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October 2011

Jewish World Series MVP Profile: Steve Yeager

During the World Series, has provided overviews of the cards and memorabilia for Jewish World Series MVP winners Larry Sherry (1959), Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965).

Steve Yeager 2004 UD Legends AutographIn this posting, the final in the series, we look at the collectibles of Steve Yeager -- who converted to Judaism following his playing career -- who shared the 1981 World Series MVP hardware withDodgers teammates Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.

The former backstop has nearly 150 different cards available, according to checklist and

These include dozens of different Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Donruss and Fleer cards from 1973 through 1987, and more than a dozen oddball and regional issues, including several Dodgers team cards, package insert cards from Burger Chef, Hostess, Mother's and Nestle, and a Hero Deck playing card.

Steve Yeager 1984 DonrussYeager also is the subject of numerous Topps and Upper Deck modern tribute and archival issues from 2000 to present, including several memorabilia and autograph cards (like the 2004 Upper Deck Legends autograph card pictured above right).

As a minor league and independent league coach and skipper, Yeager is also featured on cards for the San Bernadino Stampede, Long Beach Breakers, Jacksonville Suns, Las Vegas 51s, Inland Empire 66ers, and Long Beach Armada.

Yeager, of course, also has a card in the Jewish Major Leaguers series (JML 2003, #106).

With the exception of a small handful of the vintage regional and oddball cards and the modern autograph and memorabilia cards, most of Yeager's cards are considered common. Printed during the glut of over-printed, poorly-designed issues in the 1980s, they sell for $1 or less in ungraded conditions on eBay and the Marketplace.

The vintage regional and modern memorabilia cards will set collectors back $20-$30, or more, on eBay and Beckett, depending on condition and variation.

Steve Yeager Signed BaseballA bevy of Yeager photos -- including autographed publicity stills and vintage newspaper pictures -- signed bats, baseballs, helmets and bases, and programs, scorecards, yearbooks and ticket stubs can be found on and eBay

Prices vary widely by seller, season and piece. Expect to pay approximately $75-$100 for Yeager autographed memorabilia, $200-$300 for tri-MVP signed items, and more for team signed collectibles. As always, buyer beware.

Yeager MaskAs to equipment, a catchers' mask would make an especially interesting addition to one's Yeager collection. In 1976, after being impaled in the neck by shards from a shattered bat, Yeager and the Dodgers team trained invented and patented a throat protector for his catcher's mask. The gear is now standard equipment for most backstops. Do any readers have a signed catchers mask, with Yeager throat protector, or a chest protector or shin guards in their collection?

Steve Yeager Major LeagueFor collectors with more esoteric interests, the former catcher's collectibles extend well beyond the ball field.

In 1989, Yeager made his movie debut in Major League, with a bit part as Duke Temple. Yeager also appeared in the film's two sequels, and on several television programs in the '70s and '80s.

Memorabilia from the original Major League includes movie posters and lobby cards, Major League etc. There are also promotional baseball cards -- including one for Yeager as Temple -- put out by the studio and by art card creators. Does anyone have these oddball issues in their collection? More importantly, does anyone else appreciate the irony of his character's name, considering Yeager's conversion?

Movies aren't the only place Yeager shows his face and other (ahem!) assets. He also graces the pages in several editions of Playgirl, the infamous magazine that provides "entertainment for women."

Steve Yeager Playgirl CoverApparently the convert catcher had major '80s sex appear (must be the hair!), because he's the "celebrity nude" in the October 1982 edition and has images in the January 1983 issue, with fellow major leaguer Bucky Dent and two other players in the September 1983 issue, and again in the January 1984 edition.

Back issues of Playgirl featuring Steve Yeager's tush can be found on and eBay for $10-20, in case you were wondering. For reasons unknown to me, one Amazon seller lists the Yeager magazines for more than $300. Really.

Do you have this most intimate of Yeager items (if you must, click here to see Yeager in all his glory!) in your collection? Would you ever want it (not that there's anything wrong with that!)? If you did, would you want to have Yeager sign the centerfold?

