How serious in Major League Baseball about autograph authentication? Serious enough not to let autograph sessions be run by the players or even the clubs themselves. MLB Authenticators spend time at each and every spring training camp, rounding up every player who might make the 25-man roster and having him sit down for an autograph session.
Each item signed by the player gets an official MLB hologram from an authenticator sitting next to him. Everything is recorded in a database.
Much of that signed memorabilia will wind up in the team’s own stash, ready to be given out or sold at various charity functions throughout the upcoming season.
In the Cactus League alone, MLB authenticators, often current or former law enforcement officers, will spread out across Arizona and collect signatures on a whopping 60,000 items.
Marcia C. Smith of the Orange County Register was at Angels camp, chatting it up with one of them.