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Go Back   Net54baseball.com Forums > Net54baseball Main Forum - WWII & Older Baseball Cards > Net54baseball Sports (Primarily) Vintage Memorabilia Forum incl. Game Used

View Poll Results: Do you have more, less or the same confidence in TPA now?
More 3 4.84%
Less 23 37.10%
About the same 36 58.06%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:41 AM
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Default In light of recent revelations are you more or less confident in TPA?

In light of Halls of Shame and other stories about TPA autograph authentication what are your feelings about TPA authentication now?
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  #2  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 AM
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I still think they serve a valuable purpose overall. But, I think one big thing is, well two actually, First, NOBODY is infallible. No alphabet guys, or any TPA. Second, education and buying from people you TRUST who stand by their stuff on their OWN MERITS, not just some outside TPA, has become more and more important.
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  #3  
Old 01-19-2012, 08:57 AM
travrosty travrosty is offline
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I think they have shown a propensity to go far beyond the "we are human and make an occasional mistake." the blunders are too big and too close together to be accidental. Not saying they are intentional, but maybe are a result of neglect or dereliction of duty. They authenticate too fast without researching an item thoroughly enough, and it seems like they prefer to believe a backstory if the item is submitted to them from someone they know or an auction house. It's what gets them into trouble.
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  #4  
Old 01-19-2012, 09:23 AM
mark evans mark evans is offline
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As to cards, I think the reputable grading companies do an effective job of identifying reprints and alterations. Grading, on the other hand, by its very nature is so subjective in my view that it's impossible to assess their performance.

Collecting autographs, I have come to believe, is an inherently risky business. I'm sure those risks can be mitigated to a large degree by buying from reputable dealers. I would not put a whole lot of stock in TPAs, especially as to valuable items where there is great incentive to skilled forgers.
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  #5  
Old 01-19-2012, 09:29 AM
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I still don't know how to feel about the whole "Operation Bambino" thing right now. We know one thing, Ruth was a pretty inconsistent signer for the most part. With several different variations over only a short period of time. For somebody that had only "8" letters in his entire name to sign, he sure did sign them differently often. But on the other hand, his hand was huge and he was a lefty. So I guess he was not built to have the greatest penmanship.

I wish they used examples of Ruth autographs on baseballs to compare the examples in question in their articles. They seemed to have used mostly signed documents and flats, which really is not the greatest comparison when comparing to all signed baseballs.

All the examples they are calling into question, for the most part you can find several Ruth examples that do support the questioned examples in the article. I guess the problem is, how do we know the examples we are using are authentic?

What do you guys think about this Ruth autograph compared to the record breaker Ruth. Any similarities? Was it perhaps signed with the same pen? on the same day? If so, was the day in 1948 or in the 90's?

(I took the second picture with my cell phone, so it has some glare) But the original auction posting can be found at: www.liveauctioneers.com/item/195440
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File Type: jpg Ball-Babe-Ruth-sig.jpg (27.7 KB, 186 views)
File Type: jpg Babe Ruth example 2.jpg (78.3 KB, 187 views)
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  #6  
Old 01-19-2012, 10:29 AM
vintagechris vintagechris is offline
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I voted for about the same. As someone who has bought several autographed card lots from auction houses, It appears to me that the TPA's have gotten very lazy or worse.

I have seen some things pass that there could have been no way that actually looked at the items.

I would be interested in knowing the actual process of what happens when these authenticators look at these things for auction houses.

I know we have a member who works for an auction house, maybe he will chime in.
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  #7  
Old 01-19-2012, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagechris View Post
I would be interested in knowing the actual process of what happens when these authenticators look at these things for auction houses.
I am just going to repeat what I have said earlier. Having authenticated for several auction houses (not the big name ones) American Memorabilia did place pressure on our team of three authenticators to pass items. This led to constant shouting matches and eventually to the team leaving Am. Mem.
I am not casting aspersions on other auction houses because I honestly do not know if what I described ever took place at any other auction house. I also authenticated for Phillips Gallery, Guernseys and Clean Sweep. None of those auction houses ever put any pressure on me to authenticate any items.
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Last edited by RichardSimon; 01-19-2012 at 11:02 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2012, 01:37 PM
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Richard- the most troubling point you brought up is the fact that one of the auction houses you worked for put pressure on you to pass questionable autographs. Since TPA don't have to stand behind their decisions, as they are merely offering opinions, couldn't these companies be bought off by aggressive dealers and auction houses? Couldn't they accept under-the-table money in return for passing bad autographs, since they can't be sued and can't be held responsible? Is it reasonable to think this already goes on?
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  #9  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:06 PM
vintagechris vintagechris is offline
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Richard, I wonder if some of these authenticators today just pass stuff, not because of pressure from the auction houses, but because the authenticators know these auction houses bring them a lot of business and if they don't pass a large % or certain %, said auction house may decide to use someone else.

