Costco is promoting a baseball signed by Babe Ruth. Simply don’t count on it in bulk.

If you are in the sports memorabilia market, then you should turn to Costco. Yes, Costco.

The members-only wholesaler, known for its grocery and detergent bargains, sells a baseball signed by Babe Ruth on its website for $ 64,000.

Costco describes it as “one of the loveliest signed Babe Ruth Home Run specialty balls ever made available to the public, and overall one of the loveliest signed Babe Ruth balls in existence.” Costco listed another ball signed by the Sultan of Swat for $ 30,000 in May.

The concept appears to be a move away from the Costco brand and offering customers cheap staple foods. Not so, said Andrew Lipsman, an analyst at research firm eMarketer.

“It’s not entirely atypical for Costco to sell high-ticket items,” he said, noting that the company sold furniture and engagement rings, sometimes for hundreds of thousands of dollars. “I feel like this is kind of an experiment with high-ticket items and see what will sell.”

Mr. Lipsman added that this could be a sign that the company is gearing up for a growing market. “Sports memorabilia have skyrocketed over the past year,” he said.

Indeed, the PWCC 500, an index of the top 500 trading cards, hit a record high in June and has continued to rise. Experts attribute this to the purchasing power of baby boomers, millennials entering the market and increasing interest from foreigners, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Costco declined to comment on this article.

Baseball collectibles often fetch the highest prices. A Ruth jersey was sold for $ 5.67 million at auction in 2019.

In addition to 27 other articles in the “Sports Memorabilia” section on its website, Costco also sells a bat signed by Ty Cobb. The bat, which Costco describes as “extremely rare and very valuable”, bears the inscription “Sincerely” and is dated “03/14/49”. It is priced at $ 160,000.

Both sales end on January 31st.

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