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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Nashua reader wonders about Ortiz-signed ball

Dear Babe: About five years ago, my son presented me with a signed, official league baseball. The guy who signed it was none other than David “Big Papi” Ortiz. Jim Carboni, Nashua.

If you’re a Red Sox fan, then your son is probably rated pretty high on the most-favored list. He’s probably one of the most sought-after signatures for a Red Sox fan. ...

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Dear Babe: About five years ago, my son presented me with a signed, official league baseball. The guy who signed it was none other than David “Big Papi” Ortiz. Jim Carboni, Nashua.

If you’re a Red Sox fan, then your son is probably rated pretty high on the most-favored list. He’s probably one of the most sought-after signatures for a Red Sox fan.

With 417 homers and counting in a 17-year career that includes two World Series titles and eight All-Star game selections, there’s more and more talk about Ortiz and the Hall of Fame.

On the plus side, he’s gotten oodles of publicity by being in Boston.

On the down side, he has been a designated hitter most of his career. Plus, like a lot of other home run hitters in this day and age, there’s also been talk about performance-enhancing drugs.

Da Babe checked with David Kohler, president of www.scpauctions.com, and Mike Heffner, president of www.lelands.com. Both put the exact same value on an Ortiz-signed baseball: $75.

It might do a little better than that in your neck of the woods. Authenticated baseballs from trusted sources probably sell for more than that, as well.

Dear Babe: I have 27 unopened packs and two opened packs of Sunoco football stamps. The numbers on my opened packs do not match the numbers on the guides and some stamps have the same number. Why? – Susan Merkle, Howell, Mich.

Sunoco issued a massive set of 624 stamps as premiums for folks who bought its gas.

The stamps came on nine-player perforated sheets. You listed 17 names, so it looks like you’re missing one of the stamps from the two booklets.

The numbers on the front are the player’s uniform numbers, which accounts for the duplicates. The stamps themselves are unnumbered.

While the stamps have adhesive on the back, they were made to be inserted into special albums – not pasted in. Stamps pasted into albums are worth a small fraction of the value on unpasted stamps.

There were 24 players from each NFL team – 12 offensive and 12 defensive players. If a 624-stamp set wasn’t big enough. Sunoco issued an update premium, which consisted of team sheets. There are an additional 82 players on the team sheets that aren’t listed in either of the two albums Sunoco offered.

The stamps feature a number of pre-rookies who, at the time, had yet to appear on a Topps card. In the main set, these include Roger Staubach, John Riggins, Jack Hamm and Ted Hendricks among others. The top pre-rookie in the update set is Bobby Moore, who became Ahmad Rashad.

Beckett’s annual Football Card Price Guide lists the entire 624-stamp set at $75-$150, while the Standard Catalog of Vintage Football Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest has it at $37-$125. Beckett has the update set at $125-$200, while the Standard Catalog lists it at $22-$75.

Most regular stamps in top condition list for 10 to 20 cents with updates booking at $1-$1.25.

Beckett’s Almanac notes that 144 stamps were included with each album, as well as being handed out at service stations.

These are considered double prints and are worth less than other common stamps.

Beckett’s top stamps in the first release are Staubach and Joe Namath at $8 each.

The Standard Catalog lists O.J. Simpson for $12, with Namath and Staubach at $10 each.

In the update set, Moore/Rashad lists for $8-$10.

However, Beckett notes that the Raiders and Bears team sheets are tougher to find.

Therefore, the values for those players’ stamps carry a premium. Beckett lists them at $20 each, with the exception of Cliff Branch, who books at $25, because his is a pre-rookie card stamp.

They include Bears players Bob Asher, Steve DeLong, Tony McGee, Jim Osborne and Jim Seymour, and Raiders Branch, Gus Otto, Otis Sistrunk and Charlie Smith.

It looks like booklets sell for $1-$3 when sold in lots in eBay auctions.

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 e-mail babewaxpak@charter.net.