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Big Bucks Battle Over Rare Memorabilia

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Sports Illustrated turns its attention on the hobby.

For the second time in less than a year, a major sports media entity has devoted a lengthy bit of cyberspace to the sports memorabilia hobby. Bill Simmons' entertaining look at the National Sports Collectors Convention appeared on ESPN.com this summer. Now, a harder edged piece has shown up on SI.com.

Reporter Benjamin Wallace examines the mystery and authenticty questions surrounding some 19th century baseball memorabilia. The story focuses on Peter Nash, once known as Prime Minister Pete Nice of the 1990s rap group 3rd Bass.

A baseball history buff with a thirst for tracking down and buying rare baseball pieces, Nash has battled with auction houses and a judge over financial and ownership issues. Lately, he's been on a bit of a losing streak in that regard, having been handed an expensive defeat in a recent court fight with Robert Edward Auctions.

The story also touches on the FBI investigation that's been going on for some time but also tends to be a little thick on unsubstantiated generalities. "You can count the number of people who are smart and educated and honest on one hand," one unidentified collector is quoted as saying about those in the hobby.

Ouch.

Nevertheless, it's an interesting read.

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