(This story originally appeared in the September issue of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly. This is Part II of the popular "What’s It Worth?" feature which runs bi-monthly in the magazine)
Tuff Stuff’s new “What’s It Worth?” feature has returned. For several years our readers have asked us to evaluate their memorabilia because with the ever-changing economics of the hobby those prices are always fluxuating.
While our price guides remain the best source to get an accurate value for your sports cards, collectors wanted a reliable source to turn to to get the same type of dependable pricing for the other items in their collections. And now they have that source.
Every collector has several memorabilia items they’re dying to know the value of. We at Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly are here to help. Continuing with this issue (and running bi-monthly moving forward), we’ll provide you with an all-knowing memorabilia expert and you can submit your descriptions and find out the value of your items free of charge. You simply provide a brief, yet detailed description of your item (along with an image, if possible) and our expert will provide his analysis.
The owner of two successful sports memorabilia retail stores for more than 25 years and an avid collector for many more, Jeff Lemieux knows the hobby like few others. The veteran host of ESPN radio show “What’s It Worth” and co-host of the TV show “Sports Attic,” which employs a similar theme, Lemieux can evaluate sports memorabilia with the best of them.
Because he’s a collector himself and understands the importance of accurate assessments regarding sports memorabilia, Lemiuex has graciously offered to lend his skills and give our readers a source to turn to. While we can’t guarantee that all of the submissions we receive will be evaluated, we will stuff as many as we can into the pages of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly every other month; we’ll also post them on www.tuffstuff.com.
The more unique the item the more description our expert will need so please be specific and include an image of the item if possible. Items sent to our expert for evaluation will be taken randomly and because we expect a large quality of submissions, we can’t guarantee your item will make the cut but we will evaluate as many as we can fit on our Tuff Stuff pages and many of those that don’t make it in the magazine will then be posted on www.tuffstuff.com.
To make a submission for evaluation you can simply e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, list as many facts as you can in a two-to-three paragraph write-up along with any images that may help and put “What’s It Worth?” in the subject line of your e-mail. Then make sure you check out every issue of Tuff Stuff’s Sports Collectors Monthly and visit www.tuffstuff.com regularly to read your evaluations.
1971 Pirates Team-Signed Baseball
I have a 1971 autographed baseball of the entire World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team. All names are original and legible. I had been a driver from a local hotel to/from the airport and became friends with this couple from Pittsburgh. They knew I was an avid Pittsburgh fan and brought me this baseball. The ball is a bit dingy-looking, but is still in good shape. What’s it Worth?
A team-signed baseball will typically include 22-26 signatures, including the starting lineup, star pitchers and other “key” players.
A 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates team-signed baseball would have to the” key” signatures of Roberto Clemente, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell and Al Oliver. Condition is extremely important when it comes to pricing an item. Assuming the ball is in the grade of 5-6, meaning the autographs are all legible with the ball having some brown toning, I would put an estimated value of $600-$750.
1957 NY Yankees Baseball
I was born in the Bronx and lived near Yankee Stadium. My father worked there part time in the 1950s. Practically lived there (getting in for free all the time), night and weekend games. On my birthday in May 1957, he took me there early for a surprise. He took me down to the locker room and introduced me to Casey Stengel. It was incredible for me to see the players suiting up. Casey then handed me a ball which contains the whole team, Mantle and Yogi on the “sweet spot.” Some of the autographs are fading due to the ink used then. But I know this is real. What’s it Worth?
A great ball with an even better story to go along with it. A team-signed baseball will typically include 22-26 signatures, including the starting lineup, star pitchers and other “key” players.
A 1957 New York Yankees team-signed baseball would have to have “key” signatures of Stengel, Yogi Berra, Enos Slaughter, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard and Tom Sturdivant. Assuming the ball is in the grade of 5-6, meaning the autographs are all legible with the ball having some brown toning, I would put an estimated value of $600-$1,000.
Wilt Chamberlain Signed Statue
I have a hand signed statue of Wilt Chamberlain made by the Sports Porcelain Co. It is an impressive looking piece but I have no idea of value. What’s it Worth?”
The Wilt Chamberlain statue you have stands about 11” inches in height and is a limited edition out of 500. Each statue was hand signed by Wilt Chamberlain and came with a letter of authenticity from Sports Porcelain Company. With the original box they retail in the $250-$350 range.
1997 Chicago Bulls Team-Signed Jersey
I have a 1997 championship Bulls team-signed No. 23 replica jersey. It was purchased shortly after the Bulls won the title. The 13 signatures include Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Luc Longley and the others from that 1997 championship team. It was also inscribed “NBA Champs 6-13-97” by Jordan.
