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Stop 'n Go Provided 3-D Football Cards to Consumers

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
July 13, 2005

Dear Babe: I have some football cards that were distributed by Stop 'n Go markets. The football cards were manufactured by Xographs in 1980. There are 48 cards and all are 3-D.
Delbert Thompson, Los Angeles

You've got a complete set of 1980 Stop 'n Go football cards. You must have enjoyed a lot of drinks back then, because customers got one card with each soda fountain beverage purchased at Stop 'n Go or Doty markets. Annual guides from Tuff Stuff and Beckett list your set at $40-$45. While there are players from around the NFL, the set focuses primarily on the Texas teams - The Dallas Cowboys and Houston Oilers. Franco Harris (No. 6) and Bob Griese (28) top the set at $4.50-$6 each. Beckett's guide notes that cards with the Doty name on the back are harder to find, but it does add a premium for those. The cards are very similar to an 18-card set Stop 'n Go issued in 1979. In addition to differing copyright dates, the 1980 cards have stars on either side of the players' names. The '79 cards do not. That smaller 1979 set is worth more - $45-$75 - thanks in large part to Walter Payton (6), which lists for $13-$30 and Roger Staubach (12), who books at $15-$20.

Dear Babe: When my grandmother passed away a couple of years ago, she left behind a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth.
Nick Chilikas, Lafayette, Colo.

The simple answer is that single-signed Ruth baseballs are worth $5,000-$12,000. But that doesn't really tell the whole story. I looked at recent auctions at Robert Edward Auctions, Leland's, MastroNet, Mike Gutierrez Auctions and Sotheby's/SportsCards Plus - all folks who supply values for Da Babe. Single-signed Ruth baseballs ranged from a low of $4,888 to a whopping $51,750 for his HR ball No. 48 from the record-setting 1927 season. That one was in the Sotheby's/SportsCards Plus auction this past December. Gutierrez sold a really nice ball with a bold signature for $38,686 in his March 2005 sale. MastroNet's gorgeous white single-signed Ruth baseball offered in its April 2005 auction went for $35,187.

Dear Babe: I have a side panel from a Jerry Nadeau racecar during his first year, when he drove for the Dan Marino team. His name is painted above the window, but it is not autographed. While it is not bent, it is scratched down the side from a collision. Naturally, we had hoped back then that Nadeau would make it big and the panel would be of value. Under the circumstances, is it worth anything at all besides a decoration in a sports bar (or even that)?
Toni Akers, Lexington, Ky.

You hit the nail right on the head. This is definitely a sports bar decoration looking for a place to land. It's probably worth $500, possibly as much as $1,000 to a bar owner, said Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com auction house in New York.

Dear Babe: I have two mechanical pencils. They are wood, 5.75 inches long and shaped like baseball bats. They have the name Joe DiMaggio written in script on the barrel and a hole in the barrel that you look in to see a picture of a young Joe DiMaggio holding a baseball bat. My grandfather gave them to me. I have searched a lot of sites, but no one seems to have ever seen or heard of such things.
Karen Snyder, Grayson, Ga.

"The pencils are part of a series, which were sold as novelties at the ballpark and probably elsewhere as well. Many different ballplayers' signatures appear on these H&B bat-style pencils," said Robert Lifson, president of Robert Edwards Auctions in New Jersey. "They date back to the 1930s and some may have been issued a few years into the 1940s, but most are 1930s." Lifson and Dave Bushing, an authenticator and expert on bats, said the pencil bats are worth $75-$100, possibly more in an auction.

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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