Ask Babe: Valuing Fotoballs, Angels bats, Terrell Owens cards and more

Tuesday , March 18, 2014 - 12:12 PM

Babe Waxpak

Dear Babe: I have a set of 1994 Chevron team stars Fotoballs. I have Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, Ramon Martinez and Brett Butler along with a stand.

-- Bob McCall, Ewa Beach, Hawaii

Babe: You should have a blue Dodgers ball as well for a complete set.

Fotoballs are more of a novelty than a collectible. I don't see them listed anywhere, but I did see several offered for sale in eBay auctions. A Dodger set sold for $19.50, including shipping and handling. I'd say the five-ball set is worth $10-$20. Most of the balls offered went without getting a bid, including an Edgar Martinez Mariners ball at $80. A Randy Johnson Mariners ball sold for $15, plus $5 shipping. The one that boggles my mind is a Brett Butler Dodgers Fotoball that sold for $24.85 with free shipping. I have no idea why it sold for that much -- even if it was autographed. Maybe his mother bid on it.

Mark Matheny, a marking specialist for Chevron, went back through the files and found some information on this promotion and another from 2005 that featured San Francisco Giants legends.

The featured teams in 1994 were the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, L.A. Dodgers, Oakland A's, the Giants and the Seattle Mariners.

The baseballs were sold for $1.99 or $2.99 at Chevron stations in each team's area.

The more recent promotion offered five Fotoballs at $4.99 each. The promotion opened with Willie McCovey, who came with a free display stand. In the following four weeks, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry and Willie Mays were available.

Dear Babe: I attended a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Orange County, Calif., and won two Angels bats. Both are cracked. One was a Chili Davis bat and the other a Spike Owen.

-- Ron Wilton, Corona, Calif.

Babe: Bats are complicated. Obviously, the cracks mean these were used, but who knows if they were used in batting practice or in games? The Davis bat looks brand new, while Owens' definitely shows lots of wear and tear and pine tar. Either way, while the players had nice Major League Baseball careers, neither has real star power when it comes to collectors.

I checked with David Kohler, president of, and Mike Heffner, president of They put the bats in the $50-$100 range.

Dear Babe: I have a Terrell Owens 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces card that is numbered one of 25.

-- Noah Lewis, Norco, Calif.

Babe: The only listing I see for a Terrell Owens card that could be numbered out of 25 is for a burgundy parallel card. They book at $10 each.

Dear Babe: I have a Dodgers blue T-shirt with the name "Starnes" on the back with the No. 9 and "L.A." on the sleeve. I'm a die-hard Dodgers fan, who will be 86 in March. I get a lot of questions when I wear it.

-- Tina Naylor, Riverside, Calif.

Babe: Alas, Da Babe doesn't have any solid answers for you. I checked the book "Baseball by the Numbers," and didn't find anyone by that name that wore No. 9 for the Dodgers -- either in Brooklyn, N.Y., or Los Angeles.

I'm thinking that since it is a T-shirt it might have been worn by someone who played in a recreational league. Starnes might be a player's name or maybe a sponsor's name.

Since it has been worn and washed, I suspect it doesn't have a lot of monetary value. However, if you're getting a lot of questions and comments, it sounds like it's worth more to you as a conversation starter than any monetary value it might have.

(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

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