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  #1  
Old 05-08-2021, 08:34 AM
rand1com rand1com is offline
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Default Babe Ruth Endorsed Check

Any opinions on this Ruth autograph? I saw one of these sell in the Heritage Auction last night on same check type and customer signature except for only $5.00.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2021, 10:19 AM
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Of course it's good.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2021, 05:38 PM
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Itís good
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2021, 08:36 PM
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Awesome ruth check!!!!
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  #5  
Old 05-09-2021, 11:19 AM
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Perfectly fine
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2021, 03:50 PM
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A lot of views with only 4 opinions. Any one else?
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:30 PM
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With those 4 opinions you really don't more . Those 4 are as good as anyone on Ruth . IMO only reason to get more would be to confirm your already received opinions OR to find a person that says no to the check.
Just to add my 2 cents worth. The Ruth autograph / endorsement is good . It's a beautiful example.

Last edited by Klrdds; 05-10-2021 at 04:33 PM.
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2021, 06:04 PM
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OK.

So here is the full story. About 15 years ago I bought this check off Ebay just as it is for $1500. No authentication. At the time, it was a good price but not a steal.

I held onto it for a couple of years and sent it to a major auction house with some other items for consignment. They sent the check back to me and said it did not pass authentication. It would have been PSA/DNA at that time with Steve Grad the likely authenticator as I think Jimmy Spence had already left to form JSA.

I certainly thought it was a perfect example as the opinions expressed here but I would not try and sell it since they sent it back and I did not want to spend another $250 which was the Ruth fee at the time to get the same result.

It was way too late to try and get my money back from the seller so I chalked it up to a bad beat down.

I did not think much more about it but still had it in a box here at my home.

Then a few days ago I was looking at the Heritage Auction and saw a check up for auction that appeared to be a mirror of this check with the same bank and same person signing the front. I compared the two closely and although the handwriting on the check looks a little different, mine was a year later based on the dating than the one in Heritage so depending on age etc., possibly the signer's writing was a little different.

So, I got to thinking maybe mine was indeed good after all. Hence, I put it up here for some opinions which I respect.

I did not want to declare the facts as I wanted opinions based on the Ruth signature, not the story. I was encouraged by the responses with no one who opined it was not authentic.

As a final test, I submitted it to Beckett for the online opinion for $10. They quickly opined "Not likely to pass full authentication." Of course you get no reason, just Yes/No.

With a $350 fee for Ruth, it just does not make sense to submit it for full authentication.

There must be a tell that we are all missing and they immediately picked up on.

If indeed this is a forgery, it is the best one I have ever seen.

So there is the "whole story."
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2021, 06:45 PM
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While GH Ruth may be easier to forge than Babe Ruth, Iím still 100% convinced this is good. There is absolutely not 1 thing that stands out about this that says itís no good. Only thing I can think of is that there are a number of these floating around and itís simply a longtime known forgery. Otherwise I stand behind my assessment that this is good.
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2021, 08:20 PM
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I completely agree with Brendan. There certainly isn't any magic "tell." Either it can be shown that those particular checks started life as something else, or it's good.
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2021, 09:34 PM
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There certainly isn't any magic "tell." Either it can be shown that those particular checks started life as something else, or it's good.


Exactly
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  #12  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:14 AM
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The tell appears not to have anything to do with the signature nor the check itself. The red cancellation on the stamp to me is the tell that this check was manufactured from blank checks someone ran across. The font style for the date is more modern than those in use in 1944.

Also Babe Ruth had a long standing relationship with Chemical Bank which if you look into seems to be what most of his check signatures are written on. Then about 1945 to 1946 his checks appear to be drawn mainly on Chase National Bank. Though this check was written to him and not from a personal account of his...
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  #13  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:45 AM
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They're 1948, but these have a very similar stamp from different banks. It was probably supplied by the clearing house.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Judaica-25-...-/293768413159

