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
Pawn Stars Expert Steve Grad Faked His Own Bio & Committed Perjury In Collectors Universe Lawsuit; Says He Was Trained By Mentor & Crook Bill Mastro; Allegations Of Fraud At PSA/DNA (UPDATE)

By Peter J. Nash

August 1, 2014

(Scroll to bottom for update)

The History Channel’s hit show Pawn Stars was the scene of one of the most embarrassing blunders in authentication history when PSA/DNA’s alleged expert, John Reznikoff, told millions of viewers that a Godfather movie script was signed by Al Pacino when it was actually signed by movie producer Al Ruddy. In another instance, pawn shop owner Rick Harrison said he lost 15-grand when he purchased a bogus book alleged to have been signed by “Shoeless” Joe Jackson that was authenticated by former PSA an current JSA authenticator Herman Darvick. But when Harrison sent the book to PSA/DNA, he got a letter back signed by the company’s senior authenticator, Steve Grad, stating that the Jackson autograph was not authentic. Safe to say, the show’s producers wanted to avoid any future embarrassments similar to the Reznikoff incident and other on-air authentication debacles orchestrated by former on-air expert Drew Max. Max billed himself as a forensic document examiner but he was notorious for authenticating signatures of players that had been placed on balls manufactured after they died as well as certifying as genuine mass produced facsimile signatures of historical figures like FDR.

As a result of these embarrassing episodes, Pawn Stars apparently cut ties with Max after a few seasons and Reznikoff has not appeared on the show since the Pacino debacle. In response to the on-air flubs, the popular cable franchise forged a new relationship with PSA/DNA authenticator, Steve Grad, to become the new expert for autographed items that walk into the Las Vegas pawn shop. PSA President, Joe Orlando, announced the partnership between the reality show and the subsidiary of the public company Collectors Universe in a press release which stated, “One of the missions of Professional Sports Authenticator and PSA/DNA Authentication Services is education. Steve Grad serves not only as an authentication expert, but also a great ambassador for the hobby of collecting.”  But according to a 2011 deposition Grad gave for to a lawsuit filed against PSA and Collectors Universe, it is Grad’s own education and the fabrication of his own professional history that are now calling into question his own credibility and the authenticity of millions of dollars worth of items that he has certified as genuine.

Read the full post

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 (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash July 24, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for Updates) 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 [...]
Read Full Article »
Mastro Sentencing Postponed As Theotikos Set For Guilty Plea; Plea Agreement Details Shill-Bidding Scheme; Victim Says Auction Was “Screwing” Collectors (Part 6 of 10)
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 [...]
Read Full Article »

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 [...]
Read Full Article »
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 [...]
Read Full Article »

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 [...]
Read Full Article »
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 [...]
Read Full Article »

Those interested can also sign up for our free monthly newsletter which will feature information not readily available to the general public. Fill out the form below.

Opt In Opt Out

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: