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  #1  
Old 03-09-2007, 08:30 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Mark H

My name is Mark P. Haverkos. At the end of September 2006, I won (bought) a purported 1930 Goudey Premium Babe Ruth Calendar Card from Clean Sweep Auctions. Since that time, I have attempted to authenticate the card, but thus far, everyone has told me that the card is neither original nor genuine – expect for Clean Sweep. I have a letter from PSA stating that this card in not genuine or original. I also have a letter from Bill Mastro stating the same. Verbally, by telephone, Rob Lifson has told me that he also believes the card is not authentic, although he has never held it in his hand or wanted to do so. Two other experts have also advised me that the card is not authentic. The only “letter of authenticity” that I have been able to get for the card is from Steve Verkman, President of Clean Sweep Auctions. I paid $18,775.00 (with the buyer's premium) to Clean Sweep Auctions for the card (auction ended 09/27/06). Based on my inability to have the card authenticated by anyone (other than Steve Verkman’s opinion) I requested a refund from Clean Sweep Auctions and who refused to give me a refund and told that they were not going to spend anymore time on it. Can anyone help me with this unfortunate situation? Does anyone have any information or know anything about this card? Your help would be greatly appreciated by me, as I have put many hours into trying to find any information on the card and have come up with absolutely nothing. Thank you for any help you can provide.

Below are pictures of the front and back of the card:

[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

edited title to be more specific

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  #2  
Old 03-09-2007, 08:37 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Bob

I am curious- What reasons did PSA give for its not being genuine? Did the fact Mastro and Lifson had never heard of the card before make them question its authenticity or did they make their decision based on the paper and printing, etc.? If you bought a card which is not original or not authentic or countefeit or a "cinderella," you have no recourse than to sue to have your money returned based on either fraud or misrepresentation.

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Old 03-09-2007, 08:42 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Dan Bretta

Where did Clean Sweep get this card? 1930 is a full three years before Goudey produced cards of any type.

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Old 03-09-2007, 08:50 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: leon

I was the underbidder (bridesmaid) twice on this card. I will be very interested in seeing where this goes. I also would like to know, for my own edification, why those folks that think it's fake think the way they do. I am not, by any means, saying they are wrong or right, as I don't know. I would think if all of those folks mentioned, PSA, Bill Mastro, and Rob Lifson, all think it's fake....then it's probably fake. But I would still like to know why. Is the paper too new, the printing, are there dot patterns etc..??? Very interesting...Also, this could almost get into the realm of some forensic testing with the price it was sold at....


edited to put in "PSA" instead of "SGC" as that is what Mark had said...

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Old 03-09-2007, 08:55 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: daryle

Didn't Steve have that same exact card in two auctions? I'll have to dig in my back issues of Verkmans catalogs 'cause I think he has had it in two different auctions..............

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  #6  
Old 03-09-2007, 08:57 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Steve f

The original had some really creative and detailed handywork.

I'm no grader, but have seen B/W laserprinted fakes and this is just another. Too bad, it's a nice design.

Mark, I hope you are able to recoup.

Note the lack of uniformity in surface gloss -this appears only where the ink is applied and will feel rough and lightly raised where it's black. I bought the same type of print once.

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  #7  
Old 03-09-2007, 08:58 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: leon

It was the same card.....The first person that bought it turned around and had Steve auction it again around a year later....regards

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Old 03-09-2007, 09:04 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: daryle

saved me a lotta diggin' tomorrow

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  #9  
Old 03-09-2007, 09:18 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Frank Wakefield

Well I'm sorry for you. To me, that card doesn't look like a 1930 baseball card. It may well be real, but I wouldn't give you $5 for it.

Have you looked at the print with a strong magnifying glass?? Have you illuminated the card with black light? Have you contacted an attorney about legal recourse, if any, against Clean Sweep?? Those would be good steps, especially the last. Or sell the card to the underbidder and take a loss. I think if you got much of anything at all for the card then you've done well to get out.

Good luck with it,

Frank.

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  #10  
Old 03-09-2007, 09:30 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: cmoking

Does anyone have the description that Clean Sweep put on the auction? I vaguely recall something along the lines that the seller (who I guess won the item in the first auction) had some sob story which did not seem appropriate for an auction description. It just seemed odd.

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  #11  
Old 03-09-2007, 09:38 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: daryle

I will do some digging tomorrow to see if I have the Sept '06 Catalog. I may still have it.

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  #12  
Old 03-09-2007, 09:51 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: JK

I recall there being a death in the family or something like that that caused the original winner to resell the card.

