Dear Babe: I was approached by a friend with items he found tucked away in a ceiling while remodeling. He has two football prints of paintings done by artist Lou Feck. They are about 12-3/4 inches wide by 16-1/2 inches long. They were issued by White Owl Cigar Co., with the White Owl logo on the label on the cardboard mailing tube.
Based on the helmet style, it seems to be mid- to late 1950s or so. The canvas prints were rolled up in a cardboard tube that came from the General Cigar Co. in New York City and were shipped to a variety store in Massachusetts. They look like they had never even been opened. I can't even find any info on these. Please help! -- Greg Robinson, Springfield, Mass.
Try as he might, Da Babe was unable to run down any official info. White Owl was part of the General Cigar Co. back then, but not anymore. The current American Cigar P.R. folks didn't have a clue about a White Owl promotion from six decades ago.
What I did determine is that White Owl sponsored the weekly college Saturday TV game back in the mid- to late 1950s. So, I have to agree on when they were issued. As for the artist, the late Lou Feck appears to have been a science-fiction artist of note as well as a famed creator of covers for novels.
These posters are generic -- that is, not of a specific college team.
"If these are just prints, which I think that they are, the value is only $25 each," said Mike Heffner, president of www.Lelands.com. "They would have more value as a football item than an art item."
Dear Babe: I have a 1998 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr. card (No. 1P) that says the "Only 1 of 1 Masterpiece Edition." -- Jim Page, Redding, Calif.
This is definitely going to be one of those times where you won't know what the card is worth until it is put up for sale.
While your card will come nowhere near it, Da Babe can't help but note that Tom Bartsch, writing in his Infield Dirt column at http://www.sportscollectorsdigest.com/, noted that a 2009-10 Blake Griffin 1/1 Panini autographed patch card sold for $38,032.
Now back to our regularly scheduled answer.
The 1998 Fleer Ultra release includes a one-of-one Masterpiece parallel set. Griffey was No. 1 in the set. There's very little to compare it to. A Ray Ordonez 1998 Fleer Ultra Masterpiece Edition 1/1 sold for $90 in a recent eBay auction. One would think that Griffey would be worth considerably more.
A quick check of eBay completed auctions for Griffey Jr. 1/1 cards showed the highest sale for a card without an autograph sold for $250. It was a 2006 Ken Griffey Jr. Topps Finest Superfactor 1/1.
One would think that your card would be worth more than that, but there's no way to know until it goes up for sale.
(Babe Waxpak is written by Bill Wagner. If you have a question for Babe Waxpak, include your full name and hometown, the card number, year and manufacturer or send a photocopy. Please do not send cards. The address is: Babe Waxpak, Box 492397, Redding, CA 96049-2397 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)