Major League Baseball's authentication program isn't that old. The leagues and teams showed little interest in trying to market game-used items until just a few years ago.
Now, they're all in.
All 2430 regular season games had at least one volunteer authenticator on hand to tag items. To collectors, they may be banal, but MLB has proven that someone somewhere will buy a game-used foul ball from a Royals' game.
A team of three works post-season games, keeping an eye out for potentially historic items.
You'll be shocked to learn how many items were authenticated this season. Safe to say even at an average selling price of $30 per item, MLB's take is in the tens of millions of dollars.
Kyle Stack spent time with the authentication team during this past post-season and offers an in-depth look for SI.com.