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  #13  
Old 03-09-2007, 09:51 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: shane Leonard

That sucks that you spent $18K on a fake item. I guess my question would be why would you go this deep on a card that 1) is not graded 2) is not known to exist 3) is in this crappy auction 4) has a calander on the back? I don't like Stevie anyway, so I would sue him just because of that. I am not sure about the statue of limitations on this, so you might consult with an attorney on this one.

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  #14  
Old 03-09-2007, 11:13 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Paul

Have you looked at it with a microscope to see if it has vintage printing such as photo engraving? www.cycleback.com has a nice description of what to look for (thanks David).

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  #15  
Old 03-09-2007, 11:45 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Kevin

It should be pretty easy to tell by giving it a good inspection...other than a scan.

For an $18K price tag it might be worth a few bucks to send it to an independant 4th party or trusted 3rd party.

Kevin

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  #16  
Old 03-10-2007, 05:07 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: barrysloate

According to Steve, the winning bidder bought the card for his son, and then the son was killed in an automobile crash and the distraught owner decided to sell it. I won't even question the veracity of the story.

One of the problems with this is it is unique, and therefore there are no other examples to compare it to. I would send it to a conservator, and pay a few hundred dollars to have him test the paper. If the paper is not consistent with what was out there ca. 1930, then you have a very strong case. If you just go by people's words and opinions you won't get anywhere with it.

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  #17  
Old 03-10-2007, 05:53 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Steve f

Mark,

Barry's correct. At that cost, it's worth the few bucks. Heck, I've only seen a scan, and it is rare, but also been rong before.

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  #18  
Old 03-10-2007, 06:10 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Corey R. Shanus

As I understand the law in New York State, if a lot is identified as being one thing and turns out to be something else, you have legal recourse. The key thing is where the identification occurs. It must be on the first line (often in bold type) right after the lot number, not in the descriptive paragraph(s) below. So in this case if the description read something like "Babe Ruth calendar card from 1930" and you can establish (for example by forensic testing) that the card could not have been made before, say, 1950, I think you're home free (assuming there are no statute of limitation problems); Clean Sweep would be legally required to take the card back and refund your money.

I do think, though, as others have mentioned, that perhaps the main lesson to be learned is the danger of buying something you've never seen before and that does not come with third party (e.g., SGC, PSA) authentication, especially when accompanied by some sob story explaining why the card is being resold again so soon. All auction houses have a conflict of interest in how they describe something, and it is always best to learn about an item from an individual or company that has no economic stake in what you do.

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Old 03-10-2007, 06:55 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Frank Wakefield

Above I mentioned that I wouldn't pay $5 for the card... If the card was in a PSA slab I still wouldn't give you $5 for it. Slabbing isn't the solution. I can see it might help you sell it... it wouldn't help me buy it.

Don't call a lawyer, get some money together and go see a lawyer. Soon.



What are the dimensions of that Ruth card???

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  #20  
Old 03-10-2007, 06:32 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: leon

I hope this gets cleared up for everyone's sake. I just got off of the phone with a very nice lawyer that I am sure can change from being nice, quickly, in the normal course of business. regards

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  #21  
Old 03-10-2007, 07:46 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Mike S

As a relatively inexperienced, but very enthusiastic collector, reading the above post is pretty scary. I realize stuff like this can happen on Ebay, but from an auction house?!? I thought auction businesses were required to be bonded for just such situations. From my business dealings (non-baseball), sweet-talk and polite asking simply doesn't accomplish anything when these type of disagreements arise. I know regardless of the outcome of this situation, I will never place a bid with this auction. I would greatly appreciate an update when this situation is resolved. Thanks.

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  #22  
Old 03-14-2007, 02:29 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Peter Spaeth

There are usually two sides to every story. Has anyone spoken to Mr. Verkman either to alert him to this post or to get his side?

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  #23  
Old 03-14-2007, 04:17 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Adam J. Baxter

Personally I've found Clean Sweep easy to deal with and have not yet had a problem. I'd like to hear his side of the issue.

This card looked ok to me when I saw it in past CSA catalogs, but if so many people of note (Mastro, Lifson, etc.) are standing up and questioning it's authenticity, then getting the paper tested is really the only way to be sure. In the end CSA may be willing to work something out if a concrete expert analysis proves that it's not vintage.

Good luck, I hope it all works out.

Adam

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Old 03-14-2007, 04:26 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Bob Lemke

Some 5 years ago this card (perhaps another example) was submitted to Hunt auctions for sale. We corresponded at length about it and although I never saw it in person, the auction firm came to the conclusion it was not authentic nor vintage and returned it to the potential consignor. I doubt it has become any more genuine with the passing years.

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Old 03-14-2007, 04:35 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Adam J. Baxter

So thus far Bill Mastro, Rob Lifson, PSA, and Hunt Auctions have issues with the card in question.

