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View Full Version : Nodrass, Snodgrass, who stole my "S" ?


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01-22-2002, 01:27 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog&nbsp; </b><p>So today I sat down with a collector with the full set of T206s, and we looked at his real Nodgrass (touch of "S" showing) and compared it to his Snodgrass and my two Snodgrasses. All 3 of the various Snodgrasses were identical, while the Nodgrass was a little different. Here's what we observed:<BR><BR>1. The real Nodgrass has part of an "S" showing.<BR>2. The real Nodgrass has a little lighter background, makes it look kind of orange, compared to all 3 Snodgrasses, which were darker red. <BR>3. The facial features of the player are also much clearer on the Nodgrass card, while all 3 Snodgrasses had darker tones, most noticable next to the ear and over the eyes.<BR><BR>One theory:<BR><BR>1. The Nodgrass came first. But when the appropriate amount of dark ink was added for the background and player design, some problem with the "S" plate caused only part of it to print on the cards.<BR>2. To fix the problem with the "S," more dark ink was added to the printing process. The "S" became fully visible, but it also darkened the background and overshadowed Snodgrass's facial features.<BR><BR>Pete, is this plausible based on your knowledge of printing and type-sets?<BR><BR>So, if I were an unscrupulous seller, here are some things I would do:<BR>1. First, I would buy up all of the Snodgrass cards I could find at cheap prices. (I'm sure you would be able to check and verify that indeed I had purchased such cards.)<BR>2. I would create some way to remove the "S" from Snodgrass cards. Voila - Nodgrass. But I'm not that smart, so I would probably take off all of the "S" instead of leaving a little. Luckily, no one realizes that the darker printing occurs only on "Snodgrass cards." <BR>3. After I removed the "S," I would come up with some way to coat the top of the card with a thin, invisible layer of finish that would prevent the alteration from showing up in blue light (or on close inspection with a loop/loupe (sp?)). Luckily, most people don't realize that if they hold the card under a light, and gradually tilt it away from them, that at some angle (close to horizontal), the spot where the alteration occurred will become obvious. But nobody will notice as I can put this past the PSA graders and get my bogus cards slabbed.<BR>4. As I am not that smart, I might try that with another Snodgrass pose as well (maybe him catching). Somebody's bound to buy it, even if it is statistically impossible that such an error would occur only on two different Snodgrass cards and no others in the entire 500+ card set. <BR>5. I will effectively corner the market on Nodgrass. But will people buy my bogus PSA-slabbed beauties? Of course they will. (There's one born every minute.) Unless someone with legal training takes the time and contacts the right authorities to have me shut down. Mail fraud, etc., you know. Probably a felony, what with the prices these cards bring.<BR><BR>But I'm not an unscrupulous seller, and I would never do any of those things. Hope nobody else does, either.

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01-22-2002, 01:50 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>to the library of Congress's Snodrass: <BR><BR><img src="http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/displayPhoto.pl?path=/pnp/bbc/0800/0810&topImages=0816fr.jpg&topLinks=0816fu.tif&botImages=0816bt.gif&botLinks=0816br.jpg">,0816bu.tif&displayProfile=2&dir=ammem&itemLink=D?bbcards:4:./temp/~ammem_eweR::<BR><BR>Notice the excessive dark ink on the face, hands, and background below the bat. The real "Nodrass" is a much nicer picture.<BR><BR>Here's the catching pose, if anyone cares:<img src="http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/displayPhoto.pl?path=/pnp/bbc/0800/0810&topImages=0817fr.jpg&topLinks=0817fu.tif&botImages=0817bt.gif&botLinks=0817br.jpg">,0817bu.tif&displayProfile=2&dir=ammem&itemLink=D?bbcards:3:./temp/~ammem_eweR::<BR><BR>

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01-22-2002, 01:54 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>to the library of Congress's Snodrass cards (click on the one you want to enlarge): <BR><BR><a href="http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/f?bbcards:0:./temp/~ammem_dZKl" target=_new>http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/f?bbcards:0:./temp/~ammem_dZKl</a>:<BR><BR>Notice the excessive dark ink on the face, hands, and background below the bat. The real "Nodrass" is a much nicer picture.<BR><BR>The catching pose is there also if anyone cares.

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01-22-2002, 01:58 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>but let me try the link again:<BR><BR><a href="http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/bbcards:@FIELD(SUBJ+@band(Snodgrass,+Fred" target=_new>http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/bbcards:@FIELD(SUBJ+@band(Snodgrass,+Fred</a>))<BR><BR>Go to numbers 2 and 3.<BR><BR>

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01-22-2002, 01:59 AM
Posted By: <b>David</b><p>Thanks for the info, it was enlightening. While your conclusions may turn out to be correct, my only problem is that an across-the-board trend (color, detail) can't be established by examining only one Nodgrass. If other Nodgrass owners say theirs have the same qualities, perhaps then we can use it as a rule of thumb.<BR><BR>My opinion is that if the collector knows what he/she is doing, a grader is not neccesariy, or perhaps even desirable, for determining if the Nodgrass is legitimate. As you pointed out, put the card at an angle to light will weed out most fakes. Even if the forger was to coat the card with a substance (which was done on a S/Nodgrass) it will most probably have a different gloss/texture, and a differenr black light fluorescence from other T206s. Further, T206s are thin and light will pass throught them if they're put up to a lamp or flash light. This will often reveal any added substance. This is also a quick way to identify restored Goudeys-- the restored corners often let though more light than the rest of the card.<BR><BR>If my opinion, there is no excuse for a grader to misidentify these types of alterations, because its not that hard for most collectors to it.<BR>

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01-22-2002, 02:00 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>Find your way to the Library of Congress, go to Snodgrass, click number 2 for the "Snodgrass" card. (Number 3 is the catching pose).<BR><BR>

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01-22-2002, 02:04 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>if I could get this past PSA, then hypothetically speaking of course, I might be really good at this. In fact, I might have a way of altering the card so that knowledgable collectors armed with blue lights still can't detect the alteration. It probably wouldn't be as easy to detect as you make it out to be. In fact, I'm almost certain about that.

