Coach's Corner Sells Baseball Signed by Obama...and Jackie Robinson?

I used to get on Chris Williams' case about it all the time.

Better known as YouTube's TomTresh2, Chris would spend half of his famous expose' videos berating the buyers of obvious forgeries on eBay and Coach's Corner, calling them as much of the problem as the sellers.

I'd call and say, "Chris, please stop calling these people idiots. Most are just inexperienced, and fraudsters are good at bamboozling people. Don't blame the victims."

Chris didn't agree but he eventually gave in...sort of. He still calls buyers out in his videos, but not as much. And he stopped doing it on Autograph Magazine Live!

Chris, my hand is grasping at your baton. And I'm not...sure...I can back.


As always, the Coach's Corner auction that ended August 12 featured a number of unusually rare items, most selling for remarkably low prices. 

I wonder if the collector who just paid Memory Lane $82,500 for a Beatles-signed baseball knows he can buy one almost every month from the Coach for $1,000 or less? One sold for $542 last Friday.

Does the guy who paid Heritage $192,000 in 2006 for a baseball signed by Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio know that Coach's Corner offers one or two most months? This month's ball sold for $972.

Do the bidders at Coach's Corner realize what kind of "bargains" they're getting?

Do they ever wonder why?


Behold this month's most amazing Coach's Corner find, a baseball "signed" by Barack Obama and Jackie Robinson, "authenticated" by TTA, Ted Taylor Authentication:

If you bid on this ball, get your autographs checked out STAT. ASAP. TOMORROW.

Because there's a good chance that virtually every autograph you've ever bought is bad.

Not just because it's such a ridiculous forgery. But because that means you're a customer of Coach's Corner, where the odds of buying genuine rare autographs aren't much different than the odds of Meghan Fox knocking on your door and dragging you into the bedroom.


What's Wrong With This Ball?

No one I asked has ever seen a baseball signed by Barack Obama and Jackie Robinson. That doesn't mean one doesn't exist. Someone could have gotten one signed and is keeping it, or Obama could sign one tomorrow. It's actually a good idea that someone's bound to legitimately try now. 

Here's what's wrong with this ball:

  1. Would someone use a genuine Robinson single-signed ball? Highly unlikely. Genuine ones in nice condition bring about $5,000 or more. President Obama's signature could even make a single-signed ball worth less, not more. It makes much more sense to have Obama sign a lower-grade multi-signed ball with Robinson on it.
  2. Not only isn't Robinson's signature on the sweet spot, it's high on the panel to make room for another signature below. Why? 
  3. While the image is fuzzy, like many Coach's Corner images, you can tell that the Robinson autograph hasn't aged or faded in any way. It's just as bright and bold as Obama's. Yet Jackie died in 1972 and Obama wasn't elected until 2008. If the purpose of Obama signing the ball was to have it signed by the first African American president, they would have had to have signed it at least 36 years apart. The states of the signatures would have been dramatically different.
  4. The same or identical pens were used, at least 36 years apart. 
  5. The opinions I got on the signatures themselves were that they are crude and obvious forgeries.

This doesn't even take into account that the ball sold for $1,200, when genuine single-signed Jackie Robinson balls would sell for about 5-times that or more. Or that like its predecessor, STAT Authentic, TTA is widely considered to be among the most disreputable authenticators. 

If you had such a rare and desirable item, why would you consign it to Coach's Corner, where everything sells for "bargain" prices?

But there are tons of autographs in every Coach's Corner auction that are ridiculous beyond measure. Obvious forgeries of extremely rare to otherwise unknown autographs. Most selling for far less than 10-cents on the dollar compared to genuine examples.

Many for less than a penny on the dollar.

Doesn't that say it all?

If you're the "lucky" buyer of this baseball, or any other Coach's Corner customer, consider this your wake-up call.

You've been hitting the snooze button far too long.


Views: 1623

Tags: TTA, Ted Taylor, barack obama, baseball, coach's corner, jackie robinson,, signed

Comment by Brandon Mysinger on August 16, 2011 at 3:10am
Wonderful write-up Steve. I think this story and item needs to be sent to the White House.

Remeber, as horrible and as laughable of a forgery as this is, there is a group of dealers and a "magazine" that supports Coaches Corner, Morales, STAT, and TTA. Until its stopped, this kind of thing will continue to get worse. Their support seems to have encouraged more and more impossible items.
Comment by john reznikoff on August 16, 2011 at 5:05am

Here are what are in my opinion some authentic signed Jackie Robinson items.

I met Jackie in 1968 in my local grocery store when I was eight. My mom recognized him and went up to introduce me. I shook his hand but did not ask for an autograph. In retrospect I should have grabbed a Wheaties box!


Maybe I should try to get an Obama on one of these?


Jackie signed ball


2nd Jackie signed ball


3rd Jackie signed ball


Jackie signed letter about his troubled son


Jackie signed Yankees/Dodgers world series program



Comment by Christopher Williams on August 16, 2011 at 10:19am

This has to go on the Top Ten list of "Most Ridiculous Forgery Ever Penned And Authenticated."

Ted Taylor, Philadelphia Athletics historian, has done it again.

You sleep well at night, Ted?

Comment by CEE GEE on August 16, 2011 at 11:09am
I love how the same pen was used 36 years later and after 36 years the Jackie Robinson is a bold 10...this cant be fake.....hahahahahahahahaha....this is a sick joke and that Obama auto is hideous...also a great point on how this could sell for $1,200.00 ?!?!?!?! a Robinson singled signed ball should with out a doubt on the low end be at least  $2,500.00 to $3,000.00
Comment by jerry stern on August 17, 2011 at 3:15pm

One of the best Robinson forgeries that Coach's Corner has ever sold and now it is ruined by a second forgery.  


Jerry Stern

Comment by Steve Cyrkin, Community Manager on August 17, 2011 at 3:15pm
No, Chris. Rant...please.
Comment by Bob Oliver on August 17, 2011 at 4:04pm
You have got to be kidding!!
Comment by Christopher Williams on August 17, 2011 at 4:11pm
Well, Steve, buyers of garbage like this deserve part of the blame for the autograph mess that the hobby is in and I certainly won't back down for saying so.
The majority of autograph collectors, as most of us all know, are casual collectors (some I call wannabe collectors) who simply will buy an autograph based on price and a piece of paper.
Normally, at this point, I would continue my rant, but I will stop here.
Comment by JASON MARKS on September 19, 2011 at 9:31am


Comment by MeanMisterMustard on December 22, 2011 at 3:34pm

Haha! Good article! This one is laughably bad! If I'm ever feeling blue i will just take a jaunt over to Coaches Corner and I'm sure it'll put a smile on my face.


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