Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Memorabilia King Barry Halper Is A Fraud

Barry, seen above, with the real Kevin Youkilis and the fake one he recruited for the Socks for banned substance testing occasions. You may recognize him as Lee Arenberg, who played Mike Moffit on Seinfeld.
In 1985, five New York Yankees gathered at the Stadium to pose with George Steinbrenner for The Sporting News, each wearing an old-time Hall of Famer's vintage jersey and paste-on handlebar mustache.
The gimmicky cover story would hail the renowned collection of memorabilia king Barry Halper, whose $40 million cache of cards, balls, bats and prized antiquities was on par with Cooperstown's, according to top baseball experts.
Halper, also a 2 percent owner of the Yankees, stood by in a tan overcoat, his hand resting on the shoulder of all-time steals leader Rickey Henderson, who had put on a rare Ty Cobb uniform. Manager Yogi Berra sported a 1905 New York Giants jersey of legendary skipper John McGraw. Two more players and a coach donned uniforms once worn by Cy Young, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and Pud Galvin.
"What a collection!" crowed the headline.
They were all fakes.
"That picture is the Mount Rushmore of uniform fraud," said authenticator Dave Grob.
Six years after his death -- and on the day the Hall of Fame inducts Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and Pat Gillick -- Halper and his remarkable legacy as the country's top collector are being hit as hard as a Babe Ruth moon shot.
The vaunted dealer, with a wing named after him in Cooperstown, has been unmasked as a con artist who hawked replicas and forgeries as one-of-a-kind gems.
But Halper didn't just buy fakes and pass them off as real.
He allegedly paid people to back his lies about how he acquired some pieces, and he's the primary suspect in a notorious heist of the New York Public Library's Fifth Avenue branch, where $1 million worth of letters to baseball pioneer Harry Wright and other scrapbook entries vanished in the 1970s......
update: evidently this story has a new wrinkle

1 comment:

Peter Nash said...

I made this all up