Klein’s Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

Klein’s Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

Wow! What a week for the hobby and perhaps the two biggest stories do not have anything to do with new cards and releases.Klein's Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

The first story broke this week about the infamous Menendez brothers sitting courtside at a 1989-90 New York Knicks game. How do we know they were there? Well you see, it appears they are in the background of the 1990-91 Hoops Mark Jackson card.

Now Mark Jackson had a very nice NBA career. He was one of the best passers in NBA history and later became both a coach and an ESPN color commentator.  But with all that, his cards have tended to wind up in the commons bin because he’s is not likely to be a Hall of Famer or a preponderance of his early cards are in the “overproducedera. We all know there are tons of these cards lost in the card scrap heap but so many 1990-91 Hoops were produced that even 10 percent will be enough for this feeding frenzy.

It’s not the first time people have discovered people known in the card backgrounds. One of my Beckett teammates at the time is featured in the background of this 1995-96 Upper Deck Loren Meyer rookie. (See image gallery below)

And, while I have to dig through the archives to locate the exact card, famed hockey card dealer Phil Spector (no relation to the music producer) and his lovely wife Joan were featured on a 1990-91 Pro Set card in the background.  I’ll ID that card next story.  And recently a very young Patrick Kane was found to be in a background of a 1994-95 hockey card. (See image gallery below)

Who is in the background?

A fun challenge for the hobby will be to identify other famous (or infamous) people in card backgrounds. Please note, we are not interested in cards such as the 2007 Topps Derek Jeter where President Bush and Mickey Mantle were put into the photo to hype interest.

The search for other people on card backgrounds is fun; the other story to write about. well not so much.

A story which reverberated around the pre-war hobby was the startling discovery that many of the autographed pre-1942 cards in the most recent REA auction as well as other outlets were approved by third party graders were actually very skilled forgeries.

First, when I started hearing about this story one of my first thoughts was, well since this is possible to have these cards, then we suspend our disbelief for a minute. Let’s face it, as a hobby we, like everyone else wants to believe the story that makes items real.

Here is the Fred Parent faked signed card which opened up the Net 54 debate.Klein's Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

From reading through the Net 54 thread, and I would say this is recommended reading for all concerned, these forgeries were caught because of a deep electronic footprint left behind. http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=262673

Now, let’s start with the obvious answer. Brian of REA is going to ensure all the winning bidders are made whole. He is taking responsibility for an item which he sold in good faith. I know, if I got a graded card from one of the major Third Party Graders I’m selling it as good because you have to presume the item is real. That says a lot of Brian and also Al Crisafulli or Love of the Game auctions has double checked every one of those cards to see if there are any issues. Those two gentleman, and the others following that path are to be commended.

Klein’s Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

And despite what you might hear from some conspiracy mongers the Third Party Graders don’t like this occurring either. Their reputations are very important to them and even one mistake can ring badly. This mistake is a major heartache for all involved. Yes, you should get this correct but to a person they are all doing the very best they can. I do know many of them and to a person they want to be accurate in what they do.

The other issue is whether Ebay should go back to the old school days of listing the full user names of all the bidders on an item. I lean more towards that viewpoint because of how Ebay has always hyped up their feedback as a means of verifying their buyers and sellers. Now, if they were like one of the internet Auction Houses, then the bidder records are not public but Ebay is different and those should be there for all to see. I think it’s more important to stop the bad people like that in their tracks then the few people who might look for an underbidder to sell a similar item to. The more transparency there is the better for the hobby.

So, when it comes to pre-war signed cards (of which some but not very many exist) this truism is certainly valid. If the card seems too good to be true, it probably is.

I think I’ll stay with signed cards I know should be good:

Klein's Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News

Happy holidays!

For more from Rich Klein, follow him on Twitter @sabrgeek.

Klein’s Korner: Catching Up With The Latest Hobby News – Image Gallery


Rich Klein