Ask Babe: What’s the value of signed 1941 Dodgers ball?

Sep 19 2012 - 1:39pm

Dear Babe: I have a 1941 Dodgers ball. I understand the Dodgers played the New York Yankees in the World Series that year and lost. Some of the names on the ball are Chuck Dressen, Leo Durocher, Lew Riggs, Curt Davis, Pee Wee Reese, Hugh Casey, Cookie Lavagetto, Dolph Camilli, Dixie Walker, Pete Reiser and Mickey Owen. It's an official Spalding National League baseball with "Ford C. Frick" stamped on it.

-- Joan Keefer, Wurtsboro, N.Y.

Babe: As you noted, the Brooklyn Dodgers were the National League pennant winners in the last season before many major leaguers headed off for military service during World War II. It was their first title in 20 years. They faced off against the Yankees in the first of seven "Subway Series" matchups, featuring the two New York City rivals. The Yankees rolled over the Dodgers in five games to win the title. The Dodgers would win only one of those crosstown matchups -- in 1955.

Durocher was the player/manager of the club, although he appeared in only 18 games. He managed the team from 1939 through 1946, but the '41 pennant was the only time the team finished first.

We've got a pretty wide range when it comes to value. Here's what the experts had to say:

"The 1941 Dodgers ball is worth around $750 in average condition. A near-mint example could sell for $2,000 or more," said Mike Heffner, president of

"Not a very popular signed baseball, but it is definitely scarce. In better than average condition, about $800-$1000," said Mike Gutierrez, consignment director for Heritage Auctions (

"If it is decent, $300-$500," said David Kohler, president of

Dear Babe: Years ago I saved some sports cards. Included is a 1954 Yogi Berra card.

-- Ruth Freel, Redding, Calif.

Babe: Not much to go on here. Fortunately, there weren't a lot of manufacturers back then.

It looks like Berra had four cards in 1954 -- Topps (No. 50), Bowman (161), Red Man Chewing Tobacco (AL20) and New York Journal American (41).

Let's work our way up the value scale. Red Man cards had a tab. Fifty tabs could be redeemed for a Red Man big league style cap. That's why it is hard to find cards with the tabs still attached.

Beckett's Almanac of Baseball Cards lists Berra's Red Man card at $100 with the tab and $40 without. The Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest has it at $65 and $45.

Beckett lists the Journal American card at $150.

More than likely you have either his Topps or Bowman card. The guides agree on the values of both cards. The Bowman card books at $175.

Berra's '54 Topps card has a top book value of $300.

Dear Babe: I have a Dale Earnhardt 5000 series 1994 Gold Card Press Pass. I purchased my card from QVC. In addition to Earnhardt, the back mentions Geff (sic) Gordon, Kyle Petty, Mark Martin, Ernie Irvan and Rusty Wallace as being part of the set.

-- Annie Beasley, Greenville, S.C.

Babe: Keeping track of all the items that were packaged for the cable TV shopping shows is no easy task. This one shouldn't be hard to track, since they misspelled Jeff Gordon's first name.

Dan Hitt, senior manager for the Collectibles Data Group at, said he didn't think these cards had real gold in them. He valued your Earnhardt card at $150, which isn't bad for an item sold on cable TV with a print run of 5,000.

I spotted a similar card on eBay. It was being offered for $99.

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



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