Would it have been different in 42? Maybe, but a bit of searching for checks from NY banks from that era should eventually turn up a check to/from nobody important with the same stamp.
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:50 AM
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Are we 100% that it is live ink and not a stamp? I ask because junctions where letters cross each other aren't darker as they normally would be. The "H" especially on the right side where it crosses the upright doesn't look like a pen did it.
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2021, 11:43 AM
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For what it's worth this might help. I thought that most everyone knew about these but obviously, I was wrong. One of the "tells" is the affiliation with Jamaica bank (see the stamp on your example). The other is the red smudged cancel mark on the front. I have seen many of these checks most are not endorsements but actual full checks, Not just by Ruth but have also seen Lou Gehrig checks drawn on the same Jamaica Queens bank. Real Ruth checks are on the Chemical Bank and Gehrig checks of which only a handful maybe 5 are known to exist are drawn on his bank in New Rochelle. The checks like these that I have actually held in my hand are laser printed signatures and handwriting most of the time only visible upon close inspection and with magnification. So while with a copy the signature and handwriting will LOOK correct because whatever stylus or process is being used they are using REAL handwriting and signature examples. This same process is being used with photos and just about anything you can imagine. Now there is a LONG SHOT CHANCE that the one you pictured might be OK. It's a VERY outside chance and the things I mentioned above are going to scare away most buyers. Hope this helps
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  #16  
Old 05-11-2021, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalupacollects View Post
The tell appears not to have anything to do with the signature nor the check itself. The red cancellation on the stamp to me is the tell that this check was manufactured from blank checks someone ran across. The font style for the date is more modern than those in use in 1944.

Also Babe Ruth had a long standing relationship with Chemical Bank which if you look into seems to be what most of his check signatures are written on. Then about 1945 to 1946 his checks appear to be drawn mainly on Chase National Bank. Though this check was written to him and not from a personal account of his...
Also, this information is very much "on the money" Thanks
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  #17  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:02 PM
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One thing that sticks out to me is that the signature appears to be in the same pen as the one used to write the check out by a different person.

Last edited by packs; 05-11-2021 at 12:03 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
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One thing that sticks out to me is that the signature appears to be in the same pen as the one used to write the check out by a different person.
I would tend to disagree, I believe the writing on the front of the check is just someone writing with an old pen on an old check, the endorsement would be different because it's NOT hand-signed. I've seen the same thing done with Christy Mathewson and just about any expensive HOF name you can think of and not always on the same banks. Someone gets blank checks makes them out to whomever and then the replication process is used on verso. In the case of the Mathewson check I mentioned it was an endorsement that someone actually took the time to "hand perforate the "Paid" on the check. The writing on the front making the check out to Matty looked old, the stamping didn't seem to make any sense and were likely just there to make the check look "busy" The Mathewson signature (and others I've seen) Look 100% real because they ARE. They are just not hand-signed or stamped.
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  #19  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:30 PM
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Thank you!
Very educational post & thanks to everyone that contributed here.
Live & learn...
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  #20  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
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I would tend to disagree, I believe the writing on the front of the check is just someone writing with an old pen on an old check, the endorsement would be different because it's NOT hand-signed. I've seen the same thing done with Christy Mathewson and just about any expensive HOF name you can think of and not always on the same banks. Someone gets blank checks makes them out to whomever and then the replication process is used on verso. In the case of the Mathewson check I mentioned it was an endorsement that someone actually took the time to "hand perforate the "Paid" on the check. The writing on the front making the check out to Matty looked old, the stamping didn't seem to make any sense and were likely just there to make the check look "busy" The Mathewson signature (and others I've seen) Look 100% real because they ARE. They are just not hand-signed or stamped.
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You know more about this than me. I mentioned it because I see the same flaring on the front and the back.
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2021, 01:17 PM
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Blank checks and documents can be found on e bay by the thousands ...the trick is to link the item to the source for example was John Doe in Milwaukee in 1905? Does the other information add up? Sometimes this takes hours if not days. As far as aging ink it's a simple process and the things that would be obvious on a laser signature are all pretty easy to detect if you know what you are looking for but for obvious reasons don't want to discuss them on a public forum.
Another thing I've noticed since we are talking about checks is many years ago a cache of MORDECAI BROWN checks surfaced these were all from his gas station and he endorsed the verso. Those are unquestionably good but many of the checks were signed FOR him by his wife. Easy to spot. But what some grifters have done is cut the checks signed by the wife which are worthless in half and then endorse (forge) Brown's signature on verso. These are relatively easy to spot as the checks are NOT signed in the place where a check is normally endorsed and instead signed on the opposite end of the check
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2021, 02:27 PM
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Of course it's good.
I was wondering why you said"of course"??
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2021, 02:58 PM
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To compare apples to apples, here are pictures from the Heritage Auction I referred to in the original post. Obviously, does not have the Purple Cashed Jamaica stamp which appears to be a possible issue but the Bank of Manhattan red stamp appears to be a match on the check I have to the check in the auction.
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File Type: jpg CHeck 1.jpg (74.5 KB, 286 views)
File Type: jpg Check 2.jpg (57.8 KB, 281 views)

