Is this an example of an older Rivera signature? It looks nothing like anything I have seen before.

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Here are some Mariano Rivera autographs on photos that I have.  They show his early signature yet they all differ.

These are FANTASTIC early examples...this really is truly the bread and butter of what an vintage/early auto looks like...thanks for sharing these !

Doug, good show... earlier there was a "comment" that stated, "Wise move. They (GAI COAs) do cast doubt even on the rare authentic item."   This is not the first time GAI has taken a hit around this place and perhaps deservedly so.  The AML owner has also indicated he was told of some 10k of them with the implication that they are bogus.  Unfortunately, no one really knows.  The interesting point is that this bias has devalued authentic ones (& I have a few as well authentic GAIs) even though some talk out of the other side of their mouths that it has to be about the signature and not the cert.

Since many collectors are not students of authentication it is important to demonstrate those that are authentic with GAI certs and hopefully collectors can make a distinction. 

Otherwise, they will embarce the comment above.  Just like the thread on 500 signed baseballs that started in doubt then resulted in information that validated the GAI onsite event.

It's not as much fun to report;  The mailman did not get bit  by a dog on a dialy basis. 


I was told that by Steve Rocchi, one of the founders of GAI, that they certed the deal. He didn't say they were bad but we knew the deal and PSA/DNA and JSA had passed because they were clearly fake. The owners of the deal had a forensic document examiner look at them and convince GAI they were good.

They are the same bad fakes that were sold at the military exchanges, Always at Auction and all over. They are bad, the deal is bad.

And if you have to authenticate an autograph no matter if it has a COA or not, what use is the COA?

GAI was good and became crappy. GA had a chance to start fresh but has been a disappointment.

that's whats missing fun!  Problem is Doug, as you well know, that the greater majority of collectors don't have the time nor the wherewithall to do this studying so they place their reliance in certain authentications.  BUt I concur, it gave rise to the TPAs and forced out the independent authenticators (good ones) for sake of argument while also giving rise to the worst authenticators.  The problem with fellow collectors in many cases is they know just enough to be dangerous.

I know I've bought a few items that have turned to be fake. - what is this... u didn't study, LOL.   And haven't we all done this!

It's great that you post in-person exemplars as there are a number of threads... and if you don't find one, just create it.  I have a secretarial thread going that focuses on entertainment as I don't know how many secretarials (i.e. TTMs) fall into sports but if there are some or you are aware of some (checks is a good example) feel free to post some over there.

I posted the Marianos to show how at one sitting his capital R changed from picture to picture in the same session.  As stated in another members post, you have to concentrate on the little letters.    Of course, I had the advantage of knowing they were all good!  As we see more and more of the "later" autograph we still have to be cognizant of the early one and its variations.  With Mariano's record, possible retirement and most likely HOF election the fakers will continue to flood the market with trash.  To me, this is the type of information that helps us.  I'm not about trashing anyone or any company.    I think if we can raise the education curve a little bit it will help the hobby immensely and make the fakers that much more obvious.  Thanks to all of you for letting me participate.

That's the problem now as they "sold out".  Now everything that is ok, is now tainted.  Why is that especially with the but we knew the deal ?  Because the greater majority of buyers either don't know or find out by word of mouth about the latter and many, including me, here feed that frenzy.  To top it off EBAY felt GAI was a recommended authenticator and has now replaced them with GA (that you claim is a disappointment). 

when did Steve Rocchi, one of the founders of GAI, that they certed the deal. indicate when this was done and on what and for whom?  Was this "founder" involved with it?  If so, to what extent?    Wasn't Mike Baker at the helm by then and what is the relationship with Rocchi, if any or known?

somewhere there needs to be full disclosures, timelines, products identified and the  people involved as it may not have the costs of ARA but when you dbl a penny every day for 30 days it's a sizeable amount after one month.

Most likely no telling where the merchandise has gone and with GAI now out of business they are SOL so perhaps the above is moot....  but it's a shame for the authentic merchandise.


I don't know exactly when GAI certed the sports hoard. I didn't start looking into it until a dealer asked me where the huge hoard of fake Mickey Mantles, etc., came from that were popping up everywhere. That's when I started making calls.

Steve Rocchi and Mike Baker started GAI and were partners. I think Mike primarily ran certification and Rocchi handled sales. I don't think Rocchi said who submitted them, which is something that's often not released, but I heard elsewhere at the time they were from Tony Podsada. The story was they were in a warehouse in Florida, from a failed company's private signings, and there were something like 70,000 items total from signings with Mantle, etc., from the late 1970s and well into the 1980s. I think Rocchi said they did about 30,000, but I'm not feeling well today and my memory isn't up to snuff.

These are the same kinds of fakes that later were attributed to Scoreboard.

Authentication is a double-edged sword, all about branding and reputation:

In the case of PSA/DNA and JSA, the marketplace generally assumes if they certified it, it's genuine.

In the case of GAI and other authenticators with poor reputations, the marketplace assumes if they certified it, it's probably not genuine.

(We're talking about the experienced marketplace, not the newbies or dumbies.)

Over time, most genuine autographs with less reputable authentications will have those stickers removed, and replaced with reputable authentication or none at all.

let's move several of these comments over here then;

so we can keep focus on Jeter balls  ;-)


Hi Doug and welcome. I am actually watching one of your Rivera SPs on ebay. While I know it is as good as gold, the GAI sticker is unfortunate as it may limit the potential buyers now and in the future.

I have been tempted to buy an inexpensive GAI item simply to see if I could remove the sticker without damaging the item. I know the sticker will fall apart, but whether it can be removed without damaging the item is to be determined.

I live in upstate NY and I wish they still had shows like the ones they used to have at the Polish Community Center in the 90s. Now, we are lucky to get someone like Darryl Strawberry maybe once every few years. I have to drive over 2 hours to get to Westchester -- the closest show with any notable guests or dealers.

By the way, I purchased a Cobb signed check from Jon last year over at Net54.  :-)

The players back then were happy to make a few dollars, Hear kind words from the fans and fell a little of the sunshine for one more day.  I have some real fond memories of some of those autograph sessions.  It's not like that today.

Actually. I pulled the auction simply because I didn't want the item to have a tarnished reputation or to have someone do a quick opinion and they judge the sticker, not the autograph..  I have some Mazeroski photos I had GAI do so I am going to play with the goo gone on it.  I'll report back on how that works.  Covering the sticker with a photo mat to hide it is one thought I had so that the autograph can be judged on its merit.  And gosh, do I miss those old Polish Community Center shows too.  Lots of dealers, lots of cards and often someone signing.  Those were the days!



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