- Andy Alas, UACC Official, Gets
The October/November 2007 issue of Autograph magazine ran a four
page story on the Rock & Roll autograph collection of Andy
Andy Alas is a long time official with the UACC (Universal Autograph
Collectors Club). Presently he is the head of the clubs
Registered Dealer program and is also a member of their Executive
Board. During Mr. Alass interview for the story, he stated
the prize of his Rock & Roll collection is a guitar with
23 autographs. Actually, Mr. Alas needs to count the signatures
on his own guitar as it contains 24 signatures. Mr. Alas led
the person interviewing him to believe that he obtained all the
signatures in person. Autograph magazine illustrated on a full
page, in color, the 24 signatures on the guitar. After reading
the article and closely examing all the signatures, autograph
authenticator Roger Epperson determined each and every signature
on the guitar was forged.
What you wont read elsewhere is that when Mr. Alas was
confronted about the signatures, he held firm and stuck with
his in person story. Mr. Alas even went to the length
of creating a spread sheet which listed the signatures
he obtained himself and which signatures his brother got on the
Mr. Epperson looked at the spread sheet and knew Mr. Alas was
not telling the truth. Steve Cyrkin, Editor and publisher of
Autograph magazine confronted Mr. Alas and under the pressure,
Mr. Alas finally came clean.
Mr. Alas now states he purchased the guitar at auction. Mr. Alas
who is supposed to know the autographs of Rock & Roll stars
claims that he went as far as checking the signatures on the
guitar against the database kept by R&R Auctions on past
items sold. After checking what R&R has sold, Mr. Alas was
convinced the signatures on his guitar were genuine.
Since the story broke, it has been suggested to Mr. Alas, that
he resign his membership in the UACC. The December issue of Autograph
magazine contains a lengthy apology by Mr. Alas. Mr. Alas stated:
I foolishly led him (senior editor of the magazine) to
believe that I had obtained the signatures in person. The
article also states that the UACC is investigating the story
however there is no mention who in the UACC is doing the investigating.
It also doesnt state whether the UACC has turned this matter
over to their Ethics Committee. In the Nov/Dec 2007 issue of
the UACC club pamphlet there is no mention of this situation.
Another interesting note is that Mr. Alas was a member of the
UACC Ethics Committee from March 1, 2000 thru February 29, 2004.
During his term (Nov. 2002) Mr. Alas received a complaint from
UACC member in good standing William Decker against Paul Carr,
President of the UACC. There were several requests, in writing,
from Mr. Decker demanding his complaint be acted upon by the
Ethics Committee. No action was taken by the Ethics Board on
the complaint other than Mr. Deckers membership in the
club was eventually terminated.
This unfortunate Alas situation is just another scandal during
the term of Michael Hecht as president of the UACC. The autograph
community is closely watching how the club handles Mr. Andy Alas.
- Memory Lane Inc. Most Everyone
This article could have been published nearly a week ago however
wanted to see how the management of Memory Lane Inc. was going
to handle the following situation.
It was on the 10th of December 2007 that www.autographalert.com
was notified by Ron Keurajian that Memorylaneinc.com was holding
an auction and in this auction was offered a 1900 Christy Mathewson
signed Rookie Contract with a minimum reserve bid of $25,000.
Mr. Keurajian stated the contract was NOT signed by Christy Mathewson.
Ron Keurajian is known to many who collect the autographs of
those in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mr. Keurajian is presently
working on a book regarding the autographs of members in the
Baseball Hall of Fame which will hopefully be published in 2008.
He has written numerous autograph educational articles for Sports
Collectors Digest and is also the author of the Christy Mathewson
Signature Study published in December 2004.
That same day other respected baseball autograph authenticators,
who have genuine credentials authenticating autographs, came
forward stating the signature of Mathewson on that contract in
notified Bill Dorvall of Memory Lane Inc. regarding this situation.
At that time the bids on this contract were up to $28,000 less
the buyers premium. Bill sent us up the ladder in his organization
and put us in touch with Roger Cameron. There was nearly a 45
minute phone discussion with Mr. Cameron and a representative
regarding the signature on the contract. It was explained in
detail to Mr. Cameron why the signature was not hand signed by
Christy Mathewson. Mr. Cameron appreciated the information and
asked for names of respected autograph authenticators who could
also confirm what he just learned. Mr. Cameron was given the
names of three seasoned autograph authenticators who have some
of the best documented credentials. The three names are some
of the most respected names in the sports autograph industry.
Now, just hours before the end of the auction, Memory Lane Inc.
has not removed the item from the sale and bids are at $32,000.
PSA/DNA and JSA, James Spence Authentication Certificates of
Authenticity accompany this lot.
- PSA Gets A New Better Business
PSA of Newport Beach, a California sports card grading company
and autograph authenticating firm has received the very low rating
of D from the Better Business Bureau of Southern
The Bureaus description of a D rating
states: We have enough concerns about this company that
we recommend caution in doing business with them.
PSA/DNA Authentication Disaster
Who are the persons at
PSA/DNA who were hired to be called authenticators?
PSA/DNA is long known to have
authenticated many stamped signatures, machine signed signatures,
printed signatures and forgeries as genuine. This
company has outdone itself by authenticating a signature of a
baseball player who doesnt exist.
One has to ask themselves, how does a person who is hired to
authenticate autographs, authenticate a signature of a person
who doesnt exist? They go one step farther and even grade
the signature and baseball. According to the ebay seller located
in California, the baseball in question was graded and encapsulated
by PSA/DNA. The ball cube comes with its own certificate of authenticity.
The seller claims this ensures the ball is authentic.
PSA/DNA Certificate of Authenticity states the item is Examined
(by who?) And Certified (by who?). Grade Certification # 81941338
and Autograph Certification G58519.
PSA/DNA identification tag on the case identifies this ball was
signed by Ernie Davis and that the ball is signed on the sweetspot.
Has anyone ever heard of a baseball player named Ernie Davis?
A check with baseball-reference.com
does not list any professional baseball player named Ernie Davis.
A quick check of the actual signature on this ball by most who
are novices in collecting autographs will tell you that Clem
Labine actually signed the ball, the all-star relief pitcher
for the Dodgers in the 1950s.
Bottom line, the quality of PSA/DNAs authentication service
of this item is inexcusable.
How can the authenticators at PSA/DNA authenticate
a signature of a person who doesnt exist? How come the
authenticators at PSA/DNA did not recognize the fairly
common signature of Clem Labine? How many authenticators at PSA/DNA
examined this signatures and discussed it?
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to come up with the answer
to the above two questions.
Some people in the autograph industry would like to make the
authenticating of autographs a controversy. Yet, not one of these
people will get in a public arena and openly discuss the subject
of autograph authentication.
For those new to the autograph industry, its fairly easy
to determine the qualifications of an autograph authenticator.
When you talk to the authenticating company to submit your item,
ask who will personally examine the autograph?
If they will give you a name, ask for the authenticators
documented qualifications. The key word here is documented. Answers
like my mother collected autographs or I took a one week mail
order correspondence course are not acceptable. If they refuse
to give you a name, it's time to call someone else! Ask what
professional autograph organizations does the authenticator belong
and for how long? Ask who was their autograph mentor and for
how long did they study under them? Of the 14 autograph educational
courses taught around the United States, ask them how many have
they taken and do they have a signed certification of completion.
Before spending your money with any autograph authenticator,
check with other collectors, not autograph sellers or auction
houses, on the reputation of the individual authenticator.
Another eye opener: you may want to check with the local Better
Business Bureau of the authenticating service. Save that for
last! Maybe skip the last thought, we dont want to scare
you from collecting autographs altogether.
- R&R Enterprises Autograph Auction
- A California attorney has requested the
following notice be placed on www.autographalert.com.
Ethics rules require that he address only California residents.
However, there is the hope that others will contact him as well.
NOTICE: If believe you have
been harmed by the practices of R&R Enterprises, an autograph
auctioneer and authenticator frequently mentioned on this site,
and if you are a California resident, please contact attorney
David Alden Erikson through his website at http://www.daviderikson.com
- R&R Auction Item Is One
Of The Reasons Some
Celebrities Declining to Respond To Autograph Requests
Collecting autographs through the mail was once the most exciting
part of this hobby. The thrill of writing your favorite celebrity
and waiting for that response was a rush for many. Collecting
autographs through the mail is still the most active part of
this hobby. Most members of clubs and subscribers to autograph
trade magazines cant wait for the next issue which contains
This part of the hobby has been permanently damaged by a few
who for financial gain have taken and continue to take blank
sheets of paper, usually removed from a signed book, and create
a fraudulent document.
Then there are the sellers of these items who give these mock
pieces national exposure. The following is a perfect example,
an item offered in the Februay 2007 R&R auction. The item
number was 321 and is listed as a ..mock souvenir check....signed
by (Supreme Court Justice) Ginsburg. See illustration below.
- Illustration of mock
check bearing the signature of Supreme Court Justice
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Letter from Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg
Justice Ginsburg in her recent letter of November 16, 2007 stated:
Thanks for alerting me to the one-cent check bearing a
signature that certainly looks like mine. Similar reports caused
me, some months ago, to decline to provide signatures in response
to mail requests.
A quick look at the last several R&R Auction catalogs indicate
many similar mock items being offered.. Many are
presidential including Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, Nixon,
Ford and even a war criminal Saddam Hussein.
- R&R Enterprises Autograph
Raises Buyers Premium
We have been advised by some of our readers that R&R Enterprises
Autograph Auctions has the following in print in their latest
auction catalog. A 20% Buyers Premium will be added to
each winning bid.