Just to be clear, I am not saying you did anything like that, but with some of the stuff I have seen with my own eyes, I wonder about some of the alphabet boys and wonder if this is going on.
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  #10  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:30 PM
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My opinion they offer valuable and learned independent opinions, but they should be used as a second opinion not the only opinion.
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  #11  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagechris View Post
Richard, I wonder if some of these authenticators today just pass stuff, not because of pressure from the auction houses, but because the authenticators know these auction houses bring them a lot of business and if they don't pass a large % or certain %, said auction house may decide to use someone else.

Just to be clear, I am not saying you did anything like that, but with some of the stuff I have seen with my own eyes, I wonder about some of the alphabet boys and wonder if this is going on.

A perfectly good question to ask. Unfortunately all I can say is we don't know the answer to that question.
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  #12  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:34 PM
Bilko G Bilko G is offline
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In light of what we have seen in the last several months, how can anyone be voting that they are more confident in TPA's abilities?

Last edited by Bilko G; 01-19-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
Richard- the most troubling point you brought up is the fact that one of the auction houses you worked for put pressure on you to pass questionable autographs. Since TPA don't have to stand behind their decisions, as they are merely offering opinions, couldn't these companies be bought off by aggressive dealers and auction houses? Couldn't they accept under-the-table money in return for passing bad autographs, since they can't be sued and can't be held responsible? Is it reasonable to think this already goes on?
Such an attempt was never made to me.
The pressure was rarely put on us to authenticate an autograph that we outright said was bad. However, when we were taking our time examining something that was not immediately apparent, the pressure was put on us. "Oh, this piece came from a good consignor" "oh, this piece came from the Minnesota clubhouse guy", etc.
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Last edited by RichardSimon; 01-19-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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  #14  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:43 PM
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Not autographs, but I've been asked to examine items for two of the big auction houses where I said the items were fake. In one case, the auction house simply returned the items to the consignor and didn't include them in the auction. In the other, the items were included in the auction but clearly detailed them as not being vintage or originals.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drc View Post
My opinion they offer valuable and learned independent opinions, but they should be used as a second opinion not the only opinion.
i'm new to this side of the hobby, so after the past couple months i voted less confident. i also agree with david's statement above.

as for TPG on the card side i would say i have more confidence in me doing a better job than PSA/SGC on the stuff i collect...and hopefully this will carry over to autographs and i could rely less and less on TPA.
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  #16  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:15 PM
mschwade mschwade is offline
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I voted "the same." I generally have a better feeling about an autograph if PSA or JSA have given an authentic opinion. It doesn't mean I don't seek other opinions or form my own opinions.

For example, last year one of my top goals was to own a Pat Collins (1927 Yankees) autograph. Some of you may recall, I had a very difficult time finding one or ended up as the underbidder at closing time of various auctions. It took me about six months to get one and when I finally did, I had seen so many Collins and studied different examples that in myself, I felt 100% confident I was getting a genuine Pat Collins signature.

Today, I am extremely happy with the one I added and feel like I could tell you if a Collins is real or not if you gave me one to look at.
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  #17  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:44 PM
barrysloate barrysloate is offline
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Richard- in no way was I suggesting you may have been offered money to influence your opinions. I merely thought that it might have happened somewhere in the industry.
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  #18  
Old 01-19-2012, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
Richard- in no way was I suggesting you may have been offered money to influence your opinions. I merely thought that it might have happened somewhere in the industry.
Barry - I never thought that you meant me, not to worry.
I just wanted to make it clear that though pressure was put on me at times, the pressure never involved a cash payoff.
I do miss those Las Vegas trips though .
Gave me a chance to visit the Grand Canyon and take a rafting trip down the Colorado River.
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Last edited by RichardSimon; 01-19-2012 at 03:57 PM.
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  #19  
Old 01-21-2012, 01:03 PM
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I voted for about the same. TPAs can help a collector with a specific piece. JSA caught a wife-signed piece at the National for me that saved me a bunch of $$. If I can't get it signed myself I am willing to lean on a TPA to back up my own research.

TPAs also make it easier to sell. Sorry, but even if they do make mistakes they are generally treated as reliable by the purchasing public.

What I won't do is purchase items that I cannot research myself unless they are sold strictly for the collectible value [such as a vintage photo or postcard I'd purchase anyway at the price offered]. I looked for a good long time before buying my most recent expensive [for me] autograph and was completely satisfied that the TPA [PSA/DNA in this case] absolutely nailed it before I bought the item:

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Old 01-21-2012, 01:20 PM
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