Father's Day is June 17, so the annual Home Run Challenge to raise money for research to help battle prostate cancer is on deck.
That means it's time for readers to step up to the plate to help fight the disease, which strikes one in every six men in America.
Major League Baseball and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) team up each year to raise funds to help researchers put an end to this deadly disease. The theme is "Keep Dad in the Game."
The PCF has put together a set of four cards featuring Matt Kemp, Ryan Zimmerman, Tory Tulowitzki and Kurt Suzuki. The cards celebrate the Challenge and help get the word out about the disease.
To be part of the Challenge, folks simply donate an amount per home run hit in 60 games between June 7 and Father's Day. Hitters slugged 90 home runs during last year's challenge.
Brad Sondecker, a spokesman for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, is always more than happy to send out a set of cards to anyone who sends in a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and readers have been generous about including donation checks over the years. I've sent in my check and already have a set of the cards.
The address is Brad Sondecker, Prostate Cancer Foundation, 1250 Fourth St., Suite 360, Santa Monica, CA 90401. If you just want to pledge money for home runs hit during the Challenge, call 1-800-798-CURE (2873) or visit www.pcf.org.
Pledges range from 25 cents to $10,000 for each home run. One-time donations are also welcome.
For more information on prostate cancer and a list of the games included in the Challenge, visit my blog at www.scrippsnews.com/blogs/waxpak.
Dear Babe: I have two ticket stubs from a game my father and I went to on 10-19-1969 at Wrigley Field. The game was a no-hitter pitched by Ken Holtzman, against the Atlanta Braves. -- Paul Benning, Hemet, Calif.
Paul: No-hitters don't happen that often, and there are definitely folks out there who covet no-hitter tickets and stubs.
"If the stubs are in excellent condition, they are worth around $200 each," said Mike Heffner, president of www.Lelands.com. "A full ticket from the game is very rare and could bring $500 to $1,000."
Dear Babe: I have a Rams baseball cap signed by Deacon Jones (No. 75) along with a picture of us at the time he signed. He signed on the brim of the hat while at the Pepsi QB Shootout, a golf tournament in Northern California, in 2008. -- K. Ornelas, Riverside, Calif.
K.: David "Deacon" Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980 after an illustrious 14-year career. That means he's been around for the entire autograph boom. Plus he was a defensive lineman. All that conspires to keep the values of his signature modest.
"I can't imagine this would bring much given that Jones is still out there on the circuit. I'd say $50 tops and probably closer to $30," said Mike Breeden, a Sports Collectors Digest columnist and autograph expert.
(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.)