At times I find myself going back and re-reading old threads from the original Network 54 Forum on Game Used Equipment, the genesis for the current Game Used Forum. These are still available and the SEARCH function still works. I wrote quite a bit on that old board, until the MEARS web site was established. I came across this post the other day and since we are coming up on two years as an organization, I thought I would comment again for the benefit of Mr. Golden and others as well.

Where do you see MEARS a year from now??

August 6 2005 at 1:55 AM (Ian Golden)

“Interested in what other collectors see in the future of these people. They have taken a massive beating the past year between SCDA and even recently as MEARS.

Does anyone think they will still be around in another year and to take it a step further does anyone think they will still be the ONLY authentication team out there in the hobby? To me, it’s only a matter of time…..”

My response:

MEARS in August 2006

August 6 2005 at 8:18 AM (MEARS Auth, LLC)


Yes MEARS will be around this time next year and yes we have taken a beating in the short time we have been around, coupled with the fact that much of the organization migrated over from SCDA. As to if we “will still be the ONLY authentication team out there in the hobby”, that statement is no more accurate today as it is likely to be in a year. There are others out there as well:

John Taube and the folks at PSA/DNA

Lou Lampson at 100% Authentic

Grey Flannel as an organization offers these services

Rob Steinmetz and Darrel O’Mary at Global

In addition, in reading this forum, you could assume or form an opinion that this is an under-performing, over paid, area of the hobby/industry that would not be hard to do better than those whose are currently doing it. If that is the case, from a business standpoint, then you would expect someone or some group of individuals to come along and capitalize on this for either the good of the hobby/industry, financial gain, either or both.

Ian, am very interested more in what you didn’t say as opposed to what you did. You left off with “to me, it’s just a matter of time. I am not trying to poke you in the eye, but I am genuinely interested in hearing what you feel is inevitable and the reasons why.

As with all my posts, my e-mail is address is provided so please feel free to contact me directly should you wish.


I never heard back from Mr. Golden nor did he come back to address this topic on the board or my questions, and yet here we are two years later. Two years latter with some numbers that I am very proud to be associated with:

-Over 230 articles provided on a variety of topics of interest to the collecting public.

– Almost 150 items consigned to auction houses that MEARS employees voluntarily and publicly disclosed some form of financial interest in via the MEARS Web Site under Our Items for Auction.

48 in 2005

96 in 2006

4 in 2007

-193 items sold via the Bushing & Kinunen for Sale section on the MEARS web site that will remain as a matter of public record for further use and reference.

-Roughly $8,000 spent on buying reference and research material over the past two years.

-200+ gratis hours spent and roughly 90% of items either loaned or coordinated for loan to the Wisconsin Historical Society celebrating two of the pinnacles of Wisconsin’s baseball history: The Milwaukee Braves’ victory in the 1957 World Series (50th anniversary in 2007) and The Milwaukee Brewers 1982 American League Pennant (25th anniversary in 2007). This effort also included the donation and free use of personal original images taken by Frank Stanford for creating a card set that is being sold in conjunction with the exhibit. All proceeds from these sales are used to support the museum and the preservation of Wisconsin History.

-Over fifty (50) Hall of Fame caliber or star player jerseys that have been evaluated and listed on the Web Site as problematic or Unable to Authenticate, giving collectors the ability to save themselves hours of aggravation and potentially tens of thousands of dollars.

There will be some who will continue to paint what MEARS does and the services we provide in some sort of “broad brush” that includes “all those authenticators” as well as work done before the MEARS time frame. I can’t do anything about that. I would only ask that collectors look at the hobby/industry in a more accurate and objective retrospective manner over the past two years. Look what people were complaining about two years ago and then look at how the various individuals and organizations have responded.

Is MEARS a perfect and infallible organization? No we are not and have never assumed ourselves to be. Likewise we are not a “cash cow” or “turn-key” operation that takes our position and responsibility to collectors and this hobby/industry lightly. Make your own comparisons and draw your own conclusions. I only ask that any comparison be made taking into account the numbers I have provided. If you can’t find similar numbers or references, then that may tell you something. What it tells me is they are a small part of why MEARS is still here some two years later. For Mr. Golden, I hope this helps answer your question.

Happy Birthday MEARS Team!


POST SCRIPT: Archives of the original Game Used Forum can be found at: