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Photo Signed by Broadway Joe a Bit Expensive

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
February 14, 2005

Dear Babe: I have a photo signed by Joe Namath when the Jets won the Super Bowl.
Paul Svetik, Palmerton, Pa.

I assume this is a game-action shot or a picture taken right after that historic win that was signed much later. An 8x10 photo of Namath is worth around $80-$100, said Mike Breeden, a Sports Collectors Digest columnist and autograph expert. Even though Namath charges between $150 and $225 to sign a flat item at a show, Breeden said there are more than enough photos out there from the days when he charged must less, and he's a willing signer at events other than card shows, Breeden added.

Dear Babe: I have a Larry Bird jersey that he signed. I purchased it back in 1988 or 1989 at a Cam Neely Make-A-Wish charity event. It is framed. I also have a basketball signed by the 1992 Boston Celtics.
Jerry Miele, Deerfield Beach, Fla.

There are jerseys and then there are jerseys. Aside from whether it's a regular jersey (home or away) or a special jersey, the key to value is whether it is game used. A regular jersey signed by the Hall of Famer is worth $300-$400, said Phil Castinetti of Sportsworld in Everett, Mass., a suburb of Boston. The value skyrockets to $3,000-$5,000 if it's game-used. As for the basketball, Castinetti said it is worth $300-$400.

Dear Babe: I have a 1997-98 UD3 Season Ticket Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway autographed card. It was worth $500 when he was still in his prime. Now that his career is fading, I am sure the value is too.
Ruben Medina, Riverside

Hardaway's fading career aside, most of these autographed and game-used cards decline in value. They're hot when new, but are almost always quickly surpassed when the next product line hits the market. says your card is still in the $75-$150 range. However, I'd be surprised to see it sell for that much in online auctions.

Dear Babe: I purchased four tickets to Richard Petty's last NASCAR race. I kept two of them that are unused.
Bob Gardner, Dacula, Ga.

King Richard's last race was Nov. 15, 1992, at the Hooter's 500 at Atlanta Speedway. Petty lasted just 95 laps before he was caught in a multi-car crash in which his car caught fire. That led to Petty's going away quip about going in a blaze of glory, but not one in which the car burned. I'd say they might be worth $50-$100 each to a Petty or diehard NASCAR fan.

Dear Babe: I have a few cards that I know little about. They include Dwight Evans (No. 7) and Reggie Jackson (12). These are from 1983 and say "3rd Annual Collectors Edition." I also have a Jackie Jensen and Ernie Banks 1975 Topps card (196). This card is for most valuable players for 1958. I also have a Ted Williams 1989 Super Stars J.J Nissen card (20).
Steve Johnson, Merrimack, N.H.

It looks like the 1975 Topps MVP card featuring Jensen and Banks is the most valuable. It lists for $3. The Ted Williams J.J. Nissen card from 1989 is worth $2. Cashman's card is an insert that might be worth $1. The Jackson and Evans cards are from the 1983 Drake's Big Hitters set. Drake's Bakeries and Topps hooked up from 1981 through 1988 for cards that were on panels. Six of the sets had 33 cards and featured sluggers. In 1985 (44 cards) and 1986 (37cards), some pitchers were also included. The cards were on the backs of various Drake's snack products. You'll find cards from sets such as Drake's and Nissen in Beckett's Almanac of Baseball Cards and the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest.

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About the author
Bill Wagner is a veteran journalist with 37 years in the newspaper business as well as being a former Army combat correspondent in Vietnam. He developed the Babe Waxpak sports card column in the 1980s and took over authorship in 1993, expanding into sports memorabilia and autographs as well as answering questions on cards.

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