Women’s Professional Basketball Collection

Value (2013) | $4,000 Insurance
Watch  

APPRAISER:
Your mother has had a fascinating life. You have to tell us about her.

GUEST:
Well, she started playing basketball when she was in school and went on to play a lot because there was nothing in Kamrar, Iowa, to do. And so when she graduated, she went to AIB in Des Moines and started playing with Hazel Walker. She was actually drafted-- which the letter says--for the Red Heads, All-American Red Heads. In the off-season, they all had to make money, so Mom, because she was--like, she went for Miss Chicago and things like that--she became a professional model. She just had a double career. And when they got finished modeling, she would go back to playing ball.

APPRAISER:
What time period is this?

GUEST:
I think it's the late '40s. I know she quit like two years before I was born. And so it went into the early '50s, I think. But she always told us that these were the best years of her life. And she always kept the friends until of course they passed on, and many have.

APPRAISER:
And when did your mom pass away, what year?

GUEST:
2005.

APPRAISER:
This collection is all from your mother's career as a pro-basketball player and as a model. Your mother was one of the pioneers who laid the foundation for women's sports as we see it today with the WNBA. This is your mom in her Pepsi-Cola outfit when she played in the national tournament. And that brought her attention to the Red Heads, which is the poster we have up here, and there is your mom over there. And this is the letter that Mr. Olsen sent her asking her to join the Red Heads. The Red Heads were formed in 1936, and the Olsens owned a string of beauty salons, so it seemed that you had to have two things going for you: you had to be a great basketball player, and you had to be fabulous looking, and your mom obviously was both. In those days, professional sports for both men and women were not glamorous. They traveled by station wagon. There were only seven on a team. They played more than 200 games a year. Think about that. NBA players play 80 games a year. They traveled all 50 states. Did she have any stories from this period?

GUEST:
Well, of course, all of her friends, they did stay connected and she even taught my son how to play basketball. Actually, she kind of taught him some of the things not to do that you can get away with, like stepping on their foot while they're going up for a jump shot or something.

APPRAISER:
Of course, for you, it's priceless.

GUEST:
It is.

APPRAISER:
Archivally, it's fantastic because it gives a glimpse into an era of basketball and women's sports that we don't see. But again, your mom was a pioneer who helped lay the foundation. I would put an insurance value of $4,000 on these pieces.

GUEST:
Oh my goodness, okay. That sounds awesome.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Leila Dunbar Appraisals & Consulting, LLC
Washington, DC
Appraised value (2013)
$4,000 Insurance
Event
Baton Rouge, LA (July 27, 2013)
Period
1940s
Form
Archive
Material
Paper

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.