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  • Help With Authenticating Autographs

    I have some autographs that I purchased 15-20 years ago. I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice about getting them authenticated. I'm wondering who the most reputable companies for authentication are. I'm also trying to save some money. I know you get what you pay for but paying $150 to authenticate an autograph I paid $400 might be a little too much.

    I'm pretty confident 99% of the stuff I bought is legit because I bought from dealers I trusted. But there's one piece I'm very worried about. An 8x10 photo with signatures of DiMaggio, Mantle and Williams. I got it at a DiMaggio autograph show in New Jersey from Showcase by Lin Terry. I bought several items from him in the past but those were autographs that he got as a dealer comp for having a table at a particular show. He usually sold special cases for memorabilia and not autographs, but he did sell some autographs with his special frames. I was recently taking the photo out of the frame to clean it and found a certificate of authenticity from another company. The company on the certificate (The Plaques Gallery) has been linked to selling fraudulent items. Not all the stuff they sold was fake but at least some of it was. The date on the COA is 1993.

    It's an item I always wanted and I saved up for 6 moths to buy it back in 1994. If it comes back as a fake I would try to get my money back from the company that I bought it from and buy a new one from a reputable source. Any help or advice in regards to getting the photo authenticated or getting my money back if it turns out to be fake would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Scott
    I told you not to be stupid you moron.

  • #2
    No better authenticator than PSA/DNA. GAI is cheaper, I think, and very reliable, but if you want to shoot for the moon and KNOW your autos are real, PSA/DNA is the way to go. These were the guys who literally off the cuff picked up that that infamous Upper Deck card with two of four fake cut signatures on it was indeed not real. Here's their website...

    http://www.psadna.com/

    PSA/DNA is NOT cheap. The most they would charge in your case is $250. HOWEVER, I believe they offer discounts on items that were signed by multiple players vs. just doing it individually (they'd probably charge you about $150). I know you said you don't want something that expensive, but it is definitely an option I would consider.

    GAI is another company I trust. Here's their website.

    http://www.gacard.net/authentication_rates.asp

    The only thing about GAI is that their rates fluctuate WILDLY. They are cheaper than PSA/DNA (I would guess something like this would cost you $100, maybe a little less, to authenticate), but sometimes they'll throw your a curveball and highball the price. But fortunately, you can just call customer service and ask "how much for a signed 8x10 of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle?"

    EDIT: You can also try JSA (sometimes just known as "James Spence" after the founder), but I've seen WAY too many things signed in-person come back as "fake." They're almost TOO strict on how a signature should look. Ironically, they were the subject of that one news clip we had posted here with the fake Sal Bando autograph, but that was an abberation in the extreme. Almost without exception, they're just the opposite (which is still quite problematic, IMO).
    Last edited by Dalkowski110; 04-10-2008, 02:59 PM.
    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the help Dalkowski. I've seen both those videos with the Ruth/Cobb card and the Sal Bando one. Talk about a cheap set up with that Sal Bando one. I read that now JSA has to sit next to the signer and witness the signing before they give out an on site certification. I'll look at all three. JSA is going to be at a show near me this weekend so maybe I'll do that if I can afford it.

      Scott
      I told you not to be stupid you moron.

      Comment


      • #4
        No problem! Glad I could be of help.

        "JSA is going to be at a show near me this weekend so maybe I'll do that if I can afford it."

        Yeah, they really cleaned their in-person act up after the Bando incident. Generally, in-person authentifications are less expensive because of really three reasons:
        1) Sometimes an autograph certification company (ESPECIALLY PSA/DNA) will come up with "likely authentic" or "likely not authentic" at in-person shows, basically going neither way. Why? Because they have to. Sometimes a company will literally look at a given autograph for hours on end before reaching a definite conclusion.
        2) Because of postage.
        3) You can't slab a signature and write out a full letter of authentification on-site (and those cost about $25). The best you can do, generally, is a COA. Not that that makes any real difference; it's advantageous to you, price-wise.

