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  #1  
Old 11-16-2015, 06:03 PM
TakingStock TakingStock is offline
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Default HOFer Ben Taylor "Signed Check" - Opinions Needed

I'm a pretty intense signed HOF check collector, so when I saw a listing pop up on eBay on Friday for a "Ben Taylor Negro League Legend Autographed Check" with a "JSA Letter", I almost couldn't believe it.

For one, I wondered why a signed check suddenly surfaced of an obscure Negro Leagues' legend who passed away in 1953. Nevertheless, I figured at $285.00 it was worth a gamble since the signature looked semi-close to the examples in the Ron Keurajian and Kevin Keating books. If it was indeed the real deal, this is something that could be worth many times the $285 I would have paid.

However, I immediately grew suspicious after my purchase for a few reasons:

1). I started inspecting the "JSA LOA" and other letters listed for supposed autographs of Green Bay Packers' legends from the early 1920's. After close inspection, the JSA auction LOA for the Taylor check was purported to be from a Huggins & Scott Auction in September 2010. While the dates of the auction checked out, the "Huge Lot of (125) Vintage Negro League Autographs" was not part of that auction, the Item Number did not exist, and the letter does not follow the form of other JSA auction LOA's from H&S that I have.

2). When I looked closer at the list of autographs that were supposedly included, I immediately smelled a rat. Ben Taylor...Mule Suttles...Alez Pompez, the list goes on! For one, there is absolutely no way that many obscure Negro Leagues autographs would be included in the same lot with 100+ other names, and if they were, they most certainly wouldn't have an Auction LOA. I have never seen an authentic Mule Suttles autograph, and Ron K's book says he has never seen a genuine specimen in private hands. Even better, this lot was supposedly auctioned after the player's respective HOF inductions in 2006.

3). I received the check today. The paper looks relatively new, the ink does not appear to be fountain ink, and is way too strong for being close to 100 years old. Additionally, I can find no record of Taylor having lived in, or having been associated with, Pikeville, KY which is where the check was written from.

I felt I needed to take a gamble given the uncertain listing and the fact that the seller accepts returns, but after doing more research, I'm most certain this is a forgery.

I have been purchasing checks on eBay and at auction for many years, but this is surprisingly the first case of apparent forgery I have dealt with. Given the seller's other listings that appear suspect, I'm unsure how to handle this.

Do I request a return and select "Fake or counterfeit" as the reason for returning? Does anyone have experience with this? I also would like others to avoid the same fate. Attached is a picture of the check.
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Old 11-16-2015, 06:59 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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First of all this is clearly a forgery . As the former owner of one of the only Ben Taylor autographs known, I had HLS of him that I sold a few months ago for an astronomical sum of money,and this is a poor forgery too.
You had doubts but pulled the trigger anyway. Educate yourself and do not be blinded by the novelty of the autograph or the blind desire to get it.
I would return it as a fake . Also know that a Ben Taylor autograph WOULD NEVER EVER be in a group lot. It is strong enough to carry a separate lot designation all by itself.
Return it but with a lesson learned .
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Old 11-16-2015, 07:35 PM
TakingStock TakingStock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klrdds View Post
First of all this is clearly a forgery . As the former owner of one of the only Ben Taylor autographs known, I had HLS of him that I sold a few months ago for an astronomical sum of money,and this is a poor forgery too.
You had doubts but pulled the trigger anyway. Educate yourself and do not be blinded by the novelty of the autograph or the blind desire to get it.
I would return it as a fake . Also know that a Ben Taylor autograph WOULD NEVER EVER be in a group lot. It is strong enough to carry a separate lot designation all by itself.
Return it but with a lesson learned .
Thanks, and I agree 100%. I should have known better and the old adage of "if it's too good to be true..." certainly proved true here. Just curious, how did you obtain your Taylor autograph? That had to have been quite a piece!
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:15 PM
Klrdds Klrdds is offline
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I purchased it in an auction in 2002 .
Here is an image of it from an earlier post I made.
http://www.net54baseball.com/attachm...1&d=1394729273

Last edited by Klrdds; 11-16-2015 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 11-17-2015, 05:19 PM
Baseball Fan Baseball Fan is offline
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Just curious, what did the back of the check look like? Was there any cancellations or just totally clean?
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:27 AM
TakingStock TakingStock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baseball Fan View Post
Just curious, what did the back of the check look like? Was there any cancellations or just totally clean?
The Red "paid" stamp that you see on the left front side of the check was also on the back left side of the check.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:22 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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That should have been the first clue. Those are modern. You can buy those at Staples, Office Depot etc. That is not how checks were cancelled back then, or even now. You stamp an invoice 'paid' not a check. After a check is accepted by the bank and the fund transferred, either by cash or deposit, the check is 'cancelled' The punch cancel being the most common. Additionally, there should be an endorsement by the payee on the back.
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:25 PM
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GrayGhost GrayGhost is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
That should have been the first clue. Those are modern. You can buy those at Staples, Office Depot etc. That is not how checks were cancelled back then, or even now. You stamp an invoice 'paid' not a check. After a check is accepted by the bank and the fund transferred, either by cash or deposit, the check is 'cancelled' The punch cancel being the most common. Additionally, there should be an endorsement by the payee on the back.
Im sure the OP is happy w this additional knowledge, I know I didn't know this myself on checks
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:54 PM
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Jay Wolt Jay Wolt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael B View Post
That should have been the first clue. Those are modern. You can buy those at Staples, Office Depot etc. That is not how checks were cancelled back then, or even now. You stamp an invoice 'paid' not a check. After a check is accepted by the bank and the fund transferred, either by cash or deposit, the check is 'cancelled' The punch cancel being the most common. Additionally, there should be an endorsement by the payee on the back.
Just saw this thread and if not for Michael's post, I would have echoed the same sentiment.
Here's a check I just got in, from 1963 no less, w/ cancellations holes


Last edited by Jay Wolt; 11-19-2015 at 01:56 PM.
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