The jersey was purchased from a reputable dealer in Minneapolis and authenticated by Mark Lewis Sports Memorabilia, Inc. In the authentication letter, it states that a longtime players’ assistant and personal friend of Jordan’s, nicknamed “Kool Aid” had players sign several jerseys. The players routinely signed items for him as an appreciation for his services. What’s it Worth?
The Bulls went 69-13 in the 1996-97 season just missing going back-to-back years with 70 wins to win their fifth title. I would put an estimated value of $1,500-$2,000 on your jersey. I would suggest getting it authenticated through PSA/DNA. With an item like this the more authenticity you can provide the better.
Steel Curtain Signed Mini Helmet
I have a Pittsburgh Steelers “Steel Curtain” signed mini-helmet autographed by Mean Joe Greene, Dwite White, L.C. Greenwood and Ernie Holmes. What’s it Worth?”
In 1971 a radio station ran a contest to name the Steelers defense. A ninth grader by the name of Gregory Kronz won the contest. He was one of 17 contestants who sent in the name “Steel Curtain.” A drawing was held for the 17 contestants and Gregory’s name was pulled as the winner. A signed Steel Curtain mini-helmet retails in the $150-$250 range.
Troy Aikman Signed Lithograph
This is a 27×37 framed and matted print of Troy Aikman titled “Troy.” It is done by famed sports artist Vernon Wells Jr. This print was made in 1991 and is a limited edition of only 750 pieces. This piece is numbered 409/750, and is signed in pencil by Troy Aikman and V. Wells, it is hand numbered and comes with a certificate of “Affidavit of Limited Edition.” The certificate is hand numbered in silver paint pen and signed by Joe Macnack of International Sports Decor, who manufactured and distributed the prints. What’s It Worth?
Troy Aikman has remained very popular with fans through his playing years and now as a commentator for Fox Sports and is a popular autograph. This particular print for some reason does not retail for as much as one might think. This print measures 18×25 unframed and I believe had an issue price of around $500. I would put an estimated value of $150-$250 range unframed.
Mickey Mantle Signed Baseball
I have a Mickey Mantle collection of different autographed items but the one in perticular I’m wanting to get a value on is a ball I won at Coaches Corner Auctions that came with a certificate,
The ball has his signature “Mickey Charles Mantle” with inscriptions that read “the mick, the comerce comet, no.7, hof 74, 18 ws hrs,” all in his hand writting in blue ball-point pen. The ball is an Official Rawlings 1994 World Series ball with logo all in red lettering. I have been thinking of sending it to PSA/DNA for cert, but due to the cost I am somwhat unsure. I have been told it’s value is in the thousands? I have seen some balls with similar sigs and inscriptions selling for upwards of $5,000-$7,000. What’s it Worth?
Mickey Mantle signed baseballs are always in demand and ones that have any type of inscription are highly collectible. Signed baseballs with multiple inscriptions are even scarcer. Here are some pricing realized from auctions for single inscription baseballs “MVP” $3,700, “The Mick” $1,300. “500th HR 5/13/67” $3,940. It is interesting that it is on a 1994 WS ball which may affect the value a little. Your baseball with the amount of inscriptions you have I would have to put an estimated value of $5,000-$6,000. It would definitely be in your best interest to have it certified through PSA/DNA.
Hulk Hogan Autographed Item
I have a Hulk Hogan signed plane ticket with his given name Terry Boella on it. This was received by an airline employee who knew I had to have it.
It is shown with a few personal photos from the WCW days, but it is not glued or tainted in anyway. What’s It Worth?
Hulk Hogan has always been willing to sign for his fans and in recent years has been setting up private and public signings through his agent. A signed 8×10 typically sells in the $85-$150 range. When it comes to collecting autographs the item that a signature is on can have as much affect on the price as the signature on it. Because it’s on a plane ticket I would put an estimated value of $25-$35 on it.
Sammy Baugh Signed Print
I got a Sammy Baugh autographed print in a silent auction benefit. It is an autograph print and the artist’s signature is also included. From the best I can see, CEO Merkel is the artist and it’s titled: “The Washington Redskins In Action.” It did not come with a COA, but it looks good to me. What’s It Worth?
