Editor’s Blog: Teen Dealer, Panini Blog, Halper

You might remember our story last year about a St. Louis area teenager who started his own autograph business.

John Schenk runs Show Me State Signatures.  He started small, but a year later he’s still at it and has now hosted signing sessions with a few Hall of Famers like Stan Musial, Lou Brock, Marty Marion, Brooks Robinson and other former big leaguers.

Inspired by community response to his younger sister’s need for a transplant a couple of years ago, he also donates part of his proceeds to charities.

“It’s been a good first year.  We’ve had some fun signings, established a strong customer base, and helped some great charities along the way.  I always wanted to run my own company and to be still going strong after a year is exciting,” said the 17-year-old.

Visit the company’s website at www.showmesigs.com for more information.


Panini America officials this week launched the company’s official blog to “create a deeper connection to hobby retailers and collectors and give people a behind the scenes look at the company”.

Panini has secured licenses with the NBA, NFL and NHL since entering the U.S. market over the last year and half.

The Knight’s Lance will offer behind-the-scenes access to the company’s day-to-day operations, interviews with company officials and athletes, looks at products before they hit the market and some product giveaways.

The Knight’s Lance gives us a unique platform to share what happens at Panini, highlight our athlete interactions in the NBA, NFL and NHL, as well as introduce new Panini releases to the hobby trade and collectors,” said Panini America Vice President of Marketing Jason Howarth. “We look forward to creating an engaging forum with collectors and retailers through the blog.”


The late Barry Halper had thousands upon thousands of historic and unique baseball items in his collection.   Halper’s stash was the subject of numerous stories in magazines and newspapers over the years.  He called many Hall of Famers his friends and they often gave him valuable pieces of memorabilia.

The collection was sold at a highly publicized Sotheby’s auction more than a decade ago.  Many one-of-a-kind pieces were auctioned.  Not everything, however, was what it was originally purported to be.

Halper collected during the “wild west” days of the hobby, long before authenticators were in vogue and before knowledgeable collectors were able to interact on internet message boards.  While he received many of his items directly from the source, some high profile pieces have come into question.

The Baseball Hall of Fame pulled a Joe Jackson jersey it had on display that originated in the Halper Collection and is now examining other items.  Collector Peter Nash has compiled his own list of Halper-owned memorabilia  he calls “top ten fakes and frauds”.