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01-22-2002, 02:09 AM
Posted By: <b>MW</b><p>edited...

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01-22-2002, 02:31 AM
Posted By: <b>Plastic Dog</b><p>"partial S" Nodgrass card. I scrutinized one today at length, and it looked "right" in every way. I could be wrong, but the owner (whom I trust) has had it for quite some time and is not selling. Plus, the printing on the rest of the Nodgrass card was clearly different from our 3 normal cards (and a 4th on the Library of Congress web site). Sample size is too small, but you gotta work with what you've got.

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01-22-2002, 02:33 AM
Posted By: <b>David</b><p>PSA has made some bonehead mistakes before (not just grading or trimming issues), so the fact that someone got some Nodgrasses graded by them does not neccesarily prove much about the sophistication of the forgery. PSA is trying to turn out slabs like McDonalds hamburgers, so if you catch them on a Monday morning or Friday afternoon, you will never know what might happen. There are more sophisticated tools used by museums and some collectors that will be usefull for alteration detection-- like the infrared viewer, which is sort of an advanced black light. Infrared viewers are those things that they use to see the original painting behind newer paint, and they can even be used to identify the actual chemicals in paint/ink/paper. I own a hand-held one and will use it on anyone's Nodgrass, provided they buy me a cup of coffee and say nice things about my dogs.

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01-22-2002, 09:38 AM
Posted By: <b>Harry</b><p>The first nodgrass that I ever remember being offered was at the Sotheby's auction in 1991. It definitely did not have any part of the "s" visible. For what it is worth.

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01-22-2002, 10:15 AM
Posted By: <b>Art M.</b><p>&lt;&lt;Similar printing errors, where a small amount of the lettering remains, can also be seen on two, more modern cards -- the 1957 Topps Willard Sherman (football) and the 1957 Topps Gene Baker (Bakep).&gt;&gt;<BR><BR>Since I am mainly a T206 person, I have kept track of the Snodgrass errors sold by Greenhornet007. While I haven't kept count, Greenhornet007 has also sold SEVERAL of the 1957 Topps Football Willard Sherman errors. Hmmm.

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01-22-2002, 10:27 AM
Posted By: <b>Marc S.</b><p>A) It seems like no one has specifically handled Greenhornet007's T206 Nodgrass cards, so there does not seem to be any specific evidence on how he has manufactured these "variations". <BR><BR>It would seem to me that they would have been done with enough expertise to fool the PSA graders, though. Art, have you tracked the serial numbers on these cards? Were they all submitted simultaneously? If so, that would be very interesting to know. Though we all seem to agree that one or two cards slip through PSA, to have such a large number slip seems egregious. If there were 10 submitted separately, it seems hard to believe that this would get through each of the ten times. If the ten were submitted together, it is hard to believe that PSA wouldn't have given each example extra scrutiny because of the large number of variations being submitted at the same time.<BR><BR>B) On a separate thought, wouldn't an ideal goal be to take these cards off the market if it could be proven? It would be very time-consuming to do so, but if someone purchased the card, they could theoretically i) determine how the alteration occurred and ii) show that to a PSA-grader at a show, upon which they would (again, in theory) agree with you, buy the card back from you and destroy it.<BR><BR>Now, I don't truly think it would be easy to get PSA to admit the mistake AND fully refund your money. I'm still left to wonder how such a large number of these could have gone through PSA unnoticed, whether it occurred at the same time or at different times. Or if some of the time pressures of the 2-hour turnaround at a show perhaps hurried the process.<BR><BR>This is a fascinating subject. It seems certain that something is wrong, but it also seems very unclear yet how exactly this happened, specifically with the process for making these alterations.<BR><BR>Marc

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01-22-2002, 05:57 PM
Posted By: <b>petecld</b><p>I may be on to something. It does have to do with the printing process but not what plasticdog suggests but he did start me in the right direction.<BR><BR>I only have a few scans of Snodgrass/Nodgrass cards and I may have discovered a proof positive way of determining which variations are real and which are doctored. If "real" is the right word. Before I go on record I would like more examples to compare.<BR><BR>I NEED SCANS!!!!<BR><BR>Have a Snodgrass or a Nodgrass or both? I need clear, larger sized scans of just the bottom 1/2" inch of the card, I don't even need the whole card.<BR><BR>If you scan at low resolution - scan at 300% or so. 300dpi, or high res scans at 100% will work also. Bigger the better.<BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>Pete

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01-25-2002, 09:36 AM
Posted By: <b>can't say</b><p>I put a 10X on it and it looked great! I held it away and tilted and you could see a dull circle spot where the S was rubbed or lasered off. The card is now in a PSA 2 or 3 holder and was on ebay at one time where I originally got it. NO, I didn't sell it, I returned it to him, he had it slabbed and sent it back out after I told him it was bad and how to tell. I have owned 3 legitimate ones and the last SGC one in Oser's auction a while back was mine. All had a slim part of the right side of the S showing. I have never seen a real catching pose in my 32 years of collecting pre-war cards. The Oser one sold for $3500 and was a 4, the ebay ones only seem to get up to $800 or so, I would say the community is wise to the faker. The poor guys who paid close to $10K for the early ones must be bleeding!