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson—now with the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers—that only a diehard of the Purple and Gold would appreciate. Although obviously, those pieces of history aren’t the ones that he is most proud of.
During the recent launch of the one-stop shop of authenticated signed sports memorabilia, Uy gamely shared his Top 5 most prized possessions and their corresponding backstories:
Game-worn Nike Kobe 7
“He’s retired, so you’re not going to get anything in that vein na. Lalo na against the Celtics pa. Yung na-mention ko sa story ko na $5,000, ngayon $18,000 na, that was just a shoe he wore against the Memphis Grizzlies. If you’re a collector and a Laker fan, anong pakilalam ko sa Grizzlies, ang gusto ko Celtics. Kahit sabi nga ng wife ko eh, ‘Lagi mong sinasabi sa’kin 5k, 18k na. Bakit, ibebenta mo ba?’ Wala akong masabi sa kanya eh, ha ha! Cause I’m not going to sell that.”
Kobe Bryant’s 81-point jersey
“When I was lucky enough to buy two of those, wala na ulit akong nakita sa grey market. Nobody’s selling it na. Kasi when you talk Kobe Bryant, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? 81 points.”
Wilt Chamberlain-signed basketball
“I’m not gonna sell it, siyempre ‘Mr. Hundred Points’ yun eh. He also won a championship with the Lakers.”
Dual-signed poster of Kobe and Michael Jordan
“Dati, possible pa yun kasi si Jordan nag-a-accept ng send-in items, signature pwede. Wini-witness ni Upper Deck. Ngayon, ayaw na niya ng ganun. So di mo na magagawa yun.”
Pau Gasol jersey
“The last one, it’s tough. I would say kahit di siya ganun ka-Laker legend, because it’s game-issued, pero hindi niya nagamit for some reason. Maybe iba yung ginamit niya. Meron pa siyang mic pouch that players wear when they’re mic’d up, and ang certificate niya from the Los Angeles Lakers mismo. They donated it to a foundation, and I was lucky enough to purchase it.”
FHM Philippines | John Paulo Aguilera | May 25, 2018