20th-Century Gene Woodling Professional Baseball Archive

Value (2008) | $85,000 Insurance

GUEST:
My father was a professional baseball player for 19 years and played with the Yankees, the Orioles, the Indians, Senators and the Mets.

APPRAISER:
And his name was Gene Woodling, right?

GUEST:
Gene Woodling, correct.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, a prominent outfielder.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Well, we have quite a bit of material here. Tell me something about these team-signed balls.

GUEST:
Well, these are the five World Series balls that the Yankees won, in a row, from 1949 through '53.

APPRAISER:
Well, I'm going to get to value right away. Each one of these balls represents about $5,000 in value.

GUEST:
Oh, my word.

APPRAISER:
Okay? Now, you got two Yankee World Series rings, and you also have a Baltimore World Series ring there, too. Those are just incredible rings, very, very difficult to obtain. Collectors love them. I think that these three rings here represent $38,000-$40,000 worth of value.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Now, you have these photos, and inside here, we have several other photos that are vintage-signed. And what I mean by that is, photos that are signed, in this case, from the 1950s. As opposed to convention show signings in Sharpie pens from the last 25, 30 years.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
And I pulled these out because these are the photos that collectors really seek the most and that are the hardest to find, and you get the earliest examples of these signatures. In particular, here, you've got this Mickey Mantle signed photo to your father, a teammate. This photo alone would have a value of about $2,500-$3,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness.

APPRAISER:
This photo with Mickey Mantle, your father, and also Irv Noren, I believe on the auction block, this would probably get between $2,000- $3,000. The very early Joe DiMaggio and Gene Woodling signed photo, probably in the thousand-ish dollar range. You have, here, his complete collection of contracts from when he was, like, a minor league player all the way through to the end of his playing career, representing approximately 20 years worth of baseball playing.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
And it just is a load of contracts. We can't go through all of these, but, I mean, there's 19 here. And these would have a value of about anywhere from between $300 to $500 apiece. These photos are just incredible, all signed to your father. They would bring several thousand dollars on the auction market. In the cruel world of baseball auctions, this collection would be broken up and sold individually, pretty much like what I'm telling you. But as an archive and as an incredible tribute to your father, I would insure this portion of the collection for about $85,000.

GUEST:
Oh, my goodness. I had no idea. We've never had it appraised or anything. Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Heritage Auctions
Dallas, Texas
Appraised value (2008)
$85,000 Insurance
Event
Dallas, TX (June 28, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Material
Paper, Metal, Leather

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Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

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