Sammy Baugh is arguably one of the most honored and beloved Washington Redskins of all time. With his passing in 2008 there has been an increase in demand for his autograph which have lead to an increase in the worth of his autograph. But with that said, his autograph was relatively easy to obtain when he was still alive and even after his death there are still many of is autographs in the market place. What is nice about your item is it is a limited number edition out of 49 which does help increase the value of it. I would put an estimated value of the print unframed at $125-$200
DiMaggio/Feller Signed Photo
I purchased this picture at an auction years ago with DiMaggio’s autograph. I then took it to spring training in 2002 and had Feller sign it. He told me that this was the first meeting between him and Joe from either 1936 or 1937. Feller was 17 and DiMaggio was 21.
The photo you have was taken in 1936 and is one of the great classic shots of DiMaggio and Feller. This photo sells in the $295-$395 price range.
Kansas City Chiefs Signed Football
I was wondering what a football I have might be worth? It is a football signed at the 40th reunion of the Super Bowl IV Kansas City Chiefs. Signatures include Len Dawson, Hank Stram, Willie Lanier, Bobbie Bell, Otis Taylor, Fred Arbanas, Ed Lothamer, Frank Pitts, Jan Stenerud, Mike Livingston, Johnny Robinson, Curtis McClinton, Ed Budde, Jerrol Wilson, and EJ Holub. There are also two non-legible signatures. What’s It Worth?
Super Bowl IV had the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 with Len Dawson being named the game’s MVP. The football you have does have all five members of the Football Hall of Fame which is a definite plus but could use some more autographs of the members of the team to help its value. I recently came across someone offering a full-size authentic helmet signed by 32 members of the Super Bowl IV Kansas City Chiefs for $475. I would put an estimated value of $200-$295 on your football.
Oversized LeBron James Bobblehead
I attended the Cleveland National (2006) and a vendor had a limited-edition, two-foot-tall LeBron James bobblehead. It’s made by Forever Collectibles, Legends of the Court, handcrafted, No. 39 of 100. I have tried to research but see nothing on it. I have the original shipping box and it is in pristine condition. What’s it Worth?
Forever Collectibles have produced many different collectable bobbleheads for LeBron James in different sizes and edition size. The 2006 two-foot-tall one you have limited to 100 has an estimated value of $150-$200.
1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set
I have the 1975 Fleer Immortal Football Set. This set has a total of 84 cards with the possibilty of getting 60 of the cards signed. I have all 60 cards signed, authenicated by JSA and slabbed by Beckett. I’m in the process of getting the entire 84-card set graded as well, but that really isn’t as important as the signatures. The toughest signatures in the set are Johnny “Blood” McNally, Ernie Nevers, and Sid Luckman mainly because his wife signed most of his items. Other notables include Jack Christiansen, Joe Stydaher, Bob Waterfield, Art Rooney, George Halas, etc.
Even though you can buy the complete set of unautographed cards for about $50, I’m interested in the price of the set signed. The only reason why I’m getting the whole set graded is just so I have everything in nice holders. I doubt if the grading is really going to effect the pricing that much. I’m thinking the autographed set is probably worth $5000-plus. What’s It Worth?
The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, was the first place this set was sold. This was also the first full set of Pro Football Hall of Famers. It was Pro Football’s version of MLB’s yellow Hall of Fame plaque card set sold at Cooperstown. When the set was sold in 1975, it was possible to get 60 of the cards autographed, since 24 were deceased at the time. You will find a wide variety of pricing on the single cards signed. The Ernie Nevers signed cards sell in the $400-$550 range and the John “Blood” McNally sells in the $500-$800 range. I like the ideal of having the complete set graded. I do think it would help the value of the set. I would put an estimate value on the set of $3500-$5,000.
1910 Hermes Ice Cream Button
I have a 1910 Hermes Ice Cream button of Tommy Leach Pittsburgh Pirates and was wondering its value. Somebody told me these Hermes pinbacks are very rare. What’s It Worth?
The 1910 Hermes Ice Cream Pins are a set of 12 pins of the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. The most expensive pin in the set is of Honus Wagner which can sell in the $3,000-$8,000 range depending on condition. The other 11 players featured in the set sell in the $200-$800 range (each), depending on condition with none having more value than the other. The set is unique in the fact that no player names are found any where on the pins.
1938 Scorecard W/ Babe Ruth
I have a 1938 spring exhibition game score card –Yankees vs. Dodgers — with many HOFer’s (Cuyler, Durocher, Hoyt, Manush, Grimes, Ruth, Dickey, Dimaggio, Gehrig, Gomes, Gordon, Ruffing, McCarthy). This was the only year Babe Ruth was a coach with the Dodgers, it was also Lou Gehrig’s last year, Joe Gordon’s rookie year and the Yankees won the championship. What’s It Worth?
