Thursday, October 17, 2019

Playing With House Money

After I arrived at the Chantilly show and took care of my autograph tickets, I sat down at the first dealer table and started to sift through some vintage hockey.  A couple minutes went by and then I heard my name over the PA system.  "Would Greg Armentrout and xxx and xxx please come to the CSA booth to claim your door prize"

No way!  I had just dropped the card in the box like ten minutes beforehand.  I never win anything!

So I finished up with that dealer and said "Let me go get my '52 Mantle now." 

Turns out it was a $25 voucher for merchandise from any show dealer.  Nice!

What did I spend it on?

Well, I was perusing another showcase and saw this:

Typically, $25 would have been a decent but not overwhelming discount on this item, but in this case, it was the whole sticker price.

I asked, "What's the catch on Jackie here?"

The guy consulted for a minute and then said that the owner questions the authenticity of the card.  I figured for that price I'd take a chance.  It was kind of a knee-jerk reaction, but I tend to freely spend at shows, so I went for it. 

Then I remembered I had the voucher and used that to pay for it.  Might as well play with house money if I'm gambling.

I got it home and compared it to my Sandy Koufax from the same year. 

Looks close.  The card stock seems a bit different, but I was still a bit hopeful.  Turned them over....

Yeah, OK, now that's a big difference.  The Jackie is really yellowed.  And the printing is close, but just not quite as sharp as the Koufax.

I looked up how to tell fake vintage cards and the simplest test was to hold them up to a bright light with the back facing you and see if you can see through to the front.  An authentic vintage card should be solid and dark.


Ah well.  Learned a bit about forgeries and it didn't cost me a thing.  Still looks decent until I can get a real one.  If I'd have spent it on real stuff, it would have probably been a stack of set hits that I wouldn't remember later.  Could have picked something else from real vintage, but this was a Jackie Robinson. 

Have you ever had any experiences with fake cards?


  1. Congrats on winning something, even if it turned into a fake Jackie.
    I've never had any experience with fake cards, but that's because I don't want to know. I'm much happier assuming everything in my collection is bonafide.
    A lot of what I purchase is of players that no one would ever consider making a fake of. I mean... fake Vogelmonster cards? Really? If that's a thing, then I'm jettisoning everything and going to take up cross-stitching.

  2. Congrats and too bad about the Jackie. I picked up a Killebrew from the same year that was also a fake, except it was advertised as a fake.

    Good catch on the "light" trick. I'll have to remember that.

  3. Glad you got it instead of a Dodger fan who paid real money.

    No experience with fakes. I don't roll that high.

  4. Oh crap. I'm scared to try this with my Jackie. But I'm gonna do it the next time I go down to Vegas to see my dad.

    Sorry to hear about yours. But at least it was the house's money... and the vendor kept it real.

  5. Man, that stinks. But thank you for sharing that tip on how to spot a fake using a simple light bulb. That's definitely your good deed of the day!

  6. I hate to be that guy, but I could've told you in one second that the card was a fake, all I had to do is see those telltale rounded corners that are perfectly symmetrical with their "wear". That's the most common style of fakes that you find online, I've even written about them on multiple occasions over the years. Thank goodness that you didn't end up using any of your money though, that would've made it that much worse.