What should you know about Game Used Equipment

This section is currently "under construction", i.e. it hasn't been written yet.  The purpose of this section is to provide information and pictures to help collectors identify and determine for themselves whether different types of Baltimore, Washington and University of Maryland equipment items are what they are represented to be.  There are numerous individuals and companies that represent themselves as "experts" and provide letters("LOAs") and certificates(COAs") attesting to the authenticity of a specific item or autograph.  Some of these "experts" use an educated approach and even have a factual basis for their opinion.  Unfortunately, in our opinion, many do not.  We do not believe that authenticity can be based solely, or even primarily, on pictures or provenance.  We are also amazed at the ability of some "experts" to render opinions on items from numerous teams and multiple sports.  We find it hard enough to feel comfortable with just a few teams. 

We would like to give our opinion on a couple of other things.  The idea that some "experts" do not stand behind their opinion in that once the item has been sold the LOA or COA is no longer valid makes no sense to us.  If that is the case, why even get that "expert's" opinion?  Also, the inherent conflict of interest in auction houses, dealers and even collectors giving "independent expert advice" concerns us. Of the three, we would clearly prefer the collector, as long as there was no financial interest involved.  Although a willingness by an "expert", dealer or auction house to buy back the item at the price paid is laudable, the process likely necessary to convince the "expert",etc. that their opinion was wrong would probably negate, as a practical matter, such an offer.  So, what is the answer to authenticating game used memorabilia?  We believe that until the hobby is able to establish a truly independent EXPERT review group or system, educated collectors, armed with information and the opinions of people they respect provide the best assurance.  When it comes right down to it, it's you collection; it's your money.  

Finally, and again, this is just our opinion, the grading of game used equipment on indices other than ones that are relevant to authenticity and game use is inappropriate.  Cracks, stains, tears or other "imperfections" are desired by some collectors and not by others.  The "grade" of a game used item should not depend on these types of cosmetic features.  Let the collectors decide for themselves what characteristics they like and don't like in a bat or a jersey.  Don't create an artificial criteria that raises or lowers the value of an item because one "expert" does or does not like his game used items a certain way.  

Please let us know if you would like to contribute to the development of this section.

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