I feel vintage scorecards are still one of the most reasonable and best valued collectibles out there. As long as there are no tears or creases on your score card, I would put an estimated value of $100-$200.
HOF Signed Baseball Bat
I have is a 30” Louisville Slugger bat that has never been used. It is a one-of-a-kind bat since my name is printed on the barrel. I got this bat some 40 years ago for selling candy bars.
What I have on the bat is 60 Hall of Fame signatures and Pete Rose. I obtained all of the signatures in person. The signatures are as follows: Hunter, Gibson, Brock, Musial, Killebrew, Banks, Mays, Yaz, Spahn, Irvin, McCovey, B. Williams, Jenkins, Drysdale, Matthews, Boggs, Cepeda, Marchial, Fingers, Aaron, Stargell, Apariaco, Mize, Snyder, B. Robinson, Schoendist, Ferrall, Boudreau, Slaughter, Carlton, Kaline, Gwynn, O. Smith, Berra, Kell, Wilhelm, Bench, Eckersley, Ford, Doerr, R. Roberts, Sandberg, Yount, Schmidt, Sutton, Niekro, Palmer, Seaver, T. Perez, R. Henderson, Ryan, Mize, Morgan, Fisk, R. Jackson, Murray, R. Johnson, F. Thomas, G. Goosage, J. Rice, A. Dawson. As far as I know 11 of them have passed. What’s It Worth?
Having your name on the bat would make it harder to sell if you ever did want to sell it. Most collectors who are looking to buy a Hall of Fame signed bat are looking for a bat that would not a have someone else’s personalized name on it. The good news is that none are of the autographs are personalized to you. You a have a great collection of players on you bat and I’m sure it’s been a labor of love for you. I would put an estimated value of $2,000-$3,000 on the bat.
1980 World Series Banner
I have a 1980 Phillies banner with autos from Schmidt, Rose, Carlton,Bowa, McBride, Maddox, McGraw, Aviles, Boone,Gross, Luzinski, Morland, George and John Vukovich, Brustar, Bystrom, Noles, Reed, Ruthven, Saucier, coaches Lee Elia, Bobby Wine Paul Owens and Dallas Green. I would never part with it, as I got all the autos in person. What’s It Worth?
The Phillies beat the Kansas City Royals in six games to win the 1980 World Series. It was the first World Series Championship for the Phillies. Having all the main starters on the banner, I would put an estimated value of $300-$450.
Field Of Dreams Signed Litho
I have a 16×25 lithograph called “The Field of Dreams” by Angelo Marino that I had framed and matted years ago. I have it autographed by numerous, mainly, Hall of Famers. The autographs include: Mickey Mantle, Joe DeMaggio, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Lou Boudreau, Duke Snider, Hoyt Wilhelm, Monte Irvin, Rollie Fingers, Luis Aparicio, Ralph Kiner, Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Fergie Jenkins, Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Billy Williams, Tom Seaver, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Willie McCovey, Sparky Anderson, Bob Gibson, Johnny Bench, Larry Doby, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Whitey Ford, Robin Roberts, Carlton Fisk, Joe Morgan, George Kell, Bill Mazeroski, Bob Feller, Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken Jr., Al Kaline, Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Phil Niekro, Joe Torre, Orlando Cepeda, Jim Palmer, Jim Bunning, Gaary Carter, Eddie Murray, Earl Weaver, Dennis Eckersley, Don Sutton, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Ryne Sandberg, Robin Yount, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Jim Rice, Whitey Herzog, Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, Tony LaRussa and Albert Pujols. All the above autographs on my litho were obtained in person at shows. What’s It Worth?
What a list of autographed Hall of Famers you’ve been able to obtain on this piece, with many of them being deceased. It is really hard to put a value on something like this. More commonly you will find multi-signed Hall of Fame memorabilia with 25-35 autographs but to have 60 is quite of feat. I would have to put an estimated value of somewhere between $5,000-$8,000.
1963 Fleer Checklist
I have a 1963 Fleer checklist that is a PSA 9. I got this graded at the National in Cleveland in 2006. It is the first time I had ever had a card graded. They asked me what grade I was looking for, and being inexperienced in that facet of the hobby, I said at least a 9. Well, weeks later it came back as a 9. Now I have learned I should have just sent it in without comment. I honestly think the card is a 10 … it is perfect in every sense. What’s It Worth?
The 1963 Fleer checklist is a short print and is the most expensive card in the set. A non-graded one books in the $500 range. As far as your PSA 9, I would give it an estimated value of $2,000-$3,000. SCM