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February 17, 2013

Auction House Pulls Fake Baseballs Off The Block

If you follow the memorabilia scene at all, you know that there were a pair of pretty high profile baseballs coming up for auction.

First, the ball that purportedly made the final out of the 1917 World Series and the other...a baseball signed by Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig.  Unfortunately, both balls have been revealed to possibly be fakes.

According to the New York Post, both balls were manufactured years after their consigners claim.

“There are some questions on the balls’ stamping, and to err on the side of caution, we removed them from the sale,” Heritage Auction’s director of sports auctions, Chris Ivy said.

Oh, and the dude at the forefront of the investigation?  None other than Hall contributor Peter Nash from Hauls of Shame.  Among his findings...stamping that dates the 1917 World Series ball to no earlier than 1926 and an inconsistency in the number of stitches (116 versus 108). Also...Heritage claims to have already sold the ball that made the final out of the 1917 World Series this past May.  Oops.

I encourage you to read Nash's full piece on how/why the 1917 ball is a sham.

"While I think it's great that the auction has pulled the bogus balls they are still offering an important document stolen from the Hall of Fame," Nash said late Saturday night after finding out the two baseball's had been removed from the auction. 

And about that other ball?  You know...the one that Lou Gehrig supposedly signed.

Nash says that the ball, which was, by his account, manufactured after 1940, would likely not have been able to have been signed by the New York Yankees legend.  You'll recall, Gehrig retired in 1939 and by 1940, his signature would not have been legible at all.

The Gehrig ball was expected to fetch more than $25,000 while the last bid for the 1917 World Series ball was $10,000.

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