Last edited by rand1com; 05-11-2021 at 03:02 PM.
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:23 PM
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Great information Jim thanks! Upon further review of the original check, you can clearly see where someone changed $5.00 into $500.00.
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  #25  
Old 05-12-2021, 05:33 AM
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So if Jim's premise that someone got a period check and filled it out to Ruth in order to forge his signature on the reverse to sell it as a forgery, what was the incentive to change the original amount from $5.00 to $500?

Why would the amount make any difference? Especially since obviously the one they would have been trying to replicate which according to Heritage is indeed authentic was for $5.00.

I agree upon a closer look that the two zeroes appear to have been added with a slightly different pen and perhaps as Jim surmised the red blotch covers an attempt to change the amount but again for what reason.

Is a $500 Ruth check worth more than a $5 one if both are perceived to be authentic as to Ruth's signature?

Also, comparing the clearing house stamps on both checks they indeed appear to be a match.

I am not trying to justify that the check is authentic as for close to 15 years I have assumed that it is not.

However, something does not add up in this case and I would just like a plausible answer.

The Ruth signature is clearly live ink. Even if replicated by a laser as Jim guesses, the change to the amount makes no sense to me.

Last edited by rand1com; 05-12-2021 at 05:58 AM.
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  #26  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:00 AM
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Here are the two checks one above the other for comparison purposes from a handwriting standpoint of the person who filled them out supposedly based on the dating a year apart. Is it clear they were filled out by two different people?
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File Type: jpg Handwritten_2021-05-08_102613.jpg (80.7 KB, 249 views)
File Type: jpg CHeck 1.jpg (74.5 KB, 246 views)
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  #27  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:26 AM
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Here is an enlargement of the Ruth signature on the check I have. Maybe someone can conclude that this is indeed a laser created signature. I admit I cannot make that conclusion as I do not know what to look for. It looks like a live signature to me.
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  #28  
Old 05-12-2021, 09:08 AM
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Checks aren't the thickest of materials. Are there pen indentations on the other side?
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:29 AM
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You can see very light indentations on the front side from the reverse autograph.
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  #30  
Old 05-12-2021, 11:20 AM
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Laser Prints WILL create indentations or what is known as "stress marks" , the amount the check is made out for means absolutely nothing ...the key is where the signature intersects. Normally a signature under magnification will have more ink where the lines cross. Sometimes under HIGH magnification, a laser print will exhibit a "matrix". There are several other consistent things happening like the circle on the front of the check, the red smudging on the front. Jamaica bank association etc. etc. It's obvious that someone or everyone wants the check to be authentic so am really sorry I chimed in. Won't do it again
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:41 AM
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so am really sorry I chimed in. Won't do it again
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  #32  
Old 05-12-2021, 12:12 PM
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Please continue to chime in, you are a treasure on these boards.
Frank, I appreciate that but those checks are NOTORIOUS and have been making the rounds for 20 years I thought most collectors knew but someone must have not read their daily "memo" the REALLY memorable ones are the FULL checks supposedly written and signed on the front. Since I have no dog in the fight to better illustrate my point with regards to either check I tried to use point-by-point factors which have fallen on deaf ears. I could have and WISH I would have just said I would NOT sell one I would NOT buy one and if BOTH were offered to me for free I would decline. The problem is a FREE opinion has no value because it's free no matter how you state your case. So Ultimately its "Not how good a deal you got but how good a deal you THINK you got"
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:39 PM
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Jim,

I am truly sorry if I gave you the impression that I did not trust your opinion. I am very aware of your expertise in the autograph world and have bought autographs from you in the past. I thought you stated it was a very long shot as to authenticity but you did not totally rule it out. I assume that was your nice way of saying, "it's a forgery."

