A hoard of thousands Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams signed photos have flooded the market over the last few years. All authenticated by Global Authentication Inc., with COAs signed by former GAI executive Mike Baker.
The hoard has driven down prices on these legendary Baseball Hall of Famers by 50-percent or more, and it's not rare to find one for well under $50.
Every baseball expert we asked is emphatic that they're forgeries. And they've had that same opinion since the hoard came out of Florida in 2008.
If the experts are right—and I don't doubt that they are—not only are thousands of collectors stuck with these worthless photos. Thousands more have unfairly suffered a catastrophic drop in the value of their genuine Mantles, DiMaggios and Williams due to the flood of fakes.
And as we all know, GAI went bankrupt in 2009 after certing thousands of forgeries of Mantle, Williams, DiMaggio, Koufax, etc.
Why Do So Many Think They're Forgeries? Let's find out!
If you're a regular collector like me, it's hard to tell good Mantles from decent forgeries. DiMaggios and Williams are easier, but I'd never buy without an expert opinion. So I thought it would be a great education for those experienced in these autographs—experts and experienced collectors—to show us why they're so widely considered forgeries.
I've included a few of the GAI authenticated photos to start with. Feel free to upload more. Ask questions, share your knowledge...and help make collecting these Hall of Famers safer for everyone!
Look at this garbage!!!
These are all Florida forgeries.
Laughable Mantle forgery.
Here is a mass-produced set of Mantle and Williams forgeries.
GAI "authenticated" thousands of forgeries before they went bankrupt in 2009.
Check out the below GAI certed signed photo Mantle, Joe D., and Ted Williams. The Joe D. is cartoonish at best. The "J" is Joe is awful and the "D" in DiMaggio isn't close. The one thing I will apologize for in advance is not going into detail about why a certain autograph is a forgery. That I will not do. But I will write this; it is important to do research and "train your eye."
Here's the result of the Mantle that I showed earlier
Before PSA/DNA submission:
Mantle after PSA/DNA submission:
Here's another before and after of a framed item...they never took it out of the frame but still certified it...
As an authenticator ( granted, NOT in anything other than NASCAR ) I do feel that a comprehensive signature study is needed here. It's vastly important that buyers and collectors are as educated as possible. There needs to be a tool that new buyers or un-informed buyers can use when determining if a purchase is worth the risk.
DB, do you have a link to the study that was previously done?