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Marketplace Needs to Determine Value of Jordan Jersey Card

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
February 28, 2005

Dear Babe: I have a 1997 Upper Deck Michael Jordan Jersey (GJ-13) from the 1991-92 All-Star game. I have been unable to get any kind of value for this card. The ungraded version is, I believe, valued at $800 by Beckett. This may well be the only card of this type with a PSA 9 grade. I have tried numerous times to get a value quoted, but the only answer seems to be to put it on eBay and see what happens. That's not exactly great info. By the way, I picked up the card in one of those deals at Kmart that offers older packs in a package.
Dale Craig, Beaumont, S.C.

A quick check of PSA's population report shows that 19 of the cards have been graded. There's one PSA 8 and 18 others that earned a PSA 9 grade. As you note and as is usually the case, the card's value has gone down some since it first appeared in the marketplace. Ungraded, it's listed at $500-$1,000 at I'm not exactly sure how much grading will help the value of this type of card. As Joe Orlando - president of PSA - notes, the grade is for the card itself and not the authenticity of the fabric. Upper Deck has already attested to that. Generally, there's a big difference between the value of a regular card that gets a PSA 9 versus one with a PSA 8.

You're probably not going to like my bottom line here because it mirrors what others have said. Until a card like this sells, no one really knows what the market will be. Further, many times the first card will bring an added premium, but when others are offered - they often sell for less. Then again, if it's an auction and a couple of folks start battling over the card, the sky is sometimes the limit - at least when it comes to comparative selling prices.

Dear Babe: I have a deck of playing cards that says Baseball Aces 1993. There are 53 cards in excellent condition.
Joyce Eske, Central City, Neb.

U.S. Playing Cards produced a number of card sets in the early 1990s featuring Major League players. The Aces sets, which were made up of stars, were issued between 1992 and 1995. The cards generally look the same on the front with the year denoted on the back. You should have 54 cards - a regular 52-card deck along with a couple of jokers. I'd say the set is worth $5-$10. I saw one for sale at the recent San Francisco Tri-Star show with a $10 price tag. Another sold on eBay for $6 with S&H.

Dear Babe: Recently, a friend offered to give me an autographed Washington Senators baseball. Among the signatures that I recognized are Eddie Yost, Jim Busby, Mickey Vernon, Walter Masterson, Gil Coan and Pete Runnels. I am guessing that it is from the late 1940s or early 1950s.
David Waldron, Silver Spring, Md.

You're in the ballpark. We don't have enough names to pin down an exact year, but we know Busby was traded to the Senators in May of 1952 with Masterson coming over a month later. Coan was with the team through 1953. That means it's from 1952 or 1953. I don't think the exact year matters. Both teams finished fifth in the American League. I'd say the ball is worth $200-$400.

Dear Babe: I have a signed Hank Aaron jersey from the 25th anniversary of his 715th home run. It is in a fairly large frame and is numbered 419 of 715. I also have a commemorative ticket signed by Aaron for his 715th home run.
Pat Boggs, Columbus, Ga.

Even though it's not a game-used Aaron jersey, the commemorative piece is still worth $250-$300 because of the framing, said Dean Zindler of Zindler's Sports Collectibles in Norcross, Ga. We're assuming the ticket is a reprint and not one from April 8, 1974. That being the case, it's worth around $75, Zindler said.

Dear Babe: I have a 1938 Wrigley Field World Series program. It has a large baseball with National League and American League pennants on the front with a price of 25 cents. The back has a bat, ball and glove and says "Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs." Nothing is written anywhere on the program. Even the score sheet is clean. Floating heads of each team appear on the pages before and after the scoring sheet section. It is in good condition with no tears.
Carol Tattini, Bloomington, Ill.

Based on your description, I don't think this is the "official" program sold inside the stadium, but rather one of the many bootleg varieties sold outside. Still, it's a vintage World Series item and that translates to value. It's worth around $200, said Brian Marren, vice president of acquisitions for the Auctions in Chicago. An official program would probably command a slight premium.

Dear Babe: I have a souvenir seat cushion from the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. The cover is brown cotton canvas. Some years ago, I removed the stuffing for some reason, which presently escapes me. I may have smelled mildew and knew that I could not eliminate that without damaging the cover. Except for the lack of filling, it is in good condition.
Steve Higbee, Banning, Calif.

The fact that the seat has no filling drops it to the bottom of a $250-$500 range, said David Kohler, president of Sportscards Plus in Laguna Niguel.

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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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