While the Gretzky card bounced from owner to owner over the years, Cobb held onto his until he and Edwards offered it on eBay–Eight times between July 2002 and August 2006, but without a sale. In two auctions, the reserve or minimum bid was not met; six were pulled by eBay because the card had not been authenticated or slabbed (encased) authenticated by a card grading company. One auction in 2006 had about 1,500 people who had registered online to bid on the card before it was removed from the Bob & Sallie Connelly Sports Memorabilia Auction…that in itself is a record for registered bidders of any T206 Honus Wagner auction to date. According to eBay spokesman Hani Durzy, “Theirs was a clear violation of our authenticity policy.” eBay currently recommends four authenticators for trading cards. The Cobb/Edwards card has five authenticators; two forensic science experts, one printing expert, one senior appraiser, and one senior card grader, with over 150 years of expertise combined.
February 2003, Walter Rantanen, Fiber Science Group Leader at Integrated Paper Services (IPS) in Appleton, WI, performed a comparative analysis of the Cobb/Edwards Wagner T206, two other T206 baseball cards, and three postcards postmarked before 1910. IPS is an independent laboratory for all-round quality, property and chemical testing. The samples were examined under long and short ultraviolet light, and subjected to fiber evaluation and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). The IPS report, in summary said:
- All samples were negative for UV fluorescence which is consistent with all paper produced before 1950.
- The Honus Wagner card had fiber components that were known to be used in papermaking in the early 1900s. No fiber types were detected that would exclude the paper from that era.
- In reviewing the EDS spectra of the Honus Wagner card, no titanium or other component was detected that would exclude the paper from being available in the earlier part of the 1900s.
- We do not have the expertise to comment about the printing of the cards.
Note: This kind of forensic testing is acceptable in the art world, history museums, law enforcement, and government agencies around the world to authenticate, solve mysteries, crimes, etc…in the art world testing for titanium dioxide pigment has been used to authenticate works of art, documents, and more.
Document Analysis: In 2011, the Cobb/Edwards card had more forensic testing to add to the cards authenticity, this time by Johanne Bergeron-Forensic Document Examiner out of (Quebec) Montreal, Canada. The Cobb/Edwards card was tested for over 2 hours. The Cobb/Edwards card was placed in a VSC40FS (Video Spectral Comparator). The Cobb/Edwards card passed all tests giving by the VSC40FS machine (See photo of Cobb/Edwards card being tested). For more information on what the VSC40FS machine is used for, go to: www.bairesac.com/descargas/VSC40FS(US).pdf
Note: This kind of Document Forensic Science is used in court rooms, law enforcement, museums, sports memorabilia, and more to prove a document’s authenticity.
ACA Grading Analysis: Back in June 2011 the Cobb/Edwards card was taken to Canada to be examined and graded by Martin Brouillard, Senior Grader (ACA Certification and Grading). Brouillard conducted his own testing of the Cobb/Edwards card in our presence. Mr. Brouillard examined the Cobb/Edwards card with a Zaberco Miscope 40x-140x Mastercraft Digital Caliper, and other tests. With all the findings by the experts and Mr. Brouillard, the card was finally slabbed (encased in plastic) and given an Authentic-Unreleased version. It has been asked why the card was graded by ACA and not PSA, SGC, GIA, or Beckett, which are the top grading houses in the world. For nine and a half years, Ray Edwards, John Cobb and their card has been attacked in the media, newspaper, TV, radio, message boards, Youtube, etc.., by some of these top grading companies (PSA) , sports card writers, collectors, and more on the cards authenticity. These attacks have been against our character, the card being called a counterfeit, reprint, stolen ( James Kidney) , and even Steve Walton a card dealer in Cincinnati claim to have seen the card in person and called it a fake on HBO-Real Sports, however he never saw the Cobb/Edwards card in person. A lie and the list goes on. The buttom line is that this card has been blacklisted in the card industry and auction houses, because of people like Joe Orlando, James Kidney, Steve Walton who have told nothing but lies on the Cobb/Edwards card.
I would like to say this: there is no law or written contact in the card collecting world that says you have to take your card to the top five grading houses to get your card authenticated. Why would we take our card to any of these grading companies for authentication when they have already given their opinion and grade to the public without even seeing and touching the card in person? That is unprofessional to the nineth degree. Also, the grading industry is being investigated by the FBI ( Operation Foul Ball ), with ( Bill Mastro) of Mastronet.com, PSA-Grading, GAI and others being at the top of the FBI investigation for corruption. They are being accused of the same thing they were accusing us of doing to our card. I must have seen something in these companies back in 2002; that’s why I couldn’t do business with them…
Now it’s Up to YOU: When a rare and controversial collectible, like the Cobb/Edwards or the Gretzky Wagner T206, has a long, undocumented period in its provenance, it’s always difficult to say for sure whether it’s genuine or not. But for the Cobb/Edwards card, at least, there is scientific evidence. IPS-Walter Rantanen authenticated the paper stock, Arnie Schwed the printing method, Johanne Bergeron checked the document with forensic equipment, Martin Brouillard examined the thickness, and Bob Connelly examined the fiber test and print test documents and also used his own expertise to give the Cobb/Edwards card an appraise value of $850,000.00. Thank you for stopping by……..