Government attorneys have extracted guilty pleas from three dealers charged last month with selling jerseys they claimed were game worn, but were actually just made to look that way. The question collectors are still asking, though, after reading our story and the plea agreements is 'what happened to the jerseys that were supposedly sold to the card companies?'
If "hundreds" of jerseys were routed between the dealers charged in the case and wound up being purchased by card companies for insertion into packs as "game worn' materials cards, it's something that could be a bombshell in the modern card market. Many of those jerseys were sold several years ago according to information released by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Chicago and while no specific numbers were given, it's clear some of the dealers had arrangements to sell either complete jerseys or jersey swatches to card companies. Or, considering the lack of staying power for some of those relic cards, maybe collectors wouldn't care at all.
The trading card makers haven't been identified.
It's an important story for the industry. On Tuesday, we spoke with two special agents in the FBI's Chicago office. One told us they know what happened to the jerseys but deferred to a colleague in the office. That agent told us that because the cases against three other dealers named in last month's indictments haven't yet reached the trial stage, he couldn't release any additional information because the evidence is currently under seal.
If any of those three cases go to trial, the evidence may come out. However, if the three other men charged in the case reach plea agreements, it's possible we'll never know what jerseys went where--and into what.
Thanksgiving weekend means card shows in a few areas. Two of the biggest include the annual event at Moeller High School in Cincinnati. Promoters say it's a 130-table show. Gaylord Perry will sign autographs on Friday and Saturday. Tony Perez will be there Saturday. The show runs from 11-8 on Friday and the usual 10-5, 10-4 routine on the weekend. It's only $3 to get in or $6 for a weekend pass.
And in White Plains, N.Y., you can meet...wait for it...Lenny Dykstra. Not a favorite of one show promoter after being accused of bailing out of a commitment in Philadelphia recently, Dykstra is on the docket Sunday at the Westchester County Center, signing for $40 a pop. Orlando Cepeda (Saturday), Juan Marichal (Sunday) and Yankee youngster Ivan Nova (Saturday) are the other headliners.
Lastly, we want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We're thankful that you continue to make us a part of your hobby life, thankful for some great sponsors who help pay the bills and thankful that we can take a little break over the holidays.
Look for our Black Friday special article, however, hitting this space late Wednesday night! We'll have links to some big time autograph dealers offering free shipping, cash back and more deals as well as information from other sellers. It's not too late for you to add your business' special weekend promotion to our list. There's no cost. It's just a free plug for whatever you have going on. Send a note to [email protected] and we'll get you in.