Behind MLB’s authentication program

20 12 2010

I had a story for SI.com post Friday which explained MLB’s authentication and anti-counterfeiting programs. I don’t remember precisely how it started, but I think it was along the lines of a MLB employee asking if I’d like to learn more about the authentication program. MLB takes their official memorabilia very seriously, and they wanted someone to write about it. There have been a couple stories written on their authentication program — one for USAToday.com, another for the New York Times and yet another for the Boston Globe. But none had also covered the league’s anti-counterfeiting program, which works with numerous local, state and federal agencies to track down the thieves who produce faulty MLB merchandise, then claim it’s the real thing.

So, I had the opportunity to speak with a few people involved in the process at MLB. I also had the chance to go to Philadelphia for Game 2 of the NLCS. I spoke with a few authentication folks there, and even got to sit behind home plate for a couple innings, just to get the feel of the whole authentication process. (It’s not as glamorous as you’d think. I left after the second inning to catch a train back to New York.) I ended up speaking with at least five or six sources for this story. Maybe it was closer to 10, now that I think about it. This story really could have gone on forever, as the authentication and anti-counterfeiting programs have many, many layers. Unfortunately, writers and editors have to keep in mind that readers are willing to read only so many words. It’s time for me to observe that thought and just throw you the link to the story.

Click on the link below to read the story:

Behind the scenes with baseball’s authentication process

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