For Your Hobby Amusement

I just had to laugh when I saw these cards.  Has anyone ever seen Fake Takes before?  They are totally non-authentic and are made just for your own amusement.  This Sammy Sosa is suppose to have a piece of cork in it.  I’ve seen others that feature a piece of betting slip which is supposed to have been used by Pete Rose.  I love the fact they say “Unauthenticity” across the top and the “Tenish” grade it received.  Believe it or not, but people have even been purchasing these things.  They only sell for a couple of bucks though.  Click on the picture to enlarge.  I’m sure you’ll get a chuckle.


This Looks Fishy

This auction raises a million red flags.  This Yogi Berra 1952 Bowman baseball card looks to be graded and/or certified by PSA, but the seller states its graded a MINT 9.  Looking at the photo that card doesn’t look to be in MINT 9 condition, just look how round some of the corners are.  They also don’t show the actual grade or serial number.  In addition to that they are asking $10,000.00 having 0 feedback.  If you ever want to make a purchase like this always check the seller’s feedback, make sure you can see the grade, and check to make sure the grading serial number matches the card.  This auction has scam written all over it.

Ken from Scoreboard is back

Last year I found a video on YouTube that featured Ken from the now dead sports card company Scoreboard, selling cards on HSN.  Just like back in the mid 90’s he was trying to pass off cards that he said were rookies when they really aren’t.  Everytime he is on HSN all the cards that they are selling are graded by WCG, who basically give any card in the world a Gem Mint 10 grade.  Searching YouTube today, I found another video of Ken, back on HSN last month selling more junk to new collectors.  All of those cards could be purchased on eBay, probably for less than $10.00 (that includes shipping).

Operation “Foul Ball” – FBI Appears at the 2008 National

I found this article on the NY Daily News website.  Very disturbing news about the hobby.  The FBI hit them at the right time.  This should really put a scare to those people who make counterfeit cards.

“The same day Mastro Auctions sold a rare 1909 Honus Wagner card for $1.62 million at a sale held in conjunction with the National Sports Collectors Convention in Rosemont, Ill., federal agents investigating fraud in sports collectibles questioned employees of Professional Sports Authenticator, the hobby’s top card grading service.

Also on Friday, investigators from the FBI and the United States Postal Service interviewed a former Mastro Auctions employee who is known to be a “card doctor,” somebody who fixes dog-eared corners, removes stains, flattens out creases or takes other steps to improve the appearance of trading cards. Most collectors and dealers consider it unethical to alter cards.

“They spent a lot of time at the PSA booth,” one sports memorabilia executive said.

Federal agents spent several hours Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the National, sports memorabilia’s largest annual convention, issuing subpoenas to appear before a grand jury investigating fraud in the memorabilia business.

The agents’ appearance at the show is part of an investigation into sports memorabilia fraud initiated last year by the Chicago division of the FBI, whose “Operation Foul Ball” smashed a multistate autograph forgery ring during the 1990s. The target of the investigation appears to be Illinois-based Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia’s largest auction house, although other businesses and individuals may also be involved.

The source said Bill Mastro, the company’s chairman, looked cool and collected during the auction, held this year at the Chicago ESPNZone. “But (Mastro president Doug Allen) looked awful,” the executive added. “I think all this is getting to him.”

Allen and Mastro could not be reached for comment Saturday. Neither could Joe Orlando, president of PSA.

The fact that PSA officials and the former Mastro employee were interviewed by agents indicates that investigators are also interested in learning about “card doctoring.”

Cards that have been trimmed, colored or repaired are tainted and worth considerably less than cards that have not been altered. The difference in the value of cards that have been altered and the same card that has not been doctored can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

PSA was formed in 1991 to protect collectors from card doctors, counterfeiters and other cheats. But the company has been a lightning rod for controversy. Collectors and dealers say PSA inflates grades for cards submitted by big-volume customers such as Mastro Auctions.

The first card the company graded – another 1909 Wagner, at the time owned by NHL great Wayne Gretzky – had been cut from a sheet and later doctored, according to “The Card,” a book by two Daily News reporters. The Wagner, which PSA graded an 8 (on a scale of 1-10) sold for a record $2.8 million last year, even though a former PSA authenticator has said the company knew the card had been doctored.”