The only reason I ever started the thread was because the check in the Heritage auction was drawn on the same bank and appeared to be filled out and signed by the same person, had the same Clearing House stamp, and the G.H. Ruth signature looked authentic to me.

As I said, I wrote the loss off 15 years ago but the fact that this check showed up in the Heritage Auction made me want more clarification as the two are very similar. You have now clearly answered my question.

Please continue to lend your expert opinions on this forum.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
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Frank, I appreciate that but those checks are NOTORIOUS and have been making the rounds for 20 years I thought most collectors knew but someone must have not read their daily "memo" the REALLY memorable ones are the FULL checks supposedly written and signed on the front. Since I have no dog in the fight to better illustrate my point with regards to either check I tried to use point-by-point factors which have fallen on deaf ears. I could have and WISH I would have just said I would NOT sell one I would NOT buy one and if BOTH were offered to me for free I would decline. The problem is a FREE opinion has no value because it's free no matter how you state your case. So Ultimately its "Not how good a deal you got but how good a deal you THINK you got"
Some free opinions are more valuable than others....

The opinion of someone expert who has handled multiple examples of these in person as Jim has must rate very highly.

TL/DR for the following - Jim is right, and these are probably nowhere near as convincing in person as they are in scans.
---------------------------------
The thing with less ink at the intersections... yeah, that's not normal for fountain pen.

It made me go back and look at the random person checks from a couple years later, same bank. But this time not just looking at the backstamp, but the entire item in comparison. And there are some pretty big differences!

one is that the real checks have a picture in the center, that didn't copy as well as the horizontal background lines. It doesn't copy well in a scan either apparently, but that's the entire point of security printing, that it's hard to copy.
Found a closed auction for a couple blank checks from the right time period.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/12427588480...p2047675.l2557

That's what they should look like.. better color, etc.
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  #35  
Old 05-12-2021, 02:48 PM
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Here are a couple you might like ...what do they have in common they are BOTH fake
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File Type: jpg johnson.jpg (78.1 KB, 213 views)
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  #36  
Old 05-12-2021, 03:25 PM
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The Behrers seem to have really gotten around.

Sending money to not only Ruth in the 40's, but to Al Capone in the 20's.
Pretty good for a guy who ran a plumbing supply company and eventually a nightclub as well. Which he lost in around 1940...

http://www.myalcaponemuseum.com/id76.htm

Looks like they bought a "from the estate of a banker" story. Which makes no sense, checks would get sent back to the writer.
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Old 05-12-2021, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
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Here are a couple you might like ...what do they have in common they are BOTH fake
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Lou must have had some clout with the bank. They completely processed it the same day it was written....
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalupacollects View Post
The tell appears not to have anything to do with the signature nor the check itself. The red cancellation on the stamp to me is the tell that this check was manufactured from blank checks someone ran across. The font style for the date is more modern than those in use in 1944.

Also Babe Ruth had a long standing relationship with Chemical Bank which if you look into seems to be what most of his check signatures are written on. Then about 1945 to 1946 his checks appear to be drawn mainly on Chase National Bank. Though this check was written to him and not from a personal account of his...
This is a check written to Ruth, not by Ruth. Anyone, banking at any bank, could have written him a check.
That being said, Jim has pointed out that these checks, from this particular bank, are well-known.

Last edited by David Atkatz; 05-12-2021 at 06:20 PM.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rand1com View Post
So if Jim's premise that someone got a period check and filled it out to Ruth in order to forge his signature on the reverse to sell it as a forgery, what was the incentive to change the original amount from $5.00 to $500?
I believe this has to do with the chemical washing of the check to remove the payees name. I think they botched up the "dollars" after "Five" with the washing, and needed to cover the extra space, so they chose to add the "hundred".

My .02
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Old 05-18-2021, 01:44 PM
rand1com rand1com is offline
R@ndy Hart.soe
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
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That reasoning actually makes very good sense. Thanks
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