Dear Babe: We have three Shaquille O'Neal size 44 Lakers jerseys. They were made by Champion and have the logo on the bottom ("It takes a little more to make a Champion"). There are two gold jerseys and a purple one. The person who owned these shirts has pictures with Shaq and Rick Fox. I contacted Champion customer service and they told me they stopped making Lakers Jerseys a long time ago. She said there is no one there who can take time authenticating items. The label on one in the neck says "X-LARGE." All three were made in Mexico.
-- E.C., Cherry Valley, Calif.
Babe: You did a great job on the research. It's always nice when readers help on that end.
As your research shows, Champion did make Lakers jerseys, but it was about 10 years ago.
Generally, there are three kinds of jerseys. Top dollar goes to game-used jerseys. Then there are game jerseys that were not worn in games. Finally, there are the jerseys made for retail sales at stadiums and in stores.
It looks to me as if an O'Neal game-used jersey should be a size 56 with a plus-6 for length. This size should be on a tag at the bottom of the jersey. Jerseys produced for sales in stores generally will have more traditional sizes such as "XLG."
Based on what you've shared with me, I'd say these are jerseys made for sales in stores or for players to give away. I don't think we'd find a gamer that says "X-LARGE" or one that is loaded with words in Spanish. I'd assume that game-used attire is made in the good old U.S. of A, but you never know, especially since Commissioner David Stern wants the NBA to be a worldwide brand.
That said, a game worn O'Neal jersey from his days with the Lakers is worth around $2,000, said David Kohler, president of www.scpauctions.com. A game jersey that hasn't been used is worth a few hundred, he said.
Store-bought jerseys aren't worth a lot. They are not really a collectible. With Shaq on his third team since leaving Los Angeles, it's going to be hard to find folks willing to pay a premium for a Lakers store-bought jersey. It looks like adult sizes are selling for $20-$50 in online auctions, but one Nike jersey sold for $125.
Pictures of Shaq and Fox -- even holding a jersey -- really mean nothing in this case. They could have been donated to a charity auction or the players might have been at an event where the jerseys were given away.
Dear Babe: I have an old beat-up New York Yankees cap and the scorecard/program for the July 4, 1983, game at Yankee Stadium when Dave Righetti no-hit the Boston Red Sox. As I recall I kept score of the game in that program and the ticket stub is stapled to the program.
-- John Dunn, Merrimack, N.H.
Babe: Righetti's no-hitter was one of several gems pitched on holidays. His came on July 4, 1983, before 41,077 fans. A couple of others worth noting are Jim Bunning's perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies against the New York Mets on Father's Day (June 21) 1964 and Dallas Braden's perfecto for the Oakland A's against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Mother's Day (May 9) 2010 at the Oakland Coliseum.
"The ticket and program are around $200 -- $125 for the ticket and $50 to $75 for the program," said Mike Heffner, president of www.Lelands.com. "A full ticket could fetch as much as $500."
(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 babewaxpak(@charter.net.)