Baseball cards are popular collector items, but not all of them are authentic. So, how do you keep from acquiring fake cards, which have been photocopied or computer scanned, as you peruse yard sales and thrift shops? Here are tips for verifying authentic baseball cards.
Identifying Baseball Cards
Examine the Back of the Card
If the baseball card is a reprint, it may say so on the back. Yes, you might see the word “reprint” there. Another word you might see is “archives,” which is a fancy way of saying reprint. It is not original. You may also note when you turn over the card that it has the wrong back, which is typically a sign of a counterfeit.
Look for Signs of Aging
When a card was made a century ago, you can expect it to have faded, have rounded corners, and paper loss. It might have print defects and creases too. For an authentic baseball card to last a hundred years without a scratch on it is highly unlikely (although it can happen in rare instances), so you’re going to want to see some signs of wear and tear on it. Also, on a genuine card, you will be able to literally feel the crease or scrape, but not so for a reprint.
Past Tense Wording
Turn the card over and look at the description of the player. If the stats about the playing career is in the past tense, then it’s a reprint because it is written after the player’s retirement from baseball. After all, these numbers wouldn’t have been known back when an authentic card was originally printed as the player was still active in the game.
Use these tips to avoid buying a fake baseball card in person or online. Sometimes people try to pass off fake cards, and we don’t want you to fall victim to buying them under false pretenses.