They look real, even to some who have seen authentic Babe Ruth autographed baseballs before. They even have a certificate of authenticity attached, bearing the name of a reputable company. But they're both elaborate fakes. A sea of "Ruth signed baseballs" have been flooding Florida pawn shops since last year with the owners being taken for a ride each time.
Not quite four weeks ago, we brought you the story of one such incident in Bonita Springs. About two weeks later, Sports Collectors Daily even received an email from someone purporting to have one for sale. We called investigators in an attempt to see if it might be part of the ongoing scam. No one ever called us back.
Now, another Ruth forgery has resulted in a pawn dealer losing over $700. This time the victim was Best Jewelry and Loan in the Gainesville area.
“The guy came in here and said he was in real estate and needed some quick cash to fix a broken pipe," said the shop's owner, Richard Selwach.
Paul Kardasz of The Gainesville Sun gives us the latest chapter in the ongoing saga.