        Oh, and unrelated, but don't in general trust GAI certificates dated before late 2006. They were just certifying almost everything. What wound up happening was almost everyone getting fired, the company relocating, and they picked up some FAR better management and certification people. It's even under new ownership. For a while, almost everyone was convinced GAI would change its name because it was so markedly different (they did change the logo, and if you want, I'll give you examples of cert on an auto I had re-certified as real by JSA and a later cert after the change in ownership).
        "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
        -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

        Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dalkowski110 View Post
          Oh, and unrelated, but don't in general trust GAI certificates dated before late 2006. They were just certifying almost everything. What wound up happening was almost everyone getting fired, the company relocating, and they picked up some FAR better management and certification people. It's even under new ownership. For a while, almost everyone was convinced GAI would change its name because it was so markedly different (they did change the logo, and if you want, I'll give you examples of cert on an auto I had re-certified as real by JSA and a later cert after the change in ownership).
          I'd be interested in anything like this. I'm still getting reaquainted with the hobby after a long absence and the more information I get the better. Thanks,

          Scott
          I told you not to be stupid you moron.

          Comment


          • #6
            Scott,

            Your wish is my command...



            Here's an early GAI logo. This one was printed in 2004 (noted on the back of the COA). Things were actually not too bad in '04 and having bought a lot of PSA/DNA and JSA items from the dealer in the past (and from better players), I do trust it. But even then, I did a doublecheck with JSA. They deemed my Judy Johnson signature to be real (thankfully).

            Now here's a logo from a COA issued in 2007...



            The player is PCL legend Bill "The Rooster" Schuster. And I feel safe with this COA. Note that the guy authenticating the 2004 autographs (Justin Priddy) actually DID survive the firings. However, Mike Baker, the guy seen on the COA below, is a completely new face who did work with PSA/DNA prior to late 2006, when the new ownership did their best to lure away guys like Baker from PSA/DNA and JSA.
            "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
            -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

            Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

            Comment


            • #7
              Can we put the links back up? There's a reason I didn't black out the serial numbers (you can't graft one on because of it...if I'd blacked out the serial number, you probably COULD graft one on with some photoshopping).
              "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
              -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

              Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, okay, scratch it. It's no big deal. The descriptions above should match the following two images...

                Here's the one from 2004...

                OldCorrectedGAI.JPG

                And here's the one from 2007...

                NewCorrectedGAI.JPG

                I'll be the first to admit my photoshop skills aren't good. In fact, they're nonexistant. However, take note of the GAI logos. That's what matters.
                "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

                Comment


                • #9
                  This is something I have been interested in for a while. I have a DiMaggio ball that was authenticated by JSA. I have thought about getting a second authentication and was wondering if it would be smart to get a PSA/DNA. I just don't want to spend the money if it won't really make a difference. Any other opinions?
                  I collect any and all Braves cards and memorabilia. I also collect baseballs and Pre-1060's Topps cards.
                  Trusted traders - Rpollard86, duckydps, Mike D., Rockhound, Drillbit

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    How was your ball authenticated by JSA? If you mailed it in, there's absolutely no need for a second opinion. If you had it looked at during a card show, then I'd consider PSA/DNA, but it would be your choice. Personally, it'd be good enough for me.
                    "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                    -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                    Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hello just wandered in , i am one of psa/dna bigger submitters , and yes like the guy said they are the best. i am not going to anybody is bad of the 3. i have known jimmy spence for maybe 20 years , he may say something is bad that is good but if he says OK then you are fine. i only deal in vintage and i tyhink some of the problem the companys run into when they start dealing with modern stuff they arent familiar with. it seems nobody will come out and say "i dont know" . bottom line stick to vintage. i would be more than happy to lok at any scans you have of items . if it is no good it is not worth sending in. i have a inventory of maybe 5000 psa/dna items vintage so i got a good idea on most.and the guys at psa are real good in person at shows to discuss the pieces , Steve Grad i believe is the best out there, especially with vintage football . but again glad to help out if you have any questions
                      The finest Vintage autographs and collectibles on the net

                      http://www.sportscollectorsgallery.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Authenticators Panel Discussion

                        Some well-known autograph guys were talking about authentication last week:

                        http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com...exemplars.html

                        Comment

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