Www.autographalert.com has tried to correspond with Bob Eaton
of R&R Enterprises regarding this
increase to potential bidders. We also asked the reasons for
this increase. Mr. Eaton does not respond.
- James Spence Authentication
Hits New Bottom
The business of autograph authentication finally seems to be
slowly falling apart. As collectors gain more knowledge about
this new business the less they are supporting it.
Recently a major sports autograph dealer in Florida closed his
shop. This dealer sent everything he purchased to one of the
3 high profile authenticating companies. At a sports autograph
show several months ago this same dealer was purchasing autographs
from another booth. The purchaser stated you know I will
send all these autographs to so & so to be authenticated.
The seller said: send them to whoever you want but guesses
from those authenticators under no circumstances will not a reason
for refund. The buyer bought the autographs anyway. However,
many collectors have begun to boycott those dealers who support
the handful of self proclaimed autograph authenticators and the
result is, the dealer mentioned above has closed his doors.
Word is out about the fast bucks to be made by authenticating
autographs. It seems anyone can pull it off and more are trying.
The newest authenticating service has a wonderful impressive
website. Who is their so called expert. The website wont
give you a name. The website wont list their experts
One of our readers called the phone number listed on the website
in order to determine who is this companys expert. It took
some drilling to get a persons name. It is an name not recognizable
to the few seasoned persons in this hobby who have now heard
Its been proven over and over, the more people that use
these authenticators, the more bad material will be flooding
the market with Certificates of Authenticity. One major seller
of autographs loves the authenticators. He can send anything
he wants to be authenticated, the good and the bad. Some bad
comes back as good along with a COA. The seller likes the fact
he cant be held liable and states: Im selling
it because the authenticator said it was good. Now who
paid the authenticator?
Who has the power over the authenticator?
The autograph authenticators are beginning tp get hungry and
some are on the road trying to convince card shops to let them
be their authenticator. As word spreads amongst collectors, its
not going well for those who claim to be autograph authenticators.
Case in point, some authenticators would like to be at a shop
or show where they can authenticate autographs that were signed
that day by a celebrity who is appearing at the show. The uneducated
consumer would think this is the ultimate place where an authenticator
should be able to study first hand the celebrities signature.
They cant even get that right. Click onto the link below,
then click on video, and take another autograph educational course.
Some more are saying...JSA- Just Stop Authenticating:
Robert F. Batchelder, Noted Autograph
Robert F. Batchelder of Ambler,
Pennsylvania passed away in September 10, 2007. Www.autographalert.com
felt it appropriate to publish something about him by a collector,
a dealer, and a former co-worker/Pastor:
As a collector, my first memory of Bob Batchelder began a forty
year friendship. Bob was the most honest gentleman I have known
in the autograph business. Some of the highlights in my collection
of vintage aviation autographs came from Bob. I was very saddened
to recently learn of his death this past September. Our autograph
community lost a very important and irreplaceable man.
For forty years Bob Batchelder was a giant in the autograph industry.
His illustrated catalogs of autographs was a staple on every
autograph dealers reference shelves. I have known Bob since 1967
as he was one of the first dealers to purchase from me and he
continued to do so for forty years. I have such keen memories
of his visits to my office in Florida. Bob had an eye for the
best and he always purchased my high end items that would
appeal to his wide range of clients. We would speak for hours
on the subject of collecting and also of the changes in our business.
He was an honest man with a even temperament. His catalogs, his
counsel, his friendship will truly be missed by all who had the
pleasure of knowing him.
About 1965, I decided to give up coin collecting and went to
the nearby town of Ambler, Pa. To sell the coins to to a dealer
named Robert Batchelder, whose office was in an old bank building,
vault and all. I had begun to collect autographs the previous
year, and was thrilled to discover that Bob also sold historical
autographs. I ended up trading the coins for autographs and never
looked back. About 1966, I went into business for myself, and
Bob was one of my major sources. I well remember my first purchase
from hi; Mad Anthony Waynes commission as major
General of the Armies, signed by George Washington and Henry
Knox in 1797, which subsequently ended up at Waynes house.
I also remember buying a letter of Henry VIII asking Cosimo de
Medici to welcome an Englishman who was traveling to Italy on
a certain business of ours. The business was to assassinate
Cardinal Pole. That ended up in the collection of Ray Rawlins.
Having a penchant for the great autographs like that,
but not the pocketbook, I decided it might be more fun simply
to work for someone who dealt in such items, and so about 1978
I approached Bob and he hired me gladly. I remember trips I took
with him to new York for both coin and autograph shows, and the
fantastic autographs I catalogued for him over a ten year period,
and the friendship which lasted until I left Pennsylvania in
2002 to enter the United Methodist ministry in Alabama. Bob had
a great gift for searching out autographs of extraordinary importance,
never afraid to spend whatever was necessary, trusting his instincts
that what he bought he could also sell. Bob moved in great circles
of the heyday of historical autograph collecting of the 60's,
70's and 80's. These circles included Mary Benjamin, Charles
Hamilton, Gordon Banks, Mabel Zahn and Paul Richards, one of
his closest friends. Alas, all those are long dead, and sadly
in September of this year Bob joined them in that heavenly pantheon.
I will never forget his kindness and generosity, and the knowledge
he imparted to me and to many other young dealers. Bob leaves
behind his wife, Gail and a daughter, Annie. Another daughter,
Virginia (Ginny) died some years back, the great tragedy of Bobs
life. A giant of the autograph field has gone, and we may not
see his likes again.
Pastor Neale Lanigan
Camp Ground United Methodist Church
- James Spence, More Bad News
Many autograph collectors
and dealers are still talking about James Spences appearance
on Fox News where Spence authenticated forged autographs as genuine.
The autographs were forged by graphic artists at Fox News and
when the autographs were brought to Spences office he convincingly
told the reporter that an autograph was genuine but all the reasons
why it was genuine. A most embarrassing moment for Spence and
the authenticating trade.
Apparently Mr. Spence has not learned much about dealing with
the news media. Earlier this week on Sunday, New York Channel
9 a similar report was aired at 10:30pm. The story ended up portraying
Spences authenticating company in very bad light. James
Spence had a booth at a local New Jersey sports show offering
on-site authentication. A woman reporter went undercover and
got an in person signature of Sal Bando. She then went outside
with her camera crew and on a blank Bando photograph forged Bandos
name on it. They went and submitted the photo with the forged
signature to JSA Authentication Follow The Leader..
The Spence authentication team only looked at the signature for
a few seconds an determined the signature on the photograph was
genuine. JSA also issued a certificate of authenticity for the
Bando was interviewed about this incident and expressed surprise
that something like this could happen.
Mollie Ann Bricigliano promoter of the show was also interviewed
and was stunned by what took place. She was nearly speechless
and stuttered through the interview. She said I dont
know what to say other than I am sorry and embarrassed.
She added: I can only hope that plenty of people saw this
and maybe will think less highly of these authenticators.
Afterwards, James Spence when asked about this latest fiasco
had no answer except to say he was sorry.
has seen the demise of several autograph authenticating companies
during the last few years. As collectors become more educated
about these so-called autograph authenticating companies the
less they will use there services. With the extremely high volume
of mistakes made by authenticating companies many believe if
you se an item that comes with a COA from an authenticating company,
a red light immediately goes up as that item should get a second
opinion from a reputable autograph dealer. Word has been spreading
rapidly amongst collectors and in cases such as this we would
have to believe that the above show promoter has learned her
lesson the hard way and will not be renting space to authenticating
companies in the future.
We have also found that some high profile self promoting autograph
authenticators have been traveling around the country to card
shops trying to be the shops authenticator. The reputations are
starting to follow these authenticators and recently one of the
major card shops in Florida, who hold regular private signings,
told the authenticator there was no need for his services. We
have also been told that collectors are beginning to boycott
shops who use autograph authenticators. Most say, I need
the shop owner to guarantee what they sell, I dont need
an opinion or guess from someone who is not competent authenticating
- Global (Autograph) Authentications
Bites The Dust?
Global Authentication, a
company that got its start when former members of PSA, Steve
Rocchi and Mike Baker broke away and started their own company.
Most know Global as GAI with their one man full-time autograph
authenticator Justin Priddy. Priddy who is now 25 years old claims
he started to authenticate 6-7 years ago and was on the road
doing shows about 35-45 weekends a year. His claim to what he
believed was his success was his experience.
Last week we heard rumors from an excellent source that Global
may be going down the tubes. Yesterday it was confirmed by several
of our readers. One reader confirmed Global went belly
up and the company filed dissolution papers two days ago.
Another reader claims Global shut down their website.
If you call Globals phone you will receive a message stating
the number has been disconnected.
It is said that a collector stopped by the companys headquarters
and found the office empty, the doors locked and an eviction
notice posted on the front door.
It is important to note that complaints have been filed with
an office for the City of San Clemente from clients of Global
who have submitted items for grading and authentication and were
worried about the status of their submissions.
At the time of this writing, no official comments from the management
- Mystery Signature of the Year!
We would like to hear your opinion.
This signature appears to
read as Jim Donogpia or Jal Donogyia.
See illustration below.
Several of the autograph experts we have shown this signature
to simply laughed. One person who is in the business of authenticating
autographs actually attached his name to this piece by writing
a Certificate of Authenticity. See illustration below.
