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
Boston Red Sox Photo Stolen From Baseball Hall Of Fame Is Removed From Auction; 1921 Image Of Hugh Duffy & Sox At Fenway Was Part Of The Richard Merkin Collection

By Peter J. Nash

November 12, 2014

Hot on the heels of the recent auction withdrawal of the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirate photo that was stolen from the National Baseball Library in Cooperstown, another vintage image of the 1921 Red Sox, was removed from another auction after it was identified by Hauls of Shame as also having been stolen from the archives of the Baseball shrine.

The photo was once part of the collection of the late artist, Richard Merkin, and was being offered by Hake’s Americana in York, Pennsylvania. Like other rare and valuable photographs stolen from the Hall featuring the portraits of Christy Mathewson, Nap Lajoie, Mickey Welch and others, this photo features Hall of Famers Hugh Duffy and Herb Pennock and also shows evidence of Hall of Fame library ownership identifications being obscured to conceal its Cooperstown provenance. But unlike other sports auction houses like Heritage and Huggins & Scott which have refused to withdraw stolen item from sales, Hake’s President, Alex Winter, immediately removed the photo from the sale when informed that the library accession number was visible on the reverse of the photo.  Said Winter, “The item has been removed. We will make sure the photo finds its way back to where it belongs.”  Winter said he would contact the Cooperstown Police Department to inquire how the photo can be returned to the Hall.  When similar stolen items have appeared at auction, however, the Hall of Fame has failed to claim title or attempt to recover the artifacts.  One case in particular involved a a rare 1870 CDV photograph of the Philadelphia Athletics that was sold by Legendary Auctions despite photographic evidence that documented the item was once part of the Hall’s collection.

The attempt to conceal the fact that the 1921 Red Sox photo was stolen from the library was unsuccessful as the library accession number is still clearly visible in black ink on the reverse of the photo. That number, which reads: “BL-11,608-89″ was transformed into “BOSTON” with a blue sharpie, but is still clearly visible. The number represents the 11,608th item donated to the National Baseball Library in 1989. The photo also shows evidence of the handwritten letters “PD” in the upper right corner which is written on photos at the library which are in the public domain.  Former Hall of Fame librarian, Tom Heitz, did not respond to our inquiry asking if he could identify the handwriting of the accession number.

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Why Does Heritage Sell So Many PSA/DNA-Certified Fakes? Employees Jordan & Gutierrez Were Prolific Authenticators Of Forgeries; Source Alleges Collusion Between PSA & Auctions; Could Feds Regulate Autograph-Biz?
By Peter J. Nash November 6, 2014 Last spring, Heritage Auctions sold a bogus letter alleged to have been written by 19th century Hall of Famer John M. Ward.  The sale of the letter was a prime example of the auction house’s deceptive practices and its marketing of non-genuine autographed materials. Despite [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: SF Giants Owner Wants Mastro To Sing; MLB & HOF Endorse Phony Relic Cards; PSA No-Shows At Class Action Deps; Stolen HOF Doc Pulled From Heritage; REA-Ruth Updates; More JSA Football Problems
By Peter J. Nash October 27, 2014 Uniform collector and Giants minority owner, Dan Scheinman (top) wrote to the Judge about the sentencing of Bill Mastro (Forbes Photo) -Bill Mastro, Doug Allen and Mark Theotikos had a status hearing on October 15th in US District Court in Chicago as they await sentencing based [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: Yogi Berra Museum Heist Coverage; Fraud Alert For REA Sale; Net54 Fraudsters Make False Claims & Defend Halper; Orlando & Grad Deps Set In Class Action vs. RR (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash October 16, 2014 The Yogi Berra Museum (top left) was robbed last week and NYDN reporter Michael O'Keeffe (bottom right) went to Rob Lifson (top right) for an expert opinion on museum thefts. Lifson's current REA sale includes a bogus Jackie Robinson ring (bottom left). (Scroll to Bottom For [...]
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Cooperstown Scandal Takes Bizarre Turn; SABR Proves Pirated HOF Photo Of Honus Wagner & 1909 Champs Was Recovered By Museum In 1994 & Now Up For Sale At Huggins & Scott (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash October 3, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for Update) It is nothing new for an artifact stolen from the Baseball Hall of Fame to turn up for sale in a Huggins & Scott auction as there have been a bunch of them sold by the Maryland auction house in the [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: Say It Ain’t Joe-Huggins & Scott Pimps A Halper Fraud; JSA & Jimbo Cert A Forged Hughie Jennings On A Bogus Tiger Bat; Class Action Suit vs. RR Auctions Looking For Victims (UPDATE) Auction Pulls Fake “Shoeless” Joe Jacksons
By Peter J. Nash Sept. 16, 2014 A "Shoeless" Joe Jackson fake (top left) sourced to Barry Halper (bottom right) is up for sale at Huggins & Scott. -Huggins & Scott thought they had a “Shoeless” Joe Jackson treasure on the block in their current Fall sale, but it’s nothing but a misrepresented [...]
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Feds Confirm REA’s Rob Lifson Was Informant Against Mastro; Former Partners-In-Crime Slated To Testify At Trial Of Auction House IT-Guy (Part 7 of 10) (UPDATE) Boehm Pleads Guilty-Fraud May Extend To Rosa Parks Bus
By Peter J. Nash August 22, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for Update) The release of the witness list for the upcoming trial of former Mastro Auctions employee, William Boehm, confirmed what Hauls of Shame has been  reporting for the past few years —that REA auction president, Rob Lifson, was one of the government’s key [...]
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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: