Spalding/NYPL
McGreevy/BPL
Baseball Hall of Fame
Wills fakes & Frauds
RECOVERED
ITEMS/ARTIFACTS

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
Hall of Fame Heist Hits Close To Home: Jane Forbes Clark’s Family Papers Looted Along With Files Of MLB Commissioner

By Peter J. Nash
July 26, 2015

Letters to HOF founder Stephen Carlton Clark, an heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune, appear to have been stolen from the NBL. His granddaughter, Jane Forbes Clark (inset), the current Chairman of the HOF, has been silent on the issue of the thefts.

It’s been a few years  since a Haulsofshame.com investigation revealed that a large cross-section of papers donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame by Commissioner Ford Frick had been wrongfully removed from the National Baseball Library and were subsequently sold on the “black market” for baseball artifacts. That being said, there was no mention of that scandal in the glowing profile about Hall Chairman Jane Forbes Clark published yesterday in the New York Times.

In his Times profile, writer Richard Sandomir failed to mention anything about the massive thefts and also chose not to reference another 2013 report about the Hall of Fame thefts which uncovered additional proof showing that documents from Cooperstown’s internal files have also been compromised. Our report showed evidence in past auction offerings of  letters addressed to Hall of Fame officials including one written in 1946 by Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie, which was sold by Huggins & Scott.

Earlier this year, Clark and Hall President Jeff Idelson failed to respond to our Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request related to the sale of a stolen 1909 Pittsburgh Pirate photo and now a new discovery shows that yet another letter sent by Lajoie to the Hall of Fame appears to have been stolen from the museum’s internal files. This letter, however, was sent to Jane Clark’s own grandfather and Hall of Fame founder, Stephen Carlton Clark.

The letter Lajoie wrote in 1947 was a thank you for a birthday telegram that had been sent to him by Clark, an heir to the Singer Sewing Machine fortune and one of the richest men in America. The letter appeared in a 2006 Hunt Auctions sale of baseball memorabilia and sold for close to $2,000. The significance of the letter went unnoticed at the time, but its inclusion in the auction was clear-cut evidence suggesting that files related to the Hall’s founder have also been compromised as part of the multi-million dollar heist of baseball documents from the National Baseball Library in Cooperstown.

Clark financially backed the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum concept after it was presented to him by his employee, Alexander Cleland, in the Spring of 1934, and his own baseball artifacts and lithographs served as the nucleus of the fledgling institution’s early collection. With the assistance of Cleland, Clark enlisted the support of Ford Frick and organized Baseball itself, and the museum formally opened during Baseball’s Centenial celebration in the Summer of 1939. When the museum first opened its doors it attracted thousands of visitors but by the time Clark passed away in 1960 the institution was hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors making pilgrimages to what had become known as baseball’s shrine in the tiny village of Cooperstown.

Read the full post




Thick As Thieves: A History Of The Stolen 1869 Peck & Snyder Cards; Luckey & The Lifson-Halper Connection To The NYPL Heist
By Peter J. Nash July 23, 2015 Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Texas, removed a valuable 1869 Red Stockings Peck & Snyder trade card from its upcoming sale at next weeks National Convention after Hauls of Shame published a report showing that the card was stolen from the New York Public Library’s [...]
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The Lion Roars: Net54’s Leon Luckey Busted Selling Stolen NYPL Relic In Heritage Auction; $100K Card from 1869 Still Shows Library Lion Stamp & Traces Back To Lifson & Halper (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash July 13, 2015 Last year at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, an FBI agent took possession of an 1869 Red Stocking trade card owned by Net54 moderator Leon Luckey suspecting that the relic had been stolen from the New York Public Library’s famous Spalding Collection. [...]
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Not Too Late For SABR To Honor Pioneer Davis With A Monument Over His Unmarked Brooklyn Grave; Recovering His Stolen Archive Of Baseball History Is Another Matter
By Peter J. Nash June 29, 2015 “Too Late” Davis will finally get his dying wish and have a fitting headstone placed above his unmarked grave at Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. The pending fulfillment of the wish is 115 years late, but that’s all the more fitting for the baseball pioneer nicknamed “Too [...]
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To Catch A Thief: New Evidence Sheds Light On Missing Boston Baseball Treasures; REA Auctioneer Rob Lifson Owned 1873 Card Before He Was Caught Stealing From The NYPL
By Peter J. Nash May 18, 2015 Rob Lifson, the New Jersey auctioneer who was caught decades ago stealing rare 19th century photographs from the New York Public Library, said his apprehension was an isolated incident and that he never swiped any other artifacts from the library’s famous Spalding Collection. But new evidence [...]
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Robert Edward Auctions Is Selling Two 19th-Century Rarities That Fit The Description Of Missing Items From 1970s NYPL-Spalding Collection Heist
By Peter J. Nash April 24, 2015 Last month it was revealed in court papers that former Mastro Auctions exec Doug Allen was accused by the Detroit Public Library of stealing two photos from its Ernie Harwell Collection. This month, Allen’s former partner and documented library thief, Rob Lifson, of Robert Edward Auctions [...]
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The Name Game: The Untold Story Of REA’s Million-Dollar T-206 Honus Wagner (Pearsall v. Oceanside); Card’s Fame & Value Forever Linked To Mastro-Lifson-PSA Fraud (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash April 23, 2015 (Scroll to bottom for Update): Internet auction bidding has exceeded $1 million for what Robert Edward Auctions calls the “Oceanside Wagner,” a high-grade PSA-3 example of the famous T206 Honus Wagner tobacco card slated to be sold on Saturday. According to the auction house lot description, [...]
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Anyone with information that can aid the recovery efforts
 may contact us at:
tips@haulsofshame.com

 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: Boston@ic.fbi.gov)
(For NYPL: ny1@ic.fbi.gov )
(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: info@haulsofshame.com