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.
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!
Here is a mass-produced set of Mantle and Williams forgeries.
GAI "authenticated" thousands of forgeries before they went bankrupt in 2009.
This crap continues to infect the hobby. Another set of Mantle/Williams/DiMaggio forgeries certed by GAI (with the Mike Baker name on the cert). $799.99 for this piece of garbage.
Another horrific set of GAI certed forgeries of Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. With the usual Mike Baker name on the cert. Again, these ugly forgeries were produced in the thousands.
This all sickens me. I hate to do it but I am going to get out of the collecting of sports autographs. I am going to just collect things I know about. I do know The Big Red Machine signatures very well. But these scammers are so good I just don't the difference between the "real deal" items and the ones they fake. Are the penalities not severe when they get caught? Just really upsets me when i see stories like this one. Thanks for sharing all these stories and informing people like me who are in the dark.
Another set of Mantle/Williams forgeries certed by GAI (Mike Baker). Again, these forgeries were produced in the thousands.
Gotta love it when the seller writes "It comes w/ GAI certificate of authenticity who are leaders in the industry."
Even though GAI is now defunct, they sold out the hobby when they authenticated thousands of forgeries like this one.
Who are you referring to, Mr. Marino?
phew, for a minute I was thinking you might also include his batman wings & leotards.
I think the circus is in town, Harry.
And what would you like me to do, Mr. Marino? And in that same breath, what are you doing, Mr. Marino?
Joe - shooting them is against the law... too bad vigilante justice has been outlawed. Many here do their part but it's like putting out a forest fire with a squirt gun. There are also a number of sites, auctions, dealers and everything in between who could care less so long as the revenue is inbound!