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  #26  
Old 03-15-2007, 12:23 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Peter Spaeth

I am still confused by this thread. Is the problem that Goudey never made this card at all, or that the particular example is not genuine?

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  #27  
Old 03-15-2007, 12:33 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: leon

I believe the answer to your question is "both". The running theme is that Goudey never made it AND it's not authentic. Also, please keep in mind, 1930's type cardboard can be found any day of the week.....It's the printing on the cardboard that needs to be tested, in my novice opinion. From my understanding the way some paper testing (and maybe ink testing too) is done is to prove when something could NOT have been made...thus eliminating certain time frames..So if the particles in the ink weren't invented until 1948 then we know it couldn't have been printed until then or later......Again, this is ALL conjecture on my part....I am just glad this issue isn't mine....

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Old 03-15-2007, 01:27 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: barrysloate

Leon is correct about how paper and ink are tested. If this were made recently, there would be chemicals found in the ink not known in 1930. If both the ink and paper were consistent with what was in use ca. 1930, then it is likely to be original. It's not hard to do, but it could be a bit expensive.

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Old 03-15-2007, 01:54 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Bottom of the Ninth

From Verkman's site.

What are our standards for authenticity?
Unless noted, Clean Sweep Auctions only sells original items. We completely stand behind the authenticity of every item we sell. We will provide Letters of Authenticity from Clean Sweep Auctions upon request for all autographed items priced at $30 or more. Clean Sweep Auctions uses the strictest standards in the industry and does not sell any questionable items.

Although it also says that all sales are final in his auctions.

Nice to see Steve in hot water and I am sorry it is at the buyer's expense. I don't see Steve standing behind this one without pressure from an attorney--He is just that kind of guy.

Greg

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  #30  
Old 03-15-2007, 02:20 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: davidcycleback

To test paper or cardstock, a paper chemist takes a small piece of the stock and separates it into its tiny pieces and determines what they are. If one of the chemicals or substances or types of wood fiber was invented or introduced in 1950, the stock couldn't be from before 1950. Unlike, judging handwriting, it's all scientific and there are standard textbooks and university courses where you could learn the techniques. Presumably, most people who would do the tests would have a graduate degree in chemistry, paper chemistry, forestry products or something like that.

As is well known to many here, a simple test normal collectors due is to shine a black light on stock. If the stock fluoresces very brightly, it couldn't be from 1930, as the substance that fluoresces was introduced to paper/cardstock in the 1950s.

Printer's ink is much harder to date for various reasons.

As a side note, pen ink is relatively easy to date, in part as most pen manufacturers submit their formulas to the FBI. The FBI could determine which brand of pen you used.

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:30 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Peter_Spaeth

"We completely stand behind the authenticity of every item we sell. We will provide Letters of Authenticity from Clean Sweep Auctions upon request for all autographed items priced at $30 or more. Clean Sweep Auctions uses the strictest standards in the industry and does not sell any questionable items."

If all sales are final, what does this really mean? To me, "standing behind" an item means taking it back if there is credible evidence that the item is not authentic. Otherwise, the "guaranty" is really just circular/meaningless. It's like a certificate of authenticity on an autograph -- anyone can give one.

Hopefully Clean Sweep is responding accordingly even if they aren't posting their views here.

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Old 03-15-2007, 02:40 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Josh Adams

Sounds like a warranty to me.
In my sound legal opinion, I'd sue the pants off of him

p.s- This is not really a "legal opinion" merely musing posted on an internet message board, and should not be relied upon as actual legal counsel.

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Old 03-15-2007, 03:05 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Bottom of the Ninth

Peter,

What it means is that if Steve is selling it, it is authentic and there will be no refund checks cut. He is not offering a guarantee. He is merely putting down words that will make buyers feel more comfortable by giving them a false sense of security.

Greg

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  #34  
Old 03-15-2007, 04:03 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Peter_Spaeth

It would make an interesting case. I agree with Josh the "completely stand behind" language would be construed as a guaranty beyond Clean Sweep's mere subjective opinion, so the case would turn on whether the buyer could prove, through admissible evidence, that the card is not authentic. Hopefully for all concerned it will not come to that.

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Old 03-15-2007, 04:47 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: barrysloate

Actually, I think the buyer does have to provide overwhelming evidence that the card is no good to get a refund. That could either mean having it tested by a lab, or perhaps getting letters from the major grading services and other experts. I think the case hinges on documentation, not hearsay. Ultimately, it does have to get resolved one way or the other.

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Old 03-15-2007, 08:28 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Frank Wakefield

Well measuring the card's dimensions would have been easy, that's not been posted yet.

