PSA is adding photo-matching examination to its professional model bat authentication service. A true photo-match is a definitive match of an image or video footage frame to a specific bat. A conclusive photo-match can add tremendous value to an already certified bat by PSA. The extent of the item’s value, however, depends on a variety of factors including the rarity of the match, the player involved, the moment, the event, the season or even the era from which the item is matched.
“It is not merely a style or model match, but instead an exact match to that item,” explained Joe Orlando, CEO and President of Collectors Universe, PSA’s parent company, and the author of Legendary Lumber: The Top 100 Player Bats in Baseball History. “While finding a true match can be difficult, there is no question that a confirmation can add value to a bat, even one that is already considered a high-grade example.”
As the company has done since 2005, it will continue to certify the authenticity and grade of professional model bats. But for an additional fee, PSA will research available imagery and video records and compare uniquely identified characteristics to examined, visual matches displayed on the bat in question. Well-known bat authority John Taube, who currently leads PSA’s team on bat authentication orders, will spearhead the photo-matching process.
“Photo-matching on current-day bats is becoming a common request,” he said. “Matched bats demand prices in multiples of established market prices, depending on the bat and matched event. Vintage bats of Hall of Famers see even more dramatic increases in value.”
One example of a photo-matched, game-used bat that scored national headlines with its eventual sale came from the arsenal of former New York Yankees Captain Derek Jeter. In 1996, Jeter led the Bronx Bombers to a World Series title after batting .314 during the season in which he was named American League Rookie of the Year. In 2014, after being photo-matched to TV footage showing that it had been used by Jeter in Games 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the ’96 World Series, the PSA/DNA GU 10 graded bat sold for a record $155,350 at auction.
A second example comes from Game 2 of the 2009 World Series between the Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies. With New York leading 2-1 in the seventh inning, Yankees catcher Jorge Posada came off the bench to pinch-hit and laced a run-scoring single to center field to widen the gap. The Yankees won, 3-1, and the bat from Posada’s at-bat was photo-matched and has now sold privately at least three times.
PSA’s goal is to provide collectors with the strongest foundation of authenticity for professional model game-used bats. Positive photo-matched results will be recorded with an image of the bat added to PSA’s Letter of Authenticity. Photo-matching fees are based on the bat’s declared value and begin at $75. For more information, visit PSA’s Professional Bat Authentication services page or call 609-487-8003.