Monday, June 22, 2015

How to identify airbrushed signed baseballs

There are resources that will airbrush baseballs to remove personalizations or unwanted signatures to create a "single signed ball." It's important to note that the personalizations or unwanted signatures have not been removed, rather they have been skillfully painted over.

In most cases I have seen, the sellers do not disclose this type of work has been performed. The ethics of that is another topic unto itself.

For removed personalizations, look for the remaining writing to look off center or oddly placed. Sometimes you will see subtle hints of airbrushing that touches the edge of the remaining signature, or slight remnants of the removed writing that remain close to the signature. You may see slight over spray onto the red stitching and/or white spray into the holes of the stitching.

Finally, if you have the ball in hand, the paint should light up unnaturally under a UV light.

While the airbrush artists do a good job at color matching, what happens if the leather in the ball tones over time? I doubt the paint will tone along with it. Will you end up with a naturally toned ball that looks like it has white paint spots on it?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Forger Greg Marino: Still bringing in the bucks

The FBI busted the Operation Bullpen forgery ring, including the primary forger, Greg Marino, over 15 years ago. Yet his work still pollutes the hobby today.

At the time, Marino’s “Mickey Mantles” were considered deceptive fakes; but they are glaringly obvious by today’s standard. Yet, fish are still taking the bait. 

Here is someone who spent $419.14 on a worthless Greg Marino penned Mickey Mantle forgery on eBay.

In my view, the forgery problem on eBay is as bad or worse than it has ever been. Anyone with a trained eye knows eBay is overrun with fake autographs. There are no meaningful measures in place to keep bad sellers in check and the sellers know they can peddle forgeries with impunity.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The value of a descriptive auction listing title

Here is a Derek Jeter figurine from the Danbury Mint. A high quality statue that should got for $75 or more all day long.

And this is what happens when it is listed as "Derek Jeter Collectible" with no description on eBay. It sold for $14.82 shipped.