And illuminating that bad boy with black light should have been easily accomplished by now.

Did you do it, Mark????

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  #37  
Old 03-20-2007, 07:19 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Bill

Just bumping to see if anything has come of this yet. I know, it's only been a few days but I'm curious.

Change your socks, drink water, and drive on.

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  #38  
Old 03-20-2007, 09:57 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Josh Evans

I was offered this card some years ago and knew in about two seconds it was a color Xerox
Testing it would be like testing whether an elephant was a tiger or not

Testing the paper might not prove anything anyway as it could have been printed on old stock
But likely it was not as this is not even a good fake and they would have not gone to such lengths
Josh

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Old 03-20-2007, 10:09 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: JimCrandell

Leon,

Why in the world were you willing to spend the money you were on a card that didn't exist and Goudey never made?

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Old 03-20-2007, 10:25 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Steve M.

Am I missing something? I don't think Leon bought the card. I think it was the poster.

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  #41  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:28 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: barrysloate

Leon was the underbidder both times it was offered for sale.

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  #42  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:29 AM
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Posted By: Steve M.

O

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  #43  
Old 03-20-2007, 10:33 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: leon

I was willing to spend it as I would have been fooled......I would have counted on Steve V to make it right had it not been good. No, I didn't buy it (thank goodness) but, as a type collector and if it were real, it would be a great card.....which is why I bid and was outbid....I don't "not bid" on something because it's unique. I have many unique "good" cards in my collection.....There seems to be overwhelming support for this card to be a fake...I am not sure why Steve doesn't just take the return and move on??...regards

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Old 03-20-2007, 10:48 AM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: JimCrandell

Thanks Leon--just thought it was odd that a savvy card guy like yourself would lay out bthat money for something of soch questionable authenticity.

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  #45  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:40 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: boxingcardman

I remember that auction.

"We completely stand behind the authenticity of every item we sell."

If that isn't a guaranty I don't know what is. The LOA language applies to autographed items and doesn't give CSA the right to send you a LOA and tell you to eat it. The problem, practically speaking, is that you have to prove everything to prevail, which is going to cost more than you spent.

I cannot believe that Verkman is doing what is presented. He has worked hard, really hard, to clean up his reputation. I don't know whether the loss on this card is worth the trashing he's going to take, both for accepting what is apparently a dodgy item and for refusing to deal with it.

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  #46  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:13 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Judge Dred (Fred)

If it were me and I spent $18K on the card I'd drop a few more dollars in to have the ink and paper tested. If the tests are conclusive and there is no way that it can be from 1930 then I'd contact CSA and let them know of revelation. I'd tell them that they are not only on the hook for the sale pice (including juice) they are now responsible for the paper testing bill. If CSA continues to ignore addressing the issue then I go to the hobby experts and get bonafide opinions on paper and send those to CSA with a law suit that is going to collect sales price + juice + paper testing + all expenses associated with contacting and getting letters from others + damages.

I figure there are a few legal experts here - is that possible? If so, then CSA might consider reviewing policy or possibly taking the card back, having the test done by an agreed upon independent lab and then probably abiding by the opinion of the lab.

Dan Bretta made one of the best points yet: "1930 is a full three years before Goudey produced cards of any type." If that's the case then it's almost like case closed.

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Old 03-20-2007, 02:27 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: boxingcardman

Goudey made Oh Boy Gum. They produced a PC-sized set of entertainment cards under the Oh Boy Gum name in the late 1920s. You can see some of them on my web site; I have a page devoted to them

www.americasgreatboxingcards.com

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Old 03-20-2007, 02:34 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: davidcycleback

I would buy a $10 black light and see how the card fluoresces. If it fluoresces brightly, it's modern.

I would then get a microscope and see if it's photoengraving printing, which would be consitent with the period. If it is or isn't would prove definitely, but would offer insight.

If Bill Mastro and Rob Lifson all say it's not original, that's as good of evidence as anything. I don't know of an experienced collector who would buy a card knowing Mastro and Lifson are of the opinion is fake. That would comparable to buying a Babe Ruth autographed ball knowing that it had considered fake by both PSA/DNA and JSA.

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Old 03-20-2007, 02:49 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: Steve M.

"Why 1930?"

Seems to me that any sophisticated forger would choose a year when Goudey was in fact activly producing baseball cards.

By my question I am not in anyway opining that the card is legitimate. I'm just curious.

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Old 03-20-2007, 03:21 PM
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Default 1930 Goudey- Babe Ruth- questionable authenticity?

Posted By: ramram

If you're having tests on it you may run into a "Catch 22". The testing process requires samples to be taken from the card which would possibly hinder a return of the card, through the courts or otherwise.

Rob M.

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