- LOA from James Spence Follow
Along with a Certificate from James Spence stating this was a
genuine Joe DiMaggio signature on a baseball bat, the item was
put up for sale in a Strike Zone Auction as item #849 in their
Jan.5-26, 2006 auction.
would appreciate your comments on this authentication. Send your
email whether you agree or dis-agree with Spences authentication.
Send you comments/opinion to email@example.com
- UACCs Latest Blunder-
Those misled need to request a refund!
Once again under the UACC
presidency of Michael Hecht this club finds itself with additional
problems. For a few years this club has been selling 11"x14"
photographs of a sailor planting his famous kiss on a nurse in
Times Square, New York on VJ Day to their membership. This photograph
was of two people celebrating the United States Victory over
Japan that ended World War II.
Time Magazine heralded this photograph as one of the top ten
greatest images in the history of photojournalism.
In 1989, Edith Cullen Shain came forward and identified herself
to the photographer Eisenstaedt as the nurse in the Pulitzer
prize winning photograph.
Since then, scores of men have come forward claiming
to be the sailor kissing the nurse in the photograph. Through
the years, not one has been able to prove it. Among some
of the claimants was a Rhode Island fisherman named George Mendonsa.
Mendonsas claim was the minute I looked at it I said
Damn thats me. Also coming forward several years
ago was Carl Muscarello. Muscarellos best claim was that
he was 100% sure he was the guy.
With scores of old timers claiming to be the sailor and none
with actual proof, why would any organization who is involved
with autographs go forward and hold a signing with someone who
simply claims to be the celebrity?
has tried to address this issue with Michael Hecht, president
of the UACC, but he does not respond. We had hoped he might respond
to our questions because this issue is in the best interest of
UACC club members.
To satisfy everyones curiosity, the sailor kissing Edith
Shain in the photograph is eighty year old Glenn McDuffie. He
was able to provide the proof that he was the sailor by
submitting to a lie detector test. In addition to the test, McDuffie
made himself available to Lois Gibson, a Houston police department
forensic artist and a specialist in the analysis of photographs.
Gibson finds that McDuffie is the sailor kissing the nurse in
the famous photograph.
From an autograph standpoint this causes multiple problems. Holding
a private signing without credible facts is simply unprofessional.
Even as late as August 2005, the nurse, Edith Shain claimed that
she was not sure it was Muscarello who planted the kiss on her.
Yet, the UACC continues to sell these basically worthless photographs
for $25.00 plus $4.00 shipping.
The problem escalates. These photographs can be found all over
the autograph market. Some have appeared in dealers catalogs
and others in auctions. These photographs have been resold in
auctions, some with minimum bids of $100.
It is the hope of this website that the UACC do the right thing.
Step up to the plate and announce the above information to its
membership in their club journal. Those who have purchased these
basically worthless photographs are due a refund!
The UACC will be holding their elections shortly and through
the grape vine we hear Mr. Hecht will not be running for re-election.
The UACC Ethics Board has received a second reminder to act on
the complaint filed against Mr. Hecht and still there is no response!
Most likely, it appears the ethical charges filed against Mr.
Hecht will be swept under the carpet and after the elections
it can almost be predicted that Mr. Hecht will get an obligatory
award from the club.
- University Archives Takes A
Many in the field of autographs
are wondering how much more bad publicity can the fellow who
runs this company sustain?
Collectors and dealers are watching University Archives
latest problem very closely. Earlier in October, University Archives
placed on ebay, item #280159237476. Their description stated
it was an Extremely rare 1926 and 1927 New York Yankees team
signed autograph album. They even graded the 75+ year old signatures
a perfect 10". Starting bid was $25,000 with a Buy
It Now price of $32,000.00. End time of the auction scheduled
to be Oct. 12, 2007.
The seller of this autograph album is John Reznikoff of University
Archives who is also on the authenticating team of PSADNA. This
album also comes with an LOA from James Spence (Reznikoff is
also an authenticator for James Spence).
Problem with this album is that several seasoned and knowledgeable
sports autograph dealers and collectors who looked at the illustrations
of the signatures in this album believe that many of the high
end signatures are not genuine.
Complaints were made to ebay and one of the ebay authenticators
agreed and had the item removed.
Shocking to everyone, several days later, University Archives
placed the album back up for sale on ebay.
Several of the industry experts on sports autographs discussed
the signatures in this album with additional experts and for
a second time brought the matter to the attention of ebay. A
second time, ebay removed the album from their auction site.
A copy of a signature Lou Gehrig from the album is illustrated
- Presently, the item is no longer
for sale on ebay, however University Archives is offering the
same item on their companys website (Stock Number - 50137)
and has raised the asking price to $35,000.
- The UACC and its Ethics Board
Before writing another article
about the UACC which some may take as a negative, we tried our
best to find something positive about this club we could write
about. It is an effort to show www.autographalert.com
is not biased. It is very difficult to discover anything new
about this club because the Board of Directors dont respond
to requests. They refuse to meet and discuss autograph related
subjects. In an effort to find something, we looked at the UACC
News in the latest issue of Autograph magazine. There
was little there to find. More than half the page was about a
collectors collection with a quarter page boasting
about the Registered Dealer program having 175 members. Last
time we checked they were close to issuing the next dealer #300.
What happened to the 125 dealers who are now among the missing?
That could be one heck of a story!
There are autograph forums popping up all over the Internet including
many with discussions about the UACC. Some of the newer collectors
still think the UACC has the capability of fixing things including
the club itself. However, it has been said in more than one place
new blood is needed on the Board to even try to revive this club.
For a club who appears to love to keep writing new rules and
changing others, you would think by now someone on the Board
would suggest creating term limits not to exceed eight years
for elected Board members. Also arent most of you just
fed up watching this group give themselves awards each
year? For a change, how about letting the membership get involved
in the club and let the members vote who should get the awards.
Have you ever noticed that it appears Board members never have
ethics complaints filed against them? Or is it they are just
kept from you!
There have been several complaints filed against Board members
during the last several years and not one has been acted upon
by the Ethics Board. Maybe we all missed something and somewhere
in the club Constitution it states the rules are only for the
regular membership. As you read this article, there is a detailed
ethics complaint filed with the UACC against Michael Hecht, President
of the UACC. The complaint was sent to Al Hallonquist on August
3, 2007. No response as of today. A second request for a response
was sent several days ago.
Basically, for over 10 years, the membership of the UACC has
been kept in the dark about all the allegations and complaints
against Board Members filed with the UACC Ethics Board.
After a little research the last complaint filed with the UACC
Ethics Board that was acted upon was ten years ago. It
was against a UACC Board Member and was filed by an autograph
collector Ann Boyle from Hollywood, Florida. Her complaint was
filed with Tom Solecki on July 28, 1997.
This collector addresses 13 issues in her complaint. We quote
from a copy of her complaint:
I would like to list some facts regarding a distasteful
experience that I have had with a member/dealer of the UACC.
1) At a Florida show held May 19, 1996, I purchased a photo that
was supposed to be signed by Richard Gere. The price on this
photograph at the show was $50. I asked the dealer if he could
do better and he offered me a 10% discount. The price was now
$45.00 plus $2.50 sales tax. Total $47.50.
2) I paid $47.50 with my check #448. It was my credit union check,
dated May 19, 1996 and cashed May 21, 1996.
3) NO sales receipt was ever issued during this sale which
I now discover is in violation of U.A.C.C. guidelines.
4) Upon request, I was issued a Certificate of authenticity,
dated May 19, 1995.
5) Since this purchase, I have discovered that the signature
of Richard Gere is NOT GENUINE.
6) On January 12, 1997 at an autograph meeting I saw this dealer
and told him of my findings. I was not happy with the photo and
wanted a refund. He said that he wanted to investigate this further.
Strangely he asked me if anyone else knew about this.
I said No I just wanted my money refunded.
7) The dealer instructed me to send the item back to him via
Registered Mail. We both live in the same town, but as per his
request I shipped it to him at a cost of $5.50.
8) On May 17, 1997 I received a letter from this dealer stating
No refunds unless origianl receipt is enclosed (one was
never issued) and that he checked his records using the number
off of my Certificate of Authenticity and NOW miraculously he
comes up with an invoice in the amount of $25.00 plus $1.50 sales
9) His refund check was enclosed for $26.50 with his letter stating
he is closing this file to prevent potential abuse.
10) I write on the dealers refund check that this is partial
payment for my refund.
11) Dealer has not refunded my full amount to date which is an
additional $21.20 and the cost of mailing $5.50 plus $2.50 to
get a copy of my check.
12) The dealer has chosen to close this account to prevent
13) The dealer, nearly a year later, produces a TYPED invoice
also with the wrong date on it so as to match my Certificate
of Authenticity. His TYPED invoice, is not only wrong, it has
been made up at a later time, with the wrong date and indicating
only half the purchase price.
Attached to the complaint was a copy of the TYPED invoice, the
dealers partial refund payment and a copy (both sides)
of the collectors check made payable to this dealer for $47.50
The response from the UACC Ethics Board was on August 13,
1997 stating that a violation of the code of Ethics does
not exist..... Apparently this was decided without even
contacting the Board member about the complaint. The collector
was furious about this result and began to go public with the
complaint. This caused Mr. Solecki to call the dealer and finally
advise him of the complaint.
Most interesting is Michael Hecht, current president of the UACC
was on the Ethics Board at this time. After some investigating
this was the last time the UACC Ethics Board acted upon
a complaint against a UACC Board Member. All others have been
ignored. This is how things were handled when ethics board members
were supposedly voted into office by the membership. New rule,
now the Board of Directors will hand select those who will serve
on the ethics board.
