Mickey Mantle game-used bats should become
a popular submission for PSA authentication.
Mickey Mantle game-used bats should become<br>a popular submission for PSA authentication.

PSA has officially joined with renowned game-used bat experts Vince Malta and John Taube of Grey Flannel A.A., Inc. to provide authentication for collectors. The same technology that is used to certify autographs (PSA/DNA) will be implemented to tag game-used bats that pass both experts. Grey Flannel A.A., Inc. will be heading up the management of the submission site in New York.

"We at Grey Flannel A.A., Inc are pleased to be teaming up with PSA/DNA, a division of Collectors Universe," said President Richard Russek. "We are thrilled to have our game-used bat experts, John Taube and Vince Malta, using the PSA/DNA technology to provide an authentication service to the hobby that is and will remain the standard of the industry."

PSA -- already known for authenticating the most valuable game-used bat in the world, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's Black Betsy which sold for $577,610 -- is very excited to offer this service to all collectors, dealers and auction houses. "We are very excited to offer bat authentication to the collecting public," explained Joe Orlando, Vice President of PSA. "The combination of PSA's brand name, John Taube's and Vince Malta's expertise, and Grey Flannel's hobby presence will prove to form an unrivaled service."

"Game-used bat collecting has become very popular over the past few years as more and more information has surfaced about authentication. Collectors are intrigued with the idea that they could hold in their hands the same weapon that some of the greatest hitters of all time used to make history. PSA is ecstatic about adding yet another dimension to our repertoire of authentication services."

Stay tuned as this service is currently being prepared for a full launch in the next couple of weeks. Information on how to submit your game-used bats for authentication will be provided soon on PSA's web site.


Heirloom Doom

Here's the situation. A father of two is contemplating what to do with his baseball card collection. The father is up in his years, retired and torn between passing his vast collection on to his children or selling them himself and passing along the money.

What should he do?

Well, if the children have a real interest in the collection, then there would be good reason to pass down the cards that gave him so much enjoyment during his life. On the other hand, what if his children have no interest in sportscard collecting?

Now what should he do?

Obviously, a person will ultimately do whatever he or she feels is best. Unfortunately, in many cases, the collectors assume what is best without consulting the people who will take custody of the collection. What most collectors assume is that someone in their family, or the person who they leave the collection to, will appreciate the collection as much as they did. This is a very poor assumption.

What happens next?

A well intentioned gift falls into the hands of someone who not only lacks interest in the collection, but also may not have an idea of its value or how to sell it. The person takes possession of the collection and, in almost every case, sells it for much less than it is worth. The potential buyer, sensing that the seller doesn't really know the value, strikes the deal of his life. The seller is just happy to walk away with some amount of money, not realizing they just left a ton of money on the table.

One such situation occurred recently. A man, who was nearing his '90s, had a wonderful collection of T205's. The cards, while not in extraordinarily high-grade, were in very nice shape. This owner approached a few dealers and each dealer made the owner a fair offer. One offer was as high as $25,000. The owner, however, decided to keep the cards and pass them on to his children.

After the owner passed away, his children took the cards to a show in order to sell them. The cards, still in their original storage box, were presented to a vintage card dealer. Unlike the original offers that were made, this time, the offer was ludicrous. The children, not possessing any knowledge of card values, accepted $500 in cash and walked away. Little did they know that this offer was a mere 2% of the offer their father had received just a year ago.

Till this day, you would not believe how many times this happens. It is all a product of someone who thinks they are doing the right thing but, inevitably, a poor result occurs. As a suggestion to anyone thinking of handing down their prized collections, please discuss this with those who you intend giving it to. Even if they express interest in the collection, make sure that you share your knowledge with them so, if they decide to sell it someday, they will be prepared to make an informed decision.

Don't let this happen to you. Communicate your intentions early and find out if handing down your collection is in the best interest of the recipient. Never assume that they would want it or that they would know what to do with it. You could be headed for heirloom doom.

Most collectors assume that their children or relatives would want to have<br>the collection willed to them as opposed to the money.
Most collectors assume that their children or relatives would want to have
the collection willed to them as opposed to the money.
It's dangerous when a novice collector is left with an advanced collection.<br>It's important that the prior owner discusses the collection with any potential future owner.
It's dangerous when a novice collector is left with an advanced collection.
It's important that the prior owner discusses the collection with any potential future owner.

Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.