Key Signatures Missing from 1941 Dodgers Ball
by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
September 11, 2005
Discuss this article:
Dear Babe: I have a 1941 autographed baseball signed by 17 members of the Brooklyn Dodgers team
that won the National League pennant. I was 8, and everyone in my family was a Dodger fanatic. In
1941, Ford Frick was president of the National League and his imprinted signature is on the baseball.
The names on the baseball include Paul Waner, Dixie Walker, Augie Galan, Billy Herman, Leo Durocher
and Dolph Camilli among others. It's a wonderful reminder of the Boys of Summer.
George Ehrhardt Jr., Gainesville, Ga.
Actually, we're talking about pre-Boys of Summer. As you noted, the Dodgers won the N.L. pennant but
came up losers in just five games to the Yankees in the World Series. Technically, you don't have
enough names for this to qualify as a team-signed ball. Eighteen is pretty much the minimum with most
collectors preferring 20-plus autographs. While the ball does have Durocher, Waner and Camilli, it's
missing Pee Wee Reese and Joe Medwick and that really hurts. Your ball is worth $300-$400. If it has
Reese and Medwick, the value would jump to $800-$1,500.
Dear Babe: A friend of mine has a number of cards that include a 1941 Playball Taft Wright (No. 32),
Big League Chewing Gum cards of Babe Ruth (181), Lou Gehrig (92) and Randy Moore (69), along with a
card signed by George Scott (385) and a Cap'n Crunch Mike Schmidt card (16).
Bruce Klemme, Seal Beach, Calif.
That's quite a variety. If the Taft Wright 1941 Playball card is an original, it's worth $40-$55 in
excellent-mint to near-mint condition, according to Beckett's Almanac of Baseball Cards and The Standard
Catalog of Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest. I cannot tell from the photocopy
if the 1933 Goudey Randy Moore card has a back or not. If it does, it's worth $60-$90. I would be careful
since the 1933 Goudey Ruth and Gehrig cards are definitely reprints that might be worth a couple of dollars
if they are mint. Naturally, that casts doubt on the other two older cards. Folks have been known to trim
off the reprint lines. I'd say that 1970 card signed by George Scott might be worth $5-$10 to a Red Sox fan,
while a 1989 Cap'n Crunch Mike Card is worth 50 cents to $1.
Dear Babe: I have two unused tickets and a ticket stub (photocopies enclosed) from Boston red Sox games
at Fenway Park in 1999, 2000 and 2002.
Maria Vogel, North Andover, Mass.
Unless something historic happened at a game such as a no-hitter or a homer by someone heading to the Hall
of Fame such as Manny Ramirez, stubs and even full tickets from recent games have little, if any, value. There
might be a little interest in the full ticket that has Pedro Martinez on it if you find someone who collects
that player in particular.
Dear Babe: I have a 1991 Donruss Signature Series Cal Ripken hologram-bordered baseball card. It is part of
the series that was signed by Ripken. It is numbered 328 of 5,000.
Jeri Bernstein, Norcross, Ga.
Aha, you had me scratching my head looking for a 1992 card. A search of Beckett.com's online baseball price
guide, looking for a Ripken card with a run of 5,000 quickly turned up a 1992 Donruss Elite Signature card
(S2). The basic Elite set had 10-cards inserted in Series 1 and 2 foil packs. Those cards had a 10,000 print
run. There was also a Rickey Henderson Legends card with a 7,500 run. Beckett.com and The Standard Catalog
of Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest list the card at $150-$250 with Beckett having
the higher value.
Dear Babe: I have a Sterling Silver platter (tray) with Walter Briggs' portrait and the signatures of the
1940 Detroit Tigers etched into the platter. The inscription reads "Presented to the American League
Champs from the Baseball Citizens of Detroit." I cannot find any information about this piece. Would
you happen to know the history of this platter? Was it the only one given to the team or was every player
given one? My wife's grandfather, Red Kress, was a member of the 1940 Detroit Tigers, and that platter has
been in the possession of his family since his death in 1962.
David Frazier, Pomona, Calif.
The serving platters were given to all players on the team, said Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com
auction house in New York. Heffner said he has seen a few of them over the years. He valued your plate
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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