Ballplayers' photos put value of board game in big leagues

Q: Is my old "Major League Indoor Base Ball" game in its original wooden box by the Philadelphia Mfg. Co. valuable?

It has all of its pieces which are in very good condition. There are photographs of 16 players, including Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner on the box top, which has a few stains.


A: Your rare circa 1912 board game could be a championship addition to any baseball memorabilia collection.

Another copy in comparable condition hit a whopping $3,080 at Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.'s June 1992 auction of the Siegel Collection of Games and Toys. Auctioneer Noel Barrett (P.O. Box 1001, Carversville, Pa. 18913, [215] 297-5109), knows of only 12 other complete copies. Philadelphia Mfg. Co. also produced a less desirable version of this game, worth around $800 to $1,000 in good condition; its plain green-colored box cover lacks the photos of the famous players which enhance your set.


Q: What's the value of my blue and white ceramic water pitcher made for the B&O; railroad?

It's marked with the dates 1827 and 1927 and "Baltimore and Ohio Railroad / Scammell's / Lamberton China / Design Patented." It was given to me by my father-in-law, a retired B&O; employee, who purchased it from the company around 1941.

A: Your two-quart "Colonial" pattern water pitcher commemorating the B&O; railroad's centennial has been made continuously by many different companies since 1927. Yours, by Scammell's, is the original issue and is worth around $1,200 to $1,500 in perfect condition, according to Douglas McIntyre, author of "The Official Guide to Railroad Dining Car China" ($51.50 postpaid from Mr. McIntyre, 20 Cleveland Place, Lockport, N.Y. 14094).

The Colonial pattern was so popular when it was introduced that the railroad not only used it in its dining cars, but also sold it as souvenirs aboard its trains. The two-quart pitcher cost $2.65 in 1927.

Reproductions of B&O; china are available at the B&O; Railroad Museum's Mount Clare Crossing gift shop, 901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore 21223; (410) 539-2311. An eight-piece place setting retails for $139. For details about museum hours and admission call (410) 752-2490.


Railroadiana collectors will be steaming to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Gaithersburg for the 16th Annual Railroad Transportation and Artifacts Show on Nov. 6-7. For show information, contact Charles Miller, (703) 536-2954.