Authenticated Autographed Baseballs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Authenticated autographed baseballs and other memorabilia represent a watershed for the collectibles trade. Prior to the Internet Age, verifying the authenticity of any signed item, not to mention unsigned paraphernalia, posed a real problem. Most collectors simply took their dealers at their word and trusted their own instincts before making major purchases. Since then, much has changed.

The rise of PSA, the industry's dominant grading company, marked a major inroad in the struggle to quash fakes and frauds. Unfortunately, many collectors remained in the dark and continued plunking down huge sums for bogus items. Now, digital technology has improved to the point where the savvy hobbyist can practically guarantee against scams and rip-offs.

The Secret Behind Authenticated Autographed Baseballs

Some companies have begun to incorporate patented technologies that help "seal" an item from forgery. A few businesses now issue holograms that function as a mark of approval that tells would-be collectors that the item has passed rigorous inspection. Naturally, it's less common to find these seals and stamps on lower-margin items like common cards and printed autographs. For bigger-ticket items, though, this is essential.

Other companies have issued ID numbers for their authenticated autographed baseballs. Prospective buyers need only copy down that number, then search for it in the company's centralized online database. The number is cross-referenced with a library of photos depicting the athletes signing the memorabilia in question. In this manner, a few pioneering entrepreneurs have helped sell thousands of authenticated autographed baseballs.

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