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Forgeries Filled Bergen County NJ’s Baseball Memorabilia Auction

On May 3, 2014, Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers held an auction of baseball memorabilia that was initially confiscated by the Bergen County, New Jersey's Prosecutors Office.

Below is a link to the story.

http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/nj-auction-includes-j...

According to Bob Holt of Newjerseynewsroom.com, the Bergen County Prosecutor chose Drew Max (Authentic Autographs Unlimited) to authenticate the autographs. 

Also, according to reporters  John C. Ensslin and Karen Sudol of Northjersey.com, Bergen County awarded a $10,000 contract to Drew Max ($2,500 for storage fees and $7,500 to authenticate the autographs).

Also reported by Northjersey.com is that Drew Max certified only 25% of them items he examined.

It was reported by Cliffviewpilot.com that "Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli, who made the items available, said he hopes to raise a few hundred thousand dollars that will go into the county kitty.  The prosecutor said he authenticated the collectibles by enlisting a handwriting expert he saw on the TV show “Pawn Stars.”

Now why would the Bergen County Prosecutor choose Drew Max (a so-called Forensic Document Expert) because of his appearances on the reality show Pawn Stars?

Would the Bergen County Prosecutor choose an actor from the series CSI as part of his investigative team?

The final results for the auctions are now available and we are going to examine some of the autographs that were sold.

Before we get to the Featured Auction, let's examine the below Roy Campanella autographed "1989 Perez Steele" card.  It sold for $200.00.

It comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) from Forensic Document Examiner (FDE) Drew Max of Authentic Autographs Unlimited (AAU).

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

First of all, the above Roy Campanella signature is a poorly-executed forgery.  The forger did a poor job of attempting to emulate Mr. Campanella's post-accident signature.  Since the above Perez-Steele postcard was produced in 1989 (32 years after the unfortunate car accident that paralyzed Mr. Campanella for life), there is NO WAY Mr. Campanella could have signed such a structured and tidy autograph.  Impossible. 

Below is an example of an authentic Mr. Campanella post-accident signature.

The below top photo shows the Roy Campanella forgery authenticated by Drew Max, and the bottom photograph shows an authentic Roy Campanella post-accident signature.

The Featured Auction held by Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers on May 3rd, 2014 was Lot Number 138 (Certed by Drew Max, AAU).  A Lou Gehrig autographed baseball.  Below is a link to the auction.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Below is a link to the story about the Lou Gehrig auction.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/sold-bats-balls-baseball-history-1....

The winning bid ( a private bid) was $7,500.00

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

A closer view of the Lou Gehrig autograph.

Look closely at both of the above photos.  The inscription on the baseball was definitely not penned by Mr. Gehrig.   The area where the Lou Gehrig is penned was "washed" or "erased" and then someone penned "Lou Gehrig (slow and methodically)" to give the appearance of Mr. Gehrig inscribing the baseball and then signing under it.

Drew Max, isn't it your job as a Forensic Document Examiner, to thoroughly examine every autograph in exchange for the compensation you receive?

Drew Max, I ask you this question "Did you physically examine the above Lou Gehrig signed baseball?"

Drew Max, did you truly examine the above Lou Gehrig signature?

Seriously, Drew Max?

Now let's visit Lot Number 65 (Joe DiMaggio Autographed Baseball).

Authenticated by Drew Max, AAU.

First a photograph of the Bergen County Prosecutor holding the baseball.

The below Joe DiMaggio signed baseball was the "Advertising Poster" for the auction.

It's a typical "Operation Bullpen" Joe DiMaggio forgery.

The lead photo from CBSLocal news shows the below Joe DiMaggio (Operation Bullpen) forgery.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPr_8KhCXtg

Now a closer view of the Joe DiMaggio signed baseball.  It sold for $250.00.

Unfortunately, it is a typical Joe DiMaggio forgery.  Someone paid $250.00 for the below (same ball as above) Joe DiMaggio forgery.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Let's check out Lot Number 55 (1998 NY Yankees Signed Bat).  It sold for $250.00.

Authenticated by Drew Max, AAU.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

The most glaring forgery on the bat, and the reason why collectors would bid on it, is the Derek Jeter autograph.  

The Derek Jeter is a poorly-executed and obvious forgery.

Let's look at another Yankees team-signed item auctioned by Bergen County and by Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers.

This is Lot Number 12 (Authenticated by Drew Max AAU).  It sold for $350.00.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

This is a total train wreck.  The signatures on the below photo look like they were penned by a 3 year old. 

Did a Forensic Document Examiner (in this case Drew Max) really authenticate the signatures on the below photo?

Yes he (Drew Max) did.

The slowly drawn and poorly-executed Derek Jeter forgery.

Let's check on another NY Yankees team-signed poster.

This is Lot Number 10.

Authenticated by Drew Max, AAU.

Once again, another train wreck of forgeries. 

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Let's check out the below Mickey Mantle autograph (forgery) on a baseball.

This is Lot Number 72 and it sold for $250.00.

It is authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

This is a typical "Operation Bullpen" forgery.  Again, a no-brainer Mickey Mantle forgery on a baseball.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Let's look at Lot Number 63 (Mickey Mantle & Roger Maris autographed baseball) that sold for $800.00.

Authenticated by Drew Max, AAU.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Only $800.00 for an authentic Mickey Mantle/Roger Maris signed baseball?

Unfortunately, someone paid $800.00 for these two forgeries.

Here's another obvious and horrible Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays forgeries Lot Number 187) that sold for $250.00.