Should your curiosity get the best of you and you want to know
who the dealer was, who is still on the Board, write to the UACC
and request a copy of the complaint. Supposedly, copies of complaints
are available to all club members. That rule could also be changed.
- PSA/DNA & MastroNet Continues To Strike
Collectors and even dealers
come to us stating they got burnt and how can they go about getting
a refund on something they bought in an auction. Enough has been
written about this subject here and elsewhere. Bottom line, if
you're dumb enough to bid in any auction that states "no
returns" you basically deserve what you got.
We have printed so many stories about the sophomoric mistakes
that have been made by PSA/DNA that we have to believe those
who need the message, got the message. Every once in a while
we will post a new horror story for those to read who are new
to this site.
First, a word about rubber stamped
signatures. These are not usually hard to detect even by a novice.
There is almost no excuse for someone who claims to be an authenticator
to pass a rubber stamped signature as genuine. In a case such
as Oliver Hardy, of Laurel and Hardy fame, his rubber stamped
signature easily is identified. Articles have been written about
his use of a rubber stamp, especially for signing photographs.
One would think, someone who wants to be an autograph authenticator
would have this information.
For a company who has been in business several years and not
know this information is absolutely inexcusable. Even if the
company began collecting autograph reference information the
day they started in the business of authentication, the information
on Oliver Hardy using a rubber stamp had to pass through their
hands at least a few times.
The latest authenticating embarrassment was during the MastroNet
auction of December 2006. Lot #297. The lot description states
This publicity photograph was inscribed and signed: Hello
Marie! Pres. Taft 1937, Stan Laurel (9) and Oliver Hardy
This item has been examined (yes, examined by a so-called
expert) by one or more PSA/DNA experts. On behalf of Collectors
Universe, it is our considered opinion that the signature(s)
- The experts who
have allowed their signatures to be placed on this Letter of
Authenticity (and one or more have examined this photo) are:
To take this ridiculous situation one step farther, the rubber
stamped signature of Oliver Hardy was graded a 10 by one or more
of the experts at PSA/DNA.
The look on the faces of Laurel and Hardy in this photograph
almost appear they have read the Letter of Authenticity from
PSA/DNA. Oh My!
- UACC Problems Continue To Escalate
This club according to
many has hit bottom. Just a few months ago a well respected dealer
in autographs and a Regional Director of the club questioned
some of the autographs being sold by a few low numbered registered
dealers. One of the dealers is a club officer, the other a director.
Result, the Regional Directors job was eliminated as well
as the other eleven Regional Directors. UACC Officers or Directors
having their autographs questioned by any of their regional directors
has been solved. They Regional Directors are gone!
To solidify their protective shield, the same Board has changed
the club rules and the persons on the Ethics Board will no longer
be appointed. The Ethics Board will be hand selected by the Executive
It was just several years ago the club membership enjoyed the
many shows run each year throughout the United States.
Shows were run in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Ft.
Lauderdale, Atlanta and Washington. Recently the club, under
the presidency of Michael Hecht has had only one show a year.
The show was convenient as the club needs to have a Board meeting
each year anyway. Membership dues is utilized to pay for the
airfare and hotel expenses for each of the Executive Board and
the club Directors. One would think the meetings would be held
in a city where the airfares would be in the best interests of
the club and its membership.
At this years meeting the Vice President of the club stated no
decision was made on the location of next years show or
on whether it would include a show.
This statement hit some of the club members and autograph collectors
hard. The club is down to one show a year and that may be eliminated.
Many in the autograph collecting world have watched the UACC
basically come to its knees during the last three who have held
the office of President. The United States membership of the
club is nearly half of what it once was. The UACC focused abroad
to build membership. That has not worked as the UK has recently
formed its own dealer organization and the country now has its
own autograph collector magazine. Those we have talked with in
Europe basically want nothing to do with the UACC.
To add to the clubs latest problems, it has just been announced
that the editor and publisher of the clubs quarterly booklet
decided to call it quits. Basically the only
contact club members have with their club is the clubs
quarterly booklet and shows.
To solve the show dilemma, one of the clubs original Registered
Dealers, Matted Memories (RD#13) who is based in Florida talked
with several other Florida respected autograph dealers about
running a major autograph show in Florida. The thought was the
UACC cant get a show going so try a show where all legitimate
autograph dealers could exhibit. Many well know, seasoned
autograph dealers are based in Florida but are not UACC
Registered Dealers. Some of the Florida dealers who agreed to
participate in the event were Remains To Be Seen (Lynne E. Keyes),
Star Shots (Arnie & Barbara Meyrowitz), Bill Corcoran, Steve
Koschal, Jim Stinson Sports, Matted Memories (Robert Knoller)
and David Gindy. Other dealers from New York, the Washington
area, Las Vegas and California also showed interest in doing
the show. There was also talk of having celebrity guests and
having an auction house hold a live auction the day
before the show.
A hotel was selected, The Ft. Lauderdale Sheraton, just a stones
throw from the airport runway. The hotel offers a free shuttle
service to and from the airport. The fees for renting the ballroom
was so reasonable that no admission fee was to be charged for
entering the event.
Since everything was in place the only concern of many of those
involved was publicity. An Executive Board Member of the UACC
was contacted regarding having the show listed in the UACCs
quarterly booklet under their show schedule. In the last issue
the club booklet only two events were listed and one was not
even a show but an auction. The UACC Registered Dealer trying
to get this event organized was basically told the club would
not publish the news of the new autograph show. This would have
been just another major autograph event held in the United States
where the membership of the UACC would not have been advised.
Many autograph collectors are still upset because autograph events
were held in New York, New Hampshire, Chicago, Los Angeles and
Florida and the UACC refused to publish the information regarding
the shows in their club booklet.
The UACC Constitution, Article 1, number 2, Section a
clearly states: To foster, cultivate, promote, encourage,
and popularize the collecting and the study of autographs.
The club rule has clearly been violated by the UACC Executive
The Executive Board members have been scrambling trying to find
a way of building its membership. Now it appears they have a
much larger problem. They have to figure on how to hold onto
existing members who are simply fed up the clubs lack of
- UACC - Has This Club Become Delusional?
Can anyone tell us whats going on with the Universal Autograph
Collectors Club (UACC)? The chaos, the sudden rule changes, the
elimination of all the Club Directors and no more electing Ethics
Board members (they are now hand selected by the UACC Board).
Is the UACC finally admitting their Registered Dealer program
didnt work? They are now going to explore licensing their
Why has the club not mentioned to its membership in the club
journal the reasons the Board of Directors has removed the name
of Herman Darvick from their Hall of Shame? Darvick is the disgraced
former president of the UACC. His membership in the club was
terminated because of ethics violations. This latest surreptitious
move by the UACC Board of Directors has upset many collectors.
Why is the club membership kept in the dark over the recent lawsuit
filed with the UACC. Many of the UACC members/registered dealers
mentioned in this suit are panicking yet no mention to the members
in the clubs journal?
Now continued panic amongst the Board with regard to not only
the drop in membership but the difficult time the club is having
attracting new members. Wasnt it just a few short years
ago the current president, Michael Hecht ran on a platform of
rebuilding the dwindling membership. Lets not forget that
same election started with a major scandal known as HechtGate.
The Board was not happy with someone who was running for vice
president. The collector member of the UACC had valid ideas for
what he believed was improvements/changes for the UACC. While
his name was officially placed on the ballot by the club, the
UACC Board with Hecht running for president, threw the member
in good standing out of the club. Shocking, the UACC member was
told he had no opportunity to appeal the Board's decision! They
placed his name in their Hall of Shame.
The club is now referred to by some as Michaels Folly.
Four years later under Hecht's presidency the club is still in
terrible shape. Recently, panic stricken Hecht is calling for
the entire membership to help bring in new members.
Just a few short months ago, the UACC Board of Directors has
been given several opportunities to talk to others about the
direction of the club from concerned parties from both the United
States and abroad. The Board was even given the opportunity to
participate in a forum at their last annual convention. They
did not even have the courtesy to respond!
The club magazine has become a travesty amongst collectors on
certain autograph internet forums. Matter of fact, autographalert.com
has been asked to do a book review (in the future)on their latest
issue of the Pen & Quill.
We quote from the Presidents Message page 2
of the July-August 2007 issue of the Pen & Quill.
Hecht states: Do not believe everything you read! Word
has reached me that nameless individuals, using Internet forums,
are besmirching the reputation of the UACC and UACC Registered
Dealers. We can make mistakes, of course, but the UACC has a
Code of Ethics and we have an Ethics Board. The UACC dealers
hold themselves to higher standards, and the UACC Ethics Board
enforces those standards.
The UACC Ethics Board????
The UACC Ethics Board received a very serious complaint several
weeks ago regarding Michael Hecht. Each and every one of the
points in the complaint are well documented. Mr. Hechts
Ethics Board did not even have the courtesy to respond to or
acknowledge receipt of the complaint. The only thing anyone has
heard is that a new ruling is now in place. In the future, the
Ethics Board members will be hand selected by the Board of Directors.
Because of the seriousness of the complaint and the failure of
the UACC Ethics Board to act to enforce the rules of their own
publishes the complaint in its entirety. You are asked to read
this complaint and decide for yourself what actions should be
- Stephen Koschal
P.O. Box 311061
Miami, Fl 33231
August 3, 2007
Filing Ethics Charges Against UACC President Michael Hecht
Mr. Al Hallonquist
P.O. Box 712
Hobe Sound, FL 33475
Dear Mr. Hallonquist,
You may or not be aware of some past ethics charges against UACC
Board Members that have never been acted upon or even acknowledged
as received by the UACC Ethics Board.
