2001 Barry Bonds Signed San Francisco Giants Jersey Represented As Game-Used While Hitting His 543rd Home Run (Authenticity In Question)

Sold For: $1,185

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 1201

Item Year: 2001

Category: Game-Used Jerseys & Equipment

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For a complete description of the 2001 Barry Bonds Signed San Francisco Giants Jersey Represented As Game-Used While Hitting His 543rd Home Run (Authenticity In Question) please go to: http://blog.robertedwardauctions.com/?p=554 The following is an edited (shortened) version: When is a Barry Bonds 2001 game-worn home run jersey not a Barry Bonds 2001 game-worn home run jersey? Probably when it is signed as such by Bonds and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Bonds’ own authentication company, “Barry Bonds Authenticated.” Confused yet? Don’t worry, you are not alone. While the Bonds steroid scandal continues to garner most of the national headlines, equally compelling is the controversy (that has received very little attention) regarding his game-used memorabilia, most notably those pieces dating from his record-breaking 2001 season. While we cannot possibly cover and discuss all of the issues regarding the sale of Bonds’ 2001 game-used equipment, we will relate many of the most important points and discoveries made, especially as they pertain to our offered piece: a 2001 Barry Bonds San Francisco Giants road jersey purportedly worn by Bonds when he hit his 49th home run of the season, and the 543rd home run of his career, on August 9, 2001, at Cinergy Field in Cincinnati. We should begin be stating that we do not believe that this jersey was ever worn in a game by Barry Bonds, let alone the game in which he hit his 543rd career home run in 2001. While we know that that opinion is not a popular one among some sellers and authenticators, and that many collectors have expressed a different viewpoint, it is our opinion and it is based upon all of the evidence we have to date. In fairness, it must be noted that many of the 2001 Barry Bonds game-used home-run jerseys circulating in the hobby today, including examples sold by Robert Edward Auctions in the past (with full disclosure provided by REA on all of the issues surrounding each piece), have received the highest grade possible by an independent third-party authentication company, a fact which has only fueled the controversy and led to even greater confusion among collectors. To begin, we will describe the offered jersey and its documentation, followed by analysis of both, which will include all of the pertinent information we have learned through our research. We are not authenticators, but we are armed with common sense. The grey knit jersey is lettered “San Francisco” across the front and features the name “Bonds” on the reverse. The number “25” appears on the reverse directly below the name. All letters and numerals are appliquéd in black on orange tackle twill. A “Russell Athletic” label is located on the left front tail, directly below which is a white “2001 Barry Bonds Authenticated” label. A San Francisco Giants team patch adorns the left sleeve. The jersey has been signed and inscribed, presumably by Bonds, on the reverse in black Sharpie (grading “10”): “Barry Bonds/HR 543.” (James Spence Authentication examined this signature and declined to write a letter on it.) The jersey is completely original, with no alterations. The jersey is accompanied a certificate of authenticity from Barry Bonds Authenticated, dated “9/2/01.” Taken at face value, the jersey, especially given the Bonds inscription and accompanying COA, appears to be a Bonds game-worn home-run jersey from the 2001 season. Unfortunately, there are problems with the garment which have yet to be reconciled. Most of the issues with this jersey, and all other Bonds 2001 game-used jerseys marketed by Barry Bonds Authenticated, have been raised by members of the Game Used Forum, and we encourage bidders to read more at this link: http://www.gameuseduniverse.com/vb_forum/showthread.php?t=21500. In summary, the most compelling reason to dismiss this piece as something other than a 2001 Bonds game-used jersey is the absence of additional tagging, most notably a size tag. There are numerous photos available of Bonds on the field in 2001 (that are illustrated in the above link and elsewhere) with his shirttail visible, and in every instance, one can clearly see a size tag, as well as additional customization tags located near the manufacturer’s labels. Furthermore, all other examples of 2001 San Francisco Giants jerseys (both home and away) belonging to different players, have size tags. Another major discrepancy is the Barry Bonds Authenticated label found on this jersey. Once again, all other available photos of Bonds on the field in 2001 with his shirttail visible clearly show a different Barry Bonds Authenticated tag. In the tags seen on the photos, the year “2001” is not present. It simply reads “Barry Bonds Authenticated,” which is different from the tag present on the offered jersey. In addition to the empirical evidence, Barry Bonds himself, through his business agent, has stated in writing to REA that all of the Barry Bonds “game-used” items marketed and sold through the business entity known as Barry Bonds Authenticated, are, in fact, not authentic. Of special note, Barry Bonds claims to still have all his 2001 game-worn jerseys. Back to the jersey offered here: With all due respect to the desires of collectors that own these jerseys, the sellers who have sold them as authentic game-used jerseys, and the authenticators that have guaranteed this to be the case, the fact that the physical attributes of the offered jersey do not match up to known authentic examples leads us to one simple conclusion: this jersey was not worn by Bonds during the 2001 season, despite the provenance direct from Barry Bonds Authenticated, the notations on the jerseys itself, and statements to the contrary on the issued COA. We can’t explain how these jerseys could have been marketed as game-worn home-run jerseys. If Barry Bonds retains possession of all of his 2001 jerseys, than the fraud perpetrated by Steve Hoskins and Barry Bonds Authenticated is certainly one of the most notable in the history of the hobby. As we have seen, the physical evidence certainly seems to support Bonds’ assertion. Unfortunately, countless examples of Bonds 2001 game-used jerseys, bats, hats, cleats, gloves, etc., have been sold, both publicly and privately, in the past eleven years, many for large sums of money. The cloud over many of these items appears well deserved and may never disperse. The 2001 “home-run jerseys,” however, are in a league of their own in terms of significance and value. Despite our opinion that this 2001 jersey was never worn by Bonds, we are confident it still has great historic value, though it may sell for a fraction of what an authentic game-used jersey would command. It is our belief that these 2001 Bonds “fake” jerseys (if, indeed, they are not authentic, as we believe) will always be appreciated for the fascinating historical significance they do have. They are a part of the puzzle of the much larger controversial story that was Bonds’ career. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,185

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