Probstein123 Sells Fake Willie Mays eTopps Autograph

Popular eBay seller Probstein123 sold a questionable card recently. The card in question is a Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph. Screenshot. Probstein123 is a notable seller that scammers have used multiple times to move their homemade merchandise.

Fake Autograph Front
Fake Autograph Back

Topps sold non-autographed Willie Mays eTopps Classic cards in 2002 with a print run of (4,000) cards. In 2004, Topps had Willie Mays autograph (100) of those cards from 2002.

The card Probstein123 sold is authentic, but the autograph is not.

When issued by Topps, this specific eTopps autographed card (and many others) came with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). The COA has a serial number on it which matches the serial number found on the square hologram sticker on the back of the card.

Probstein123’s card does not come with a COA like it should.

I know what you’re thinking. Maybe the COA got lost. I highly doubt it. I don’t believe it exists.

The serial number on Probstein123’s card looks to be 5320815. When Topps sold these cards the serial numbers for the autographs were issued in a close sequence. A few other authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autographs to surface recently have the serial numbers 1354477 and 1354499. No authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autographs have a serial number anywhere near 5320815 like the one sold by Probstein123.

Here is what an authentic Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph should look like. This one has the 1354477 serial number, and the accompanying COA. Comparing it to the card Probstein123 sold, you can clearly see the autographs look nothing alike.

Authentic Autograph Front
Authentic Autograph Back

The non-autographed Willie Mays eTopps Classic cards come with a circular hologram on the back containing a serial number. Somehow a square hologram meant for an autographed card ended up on a non-autographed card such as the one Probstein123 sold. The Willie Mays autograph was then forged.

Authentic Non-autographed Front
Authentic Non-autographed Back

How did this happen? Good question. Scammers are very creative. The only way I would purchase a Willie Mays eTopps Classic Autograph is if it came with the accompanying COA, and had matching serial numbers. The square hologram on the back of the card alone isn’t enough. At least not for me.

I think the evidence is fairly clear that something isn’t right with the card Probstein123 sold. Especially when it comes to the Willie Mays signature which looks way too clean.

Fake Willie Mays 1997 Topps Auto Card Gets PSA’s OK

One of the rarest cards you could pull from a pack of 1997 Topps Series One Baseball is a Willie Mays Commemorative Reprints Autograph.

These cards are notorious for being faked. Blowout forums user superdan49 spotted a fake example up for sale on eBay that has the PSA/DNA seal of approval.

Not only is the autograph fake, but the card is too.

An article written in 2019 goes into much of the details on what to look for when it comes to identifying fake examples of these cards.

Once you know what to look for the difference between a fake card and authentic one is quite easy to spot. That signature and “Certified Autograph Issue” stamp on the fake have some major issues. PSA should have caught this right away.

On the plus side upon hearing about this mistake PSA has deactivated this fake card (69287393) from their database. Unfortunately this doesn’t take the card out of circulation, but it should give you another reason to check the PSA serial number on any card before shelling out your cash.

When PSA deactivates a serial number from their database it would be nice if a marketplace such as eBay could get notified. If that serial number gets deactivated and it shows up on eBay the seller and/or current high bidder should be alerted. As of this writing the fake card below is still up for sale.


Did Pristine Auction Sell A Fake Willie Mays Autograph?

UPDATE – 12/17/2022

According to Pristine Auction “Looks like that is an auction from 2014. This may have fooled us and others back then but is more known now. We always guarantee authenticity so we would buy it back (if we didn’t already).”

An interesting card sold over at Pristine Auction that I believe is worth talking about.

The card that caught my eye is the Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time Autograph.

Link to the Pristine Auction listing. Screenshot for when their auction listing comes down.

Its a great looking card, unfortunately Willie Mays never signed them for Fleer.

Fleer inserted redemption cards for these Willie Mays autographs inside packs of 2001 Fleer Tradition Baseball. For some reason Willie Mays chose not to sign them. Possibly due to him not wanting to sign Negro League items.

After Fleer’s bankruptcy the non-autographed cards they had intended Willie Mays to sign surfaced. Because they were originally meant to be signed the cards come with Fleer’s autograph COA on the back.

If you come across a Willie Mays 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time card containing an autograph there are two possible outcomes.

The first outcome is that the autograph is fake. Many scammers have forged Willie Mays’s signature on these aftermarket cards, and passed them off as the real thing. Collectors who don’t know the true history behind this card will see Fleer’s COA and not think twice about it’s authenticity.

Second would be that an individual purchased the non-autographed card on the secondary market and was able to get Willie Mays to sign it in person. Difficult to do, but not completely out of the realm of possibility.

I would stay far away from any autographed versions of this card. Even the examples that come with PSA/DNA and JSA authentication. If you didn’t get Willie Mays to sign the card yourself assume that it is a fake signature.

Judging by that Pristine Auction listing Fleer’s COA is suppose to be good enough. BAD IDEA! Their description mentions nothing about this card’s history. Either they don’t know about it or just don’t care. You be the judge as to whether that autograph is real or not.

Willie Mays does have an insert and relic found in the 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches In Time set. Both of these were pack-inserted by Fleer.

Under The Tree: The Willie Mays “Say Hey” Skateboard

Ok. This has to be a long lost relic from an alternative timeline and/or parallel universe. A place in time and space where instead of a baseball bat Willie Mays decided to pick up a skateboard. Imagine seeing Willie Mays at the skate park doing an Ollie, Hill bomb, and Benihana.

Union Surfer released The Willie Mays “Say Hey” Skateboard in the late 1950’s to early 1960’s. The “SF” logo pictured on his hat can date it no earlier than 1958 which is when the team relocated from New York to San Francisco.

Made of sturdy wood, this skateboard actually came in two different versions.

The most common version you will find has the graphics printed vertically, and measures 5″ x 23″.

A harder to find version has the graphics printed horizontally, and is a bit larger measuring 6.5″ x 28.75″.

Card of the Day: Willie Mays 1961 Topps #150

Card of the Day: Willie Mays 1959 Topps #50

Card of the Day: Mickey Mantle/Willie Mays 1962 Topps Managers’ Dream #18

Card of the Day: Willie Mays 2019 Topps Gallery Masters #196

Card of the Day: Willie Mays 1973 Topps #305

Card of the Day: Willie Mays 1953 Topps #244

 photo mays1953_zpshebh5snt.jpg