Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Sports collectable authentication

John Branch covers baseball authentication for The New York Times:
Nothing is too mundane to be authenticated, if deemed potentially valuable. Cans of insect repellent used to combat the midges that swarmed the 2007 playoffs in Cleveland were authenticated. So were urinals pulled from the old Busch Stadium in St. Louis and office equipment from since-razed Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The Phillies are cutting the clubhouse carpet from last season into authenticated 18-by-24-inch mats.


About three million items have been authenticated by M.L.B. since 2001.


With Yankee Stadium emptied after the opening 10-2 loss to Cleveland, Lubrano watched groundskeepers shovel dirt from the mound and home plate into five-gallon buckets. Lubrano sealed the lids with tape, then stuck holograms on each bucket, lid and seal. The dirt will be divided into small containers at a warehouse, in front of an authenticator.
The article doesn't mention what happens to the dirt. It's put into “Infield Dirt coins”.

(via Market Design and Marginal Revolution.)

1 comment:

RJO said...

This is really quite fascinating, and raises all sorts of possibilities.

(How does one become an authenticator? In some of these situations it seems a bit like a notary public -- just a witness rather than an expert.)