Despite the best intentions of many, the perception rears its ugly head again anytime a new scandal crops up. The sports memorabilia industry draws all kinds of adjectives into mainstream media articles: fraud, tainted, fake. Even at a time when positive steps are taking place and even leagues themselves are getting involved in the marketing of game-used and game-worn items, documentation of deceit from years past can perpetuate the perception.
The Chicago Tribune has offered a lengthy article on the hobby including the recent arrest of six dealers on charges of creating bogus game worn jerseys and dumping them one way or another into the hobby.
The paper’s focus was on the Chicago Bears’ contract with JO Sports to sell the team’s game jerseys. The team continues to conduct business with the company for now, but according to the story, at least two teams are cutting ties because of a guilty plea in a case that dates to an era before its formation. Many collectors remain confident because of where the jerseys originate.
Auction company representatives and authenticators offered their take on the industry in the piece that appears in today’s edition of the Trib.