Baseball Hall of Fame
Wills fakes & Frauds

Welcome to Hauls of Shame
This site is dedicated to investigative reporting related to the soon-to-be published book, Hauls of Shame. While the book deals with the wide ranging problems of fraud and corruption in the baseball collectibles and auction industries, its primary focus is on the mysteries of the considerable thefts of rare, historical baseball artifacts from the collections of the New York Public Library, Boston Public Library and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Hauls of Shame publishes breaking news, book excerpts, original essays and interviews with historians and those familiar with the investigations that have spurred earnest recovery efforts by the FBI, individual collectors and institutions. We offer an educational resource for the baseball collecting and research communities as the investigations yield evidence of items both suspected or confirmed as missing from the research archives of: NYPL's "Spalding Baseball Collection;" BPL's "McGreevey Baseball Picture Collection;" and the HOF's "August Herrmann Papers Collection."

Breaking News
Heritage Is Selling An FBI-Documented Fake At The Cleveland National; 1882 Championship Watch Was Created By Ex-Cincy Reds Batboy; Experts Say A Signed Gehrig-Day Ticket Is Bogus & Matty Letter Was Stolen From Baseball HOF

By Peter J. Nash

July 24, 2014

When the authenticity of Babe Ruth’s alleged 1923 World Series pocket watch and a bogus letter attributed to 19th century HOFer John M. Ward were questioned earlier this year, Heritage Auctions sports director, Chris Ivy, told Hauls of Shame, “Heritage would never sell an item which we do not believe to be genuine.”

But despite Ivy’s emphatic claim, Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Texas, is offering more fakes and frauds in its Platinum Night Auction scheduled for July 31st at The House of Blues in Cleveland in conjunction with the National Sports Collectors Convention.  Ivy recently raised some eyebrows when a Heritage press release was picked up by the Associated Press and ESPN advertising the upcoming sale of an alleged Lou Gehrig signed ticket from “Gehrig Day” in 1939 that he calls “the most significant baseball ticket in the world.”  The AP reports that the ticket is “estimated to bring over $100,000″ at the live event in Cleveland.  Several experts and hobby observers, however, think that the Gehrig signature on the ticket is not genuine, but even more disturbing is another Heritage lot in the glitzy auction catalog that has been identified as a counterfeit 1882 Cincinnati Reds presentational pocket watch attributed to 19th-century star Charlie Gould.  The auction house estimates the timepiece could sell for over $60,000 but the alleged 1882 Reds championship watch is actually a well-documented fake created by early 1990’s forger Randy Lee Marshall.

Marshall, a former batboy for the Reds, was convicted in 1993 for mail and wire fraud and was sentenced to twenty one months in prison as a result of an FBI investigation.  Marshall identified the watch currently being offered by Heritage on his own personal “Top 10 Forgeries” list which was published in Cincinnati Magazine in 1995 (the article incorrectly identified the watch as being dated 1888).  In addition to peddling that historic fake, Heritage is also continuing its unfettered sales of stolen documents from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown with the offering of a 1923 letter written by Christy Mathewson protesting a game between the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers in 1923.  The National Baseball Library’s files house the August Herrmann Papers collection which includes letters and affidavits for protested games in the National League spanning from 1902 to 1926.

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Mastro Sentencing Postponed As Theotikos Set For Guilty Plea; Plea Agreement Details Shill-Bidding Scheme; Victim Says Auction Was “Screwing” Collectors
By Peter J. Nash July 18, 2014 Bill Mastro leaves a Chicago courthouse after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud tied to a massive shill-bidding scheme (Chicago Tribune Photo) When former hobby kingpin Bill Mastro appeared in a Chicago Federal courthouse last October and plead guilty to one count of mail [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: NY Daily News & O’Keeffe Off-Base In Nash-Bash; A Suspect Mickey Sig On Esken’s Mantle Glove; Goldin Says 1916 Ruth Contract Is Missing; Ty Cobb Fakes Still Fooling Spence & PSA/DNA
By Peter J. Nash July 11, 2014 Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News (top left) published another inaccurate report; Ken Goldin (bottom left) is offering several suspect items in his Babe Ruth anniversary auction. -The New York Daily News I-Team and Michael O’Keeffe devoted a full page of newspaper coverage to [...]
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Operation Bambino: Investigation Reveals PSA & Spence Authenticated Babe Ruth Fakes For Past 15 Years; Experts Say Forgery-Ring Created $44,000 HOF Plaque & $75,000 Signed Bat (Part 6) (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash June 18, 2014 (Scroll to Bottom for Update) It’s been 100 years since Babe Ruth made his debut in a Major League uniform but he remains the most revered athlete in American sports history.  The “Bambino” is still so popular that collectors are shelling out millions of dollars and [...]
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Grad & Spence Authenticated A Modern Replica Ball As Grey Flannel’s Premier Ruth & Gehrig Signed Ball; Autographs Are Facsimiles Of Forgeries But Russek Still Selling Fake (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash June 12, 2014 Jimmy Spence and Steve Grad authenticated a modern replica ball as a Ruth-Gehrig original in Richard Russek's current Grey Flannel sale. (For UPDATES scroll to bottom) If Grey Flannel and Rich Russek needed some additional information to pull the bogus Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig ball appearing as a [...]
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Yankee-Fakers: Jimmy Spence & The JSA-Authenticated 1927 Murderers’ Row Forgeries; Grey Flannel’s Premier Lot & Ruth-Gehrig Ball Are A Murderers’-Ruse (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash June 2, 2014 UPDATE (June 11th): Grey Flannel has not removed the bogus c.1928 Ruth-Gehrig ball from its current “Summer Games” auction.  The ball has failed to receive an opening bid at the reserve price of $7,500.  The alleged 1927 New York Yankees signed photo, which has [...]
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The World’s Fastest-Pitched Balls Or Just Two More Halper Curves? Alleged Ryan & Feller Record Breakers Pulled By Goldin Re-Appear At LOTG Auction
By Peter J. Nash May 27, 2014 Two historic baseballs purported to have broken records as the “world’s fastest pitch” once withdrawn from a 2013 auction because of authenticity issues are now back on the market at Love of The Game Auctions in New Jersey. The auction house states that [...]
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Anyone with information that can aid the recovery efforts
 may contact us at:

 We also suggest that those with important information regarding the thefts from the
BPL, NYPL and Hall of Fame collections contact the FBI at:
(For BPL:
(For NYPL: )
(For Hall of Fame contact the FBI's Albany, NY office at 518-465-7551)

The services of Hauls of Shame and Peter J. Nash as a consultant and expert are available to collectors, auction houses, institutions, legal representatives and law enforcement. 
To inquire about details contact us at: