I'd be saddened, sure, to find out some college kid trying to earn an extra buck took batting practice with a random bat, scuffed it up, and then his boss sold it to Upper Deck so that they could throw it in the wood chipper. Sure, I want to believe this is Pudge's bat, that he used it, and, in my mind, he hit a freaking grand slam with it.
And do I want to believe Miggy wore this pinstripe rather than some gibroni who besmirched it by rolling around in a gravel parking lot to make it look all game-used? Well, hell yeah. Of course I want that. I want to believe.
Would I still pay two bucks for one of these cards to be shipped to my doorstep if I didn't know for sure. Yep. I want this stuff to be real, and I hate to question these issues, but when it comes down to it, these cards are still cool. And that's also why I always look for the bargain; if it's not real, I still have a cool card for cheap.
If I really cared and worried, I'd just buy vintage. But then there are tons of vintage counterfeits out there and sneaky reprints. Even scarier to consider. Maybe. But sometimes a counterfeit can be pretty great, too.
I picked up this card on eBay a few weeks ago. It was clearly marked a counterfeit, but I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the condition. Who would counterfeit so much damage? When you think about it, one might be less inclined to think such an ugly card (which would have a much lower, seemingly bargain price) would be a fake. And that's what makes this a work of art, in my book. Everything looks perfect on it. The size is right. The colors looks right, faded perfectly. And the wear is really amazingly detailed.
Not only did the counterfeit artist put in some scuffs and iconic crinkles, Kaline has what look like fine knife scratches across his forehead.
And on the bottom, in a brilliant blur of colors, we find the counterfeit artist's abstract painting turned water stain/tape stain. And what vintage card would be complete without some dinged, peeling corners?
The back is perhaps my favorite part of the card.
Once again: Enhance!
I love how the artist made sure the stain carried over to the back and actually looks much worse. If he put it on the front, he knew he'd risk too much of a price drop, though I bet this card would still bring in around $100 if it was real and in this condition.
Just looking at this card, my amateur collector eyes couldn't identify this as a fake. However, when I hold it in my hands, I can actually feel that it's too thick to be real. They must have used a thicker card stock that could handle more counterfeit abuse.
Anyway, the main point of this all is that I love this card. I'm happy to have it in my collection, which has a place for fakes. On the other hand, I knew what I was buying and paid a counterfeit price for it. The situation is a little different if one was buying super upper-tier cards and getting fake patches.