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
An All-American Case Of Consumer Fraud: How Panini America, MLB & The Baseball HOF Got Caught Up Selling & Endorsing Over 2,000 Phony Jim Thorpe Relic Cards

By Peter J. Nash

November 22, 2014

When kids and collectors opened up their Donruss “Timeless Treasures” packs back in 2005, a select few were thrilled that they pulled “relic cards” celebrating the baseball career of Native American Olympic champion and Football Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe. The slick and graphically appealing cards were like miniature museums housing what the company claimed were ultra-rare and historic relics. When the consumers, both young and old, turned over their “lucky ticket” cards they read the Donruss statement endorsed by both MLB and the Baseball Hall of Fame which read:

“The enclosed piece of jersey was cut from an Authentic Jersey personally worn by Jim Thorpe in an official Major League Baseball game. The authentic Game-Worn Jersey was obtained and is guaranteed by Donruss Playoff L.P.”

The statement was definitive and unwavering with the additional visuals of the official logos of Major League Baseball, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Cooperstown Collection, and the Giants featured prominently alongside the Donruss guarantee.  Today these same cards are selling in the secondary market on eBAY and at Heritage Auction Galleries for prices ranging from $80 to $2,800 and are described as hobby treasures by media outlets like Little did the kids and collectors realize, however, that every Thorpe card pulled from packs between 2005 and 2014 were outright frauds and actually housed old pieces of vintage flannel that the great Jim Thorpe never owned let alone ever wore in an actual Major League baseball game.

The flannel jersey that the card company had sliced and diced was a vintage New York Giants road jersey manufactured by A. G. Spalding Bros. sometime between 1921 and 1923— three to five years after Jim Thorpe played his last game for John “Mugsy” McGraw’s Giants–thus making it impossible for the Native-American legend to have ever worn the garment being promoted and sold by one of the most prominent players in the unregulated billion dollar sports memorabilia industry.

But how could this be?  How could Panini America (formerly Donruss) and the powers that rule Major League Baseball be involved in such a scam targeting consumers?  Were they all duped, or could it be that each of the entities involved failed to conduct their due diligence and should have known better? Or is it possible that they knew that there were serious problems with the bogus jersey fragments they were unloading on unsuspecting customers and collectors?

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Boston Red Sox Photo Stolen From Baseball Hall Of Fame Is Removed From Auction; 1921 Image Of Hugh Duffy & Sox At Fenway Was Part Of The Richard Merkin Collection
By Peter J. Nash November 12, 2014 Hot on the heels of the recent auction withdrawal of the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirate photo that was stolen from the National Baseball Library in Cooperstown, another vintage image of the 1921 Red Sox, was removed from another auction after it was identified by Hauls of [...]
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Why Does Heritage Sell So Many PSA/DNA-Certified Fakes? Employees Jordan & Gutierrez Were Prolific Authenticators Of Forgeries; Source Alleges Collusion Between PSA & Auctions; Could Feds Regulate Autograph-Biz?
By Peter J. Nash November 6, 2014 Last spring, Heritage Auctions sold a bogus letter alleged to have been written by 19th century Hall of Famer John M. Ward.  The sale of the letter was a prime example of the auction house’s deceptive practices and its marketing of non-genuine autographed materials. Despite [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: SF Giants Owner Wants Mastro To Sing; MLB & HOF Endorse Phony Relic Cards; PSA No-Shows At Class Action Deps; Stolen HOF Doc Pulled From Heritage; REA-Ruth Updates; More JSA Football Problems
By Peter J. Nash October 27, 2014 Uniform collector and Giants minority owner, Dan Scheinman (top) wrote to the Judge about the sentencing of Bill Mastro (Forbes Photo) -Bill Mastro, Doug Allen and Mark Theotikos had a status hearing on October 15th in US District Court in Chicago as they await sentencing based [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: Yogi Berra Museum Heist Coverage; Fraud Alert For REA Sale; Net54 Fraudsters Make False Claims & Defend Halper; Orlando & Grad Deps Set In Class Action vs. RR (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash October 16, 2014 The Yogi Berra Museum (top left) was robbed last week and NYDN reporter Michael O'Keeffe (bottom right) went to Rob Lifson (top right) for an expert opinion on museum thefts. Lifson's current REA sale includes a bogus Jackie Robinson ring (bottom left). (Scroll to Bottom For [...]
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Cooperstown Scandal Takes Bizarre Turn; SABR Proves Pirated HOF Photo Of Honus Wagner & 1909 Champs Was Recovered By Museum In 1994 & Now Up For Sale At Huggins & Scott (UPDATE)
By Peter J. Nash October 3, 2014 (Scroll to bottom for Update) It is nothing new for an artifact stolen from the Baseball Hall of Fame to turn up for sale in a Huggins & Scott auction as there have been a bunch of them sold by the Maryland auction house in the [...]
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CHIN MUSIC: Say It Ain’t Joe-Huggins & Scott Pimps A Halper Fraud; JSA & Jimbo Cert A Forged Hughie Jennings On A Bogus Tiger Bat; Class Action Suit vs. RR Auctions Looking For Victims (UPDATE) Auction Pulls Fake “Shoeless” Joe Jacksons
By Peter J. Nash Sept. 16, 2014 A "Shoeless" Joe Jackson fake (top left) sourced to Barry Halper (bottom right) is up for sale at Huggins & Scott. -Huggins & Scott thought they had a “Shoeless” Joe Jackson treasure on the block in their current Fall sale, but it’s nothing but a misrepresented [...]
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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: