Mike Baker Authenticated Is An Unnecessary, Sloppy, Lazy Service

Severe amounts of conflicts of interests plague the entire grading side of the hobby. Its been that way since PSA graded their first card, and it probably isn’t going to change any time soon. Special grades for those submitting a certain volume of cards, specific grades for friends, and looking the other way allowing altered cards to make their way through the grading process happens all of the time. So many people turn a blind eye to these facts because the money and publicity that comes with these highly graded cards can be immense. In short, as long as the merry-go-round keeps spinning its extremely difficult to convince someone to get off the ride. You can blog, record YouTube videos, and Tweet all you want about how corrupt grading is and it won’t change a thing. In fact, grading companies like PSA have seen a record increase in sales even after stories exposing their corruption have come out.

Just when you thought card grading couldn’t get more ridiculous, let me introduce you to Mike Baker Authenticated. Mike Baker once worked for PSA. For a fee, his newly formed company will (get ready for this) grade your already graded cards. These graded graded cards come with a COA and a corresponding sticker attached to the card’s holder. I guess the holder is receiving the grade. This is total !@#$%.

The example I’m showing is of a LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck MVP #201 rookie card graded by SGC a GM 10.

Everything about this COA screams lazy. This is an SGC graded card, but the COA only mentions PSA. In addition to that, there are numerous misspellings:

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Probstein123 has been selling these on eBay. The two are probably working together. Probstein123 is notorious for shill bidding his own auctions, and a top place for card doctors to move their altered creations. All the investigations in the world haven’t been able to put a dent into his business. Very sad.

2020 has seen a massive wave of new money enter the hobby. Cards selling for record amounts have received national coverage. Services such as Mike Baker Authenticated prey on those who don’t know any better. You don’t need his stickers plastered all over your cards just to feel superior.

Unnecessary, sloppy, and lazy easily sums-up this service. The worst part about the whole thing is that people are buying into this garbage.

The Reprint Loophole

According to the official GO GTS Live! Glossary of Hobby Terms and Definitions, a reprint is defined as a card that has been purposely reproduced of an original, usually more expensive, card or set.

Browsing sites like eBay I’ve noticed something shady going on.  The word “reprint” is being used much too casually.  Seeing “reprint” in an auction title/description implies that the card you’re looking at was printed by the same company who made the original.  For the most part this is true.

What I find bothersome are the people selling cards they label as a “reprint” but did not originate from the manufacturer who issued the original card it is modeled after.  Many times these cards are flat-out counterfeit.  Using the word “reprint” tells the buyer its not the original while at the same time implying that it originated from the manufacturer.  This is what I refer to as The Reprint Loophole.  Its an easy way for counterfeiters to move their hoard of fake cards without being called out for doing so.  eBay allows it because they have zero knowledge of what a card company did or did not issue as a reprint.  Why would they want to?  The more items they allow to be sold, the more money they make.

I highly recommend doing you’re research before buying that reprint.  Make sure you know which set that reprint is coming from.  Glance over that product’s checklist to confirm it indeed contained reprints.

High-dollar cards are the prime target for scammers to take advantage of this loophole.  You see this with prospect and rookie cards of Mike Trout quite a bit.

Some of these counterfeit reprints are so convincing unaware buyers will treat them as if they’re the real deal.  Spending hundreds if not thousands on a card not worth a dime.

The real sneaky jerks don’t even use the word “reprint” in their auction titles/descriptions.  Instead they’ll use “RP”.

Fake ’18 Panini Illusions Football Autographs Start To Surface

Earlier this week I blogged about those elusive missing autographs that have been coming out of 2018 Panini Illusions Football.  I warned you that people would take advantage of that misprinted COA, and start signing them in an attempt to pass them off as the real deal.  Well, that didn’t take too long.  A seller on eBay that goes by “tolpul0” from Twin Falls, ID took a misprinted Sam Darnold card, signed it themselves, and is now selling it as an authentic autograph.  What a total crock!  Its sold too.  Last I saw it had one bid for $20 with a few days to go.  Not only is the autograph a terrible counterfeit, but its on-card.  Authentic pack-pulled examples are all signed on stickers.  PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

It would be nice if those who pulled a misprinted error could exchange the card for something.  The least Panini could do is give an official statement on the matter and/or give us an estimated print run of the errors.

Forged Inscriptions

Inscriptions are a fun way to make autographs more collectible.  These inscriptions can range from a funny nickname to a high achievement such as MVP or ROY.  But there is a darker side to the inscription world.  Scammers will take a simple autographed card, and add in their own inscription thinking it will increase its value.  Thats why its always a good idea to check with the manufacturer to see which cards have inscriptions and how many were made.

The CJ Spiller card below is a great example of someone adding their own inscription.  When compared to some of his other inscriptions, you can clearly see the handwriting differences.  Plus the ink on the inscription is much lighter.  Most of the time, inscription autographs usually appear with on-card signatures.  Probably because it allows for more room to write.  Rarely will you find an inscription on a sticker autograph.  In this hobby, not only are the signatures forged.

