In his first private autograph session since the season ended, Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa has signed 898 baseballs, jerseys, bats and photographs, and all of them were certified genuine with an invisible DNA "tag" by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) of Newport Beach, California, the world's largest sports collectibles and memorabilia authentication service.

The items, which will be offered for sale on two home shopping television networks later this month, were signed by Sosa pursuant to his agreement with Goldin Sports Marketing & Licensing, Inc. of Marlton, New Jersey, according to Ken Goldin, President.

The two-hour autograph session in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, November 1, was witnessed by PSA expert authenticator Miles Standish who declared the 898 signatures "PSA/DNA Guaranteed Authentic."

All of the autographed items immediately were permanently marked ("tagged") with DNA-laced ink and affixed with a PSA/DNA logo to indicate their authenticity. The ink is invisible to the naked eye, but easily seen as a small green "PSA/DNA" certification mark when viewed with a special laser set to the proper light frequency.

The same breakthrough technology was used by PSA to certify Mark McGwire home run ball number 70 in early October. These anti-counterfeiting techniques, developed by DNA Technologies, Los Angeles, California, will be used on tickets and security passes at the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia.

"Using DNA technology is a major breakthrough to combat counterfeits and forgeries of autographs and sports memorabilia," said Steve Rocchi, PSA President.

Sosa hit 66 home runs this past season and recently was named Player of the Year by his Major League Baseball colleagues. His autograph is eagerly sought by sports fans across the country.

PSA was founded in 1991 and last month alone, collectors and dealers submitted more than 70,000 items to PSA for expert examination, authentication and certification of grade (state of preservation).