Hosted by Red Sox Hall of Famer Rico Petrocelli and collectibles author Tom Zappala, and produced by XM Sirius Sports radio personality Lou Blasi.
With over 35 years of combined expertise, bat experts Vince Malta and John Taube are the formidable team for PSA/DNA's Professional Model Bat authentication service. Their reputation and integrity is second to none in the hobby. Both exhibit strong attention to detail, expertise with labeling variations and insight to restoration. Most importantly, both share a commitment to provide the hobby with an honest and uncompromised evaluation of professional model bats.
A native of San Francisco, Vince Malta has been an avid collector of professional model bats for over 15 years. His passion for collecting turned into an absolute obsession in his pursuit for knowledge in accurately authenticating the time period a bat was manufactured for a player. He is known by collectors as a person very willing to share his bat collecting knowledge and has been a great ambassador to the bat-collecting hobby. He co-authored the very first book exclusively devoted to collecting Professional Model Bats. This book has been relied on as a primary reference guide to countless collectors, auction houses, and baseball museums, including the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He is currently working with PSA bat authenticator, John Taube, on completing a comprehensive collector's guide to Hillerich & Bradsby professional model bats, entitled "100 years of Louisville Slugger."
Malta has been a bat authenticator for three years with the very reputable Grey Flannel Auction House, and has an impeccable reputation for consistently providing accurate, unbiased expert opinions. Recently, Malta collaborated with PSA in authenticating Shoeless Joe Jackson's famed "Black Betsy" baseball bat, which set a record for the most money ever obtained in a public sale for a baseball bat.
As a die-hard Yankee fan, John Taube started his collecting days with baseball cards. In fact, during his annual excursion to spring training, a deal with a bat boy initiated his bat interest. Taube traded cards for a few professional model bats. He was hooked. He held in his hand real memorabilia that was directly linked to the players. Naturally, Taube lost interest in card collecting.
Through the years, this New Jersey native's allure and appreciation of professional model bats lead him to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to feed his collecting habit. After twenty years, his expertise on physical attributes of game use and bat dating have pinned him as one of the world's leading experts. His most memorable authentication is a side written Babe Ruth professional model bat with 11 home run notches. As any other bat, this one in particular had some history behind it. It was used by Ruth in the late '20s, cracked, and then returned to Hillerich & Bradsby!
Ultimately, Taube's part time hobby became a full time interest in March 2002. Taube, in conjunction with Vince Malta, is leading the way to standardizing bat authentication in the sports collectibles industry. Together, they have an ongoing commitment to expand the existing knowledge of professional model bats.