by David Rhode
For those of you with an interest in collectibles, you should make your way to the Pitch In For Baseball warehouse here in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. Among the 20,000 plus items on hand is a unique bin of baseballs. There you will find that we have almost a thousand balls autographed with Hall of Fame signatures like Joe Dimaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams. The slight problem with these signatures is that they are all fraudulent.
It seems that someone, somewhere thought they could replicate the signatures of famous ballplayers. It also seems that somewhere along the way their plan got on the radar of the Feds and these balls got confiscated. Bad news for them, good news for Pitch In For Baseball.
One day we got a call asking if we’d accept these otherwise pristine baseballs as long as we’d be willing to a) make sure the signatures got Sharpeed into oblivion and that b) the balls were shipped overseas. Done and done.
When you work at a charity that donates equipment, you go through a lot of baseballs.
So now imagine a young child in Slovenia or Cameroon or Mexico having a nice catch with a Joe D “autographed” ball. Kind of makes you smile.