It is long overdue that charges be filed against the current
UACC President, Michael Hecht for his failure to comply and follow
three of the four UACC Objectives in Article 1, Number 2, Sections
a, b, and d of the UACC Constitution.
Section a: To foster, cultivate, promote, encourage,
and popularize the collecting and the study of autographs.
Mr. Hecht has not abided by this rule in more ways than one.
Professional autographs shows were held throughout the United
States. They were held in the following cities, Ft. Lauderdale,
Florida, New York, N.Y., Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles,
California. In all cases the UACC was notified well in advance
of the show and it was requested that the UACC list these events
in the show schedule of the Pen & Quill. Never was one of
these shows listed. These shows were run professionally, in many
cases, a free one hour educational course taught by some of the
pillars of our industry. To name a few, Christopher Jaeckel,
Joseph Maddalena, Dan Weinberg, Bill Butts and Kenneth Rendell
were the instructors. In each and every case, the membership
of the UACC was not advised of these autograph shows or the educational
courses. Therefore the club did not foster, cultivate, promote,
encourage an popularize collecting violating Article 1, Number
2, Section a of the UACC Constitution.
In addition, more that half of the dealers exhibiting at these
shows were members of the UACC. The UACC failed to list shows
in the P&Q where many UACC dealer members were exhibiting.
This is also a violation of Article 1, Number 2, Section b
of the UACC Constitution.
More recently Mr. Hecht wrote frivolous and unfounded statements
to the autograph industrys most respected educational site
Mr. Hecht attempted to suppress interaction between autograph
collectors from exchanging information on a discussion forum.
Mr. Hecht went as far as requesting that the Forum be taken down.
Attempting to bully one of the persons who is involved in the
site who is also a Regional Director of the UACC, Mr. Hecht officially
asked the person to resign from the UACC. Mr. Hechts actions
obviously did not to foster, cultivate, promote, encourage and
popularize the collecting and the study of autographs. He also
did not increase and facilitate cooperation among various national
and international organizations and individuals dedicated to
the collecting of autographs, thus violating both rules a
and b of Article 1, Number 2 of the UACC Constitution.
Educational studies have been written by several autograph historians
and scholars. To name a few studies, Gerald R. Ford Signature
Study, Robert F. Kennedy Signature Study, William Jefferson Clinton
Signature Study and Absolutely, Mister Sickles? Positively, Mister
Field! New Light on the Eugene Pinney Field II and
Harry Dayton Sickles Forgery Case have been published. In every
case Mr. Hecht has received copies of these studies and not one
has been mentioned or reviewed by the UACC. Continually, the
membership of the UACC has been kept in the dark regarding autograph
educational material available thus Article 1, Number 1, Section
a has been violated by Mr. Hecht.
On more than one occasion, Mr. Hecht had been notified about
the publication of a new autograph reference book. Press releases
for this publication were sent directly to Mr. Hecht for publication
in the Pen &Quill. The press release was not published in
the Pen & Quill but the book did get a very fine review by
Bill Butts and that was published by the Manuscript Society in
their journal. The title of the book is The History of Collecting
Executive Mansion, White House and The White House Cards Signed
by the Presidents and their First Ladies. This very popular book
is now in its second printing. To take it one step further, Mr.
Hecht selfishly took the time to inquire for himself, through
a third party, of the value of the information in this reference
work. After receiving a good review from an autograph collector/dealer
Mr. Hecht ordered a copy for his own library.
On another issue, a few on the UACC Board clandestinely wrote
sanctions which were frivolous and unfounded to say the least
against myself. Of the handful on the Board at the time, one
Director told me he didnt vote for the sanctions, another
told me he was new on the Board and was told how to vote. I wrote
to Mr. Hecht well in advance of the UACC Show held in Cocoa Beach,
Florida from June 7 thru June 9, 2007. I requested a meeting
with Mr. Hecht, the Board and all the UACC members who wished
to attend to go over each and every alleged sanction in front
of the membership. Also I wanted the memebership to be aware
these alleged sanctions were created without my knowledge, mailed
to me and with NO CHANCE OF APPEAL. No chance of appeal is in
violation of the UACC Code of Ethics. Section I states: the
sanctioned party shall have the right of appeal. Section
D states: The highest levels of impartiality and fairness
shall be observed by the Ethics Board members at all times.
Both these sections of the Code of Ethics were violated as Mr.
Hecht did not address nor respond to my request.
In all the above mentioned incidents, Mr. Hecht has violated
not only Article 1, Number 2, Sections a & b
of the UACC Constitution but in each and every case he has violated
Section d which is To uphold the highest standards
of honesty in the activities of the membership.
It is my belief that all the above charges are very serious and
the membership of the UACC has suffered immensely from an educational
Mr. Hecht should resign his position as President of the UACC
within 21 days of receiving this complaint. A more responsible
person needs to lead the organization in a positive direction.
Mr. Hechts lack of leadership in a professional manner
has not only cheated the UACC membership but driven it to very
low membership levels.
Should Mr. Hecht not resign, I believe the very serious violations
in this ethics complaint need to be acted upon by the Ethics
Unfortunately, in the past, not all serious complaints filed
with the Ethics Board are acted upon or even acknowledged as
being received. For this reason I have chosen to go public with
this complaint with the hope that many members of the UACC will
be aware of its existence.
I hope to hear from you shortly.
- Stephen Koschal
cc: Michael Hecht
There are numerous other reasons the UACC is losing membership.
There has been a grass roots movement of not renewing membership
in the club as a protest to how this organization has been run
over the last dozen years.
foresees many new problems for this club in the next several
months. It is the opinion of many that unless all the deadwood
is removed from the Board of Directors the club faces more serious
problems. New blood is desperately needed to replace the entire
Board of Directors just to be able to save this troubled autograph
club! Some of those who we spoke with that are knowledgeable
and capable of making the necessary changes just dont want
to get involved in this clubs politics.
- MastroNet Press Release
- What Doug Allen Doesn't Tell You!
- The following is a Press Release
sent out by Doug Allen in reference to the Mastro/Daniels Law
The paragraphs in italics is what he forgot to mention.
As a firm, we have always preferred to handle disputes with professionalism
and discretion, even in the infrequent occasion that it is necessary
to resolve them in court. Recently, we had what became a very
public dispute with a former customer, autograph dealer Bill
Daniels. Due to the public nature of this dispute, a number of
you have asked about the legitimacy of his claims. Last week,
the Honorable Matthew C. Kincaid from the Boone (Indiana) Superior
Court issued a 46-page ruling. We thought it appropriate to communicate
his findings, and resolution of this dispute, to our customers.
Following is a synopsis of the judgment that the Court issued."
report and the actual ruling have little in common. Mastro misrepresented
a lot and got caught. They got punished, not as badly as they
could have been, but Mastro still lost the case. They
will misrepresent the judgement also in their statement as they
misrepresented the lot in question.
- The Court found
that Daniels' statements that Mastro Auctions defrauded him,
and conspired with PSA/DNA to do so, were defamatory. The Court
also found that Daniels "affirmatively sought republication
of defamatory statements in national media outlets such as Barron's
and New York Daily News." In particular, the Court characterized
Daniels' conduct as "picayune, foolish, errant, resultant
from a lack of understanding of his rights to publicly declare
his complaints outside of a judicial proceeding and overzealous."
As a result, the court held Daniels liable for damages to Mastro
Auctions' reputation in the amount of $1,000.
- Yes, Daniels
spoke about the case before trial. No argument here. Sum and
substance of filings do not leave the courthouse by way of either
party until after adjudication.
The sentence before that in the ruling (p44) that Daniels statements
to the press were not " malicious, fraudulent, grossly negligent
or oppressive". Daniels was fined for opening his mouth,
not for what came out of it, and fined accordingly.
- The Court found
that the proposed experts Daniels produced at trial Richard
Simon and Stephen Koschal (whom Daniels had testify that Mastro
Auctions sold him forgeries) were not qualified to render
expert opinions. In particular, the Court found that Simon had
undergone a "wholesale demolition in his deposition"
and that Koschal was "not qualified to render an opinion
on anything having to do with autographs." Simon and Koschal
were offered as witnesses after five other proposed experts "all
refused to testify on [Daniels'] behalf."
- No, actually
the finding of the Court was in fact that Simon and Koschal failed
to meet a burden of proof sufficient to have their testimony
Koschal failed in this burden by adding " nothing but a
bottom line" according to the Judge, which fails to meet
a standard of judicial process cited on p.36. He testified in
detail for one day and a half on video that SOME signatures could
not be what they were purported to be. Koschal used exemplars
from the original lot carefully explaining how items of the same
celebrity were signed by different hands. But to claim constructive
fraud against Mastro, as was the charge, the entire lot would
need be scrutinized as a point of law. Damages can't be awarded
as such because we do not know how many of the items in the lot
were or were not genuine is essentially how it would work.
Daniels attorney also failed to update the court on sum and substance
of witness testimony which is neither Koschal's nor Simon's burden
to bear. Their testimony would have been excepted in any case
as a sanction irrespective of its value. After their testimony,
they left the jurisdiction and were not available to be recalled
( p 40) (nor were they requested to be called, both Koschal and
Simon could have easily returned if requested by Mastro's attorney
or the judge). As a result their testimony is disallowed as
a point of LAW not a point of expertise.
Simon fails because his testimony falls " outside the scope
of his knowledge" according to p 36 of the ruling. This
is based on the fact that Simon had never been paid to "
grade" signatures nor attended a " grading school"
in the PSA grading style. Who has?
Does one of these institutions exist ? Where is it's handbook
or course of study ? PSA makes you compare apples to oranges
from a legal point and then says " You don't do it our way,
so you can't say what a 5 , 7 or 9 is . Next, both Simon and
Koschal are considered "non-experts" essentially because
they are not using the PSA grading system and in this narrow
scope that is correct, thus they can't reliably testify to how
PSA slabs and numbers items. So, for this purpose, yes both are
" unqualified" to discuss autographs, as would be the
Curator at the Library of Congress if we narrowed it down to
this fine point.
- The Court sanctioned Daniels
for his conduct of the litigation during discovery, specifically
citing Daniels' failure to disclose relevant documents timely
and to "represent his claimed harm accurately." As
a result, Daniels was fined $2,000.
- This is also true, as Daniels
had sold items from the lot and needed to get them back into
the corpus of the lot. He also failed, as we discussed earlier,
to update the court on testimonial subjects from experts, a part
of this sanction.
- The Court found that Daniels
presented "no evidence" of fraud and that Daniels'
claims that Mastro Auctions defrauded himand conspired
with PSA/DNA to do so--were "false." The Court entered
judgment against Daniels on those claims and awarded no damages.
- Fraud is difficult to prove
in court and let's say the charge was downgraded to " Breach
of Contract" in a similar way that criminal charges are
reduced from Murder1 to manslaughter . The victim is still just
as dead, someone did it, they did it without meeting the evidentiary
standard of Murder1.
Lost in here are many issues. One is that the consigner of this
lot is Mr Zach Rullo. Yes the same Zach Rullo that is employed
by PSA/DNA as an authenticator. Mr. Rullo consigned this privately,
not as a member of PSA which is perfectly legal, but it does
lend an air of impartiality, not legally but perceptually, to
the authentications as PSA, the company who employs Mr Rullo,
authenticated this material. Daniels claimed that this constituted
fraud and it legally does not, according to Indiana precedent,
but it does look like George Steinbrenner officiating at Home
Plate during a Yankee game.
- Daniels was given $608.85 because
a small portion of the 2,012 photos Daniels purchased in December
2004 were not as described in the lot description. Mastro Auctions
offered to replace those photos shortly after the auction, but
- " A small portion"
of the photos at Mastro had descriptions where someone played
fast and loose with the description as compared to the actual
items in the lot. Some were not color, some were not the right
size etc. It was 130 actually that were not correct or about
6% of the overall lot.
- The only negative of the judgment
was that an additional award to Daniels was made on the basis
that our catalog stated "LOA from James Spence & Steve
Grad / PSA DNA," but Steve Grad was the only one to physically
sign the LOA on behalf of the PSA/DNA team. Our attorneys will
ask the judge to reconsider that portion of the ruling.
- The " only negative"
is that Mastro was found guilty of a breach of warranty and resulting
cases are cited by the Judge that Mastro is not relieved of it's
duty to represent faithfully the certification it provides. This
is found on pages 23 & 24 of the ruling and are clear. Daniels
was awarded $ 8,944 as a result of the breach as described
by the Judge. Basically Mastro completely misrepresented the
sum and substance of the authenticity letters it would provide
in the catalog when the winning bidder took possession of said
lot. That is the cause for the breach of warranty, and the subsequent
damages were awarded accordingly on p 26 of the ruling.
- Overall, Mastro Auctions is
very happy with this result. Although it is unfortunate that
this dispute had to go all the way to trial, we are pleased that
the judge sent what we believe to be a resounding message against
Mr. Daniels' exaggerated claims and conduct of his lawsuit.
- Here is the bottom line-
Mastro Auctions misrepresented in numerous ways the corpus of
a lot( Specifically lot 2322) to their buying public. They said
that all were 8" x 10" color photos with dual-signed
certificates of authenticity in describing this. The fact of
the matter is that :
1) Not all were color
2) Not all were 8" x 10"
3) LOAs were single, not double, signed
Mastro was slip-shod in the extremis in their description of
many items, as many did not meet the description set forth in
the catalog in at least one constructive way. Thus Daniels prevailed
on his Warranty claim. To prevail on the fraud issue, he would
need concrete proof that Mastro, with or without PSAs help intentionally
defrauded him, as opposed to a printing error, a slip of the
pen etc. This would constitute a paper trail between Mastro employees
etc or some special treatment of Daniels to get him to buy the
Is Mastro happy; of course, the outcome could have been much
worse. They failed to provide adequate warranty to the tune of
almost 45% of the value of this lot ( 9,000 award vs 20,000 selling
price) as it stands.
Also included in the decision is a finding of fact that Mastro
HAS taken material back as returns from Daniels in the past,
calling into question their ALL SALES FINAL idea.
The Boone County Courthouse has a full copy of he filing and
is cause # 06D01-0502 -PL- 0060 should you care to look at the
What was not addressed by Doug Allen's Press Release was that
both Simon and Koschal never met the judge. They were never in
his court room. Their testimony's were held in an attorney's
office and their depositions were video taped. Bidding records
for this lot were not available. Opening bid was $900. Mastro
personnel could not produce company records of who the underbidders
were. Somehow the bid went from $900 to $19,000.
PSA/DNA authenticated 56,000+ autographs in 48 man hours. They
charged Mastro Auctions $7,000 for this service.
Zack Rullo in deposition was shown 9 photos from the lot he consigned.
He could only identify 2 players.
Many of the photographs in the lot had dates printed on the back.
Some of the dates were just two weeks before the lot was to be
submitted to the auction house.
In deposition Rullo admitted that he was the one who authenticated
the lot for PSA/DNA.
- eBay and Global Authentication
Another Dark Day for Autograph Collectors
As collectors are becoming more educated they are starting to
ask questions. How can this possibly happen? How can such a simple
well documented signature pass any company who claims to authenticate
autographs? What's the real truth behind these authenticating
Bottom line, it appears quite obvious that many of these authenticating
companies cant properly authenticate many autographs. Worse,
is that some of these companies are those chosen by eBay to be
their experts. These authenticating companies on many occasions
have been successful in having genuine autographs removed from
dealer sales on eBay claiming they were not genuine.
Dealers simply disgusted with eBay have left the big auction
site and have been successfully selling via their own independent
The following is a perfect example of the
lack of expertise by an eBay chosen authenticating service. eBay
item number110160823983, Muhammad Ali Autographed 8x10 Boxing
Photo with GAI (Global Authentication, Inc.) COA. At the time
of this writing the item has 6 days to go and three uneducated
collectors already have bid this nearly worthless item up to
This items comes complete with a Certificate of Authenticity
from Global Authentication, Inc. Certificate # GV 231705 bearing
the signature of Justin Priddy, Global Authenticator.
The seller of this items pushes the fact that the photo comes
with the Global Certificate. The mention of Global is no less
than seven times in the description.
Problem here is the signature on this photograph in NOT GENUINE.
It is not hand signed by Muhammad Ali. The signature on this
photograph was signed by the Autopen machine. This horrific mistake
is a major embarrassment not only for Mr. Priddy but for the
authentication company as well.
The second major problem is why arent the experts
at the authenticating company aware of this machine signed signature?
This Autopen signature is well known to the autograph community
and it has even been published in a trade magazine. Dont
the experts" at authenticating companies maintain
files of Autopen signatures? Dont they use exemplars? Are
their experts capable of using exemplars? By the
way, who calls persons hired to authenticate autographs "experts"?
There is absolutely no excuse for this major blunder! Proof positive
not to have faith in those COAs.
Lets not forget these are the type companies eBay recommends
you pay a fee to have an item authenticated (an opinion) before
bidding on an autograph listed on eBay. Oh my!
- Sports Collectors Digest
Where Have You Gone?
- Many in the hobby will tell
you it wasnt long ago that you needed an entire afternoon
to read your copy of SCD.
Shocking is the June 8th issue of this magazine was reduced to
a mere 60 pages. Cover price for the magazine remains at US $4.99
or $6.99 Canadian. With the recent reduction in size of at least
half the magazine why not reduce the cover price to $2.95 US
or even $1.95 or less?
Even more interesting or as some have said insulting
is how a dedicated subscriber is treated by this publication.
For your loyalty, you are treated with your next issue of SCD
with a cover page warning in bold letters Your Next Issue
Is Your Last Issue! You are given the opportunity to tear
off the Renewal Savings Card and pay just $42.95
for the next year. They will even throw in a gift which the average
collector care less about .........a free Hartland Vendor figurine.
Who collects or wants this, wouldnt any collector be more
enticed to renew if offered a discounted rate?
Not sure we want to renew......$42.95 for only 60 pages just
to read a lot of self promoting auction advertising!
More bad news, just been informed the next issue of SCD, June
15, 2007 was reduced to 54 pages.
Surprisingly, a letter arrives from T.S. OConnell, editor
of SCD. The letter starts: Come back to Sports Collectors
Digest for just $24.96 and get a Limited-Edition Collectible
He continues: Its almost like getting SCD again at
no charge. But this is your last chance to score with SCD.
Can you imagine the next scenario? OConnell continues:
I had to fight tooth and nail with my publisher (hes
the guy who runs the business end of SCD) before I finally convinced
him that you deserve this special reinstatement offer. I went
to bat for you. And I won! Youll come out a big winner,
too, when you jump on this offer. And jump you must......So,
I can only hold this last-chance, come-from-behind offer open
to you for the next ten days. After that, its all over.
Incredible, weve got neighbors for years who arent
this kind. What a guy this OConnell is! His P.S. states:
It comes to a measly 96 cents per issue.... We are
starting to feel the pressure, a decision has to be made. We
look over our last several issues of SCD and are disgusted with
much of the content. What happened to some of the good accurate
articles? What happened to the articles on autograph authentication
written by someone who should be writing the articles on authentication?
Hum, 96 cents an issue. No, well pass, price is still too
Wait, another letter arrives from T.S. OConnell. This one
reads in part: The Plug has been pulled. Your subscription
has gone blank. He continues: I just cant bring
myself to call you a former subscriber. So Im going to
do something I rarely do. Wow, we are starting to feel
very special! What a guy. OConnell continues: Yes,
the very same 83% savings! And yes, Ill also give you a
FREE 8x10 photo of an old-school all-star... An old school
all-star, maybe I wished Id taken the first offer on the
Hartland figurine! One has to love OConnells P.S.
This is the LAST TIME (heard that before) I will be able
to offer you this exceptional one-year renewal offer...
How can we resist? When do we start to take this guy serious
as this is our SECOND last chance and the free gift is getting
less attractive each time. We feel the pressure! Editor OConnell
ends this letter with a P.S. This is the LAST TIME......instead
of paying $4.99 for an issue at the newsstand (who has a newsstand)
get it for just 83 cents...
Eighty-three cents and issue, another little discount as his
first last chance letter was quoting 96 cents an issue.
They must really miss us! After all, we have been long time subscribers
and its starting to feel good getting all this personal
attention, not to mention all the special gifts we are sure to
Didnt realize SCD had a website. Lets take a look.
"Special Introductory Offer" to any stranger who happens
to click on the website.....$27.98 for a years subscription.
My goodness thats only 53 cents an issue. Nearly half price
of what a loyal subscriber gets offered. Now thats a better
deal maybe well have a neighbor subscribe for us.
Better yet with the new subscription, maybe our gift will be,
no new letters from OConnell batting for us tooth
Still didnt go for it...sure do miss those ridiculous articles
on auction results....$500 for a signed photo of JFK or Marilyn
Monroe and we paid $3,000 for ours elsewhere. Guess we dont
understand a bargain when we see one!
- Collecting Checks of Celebrities?
Autograph Hobbys Newest Dilemma!
As an autograph collector
or dealer are you familiar with the word Repligraphs?
Apparently this is name given
to high quality facsimiles of checks. A company
in California is now advertising that they are the distributor
for Repligraphs. For $59.95 you get your choice of
many high-quality facsimile of a check signed by notables along
with Museum quality framing 14" x 17" also includes
a photo of the person who signed the check.
Chose from: Baseball Greats - Babe Ruth, Thurman Munson, Ty Cobb,
Christy Mathewson, Lou Gehrig, Walter Johnson, Honus Wagner,
Hollywood Stars: James Dean, Sean Connery, Judy Garland, Marilyn
Monroe and more.
Presidents: JFK, Lincoln, Truman, Reagan, U.S. Grant & more.
If these checks are as described: high-quality facsimile
how long will it take before these checks are removed from the
frame and start to appear in auctions. When in auctions you can
be assured they will come with a COA from some high profile authenticating
Any reader of www.autographalert.com has already learned that
some of these well know self promoting companies who claim to
authenticate autographs cannot tell a printed signature from
genuine ink! Take extreme caution when purchasing your next check.
- Herman Darvick
Noted Autograph Forger,
20 year Member of the UACC Hall of Shame,
The Latest Addition to the PSA/DNA Authenticating Team
The name Herman Darvick has been around for quite some time.
He is a Charter Member of the UACC and was President
of the UACC from 1968 through 1987. His career as president ended
when ethics charges were filed against him by a club member.
The clubs three member ethics board found Darvick guilty
and he was expelled from the club. For over 20 years Darvicks
name has been listed in the clubs Hall of Shame. His listing
in the Hall of Shame has mysteriously disappeared since he recently
joined the PSA/DNA authenticating team. The UACC has not advised
their club membership of this sudden de-listing in the club pamphlet.
During the late 1970's at a UACC New York autograph show held
in the Abbey Victoria Hotel, Darvick thought he was impressing
some friends with his ability to forge signatures. At that show
he signed a Gerald R. Ford signature. That signature, illustrated
below, was used as an illustration on forgeries in the Gerald
R. Ford Signature Study.
On the same day, Darvick also signed/forged signatures of Richard
Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Darvicks
creations of Nixon and Carter are illustrated below.
A few years later, in 1981, Herman Darvick published a beginners
guide to autograph collecting. Its title is Collecting Autographs.
Apparently still very proud of his forging ability, Darvick wrote
the following presentation inscription in one of his books. See
- Darvick clearly states you
will never (and he underlines never) be able to guess which autographs
in this book were actually (he underlines actually) signed by
me (he underlines me). There are two of them. Read ....and enjoy!
Darvick is quite convinced that the two autographs which he actually
signed to be used for illustrations in his book cannot be detected.
Www.autographalert.com thinks theres a clue in Darvicks
inscription. Look at his presentation inscription and carefully
look at the word Read. Look at the shape of the R.
Does that resemble the R in Reagans signature,
Readers of www.autographalert.com need to ask themselves what
type of individual writes a book that is supposed to be a reference
book and guide to autographs and the author signs/forges some
of the signatures that are used for illustrations?
Darvick started an auction business selling items in all fields
of collecting. The following illustration of his offering a Babe
Ruth letter is illustrated below. Look at the handwriting and
signature....enough said. Darvick ran into financial problems
with the auction and had difficulty paying consignors. The auction
eventually closed down.
- Darvick somewhat disappeared
from the autograph scene in December 2000 as he had a heart attack.
He underwent quintuple by-pass open heart surgery on December
Herman Darvick has recently been chosen by PSA/DNA to be their
newest autograph authenticator. His printed signature can now
be found on their Certificates of Authenticity. Enough Said!
- The UACC booklet Pen & Quill
Becoming an Industry Embarrassment!
Muhammad Ali may float like a butterfly but he stings the UACCs
quarterly booklet like as bee. The gloves need to come off about
this quarterly booklet. The continued mistakes printed on authenticity
in this booklet published six times a year seem basic and endless.
More on Ali, later in this article.
Wasnt long ago, September/October 2006 issue that UACC
ex Board member W.W. Skip Hensel who claims to be
an expert on presidential signatures illustrated
in his article a well known and documented stamped
signature of Garfield as being genuine. It took four months,
January/February 2007 issue for the club to post a notice to
their membership about the error in the Presidents Message.
In the very next issue of the Pen & Quill, March/April 2007,
was an article about signatures of Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady
Bird Johnson illustrating what the author believed to be authentic
examples.. In the very next issue, July/August 2007, page
nine basically apologizes for the past article on LBJ stating:
LBJ signature was actually accomplished by Johnsons
amanuensis, Bruce Thomas. Too add to the embarrassment
the article continues : Further, the Lady Bird is an Autopen.
In the same issue, just five pages later, the Pen & Quill
folly continues. There is an educational article
written by a current Board Member who is also a UACC approved
Page nine contains an article entitled: If it Looks to Good to
Below are two illustrations taken from the article. The author
(UACC approved authenticator) states the boxing scene photograph
contains a genuine signature of Muhammad Ali. As the author (UACC
approved authenticator) attempts to educate the club members,
he illustrates another photograph of Muhammad Ali which he states
bears an AUTOPEN (machine) signature of Ali.
Take a moment to study both signatures. It is obvious even to
a novice that both these signatures are from the same matrix.
How in the world did this seller of autographs and UACC approved
authenticator determine the first signature is genuine?
At www.autographalert.com we rely on our readers to bring us
articles and news from all sources. One of our eagle-eyed followers
did just that. Matter of fact, several readers have brought this
autograph injustice to our attention. We appreciate the time
our readers take to get to the very core of the autograph hobby.
It tells us we do a god job attracting those who are sharp, interested
in furthering the hobby in a positive and accurate direction
and passing valuable information to the collectors around the
- James Spence, JSA Authentication,
Follow The Leader.
We have, again and again and again and this time he lands in
a sand trap!
The errors continue and many are on a grand scale. Mistakes made
by this company, who claims to authenticate autographs, would
be hysterical if it werent for the high amount of dollars
being spent by collectors who continue to be duped.
One of the latest atrocities in authentication was the auction
of an expensive Robert T. Jones, Jr. letter, dated June 11, 1940
that appeared in a Signature House (UACC Registered Dealer) Auction
# XXXII, held April 27, 2007, item number 1055. The auction catalog
stated this letter was estimated to sell for $2,500-$5,000.
The letter sold for $3,100.00. However, after the sale the buyer
decided to invest another $100 in this letter and send it for
a JSA, James Spence Authentication. For Robert T. Jones autographs
to be authenticated by this company they do not offer their Basic
Certification. One must go to the next level and pay $100
for the upgraded Standard Service.
On May 23, 2007, James Spence issues his upgraded standard
service certification, Submission Number W16862. In this
Certification, Mr. Spence states: We regret to report that
after a thorough examination of your recently submitted autograph
we are unable to certify its legitimacy. It is our considered
opinion that the submitted item is not, an authentic example.
