College’s Authenticity Expert Weighs in on Phillies Memorabilia

 Is That Signed Phillies Ball Real or Fake?  

Release Date: Friday, October 16, 2009


PHILADELPHIA, PA – Phillies Phever has once again gripped the Philadelphia area, as young and old fans alike scramble for Phillies gear, signed merchandise, and memorabilia in the hopes of a repeat perfect season. But how do you know that signed baseball off of eBay is the real thing?

Ted Taylor, adjunct professor of business communications at Chestnut Hill College, and the co-owner of STAT Authentic LLC, an authentication and appraisal company, has some tips for fans who want to make sure that their memorabilia is real.

“There is a lot of fake autographed merchandise on the market right now, says Taylor. “About 80 percent of items presented to us for authentication turn out to be fake.”

Here are some tips Taylor suggests when looking to buy or purchase Phillies merchandise or memorabilia:

  • Be wary of anything that doesn’t have a third-party authentication. Major League Baseball is authenticating items sold at the ballpark, so this is a safe bet for merchandise purchases.
  • Most items on eBay without certification of authenticity are suspect, as well as some that claim to have it. Before purchasing, find out who certified it, as most reputable authenticators have websites with background and contact information.
  • The Phillies players signatures most frequently forged are Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Cole Hamels. Ryan Howard was signed to an exclusive autograph contract, so authentic merchandise signed by him should have a certificate of authenticity.
  • Watch out for 2008 Phillies team signed baseballs being sold in auctions and on the web, as these may have some legitimate signatures and a mix of “clubhouse signatures”- where substitutes sign the ball instead of the player.
  • Be cautious about team signed balls that show up right after an event (such as the current NCLS). This is another time where clubhouse signatures run rampant in the auctions.

Ted Taylor is a life-long collector of sport memorabilia, and wrote the weekly “Collectors Corner” column in The Philadelphia Daily News for 12 years, in addition to a column in Sports Collectors Digest. He is the founding president of the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society (1996-1999), and is the author of “Philadelphia Athletics by the Numbers: Let’s Give Skeeter #2.

Ted Taylor is available to speak more on this topic. Please contact Lisa Mixon, Media Relations Manager at 215.753.3664 if you wish to speak with him.