September 6, 2013
As Summer ends and the MLB playoff races heat up, Hauls of Shame brings you some belated CHIN-MUSIC:
-Whistle-Blowers who have worked for big hobby companies have contacted Haulsofshame.com with the intention of exposing alleged fraudulent business practices of some of the hobby’s biggest players. Stay tuned this Fall for our coverage that should be beneficial for collectors and interested law enforcement entities.
-Nuf-Ced McGreevy’s treasured photograph of a legendary Red Sox scene was recently recovered by officials at the Boston Public Library. The photo was stolen along with close to one hundred others back in the late 1970s and the library has done a tremendous job recovering McGreevy’s looted treasures all on their own. Stay tuned for in-depth coverage of the recovery this month.
-Robert Fraser, a convicted felon and disgraced real-estate agent who works for Terrie O’Connor Realty in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, has unleashed himself upon the hobby falsely posing as a long-time collector and spouting slander, false statements and assorted absurdities about yours truly. Not surprisingly, he has been embraced by fellow ex-felons like ex-drug dealer Leon Luckey and other Rob Lifson fan-boys like John McDaniel III and Brooklyn dealer Barry Sloate. Pay no mind to his criminal conviction for insurance fraud and perjury and that in a civil action he was also found guilty of “committing four violations of the Fraud Act” and for submitting “multiple false statements” as chronicled in the State of New Jersey v. Robert Fraser. He’s totally believable, though, just ask him. Fraser has received cease and desist letters from hobby veterans who he has harassed and even his close friend, Rob Lifson, who also referred him to his own lawyer, told John Rogers of the Rogers Archive via email: “Fraser is obsessed with Peter Nash.”
-Barry Sloate thinks Fraser’s slander and fabrications are”amazing.” This coming from Sloate who, in response to an inquiry in 2009 by Freddie McGuire related to the provenance of many dubious items he had sold in the past, stated: “As far as pieces I have sold in the past, I have sold dozens and dozens of rare items and I will admit I do not know the provenance of any of them. I hope all of them were good but like I said, I do not know their source.” Sloate returned a call from Haulsofshame.com and declined to comment on his past statements and his ties to stolen materials. Sloate, a known cat-lover, may also be interested that Fraser admitted to our source that while pet-sitting for a neighbor’s cat in Westwood, New Jersey, he became agitated with the cat and killed it, drowning it in a bathtub. He’s a real gem.
-Bruce Dorskind, the controversial collector who had a knack for making as many enemies as friends in the hobby passed away in August after being ill for some time. When we interviewed him last year for the book, The Madoff of Memorabilia, he revealed many interesting facts about the hobby back in the mid-1970s and told stories about collecting personalities like George Lyons and Barry Halper. But when talk shifted to the issue of the Spalding Collection thefts at the NYPL, Dorskind’s memory wasn’t as sharp. When asked, Dorskind said he had only recently learned via the news that his long-time friend and supplier Rob Lifson had been apprehended stealing items from the NYPL back in the late 1970s. But when we interviewed hobby veteran Lew Lipset earlier this year, he told us he recalled George Lyons telling him it was Dorskind who actually posted bail for Lifson after he was apprehended at the 5th Avenue branch building (Dorskind lived close by on 57th. Street). Unfortunately, we never got to follow up with Bruce and it looks like he may have taken that NYPL secret to the grave. Our favorite lines from the Dorskind Group related to his friends Lifson & Mastro are:
-“….A few months later (in 1976) we attended our first Philadelphia show. There we met two young dealers, Billy Mastro and his pal Bob Lifson. We purchased the rarest cards they had…included Four Base Hits, 2 Kalamazoo Bat NY players and a Just So.”
-“…..They (Gar Miller, Bob Richardson, Joe Michaelowitz, Buck Barker and Frank Nagy) all said there were only two people who get (super rare type cards) for you–if you are willing to pay, Rob Lifson and Bill Mastro…..With Rob, ‘Where there’s a bill (1,000+) there is a way.”
-“Rob (Lifson) is the most knowledgeable dealer I ever worked with. He knows cards, he knows value and most importantly he knows where the bodies are buried.”
-“Oh how sweet it was…..When it was a hobby.”
-REA and Rob Lifson are rumored to be the auction house that will ultimately sell-off the Dorskind Collection. REA sold Dorskind’s “Panel of 4 Boston Garter Cards from 1912″ for $177,750 this past May.
-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig could score some points in trying to restore the Harry Wright Papers to the New York Public Library. Haulsofshame.com reader Alex R. from Miami suggests that the Commish buy the letter sent by pitcher Jim Devlin to Wright after he was banned for life from Baseball by National League President William Hulbert. Devlin was pegged a cheater after his involvement in a scheme to throw games was uncovered by baseball officials and his pathetic letters to Wright asking for assistance were cited in works published by Dr. Harold Seymour and his wife Dorothy Mills as originating from the NYPL’s Wright Correspondence Collection. Considering that Harry Wright originally donated his papers and archive to the National League and Organized Baseball in 1895 it would seen appropriate for MLB to step in and assist the NYPL after the FBI returned the stolen cache of letters to the original consignor who placed them in the 2009 MLB FanFest Auction held by Hunt Auctions.
-MLB’s budget for the Alex Rodriguez investigation and for buying the Biogenesis documents and testimony from Tony Bosch (or part of Bud Selig’s $20 million annual salary) could surely cover the costs for these historic Harry Wright documents and save some baseball history. We hear the owner/consignor and the collector who has been buying the stolen documents are open to giving them all back for about $30,000. You’d think Selig & Co. could afford that?
-Hauls of Shame would like to thank all of our readers for their continued support as our readership has passed 50,000 unique users and close to 150,000 page views per month. Stay tuned for our soon-to-be-released “Worst 100″ authentications of PSA/DNA and JSA, you won’t want to miss it.