NEWPORT BEACH, CA-In a press conference held today, at the Hawaii XIV Sports Conference, Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) announced that the company would begin authenticating vintage sports autographs. The vintage autograph program is an expansion of the highly successful PSA/DNA Guaranteed Authentic service, recently used in a Sammy Sosa autograph session and to authenticate Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball. Known as PSA/DNA Certified Vintage, the service will provide authentication of vintage autographs. "This service will be a valuable resource for all collectors, offering the security of certified autographs," notes PSA President, Steve Rocchi.

Under the expansion of service, PSA announced the addition of four highly acclaimed autograph experts. James Spence, Jr., Ron Gordon, Richard Simon, and Jim Stinson will each act as authenticators on behalf of PSA/DNA Certified Vintage. "Autograph collecting is a great hobby, unfortunately it has had its share of scandal. A third party authenticator employing world class experts is unprecedented. We are very excited to offer this service and hope it will encourage the growth of the hobby," said Rocchi.
  • James Spence - a third generation autograph collector, currently authenticates for well-known auction houses, such as Superior Sportcards, Mastro Fine Sports Auctions, and Hunt Auctions; member of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR).
  • Ron Gordon- a dealer since 1971; subject of several television, radio, and magazine interviews; member of the UACC since 1985. (more) PSA Certified Vintage-and one
  • Richard Simon - has served as an expert witness in forgery cases as well as written articles for Autograph Collector magazine and Pen and Quill; 14 year member of the UACC; most notable for his consultation to two New York auction houses, including Guernsey's recent sale that featured the $3 million McGwire ball.
  • Jim Stinson- considered one of the leading authorities on baseball and boxing autographs; professional boxing judge for the WBF; member of the UACC, SABR, The Manuscript Society, and The Hemingway Society and has been featured in USA Today, NBC News, The Chicago Tribune, and Autograph Collector magazine.

    PSA/DNA's vintage autograph service plans to start accepting submissions beginning July 1, 1999. Each item submitted will be examined by at least three of the autograph experts. Following examination of the item, a consensus as to the authenticity of the signature will be determined. Each item authenticated will be marked with DNA-laced ink and returned to the submitter with a certificate of authenticity. Items that do not meet the criteria of certification will be returned with a brief explanation. Fees for the service will start at $15 and are based on the value of the item submitted.

    Aside from modern and vintage autograph authentication, PSA is currently the world's largest third-party grading and authentication service of sportscards. PSA receives close to 100,000 card submissions per month.

    For additional information about PSA and PSA/DNA products, contact PSA, P.O. Box 6180, Newport Beach, CA 92658. Phone: 800-325-1121. Readers may visit the PSA web sites at www.PSACard.com and www.PSADNA.com.