Several factors became apparent during our inclusive examination
that prevented us from certifying the autographed item. The apparent
results of these inconsistencies are as follows:
1) Atypical letter slant, angle, and/or pitch
2) Autograph is a non malicious secretarial version
3) Excessive pen pressure and/or improper shading
4) Irregular overlapping of strokes
5) Irregular spacing between letters
6) Lacks spontaneity, rhythm, conviction, and/or movement
7) Poor line quality and transition between connective strokes
8) Sizing of letters disproportionate/Exaggerated/Undersized
On behalf of James Spence Authentication, we have opined this
conclusion based on our extensive working comprehension and involvement
with the autograph memorabilia hobby, expertise in the area of
autograph analysis, and our acknowledged professional experience...
Signed, James J. Spence, Managing Member.
Impressive??? Thats a lot said and information for the
mere $100 fee. However the buyer of this item could have received
an even more detailed letter of authentication for just spending
$500 for the Ultimate letter of authenticity.
At the bottom portion of the JSA, James Spence Authentication,
Follow the Leader Certificate, Spence continues with more vital
information that was discovered during his thorough examination.
He adds: Writing Implement: Steel-tip Fountain
The purchaser of this letter returns the Jones letter and Spences
COA to the auction house for a refund. The auction house returns
the letter to the consignor. The consignor who has a long history
of not accepting opinions from third party authenticating
companies sent the letter to Stephen Koschal for his opinion.
At first glance, it was obvious the letter was not hand signed
by Robert T. Jones, Jr. The letter was a form letter containing
a printed signature of Robert T. Jones, Jr.
Shocking is that upon examining the signature under the slightest
of magnification, it is clearly evident that the typewritten
closing of the letter is over the printed signature.
More shocking and embarrassing is the long presentation from
James Spence regarding the letter is signed with a secretarial
signature and discussing the excessive pen pressure??????? Irregular
overlapping of strokes (on a printed signature?????) How about
the writing instrument being a steel-tip fountain (pen)
using blue (ink).
Another interesting aspect about this very incident is the use
of that expensive video spectral comparator. These
machines which were not produced for autograph authentication,
at one time cost about $30,000. Similar machines can be bought
at any major coin show in the $2,500 range. Isnt Mr. Spence
with his $30,000 machine able to differentiate ink from a pen
verses a printed signature?
Earlier on this site, www.autographalert.com published a story
about these machines and stick by our original comments that
a twenty dollar black light and a few magnifying glasses of different
power will do a better job when authenticating signatures. From
our personal experience, looking at a signature directly with
the eye and magnification can be much more accurate than examining
a signature on any screen.
As always, we have attempted on several occasions to contact
James Spence and discuss his examination of the Robert T. Jones
letter. As always, Mr. Spence will not respond! After all, what
could he say?
- Lawsuit Filed Against UACC and
a Number of Its Registered Dealers
Recently, a Federal copyright
infringement lawsuit against the UACC and a number of its Registered
Dealers has been filed in California by photographer Barry Rosen.
Some of the UACC Dealers involved in the lawsuit follow.
Autograph World, LLC/J.D. Bardwell/Bob Jones
R&R Enterprises, Bob Eaton
P&P Autographs, Jim Puleo
JG Autographs, Jared Gendron
California Hotshots, Michael Tam
Autographed Cards, Cliff Yow
Gallery of History
A.A.C.S. Autographs, Anthony Roberts
PJs Collectibles, Paul Cross
Great Lakes Autographs, Rick & Gayle Herring
Autograph Pros, Michael Kasmer
USTAR.net, Robert and Esther Miller
For additional information go to:
Plaintiff Barry Rosen: Defendant, Universal Autograph Collectors
Club Inc, John Dwight Bardwell, etc.
All lawsuits must be taken seriously, but this is one that we
suggest you follow.
- July 30,
- The UACC
and the Evil That Lurks Within
(Universal Autograph Collectors Club) has a long history of scandals
and the membership of this club has suffered tremendously. At
this time there are at least two of what some collectors consider
scandals which are being kept from the membership. More on these
Discussions recently held with some of the remaining members
are similar. I dont know why Im still a member
of that club? Its been dead for years. Or: All my
friends have left the club, Im the last one left.
- There are many
reasons for this mass exodus as educated collectors have long
had enough of the silliness and foolishness of its age old Board
The following illustration was taken from the clubs webpage.
- The original
photo was taken near Plains, Georgia while visiting with former
president Jimmy Carter. The original photograph has been doctored
up by someone who adds what appears to be an alien. This
doctored photograph has been illustrated on the UACC website.
To do this serves no purpose other than being childish and mean
spirited and certainly unprofessional. Emails to Michael Hecht,
current president of the UACC requesting the source of the photograph
and who in the UACC is responsible for putting it on their site
Obviously, after looking at all the recent numerous embarrassing
mistakes of authentication printed in their club booklet one
has to guess that the silliness is the best they can do. It's
starting to appear that each club booklet has been apologizing
for articles in the last issue.
The remaining holdouts of the UACC membership have been rewarded.
They have been treated to a membership dues increase. The dues
increase is partly due to the large loss of membership. Enough
- July 29,
- EAC Gallery 2007 Summer Auction
- Is The Autograph Industry
In Need Of Big Brother?
The autograph industry is basically in shambles. There is little
direction and the very few who are trying to do the right thing
by educating the public are constantly under attack. The autograph
industry is riddled with forgeries. Many dealers, worldwide who
are high profile are some of the worst violators.
Many say, if an item you purchased comes with a COA (Certificate
of Authenticity) it is in your best interest to have it authenticated
by a person who has documented credentials.
There are still some collectors out there who believe what they
read like only purchase from members of so & so club.
That is supposed to give you a feeling of security. That vessel
is full of holes and sinking! Watch the dealer program, where
have many of them gone? Look into the collector membership, it
appears to be a disappearing act! The sellers of autographs who
were given a status of dealer were all supposedly
vetted before being allowed to be a member. Vetted by who? Thats
another story to come.
Thanks to the internet and some autograph forums like www.isitreal.com
collectors finally have an avenue to exchange ideas. More importantly,
it gives the collectors the opportunity to exchange horror stories
about what certain sellers of autographs are doing. This is most
important as some club booklets usually only tell a one sided
There are many examples of how sellers of autographs dont
do their homework and www.autographalert.com would like to give
you just one crash course as an example. There are many similar
examples but we have some excellent illustrations for this story
that you can easily follow in order to make your own determination.
We chose the autograph of the popular P. T. Barnum. Several years
ago autograph authenticator Stephen Koschal wrote a signature
study on a particular photograph of Barnum. That study specifically
dealt with a printed signature of Barnum on cabinet
photographs. This study was published in an International autograph
magazine. Therefore one would think anyone who sold autographs
would have read this study and filed it in their reference files
(if they kept one). The following photograph was illustrated
in the study. The study stated that this photo came with a printed
signature and some others came with the identical signature but
are dated 1885" or 1886.
- P.T. Barnum Printed
Signature on a Cabinet Photograph
- The study warned everyone that
the signature on this photograph is printed (not hand signed
Since autograph industry has been advised in a trade magazine,
how does the following happen?
In June 1996, item #28 in Donald Steinitz Autographs catalog
lists a Barnum photograph with the same printed signature. $375.00.
The last UACC Membership Directory list Steinitz as a member.
- In June 2000, item #882 in the
catalog of Signature House illustrates a similar photograph bearing
the same printed signature clearly with a 1886" date,
yet they describe it in their catalog as dated 1885.
Estimate $500-700. Signature House is a member of the UACC.
- In June 2002, Ira/Larry Goldberg
Auctions, item #1496 lists a similar photograph with the same
printed signature with an estimate of $400-500.
In April 2005, EAH Auctions, item #18, same story. Catalog estimate
$1400-1800 for this printed signature.
- The Beat Goes On...EAC Gallery
Summer Auction of July 26, 2007 offers you the big bargain. In
their catalog description they state Barnum lists in Sanders
just under $1,200 in photo form. This bargain starts with
the low estimate of on $375.00. What EAC fails to tell you is
that Sanders is listing A GENUINE signed photo for
just under $1200. The item being offered by EAC contains a "printed
signature" of Barnum. Even if EAC cant tell the difference
between real ink and a printed signature, where is their reference
files? Their catalog description clearly states: signed
& dated P.T. Barnum 1886.
- EAC Gallery advertises that
they are currently a member of the UACC.
There were additional sales of these common photographs bearing
the same printed signature over the last ten years. We listed
the above because the signatures on the illustrations were clear
enough for reproduction in this article.
How could this possibly happen over a ten year period? Many sellers
of autographs/auction house just dont do their homework!
- July 1,
- PSA $2.35 Million Screwup!
- Historic Honus Wagner Baseball
- Trimmed & Encapsulated,
The vintage card world is buzzing again
with talk about the "Holy Grail of Baseball Cards".
- A photo of the world's most
expensive baseball card, said to have been taken before it was
encapsulated, shows the card was later trimmed, according to
the New York Daily News.
- Reporter Michael O'Keeffe, author
of a new book about the high grade T206 Honus Wagner, obtained
a copy of the photo after the book made references to its existence.
The newspaper carried the story in its Sunday edition on June
25, 2007(see below image).
- Alan Ray, who sold the Wagner
card not long after its discovery at a Florida flea market in
1985, claimed in the book to have a copy of the photo which he
says proves the card was trimmed to create a card with straight,
even borders and sharp corners. The card was graded NM/MT 8 as
PSA launched its authentication and grading service in 1991.
It was sold earlier this year to a private and yet unnamed collector
for $2.35 million.