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Game-Used, Signed Ted Williams Glove Tough to Authenticate; Worth the Effort

Bill Wagner - Babe Waxpak by Bill Wagner, "Babe Waxpak"
October 19, 2005

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Dear Babe: I have a baseball glove signed by the entire 1950 Red Sox team including Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, Walt Dropo, Vern Stephens, Mel Parnell and Ellis Kinder. A former Red Sox scout who befriended my dad gave it to me in the 1970s. He told me the glove once belonged to (and was used by) Ted Williams. I have no reason to believe otherwise. Is this a highly unusual item, and if so, is it worthy of a donation to the Hall of Fame? The glove is a Wilson Ted Williams signature model A2040.
Richard Shaw, Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

We're talking major money if you've got a glove used in a game by Williams regardless of any signatures. That's the key. A store-bought glove signed by that team, which finished third in the American league, is worth $1,000-$1,500. The value skyrockets to $25,000-$50,000 if it's a Williams gamer, said Phil Castinetti owner of Sportsworld-usa.com in Everett, Mass., a suburb of Boston, Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com auction house in New York, and Dave Bushing, an authenticator with www.mearsonline.com.

Your mission is to prove it's a game-used glove. It's not as easy as a bat or jersey for a couple of reasons. For starters, jerseys are numbered and bats are labeled with names and often coding on the knobs. There are also plenty of pictures of players in uniform and at bat. There are limited photos of players in the field with their gloves - at least any that would allow you to identify the glove.

"Gloves, unlike bats or jerseys, were often just catalog retail gloves purchased by the players for use," Bushing said. "Sometimes they were custom ordered and sometimes not. Some players used their models, while others choose player models either sans endorsements or with other players names stamped on them."

Joe Phillips, who publishes The Glove Collector newsletter out of Dallas and is acknowledged as a leading expert on gloves, backs that up. In fact, he doesn't even think that Williams used one of his own gloves.

"We believe Williams used a bigger model Wilson A2034 (Lefty Gomez model). However, he could have used an A2040, bearing his name," Phillips said.

Phillips' Vintage Baseball Glove Catalog Source Book shows the A2040 first appearing in Wilson catalogs in 1953. Its final appearance is in 1958. It was generally the most expensive fielder's glove ranging in price from $22.50 to $30. The 1949 and 1950 catalogs have Williams gloves, but they're A2100, A2210 and A2190. Only the A2210 says it's an autographed model. None are top of the line gloves.

"If it is a pro stock glove, there normally will be a stamped number underneath the wrist strap on the back of the glove, if this can be done," Phillips said.

Even if the glove shows game use, you have to prove it was used in a Major League game and that Williams was the one to wear it. Good luck. Without photos or a letter from Williams, proving it is going to be tough.

I would suspect the Hall of Fame already has Williams game-used gloves, but you never know what it is seeking.

Dear Babe: I have an autographed baseball-themed Peanuts strip from 1966. Schulz sent it to me after Charlie Brown Night at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., where I was the stadium announcer. In the final panel, after Charlie cries "How could we lose 123-0?" Lucy replies, "We never got any breaks." The strip, an original from 1966, is about 5x16 inches in size. It's black and white with four windows and is a daily strip. Schulz personally autographed it to me. Although the inscription has faded, it is still quite readable.
Phil Hochberg, Rockville, Md.

"I think this could have a nice value based on recent auctions of Charles Schulz items," said David Kohler, president of SCPAuctions.com in Laguna Hills, Calif. He estimated the value at between $1,000-$2000. Having it personalized will make a difference to some folks.

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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