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Photo Signed by Mantle, DiMaggio and Williams Worth Protecting

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
July 24, 2005

Dear Babe: Several years ago, I was given a photograph of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle. All three are holding bats, and it is also autographed by all three. I was told, but I have not confirmed, that it was taken at the 1951 All-Star game. It is an 11x14 print that is framed. It hangs in my office. Recently, I was cautioned by a visitor about the value and advised to take it home or to a safer place. Is it so valuable that I should take precautions?
Joel Hackett, Yorba Linda, Calif.

Dear Babe: I have a 16x20 photo of Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams with a certificate of authenticity of signatures for all three.
James Wilbur, Saco, Maine

It's a popular photo that has been copied thousands of times in different sizes. It has to be from 1951 - the only year Mantle and DiMaggio were together.

The famous photo comes in a variety of sizes with 8x10, 11x14 and 16x20 - the most common. Generally, they're worth $2,000-$3,000, said Brian Marren, vice president of acquisitions for the auctions in Chicago.

Last year, I saw a framed and matted 8x10 photo signed by all three Hall of Famers with a $1,799 price tag on it at Field of Dreams in Chandler, Ariz. That photo has long since sold, according to the store manager. Much depends on the quality of the signatures, the framing and the photo. Anything close to the original photo is going to be worth more than a picture that is the result of multiple duplications. For the record, the photo went out across the news wires back in 1951. One of the original wire service photos sold for $1,201 in MastroNet's April auction.

Dear Babe: I have a near mint copy of "The Sporting News" Vol. 1 No. 1 dated March 17, 1886.
Chris Mellon, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Since the original copies of the Sporting News were printed on old-style newsprint, it's doubtful a copy from 1886 would have lasted through the years in "mint" condition. No matter how much someone tried to preserve it, more than a century of aging would have left its mark. More than likely, you've got a reprint. Mike Heffner, president of auction house in New York, said that first issue has been reprinted a number of times. He has never seen an original edition of that first publication. An original would be worth in the neighborhood of $5,000, Heffner said. There's not much value in the reprints.

Dear Babe: I have 1982 yearbooks for the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Oscar Davis, Decatur, Ga.

Neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox were pennant winners in 1982. That honor went to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Standard Catalog of Sports Memorabilia from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest lists the yearbooks at $10 each.

Dear Babe: I have a putter given to me by my grandfather many years ago. It has a hickory shaft and on the back it says "SEPTEM PUTTER 8" and "VULCAN."
Ty Huffer, Atlanta

It dates from around 1930. It's a store brand and quite common, said Chuck Furjanic, owner of in Irving, Texas. He's also the author of "Antique Golf Collectibles, A Price and Reference Guide." That basically translates into little, if any, value as a collectible.

BABE NOTE: WNBA cards are back. The 110-card base set along with the usual complement of inserts, jersey and autographs cards are coming from Rittenhouse Archives out of Philadelphia - They are scheduled to hit store shelves July 29. The 10-card jersey/relic inserts are seeded one in every 80 packs. Lisa Leslie, Lauren Jackson, Diana Taurasi, Sue Bird and Yolanda Griffith are among the jersey/relic cards. Some 26 players signed autographed cards with many having two or three different signed cards. Those are seeded one in 20 packs. The top 22 draft picks make up another insert set (1:40). There are inserts sets for League Leaders (20 cards, 1:20), Team Leaders (9 cards, 1:8) and Playoffs (nine cards, 1:7). There are five cards in a pack with 40 packs in a box. Boxes have a suggested retail price (SRP) of $84. The SRP on packs is $2.10.

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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