We've exposed that below Mantle forgery dozens of times here on American Magazine Live (AML).  Simply an ugly forgery.

It is authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Now we have Lot Number 71 (Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson) autographed baseball

Authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

This is simply an ugly set of forgeries.  How the heck Drew Max certed the below ugly forgeries is beyond me.  These are so slowly penned it's ridiculous.

Someone wasted $600.00 on the below mess of Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Frank Robinson and Yaz set of forgeries.

I ask you, Drew Max, "Did you actually look at these autographs?"  Seriously!!!!

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Let's look at Lot Number 100 which sold for $2,250.00.

Authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

Signatures of Ty Cobb, Dizzy Dean, Joe McCarthy, Pie Traynor, Connie Mack,  Rogers Hornsby, etc.

These are horrific-looking forgeries.

Again, I ask you, Drew Max, did you physically examine the below set of autographs?

Someone wasted $2,250.00 on the below train wreck.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

A closer view of some of the forgeries.  The Dizzy Dean is just ridiculous.

Look at the ridiculous Bill Dickey and Cy Young signatures.  This looks like the garbage that Coach's Corner Auctions sells on a monthly basis.  

Let's look at Lot Number 126 (Christy Mathewson signed piece of paper).

This Christy Mathewson forgery sold for $1,000.    Terrible waste of $1,000.

Again, done by an amateur forger.

Authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

Let's look at Lot Number 148

A Walter Johnson signed baseball authenticated by Drew Max (AAU).

It was sold for $900.00.

Again, this is simply a poorly-executed forgery.  A no-brainer Walter Johnson forgery on a baseball.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

I'll be posting more forgeries from the auction held by Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers on May 3rd, 2014 as we begin discussing the items in this auction.

The people that bid and won the above items (forgeries) are not true autograph collectors.  These are people who have zero knowledge of autographs.  Whether they got caught up in the frenzy of owning something cool or wanting to flip their winnings on Ebay, none of the above autographs are authentic.

Also, the people that bid on the items in the Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers Auction By Order Of The Bergen County Prosecutor, were depending on the Bergen County Prosecutor and his choice of Drew Max to insure that the autographs are authentic.

There's an excellent chance, in my opinion, that we will see many of the items won in this auction listed on Ebay in an attempt to flip them for a profit.

Below is a link about one of his (Drew Max) appearances on the Pawn Stars reality show.

http://live.autographmagazine.com/profiles/blogs/drew-max-forensic-...

Below is a link to all of the final bid results.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Let's check Lot Number 102 that sold for $2,000.

http://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/bsccasp/catalogu...

Above I've posted close-ups of the Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, etc.  These forgeries, like the majority of forgeries in the hobby, were done by an amateur.

Did you see any spontaneity in any of the signatures?  No, of course not.  These were penned in a slow and methodical manner.

Someone wasted $2,000 on the above train wreck.

They were again, authenticated by a Forensic Document Examiner called Drew Max.

I will be posting more of the forgeries sold in the Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers By Order Of The Bergen County Prosecutor.

Someone may ask me "Why should we believe you over Drew Max?"

I have spent a long time studying sports autographs.  Studying autographs is an every-day education and process.  The above "autographs" that I have shown here are obvious forgeries.

I wrote in the beginning of this thread that it was reported that Drew Max only certified 25% of the autographs he examined.

Makes me wonder just how many of the 75% he (Drew Max) rejected may actually be authentic.

Views: 1382

Tags: AAU, Auction, Auctioneers, Bergen, Bullpen, Caspert, County, DiMaggio, Drew, Forgery, More…Gehrig, Joe, Lou, Mantle, Max, Mickey, Operation

Comment by Chad B on May 10, 2014 at 1:09pm

The Prosectuer will be mighty ticked off when they find out they were duped for 10K.

Comment by Dane Muramoto on May 10, 2014 at 2:29pm

I don't think the prosecutor will care, since the auction brought them much more than $10k. I think voters and buyers might sue the prosecutor when this becomes national news, though.

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on May 10, 2014 at 3:53pm

Chris,

I'm glad you posted this blog. Thank you. The word must get out to the buyers of autographs in this auction that a very high percentage of them are fake. 

Comment by Christopher Williams on May 10, 2014 at 4:00pm

Thank you, Steve.

Yes, a very high percentage of the autograph auctions are forgeries. 

I will be posting more forgeries from the Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers (By Order Of The Bergen County Prosecutor) auction.

Comment by terrier8HOF on May 10, 2014 at 4:05pm
Great job on this Chris. Even someone who is not a "forensic document examiner" would spot these forgeries.
Comment by Ryan on May 10, 2014 at 6:04pm
Sheesh most of these are amateur forgeries at best! Unreal!
Comment by Richard S. Simon on May 10, 2014 at 6:39pm

Holy crap!!!

What a massive bunch of junk.

But I bet most or all of this stuff did not wind up with serious collectors. Real collectors would not have bid on this type of stuff.

Comment by Richard S. Simon on May 10, 2014 at 6:41pm

And I must add,,, real good work Chris. (Lets Go Rangers)

Comment by Christopher Williams on May 10, 2014 at 6:42pm

You're absolutely correct, Richard.

True autograph collectors/dealers scour all over to find deals and they definitely stayed away from the garbage at that auction by Caspert Auctioneers & Appraisers.

They probably thought it was the second coming of Coach's Corner Auctions.

Let's Go Rangers!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Christopher Williams on May 10, 2014 at 6:47pm

Check out the below collection of autographed bats authenticated by Drew Max.

What a bunch of garbage!!!

Click the below image to get a better view.

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