Thursday, December 4, 2008

PSA Applauds Brooklyn Bat Boy Forgeries

I read this article on the PSA site and originally thought it would be about the great autographs the Brooklyn Bat Boy was able to collect.

Instead, I read an article about that applauds great forgeries and the technique used by the Brooklyn Dodgers' Bat Boy. I thought PSA was there to authenticate legitimate autographs and not celebrate the success of someone who learned to write Duke Snider's name with a strong "D" and "S."

The PSA Writer adds,
"One must keep in mind that these balls were signed to accommodate mostly fans, not collectors. Autograph collecting was not as popular or sophisticated and rarely was monetary value attributed to them prior to the 1970s. The recipient of one of these balls never questioned the legitimacy."

I couldn't disagree more. Isn't a fan who gets an autograph baseball a collector too? Does the popularity of an item determine if it's OK to use a fraudulent signature?

The recipient didn't question the authenticity of the baseball because they trusted the team and the players. The fans didn't think it was a tedious task for a player to write their name 10 times a day.

Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm in a cranky mood, but I'd prefer the sports memorabilia authenticators to celebrate legitimate autographs, and not trivialize and applaud fakes regardless on if they are from the 1950s, 1850s, or 2000s. I'm fine with PSA doing an article on the Brooklyn Bat Boy, but lets not blow it off because the fans/collectors didn't know any better at the time.


Larry said...

The point of the story was likely to expose the level of expertise a bat boy could have to mimic the signatures of many players, so collectors today will be aware of such things when they come across a supposed team-signed item.

Too many collectors do not know any better and are losing too much money on items with signatures that are not authentic.

Better to have read this article than to have spent so much on a team-signed baseball and find out the autographs were signed by someone other than the ballplayers themselves.

JRJ said...

Larry - Thanks for commenting. Great points.