For more info, be sure to check out this post over on FCB.


Looking For A Good Laugh? Check Out Coach’s Corner

Its been over a year since I wrote about Coach’s Corner auctions, but I think its my duty as a blogger to keep reminding people of all the fake crap that floods our beloved hobby.  I was just watching a video of a product being opened, and to the right I saw an ad for Coach’s Corner.  This auction site is filled with one counterfeit item after another.  I seriously don’t see how they are allowed to stay in business.  I would say that 99.9% of all the COA’s that come with their signatures are totally bogus.  Its a great place for people to pickup fake junk to take to a show and pass off as the real thing.  I just don’t understand why people don’t question things like this.  Instead they move along like mindless little robots believing whatever they’re told.

When Babe Ruth autographed baseballs are only selling for $500.00, its a major red flag.  This place just makes me so mad!!!  Someone please shut them down!!!


This is total garbage!

Be Aware Of Raw AFLAC Autos

Remember when Topps would insert redemptions for their AFLAC sets in products like Bowman and Bowman Chrome?  I wish they still did that.  When they first starting doing it, I couldn’t believe all the hype that went along with them.

Its very important that collectors are aware of the dangers when purchasing an AFLAC autograph that wasn’t made available through a redemption.  AFLAC autographs were signed with a pen that didn’t always come out so bold.  Therefore many of the autographs came out thin and streaky.  A lot of scammers will take a Sharpie and make the player’s signature stand out more.  If you buy an AFLAC autograph and submit it for grading, its possible the grader might return it stating that it has been altered.  A lot of people either love or hate James Spence, but for AFLAC autographs it might be best to get one they have looked at.  Just be careful when purchasing a raw version, especially if it is of a popular player.

Thanks to the collectors over at FCB for bringing up this topic.


A & G = Prime Target For Scammers

Because of its popularity, Allen & Ginter will always be a prime target for scammers.  Up until a few years ago, people could use a flashlight to see what was inside of a Rip Card, then Topps got wise and decided to place the mini card inside a black wrapper.  But with this set having so many different variations and parallels it will always be easy to fool uneducated collectors.

2010 Allen & Ginter has only been out for a couple of days, but altered cards have already found their way to eBay.  Take a look at this card:


Yes, this is a card about the revolving door.  Its not the most exciting thing in the world, but its an invention that you can see all around.  This card was not hand-numbered by the good people at Topps.  Instead it was numbered by some nut who claims its a one-of-one because this card got caught in an actual revolving door.


I’m not sure what the story is with this one.  The seller claims it came from the pack like this.  Its very possible for a card to get stuck in a machine, but of coarse they say its a one-of-one.  What do you think happened to this card?

Please be careful when purchasing a “rare” Allen & Ginter card.  Its very important to find out if Topps made it or not.

The Final Blow To NSA

It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I talk about NSA cards, people still send me messages asking if this stuff is real.  Once again I will say NO!  I was recently directed towards this card by one of my readers.


Do you notice anything funny about this “authentic” Kirby Puckett relic?  Take a good look at the patch.  Those patches were worn in 2009 to commemorate the closing of the Metrodome.  Puckett played his last game in 1995 and passed away in 2006.  I highly doubt its possible that he wore a patch from 2009.

This is the final blow to those people that think NSA cards are legit.  All of the posts I’ve written about NSA have become quite popular, but this is the last time I will mention their name……. I think.  There isn’t much more to say after this.

Cut Signature Inc.

Little is known about Cut Signature Inc, but I would classify their cards to be in the same category as those NSA pieces of garbage.  For those people that think they’re getting an authentic Cy Young cut signature for $25.00, I’m sorry to say its not real.  The problem I have is that nowhere on the card does it state the signature is a reprint.  They make it sound like its a real autograph, but its not.  Luckily most of the sellers I’ve found trying to move these things state in the description its a reprint, but you can see how easily someone could try and pass it off as the real deal.


These things are bad reprints too.  Take a look at Young’s birthday and debut date.  The having him debuting 7 years before he was born.  It wouldn’t surprise me if these cards were made by NSA too.

Back Doored Cards

Cards sneaking out the back door isn’t anything new.  Ever since people realized these small pieces of cardboard containing images of their favorite athletes were worth something, cards have been find their way out the back.  This is one of the most annoying things I wish manufacturers could manage better.  Just because a card is limited to a certain number, doesn’t mean the manufacturer didn’t make more.  Probably the main reason why they printed more was so they could replace damaged cards collectors sent back.  The problem arises when someone leaks them onto the market when they have no right being there.  They aren’t fake or counterfeit, thats the tricky thing about it.

Take a look at this seller.  None of these X-Fractors are serial numbered.  They should be numbered to 250, but someone rummaged through the Topps garbage bin and took the leftovers.  I asked the seller, “Where did you get these?”  They told me they bought them at a show in Chicago.   I really wish Topps would discard of their garbage in a better manner.