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1969 Topps Set has Numerical Hijinx, 2 Nos. 11s and 22s

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
July 20, 2005

Dear Babe: I have 25 cards from a 33-card set. The cards look like Polaroids with scalloped edges, like the old peel-off instant photos. They are black and white with a blue signature. When I was looking through the set, I found two No. 11 cards. One is Hoyt Wilhelm and the other is Jim Wynn. Both are labeled "No. 11 of 33 photos." I have No. 9 (Willie Horton) and No. 12 (Rod Carew). Perhaps one of my No. 11s was supposed to be No. 10. What company produced these cards? I think these cards date to the late 1960s or early 1970s.
Jeff Magaw, Nashua, N.H.

The 1969 Topps Deckle Edge set has cards numbered out of 33, but the set really has 35 cards. As you note, there are two No. 11 cards as well as two No. 22 cards - Rusty Staub and Joe Foy. While Roberto Clemente (27) tops the set at $20, Wynn is next at $12-$15, according to Beckett's Almanac of Baseball Cards and The Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest. Wilhelm lists for $6-$8, Foy is at $9-$12, while Staub books at $2-$3. Carew is at $5-$7. The cards were inserted into third series Topps packs in 1969.

Dear Babe: I have a baseball signed by Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Larry Berra, Eddie Lopat, Tommy Byrne, Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Charlie Keller among others. I think it is from 1949, which was Stengel's first year. The Yankees beat Brooklyn in the World Series that year.
Robert Cagle, Chattanooga, Tenn.

You didn't have many names, but Keller is the key. We know Stengel took over as manager in 1949 and DiMaggio retired after the 1951 season, so that narrows it some. Keller's last year with the Yankees was 1949. He was with Detroit in 1950. A 1949 team-signed Yankees ball probably tops out at $3,000 unless it's a really pristine white ball with bold signatures. Conversely, a ball that is yellowed with age and has faded signatures might be worth as little as $500.

Dear Babe: I have two old baseball bats that are in excellent condition - never having been used. They are both H&B Louisville Sluggers. One is a Jackie Robinson Special. The other is a Genuine C28 Ty Cobb model.
Joseph Steffen, Homeland, Calif.

You've got a couple of older store model bats. The Cobb is much harder to come by and is worth around $300, said Dave Bushing, an authenticator and expert on bats. The Robinson bat is lot more common and is worth $75.

Dear Babe: In 1985, the last Cracker Jack Old-Timers Baseball Classic was held at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. I was lucky enough to roam the clubhouses. I have a Rawlings Cracker Jack Old-Timers Baseball Classic ball signed by 15 players. The names include Eddie Mathews, Whitey Ford, Early Wynn, Robin Roberts, Warren Spahn, Joe DiMaggio, Luke Appling, George Kell, Bill Mazeroski, Hoyt Wilhelm, Louis Tiant, Bill Freehan, Hank Aaron, Lou Brock and Billy Williams.
Jim Sarkisian, Kensington, Md.

For whatever reason, these Cracker Jack baseballs don't seem to attract the interest they deserve. They're hard to sell, said Mike Gutierrez, owner of MGAuction.net in Arizona. He valued your baseball at $250-$400. It would be worth more as a Hall of Fame starter ball if it didn't have Tiant and Freehan.

Dear Babe: I have a Red Sox 1950s baseball signed by Ted Williams, Mickey Vernon and teammates. It is in excellent condition.
Ken Flanagan, Cumming, Ga.

Mickey Vernon was with the Red Sox in 1956 and 1957. It really doesn't matter which year it is. A baseball from either year is worth $300-$500, said Phil Castinetti owner of Sportsworld-usa.com in Everett, Mass., a suburb of Boston.

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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