I-TEAM: How to spot fake sports memorabilia during All-Star games

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CLEVELAND — The I-Team is showing you how to spot fake sports memorabilia during the MLB All-Star games.

We met up with Dave Hunt of Hunt Auctions who has a display set up inside the Play Ball Park downtown.

“Especially with the dollar amounts these pieces are bringing, you really need to be sure who you’re dealing with,” said Hunt.

He gave us an inside look at collectibles worth hundreds of dollars up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

His company goes through more than you might ever imagine to make sure equipment, autographs and special souvenirs are legit.

For instance, consider the bat used by famous slugger Babe Ruth. Hunt pointed out the markings on the bat.

“The dash-dot-dash is indicative of the date that they used it. You also notice the lathe marks on the end,” he explained. “This is not a bat made for retail sale. This is a bat made for professional use.”

Last year, the I-Team showed you Cleveland police raiding a suspected con-man with a stand at the I-X Center during a national sports memorabilia show.

Now, with huge crowds expected here for All-Star weekend, a word of caution to those planning to buy collectibles.

Hunt Auctions sends memorabilia through layers and layers of checks.

This weekend, if you go to Play Ball Park downtown, the firm will evaluate your stuff at no charge.

“Be positive you’ve got the right item, an authentic item, not just one that’s too good to be true,” said Hunt.

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