If you asnwered yes to the last question, you'd have plenty of opportunity. Yeager is a regular on the autograph circuit, according to His most recent appearance was in September at Dodger Stadium.

Have you had the chance to meet the World Series MVP? What's your favorite Yeager memorabilia? Leave a comment below and let readers know.

Jewish World Series MVP Profile: Sandy Koufax previously published an overview of some of 1959 World Series MVP Larry Sherry's collectibles.

Today, as part of JewishSportsCollectible's profiles of Jewish World Series Most Valuable Player Award winners, we look at some of the trading cards and memorabilia of Sandy Koufax, the Hall of Famer pitcher who won the World Series Most Valuable Player in 1963 and 1965.


Collectors seeking Koufax cardboard have a wide variety of options. lists 947 different Koufax cards in its online checklists. The Koufax card catalogue includes dozens of modern commemoratives that book for a few bucks, as well as vintage pasteboard and modern autograph inserts that can set you back thousands, even tens of thousands, of dollars.

Sandy Koufax 1955 Topps RCThe lefty's interesting cards include:

  • Koufax's Topps 1955 rookie and 1956 cards. Both feature beautiful designs and were among Topps' "All Time Fan Favorites" cards, as mentioned in a previous posting.

    Expect to pay big bucks for these cards, if you value high grades. Pristine Koufax pasteboard has gaveled for $40,000+, according to the Sports Collectors Digest Auction Database.
  • Sandy Koufax 2000 UD MasterThe 2000 Upper Deck issued the Brooklyn Dodgers "Master Collection," a limited edition,15-card set numbered to 250 and 11 memorabilia chase cards.

    The Koufax memorabilia card (LOF 11) includes an action shot of Koufax in full windup, over the exterior of Ebbett's Field. It includes an autograph and a swatch of one of the hall of famer's game-used jerseys. The card sells for $800-$1,800 on eBay.

Koufax also has a card in the 2003 debut Jewish Major Leaguers card set. His card is, in fact, the first  in the set (JML 2003, #1). Like the lefty's other cardboard, the Koufax JML single commands a premium. The standard issue card sells for nearly $20 on eBay. Collectors should expect to pay as much as $65 for the gold limited edition card.

Sandy Koufax Signed BallDespite the southpaw's notable public reclusiveness, there is no shortage of Koufax autographed baseballs on the market, for collectors wanting to put a signed orb on their mantle or in their display case.

Steiner Sports (fair warning: you'll inexcusably, in my opinion, be required to enter your email address in order to view the Steiner website!) offers five varieties of Koufax autographed balls, including signed balls with World Series, Perfect Game and Cy Young inscriptions, for $500-$1,000. sellers offer more than 150 different Koufax autographed baseballs, including those offered by Steiner, Upper Deck and balls authenticated by James Spence and PSA/DNA. Cost varies widely by seller and inscription, but expect to pay at least $300.

Koufax signed jerseys -- both autographed and unsigned -- are also available on Unsigned replica jerseys start at $75. Mounted Memories offers Koufax autographed jerseys -- including Mitchell & Ness home and away jerseys with a variety of inscriptions -- both on its site and Amazon. Prices range from $800-$1,000. 

Vintage Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers team- and multi-signed jerseys, balls and bats occasionally come up for regularly bid at the marquee action houses. Given collector demand and the other Hall of Famers on the Dodgers squad, these always realize premium prices.

Heritage Auctions Koufax 1966 WS GloveIt's rare, however, to see a Koufax game-used jersey or glove on the auction market. And, when such items do go under gavel, they've commanded high-five- and even six-figure bids.

Heritage Auctions Koufax JerseyKoufax's signed 1966 World Series game-used leather -- which the pitcher autographed, inscribed and gifted to umpire Doug Harvey -- hammered for $107,550 during Heritage Auction Galleries' April 23-24, 2009 sale.

