Picture of Athlete Signing an Item Doesn't Mean Much
by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
September 28, 2005
Discuss this article:
Dear Babe: I have an autographed Ken Stabler full-size Raiders Riddell helmet with
certificate of authenticity and a picture of Stabler at the signing.
Anthony Williams, Corning, Calif.
A full-size Raiders Riddell helmet is valued at $250 by Tuff Stuff. That's looking like
the high end based on online auction results. Naturally, if it's a game-used helmet, the
value jumps into the $1,000-$1,500 range. The COA is nice, but remember having a photo of
any athlete signing anything doesn't mean the photo is of the item you have. It just means
he signed one - whether that's yours or not remains to be seen.
Dear Babe: I have a photograph of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Ruth has a shirt that says
"Bustin' Babes" and Gehrig's shirt says "Larrupin Lous." It is from
a barnstorming tour in 1927. It says on the photo the signatures are their own. The photo
is 8x14 inches and is still wrapped in cellophane. The Curtis Management Group (CMG) produced
Armondo Lucci, Bellflower, Calif.
This is one of the most famous and oft-copied photos of the two Yankee greats. I assume you
mean the package has the info about the autographs. CMG is the company that has the image
rights to many celebrities, including a host of athletes. CMG said it granted a license for
the photo to a company called Product Exposure. There are two versions of the photo. One
has one signature of each player. The second has two signatures for each. More than likely
someone with a print had the players sign it. Then this photo was copied. As I said, the
photo probably has been copied thousands of times. A new copy such as the one you have is
only worth $25, if that, said Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com auction house in New
Dear Babe: I found a picture (photo enclosed) signed by Ted Williams among some keepsakes.
M. Panagoulis, Nashua, N.H.
The picture of Williams taking a swing with the catcher and umpire behind him is one of many
that have been reproduced often. A nice 8x10 signed by Williams would be worth $300-$500,
said Phil Castinetti owner of Sportsworld-usa.com in Everett, Mass., a suburb of Boston.
However, based on the photo you sent, it looks like the picture is heavily damaged with some
white blotches where the emulsion has been ripped off and a tear in Williams' autograph.
In that condition, I'd be surprised if it was worth as much as $25.
Dear Babe: I have 30 of the 33 cards issued by Red Heart dog food. I'm missing Stan Musial,
Richie Ashburn and Mickey Mantle.
Jim Hickerson, Cartersville, Ga.
The Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest lists a
near-mint set of 33 1954 Red Heart cards at $1,850. Beckett's Almanac of Baseball Cards has
it at $2,000. Mantle at $400-$500 is the most valuable followed by a short-printed Musial
card that lists for $275-$400. Ashburn books for $65-$80 and is also a short print. Most
others list for $25-$70.
Dear Babe: I have a Ken Griffey Sr. S216 Louisville Slugger bat, with his name etched on
the barrel. It is unsigned, but I think it's game-used.
Randy Muzio, Red Bluff, Calif.
A quick check of Dave Bushing's vintage bat guide compiled for MastroNet.com auctions does
list S216 as a model used by Griffey Sr. with a value of $350.
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.
All hobby articles...