Star Co., minor league and Starting Lineup card counterfeiting ring from 2005 resurfaces

Everyone should be aware of this. I’m not shamelessly promoting my own blog, but please click into the link in my signature and read it. It deals with a ton of counterfeit Star Co. cards, minor league cards and Starting Lineup cards being counterfeited and sold on eBay. I’m trying to break a story on this and need your help. Thanks in advance. My blog

Star Co., minor league and Starting Lineup card counterfeiting ring from 2005 resurfaces
Posted by Steve

In an article in Sports Collectors Digest from August 12, 2005, we wrote about a counterfeiting ring that we uncovered that focused on Star Co., minor league baseball cards, SLU cards from all sports and other stuff that isn’t readily available to compare the fake ones to. I recently found some cards on eBay that appear to be from the same batch of fakes.

The counterfeiters took real cards and rebuild the fonts around the card, while using the original photos, which meant most collectors couldn’t identify them as fakes because just a couple of subtle font issues or boldness would be off, and they had trouble locating a real one to compare it to.

I found the Star Co. cards on eBay and knew there was something wrong immediately. These type of cards don’t exist in quantity yet the seller was putting 2-5 of them per month up for sale. I also found a thread on the PSA message boards about a fake Ripken minor league card…same seller…bigboydsportscards3.

Here are a couple examples of the fakes (Example 1 was purchased from the seller). First, a 1984-85 Star Jordan Rookie of the Year #288. If you are familiar with these cards, they always have very little right border and a lot of left border. This one has a ton of right border and very little left, which never happens. I also confirmed this with Star Co. expert Steve Taft. Also, if you look in the SCD article from 2005, the apostrophe on the “Star ’85” is consistent with the counterfeit (Example 7 below, with the real one on the left and the fake on the right).

Another surefire fake is the 1984-85 Star All Rookie Jordan (2 of example4.jpg11). Once again, the apostrophe is consistent with the fake. Examples 2 and 3 are images of a card purchased from the seller. Example 4 is a closeup of the top right corner on a real Star Jordan, while Example 5 is a closeup of the fake. While the seller doesn’t scan the backs of the cards (for good reason), it’s not that tough from the fronts to see they are fakes due to the smaller type size and apostrophe in “Star ’85”.

Another fake card that is easy to spot is the 1984-85 John Stockton #235 (Example 6, purchased from the seller). Every single real one comes with narrow borders, while every one they have for sale has nice, thick borders on a perfectly centered card. The borders on the fake pictured above are far thicker than the borders on legitimate versions.

Judging from the hoards of other rare Star Co. cards and Starting Lineup cards they have, it’s fairly easy to become suspicious of someone who has these quantities of very rare cards, not to mention that all four cards we looked at are fakes. Four cards. All fakes. All identical to the examples we uncovered in a counterfeit ring from two years ago. All from the only seller on eBay offering this type of inventory. We’ve made multiple purchases from bigboydsportscards3 (Examples 1, 2, 3 and 6) and we’ve confirmed that all are fakes. You will also notice that none of these examples in question ever winds up graded in a GAI case (the only grading company that grades Star Co.) because they are fake. I guess 46,000 positive feedbacks on eBay doesn’t always equate to a legitimate seller.

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