One of Koufax's signed, 1957 game-worn Brooklyn Dodgers road jersey gaveled for $77,675 during the September 11, 2004 sale by Heritage. A jersey like this would almost certainly realize more money now than it did 7 years ago, despite today's bleak economy.

If you like your collectibles hanging on the wall, there are numerous Koufax photos and artwork available for purchase.


Koufax No Hitter Steiner Photo

Koufax No Hitter Upper Deck Photo
Steiner Sports
 offers 15 Koufax photos. Expect to pay between $699-$1,400 for the unframed, autographed, 16X20 black and white images.

The same Steiner memorabilia is also available on Purchasing through the Internet superstore can save budget-crunched collectors a few sheckels (as much as $150!).

Also available on are several Upper Deck Authenticated images of the southpaw, including the signed photo of Koufax celebrating his fourth no hitter shown to the right above. 

The autographed displays will set you back approximately $1,000. Sandy Koufax Leroy Neiman

Koufax is also the subject of a well-known Leroy Neiman serigraph, pictured at right. Expect to pay $2,000-$6,000 on eBay for the print. Collectors with modest budgets can occassionaly find promotional postcards for the serigraph for about $10 on eBay .

The Hall of Famer has been pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated six times, as detailed in this previous JewishSportsCollectibles posting. Originals, some autographed, can be found on and eBay. Sports Illustrated's Classic Cover Collection sells reproductions.

For Jewish collectors who prefer their memorabilia hardbound, Koufax is featured in hundreds of books. 

These include Jane Leavy's iconic 2002 biography, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, and the critically acclaimed kids book, You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!

Koufax is also graces the pages of Day by Day in Jewish Sports HistoryThe Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players and is the cover photo on The Big Book of Jewish Baseball and Jews and Baseball: Volume 2, The Post-Greenberg Years, 1949-2008.

I've touched on just a few of the tomes in which Koufax is the subject. lists 1,3254 titles for Koufax. What books do you have on your shelf? What's your favorite Koufax book? 

Last but not least, Koufax is featured prominently in the documentary film Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story. The movie (check out the review) includes vintage game footage of Koufax and a rare interview with the pitcher. Collectors can purchase the DVD from or on the documentary's website, which also offers posters, baseball caps, t-shirts and other tchotchkes


Koufax is considered hobby royalty, by both Jewish and non-Jewish baseball collectors. No doubt, this posting has overlooked and omitted some of the Hall of Famer's memorabilia. What have I missed?

What's your most valued Koufax collectible? Have you been fortunate enough to have meet the hall of famer in the past? Do you have a Koufax signature in your autograph collection?

Leave a comment below to share with readers.


I'd hoped to complete all of the profiles of the Jewish World Series MVPs during the World Series. This review of Sandy Koufax's collectibles took longer than expected, however, given the breadth of his available memorabilia.

While it may publish after the Series is over (come on Feldman and Kinsler!), stay tuned for a posting in the coming days on the cards and memorabilia of Steve Yeager -- who converted to Judaism after his career. 

Jewish World Series MVP Profile: Larry Sherry

As mentioned in a previous posting on, two Jewish players -- Larry Sherry (1959) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) -- and a player who converted to Judaism after his career -- Steve Yeager -- won a total of four MVP trophies during the 55-year history of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award (which started in 1955). Interestingly, all three played for the Los Angeles Dodger when they captured the honors.

Today, offers a look at some of the Larry Sherry's collectibles. We'll examine the collectibles of Koufax and Yeager in other entries to be posted during the World Series.

Larry Sherry 1960 Topps Brother BatterySherry's cards include Topps issues each year from 1960 through 1968. The vintage cards almost all have beautiful designs, as is typical with the early Topps issues.

Particularly interesting to me are Sherry's 1960 Topps rookie (featuring a wonderful horizontal design, to which I'm extremely partial) and his 1961 "Brother Battery" card, which includes Larry and his brother/catcher, Norm Sherry.

The Sherry brothers were the only Jewish brother battery in baseball history, according to The Big Book of Jewish Baseball, and one of six pairs of Jewish brothers to make the Major Leagues. The other five, according to information found in the Jewish Major Leaguers baseball card set, are: Andy and Syd Cohen, Harry and Ike Danning, Erskine and Sam Mayer, and Jacob and Lipman Pike, and Lou and Harry Rosenberg.

Larry Sherry 1967 Bottle Cap Larry Sherry 1961 Topps Baseball StampsSherry is also featured on a number of regional and special issue cards and memorabilia. These include: the 1961 Bell Brand and 1961 Nu-Card Scoops Dodgers cards; 1961 Topps Stamps; 1962 Post Cereal LA Dodgers cards;  a 1965 Topps gold foil "embossed" card; a 1967 Detroit Tigers Coke and Fanta Orange soda bottle caps; and the 1980 TCMA 1959 Dodger commemorative card. Sherry is also featured in the Jewish Major Leaguers card set (2003, #88).

A 2008 TriStar card includes Sherry's clipped signature. This appears to be his only autograph card. offers a more complete checklist of Sherry's cardboard; the site lists 58 cards for the pitcher.

Sherry's standard issue cards sell for between $1-$15 in the Marketplace and on eBay, depending on condition. The TriStar autographed card sells for $10-25, and the regional and special issues vary in price widely. They tend to be reasonably priced, however, available for $30-$75 depending on the seller and condition.

Larry Sherry Wire PhotoCollectors can find a variety of autographed Larry Sherry memorabilia on eBay. This includes signed baseball and index cards, photos, baseballs and programs. Prices range from $10 to $250, depending on the item and condition. As always, buyer beware!

eBay is also chock full of vintage photographs of Sherry, including this wonderful wire photo of the pitcher celebrating his World Series win.

Several vintage Larry Sherry model (consumer) baseball gloves also appear on the auction giant.

Collectors looking to add Sherry memorabilia to their bookshelf have several options to choose from. Sherry is profiled in The Big Book of Jewish Baseball, Day by Day in Jewish Sports History, The Baseball Talmud: The Definitive Position-by-Position Ranking of Baseball's Chosen Players and Jews and Baseball: Volume 2, The Post-Greenberg Years, 1949-2008.

What Larry Sherry memorabilia do you have in your collection? Have I forgotten and important Sherry collectibles?

Did you ever have the chance to meet or correspond with Larry Sherry before his death in 2006? Do you own any Sherry autographed collectibles? What's your favorite piece?

Jewish World Series MVPs Preview

After a 162-game regular season and two rounds of playoffs, it's time for baseball's Fall Classic: the World Series. Starting on Wednesday, the Texas Rangers -- with Jewish Major Leaguers Scott Feldman and Ian Kinsler -- take on the St. Louis Cardinals.

Larry Sherry Wire PhotoIn the 55-year history of the World Series Most Valuable Player Award (which started in 1955), two Jewish players -- Larry Sherry (1959) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (1963 and 1965) -- won MVP honors three times. Steve Yeager, who converted to Judaism following his playing career, shared the 1981 World Series MVP hardware with fellow Dodgers Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero.

Stay tuned to for a series up upcoming postings about the collectibles and memorabilia associated with the Jewish Fall Classic MVP winners.

RIP Al Davis

Al Davis, the Jewish owner of the Oakland Raiders, died on Yom Kippur, October 8, 2011. He was 82 years old.

Davis, whom the New York Times described as a "genius in silver and black," was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

From 1963 through his death, Davis served as the Raiders coach, general manager and principal owner. He was also the Commissioner of the American Football League, and helped create the Super Bowl, which his teams won three times.

The Raiders have posted a tribute video to Davis on their web site.

Davis is the subject of several football cards, and his autograph is among the most sought after of the football hall of fame members.

Stay tuned to for an upcoming posting about Al Davis memorabilia.

In the meantime, rest in peace, Al Davis. May your memory be for a blessing.

To all JSC readers, I wish you all the best for a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous new year.