Monday, June 1, 2009

Subscribers & Advertisers Abandon Sports Collectors Digest:




It appears Sports Collectors Digest is on the ropes. Who knows how much longer the publication will be around? Current subscribers (the few that are left) are noticing and reporting how thin the publication has become. Most advertisers have left the publication. So have some of the talented writers. Fortunately, TS continues to write to his hearts content: He loves to promote his newest book, or remind us of his days as a dealer. What TS does not write about is SCD's relationship with Coach's Corner and how it has helped to destroy Sports Collector's Digest. For more on this story, please visit www.autographalert.com/news.html where you can read more about the decline of SCD.

I wish to share with you two emails I received this week on this topic:

The first was written to Dean Listle, who holds the title of Publisher of SCD.

Dear Mr. Listle,
I am emailing you about my decision to NOT renew my subscription to SCD. I have been a long time subscriber to your publication since it's inception and have finally decided that I have had enough. Though I had enjoyed SCD for many years, I feel that it has taken a drastic turn down the wrong path. First, is the cutback of 42 pages as opposed to the 100 or so pages of several years ago. It usually took me a few days to go through it on my free time and read all the interesting articles. Now, it takes me only 1/2 hour to look through it, and most of it is auction related material (which brings me to my next reason for ending my subscription). I am VERY VERY upset that SCD is ignoring the blatant forgery of auction items from your biggest advertiser COACHES CORNER. As the corner stone of our hobby, you have a responsibility to listen and respond to your fellow subscribers and collectors about all the fake autographs that these people are putting into our hobby. Did you forget about the Operation Bullpen investigation and why it was so important to help clean up our hobby of mass forgeries? Well, Coaches Corner will continue to throw forgeries back into the marketplace until someone finally stops them. And this should begin with YOU by stopping them from advertising this junk in your publication. Until YOU take a stand in this matter, I have lost all respect for you and your publication and will never again read another SCD. Please listen to the collectors out there who are only trying to help and educate other collectors in this vicious forgery game. IT STARTS WITH YOUR ACTION.

GJ
(Mike, the ring guy is withholding his name)


PS: I would like to see you put this in next editorial with a response.

(No response was ever given and the letter was never published by SCD.


The second email I received:



Mike,
Like you I was a vocal opponent of SCD's relationship with CC via SCD's blogs. I've been challenging them on this subject for several years now. Here's a recent email exchange I had between two guys (CEO and president) at the company that owns SCD. You're wasting your time with Listle and everyone else at SCD, as you probably know. Btw, never got a response from either David after the last email. I'll forward a few more exchanges I had with T.S. and Dean along with their responses. Good luck and keep up the good work.

Roger

From: Roger
(Mike, the ring guy is withholding his name)


Date: Thu, May 28, 2009 at 1:27 PM
To: david.nussbaum@fwmedia.com, david.blansfield@fwmedia.com

Gentlemen,
Good afternoon. Like many people, I once subscribed to SCD. I subscribed off and on for about 20 years. And like many or perhaps even the majority of former subscribers, I stopped patronizing your publication because of its relationship with an auction company called Coach's Corner. You've no doubt heard of them. In fact, I believe they are SCD's largest paid advertiser, at least according to Coach's Corner's own website. Further, I believe SCD is the only print pub Coach's Corner advertises in. (Below you'll find several links to discussions about Coach's Corner and its unfortunate ties to SCD.)

Over the years, gentlemen, I and who knows how many others have tried to engage SCD's publishers and senior-level employees like Dean Listle, T.S. O'Connell, Steve Bloedow, etc. in an open and honest discussion about SCD's involvement with CC. Quite simply, Coach's Corner has one of the worst reputations in the hobby. Over the years they have single-handedly sold thousands upon thousands of forgeries to the public. These forgeries include mostly autographs, but also artwork and game used items. These forgeries are exceedingly bad; they are poorly executed fakes with the intent to deceive. This is a serious problem and one that I and thousands of other people are sick of dealing with. Our question is a simple one, yet one that nobody there has had the guts to answer candidly. That is, if SCD is truly on the side of the collector, one of the "good guys" if you will, than why do you continually accept money from a company that's so obviously bad for the hobby. These people are low-life scumbags, yet SCD happily grants them an unobstructed voice every single month. It's sickening. Everyone there should be ashamed of themselves for allowing it to continue.

SCD is dying, guys. You know this. The only way to save it, assuming it's still possible, is to cut all ties with Coach's Corner, admit your mistakes (publicly) and ask for forgiveness (publicly) from the people you've been pretending to serve. Quite frankly, many collectors have no interest in seeing the magazine survive. I'm 99% there myself. Should the magazine continue its relationship with Coach's Corner, then there's no question that our hobby would be better off without SCD.

Oddly, nobody I've corresponded with at SCD seems to want to accept responsibility for CC's presence in the magazine. When questions are asked, they are ignored. When a phone call takes place, we're given veiled and roundabout answers, if not grade school finger-pointing. It's honestly a little embarrassing to witness.

Would one of you please tell me why SCD is still doing business with Coach's Corner given everything we know about them? SCD dumped advertisers like this in the past (e.g., Stan's), why not now?

Thank you,
Roger P
(Mike, the ring guy is withholding his name)


============================================
Readers, care to comment?


35 Comments:

Anonymous CCSA is honest! said...

This website is a joke. Take it down!

June 1, 2009 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cc is a joke! that website needs a visit from the fbi!

June 1, 2009 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Witch Rug Consignor said...

A hex upon all those who oppose the Mighty Coach and his infallible authenticators!

Now I shall summon forth more Charley Radbourne cut sigs from the void...MUHAHAHAhahaha....

June 1, 2009 11:30 PM  
Anonymous MEE said...

This website is great!! Kudos to Mike for getting it started and keeping the heat on his scammers!

June 2, 2009 4:04 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

I received a phone call yesterday from Robert Lifson, president of Robert Edwards Auction. Yes, it was him, I had received a message and returned his call to his company headquarters.

He called to let me know that he saw my website blog and felt compelled to share his experiences and to inform me that my intuition was correct - advertisers are leaving SCD. Robert told me that he decided to cease advertising in SCD based upon SCD's relationship with CC. Unlike us, who do not have an opportunity to get upper management to communicate with us, Robert spoke to management at great length on this matter.

For now on, Robert Edwards auction will no longer support SCD through advertising in the publication. Robert left the door open, that maybe some day, they could be back, but not in the foreseeable future. This does hurt Robert Edwards auctions as Robert explained to me that the advertising helped the auction house increase consignments, however, they felt that they could not stand by and watch SCD pollute the hobby with garbage.

While the auction house is surprised and disappointed that SCD is now going into the auction business, this was not the reason the pulled their advertising.

As most of you know, REA is a class act with exceptionally high standards. It is not a coincidence that they get the highest prices in the industry.

June 2, 2009 9:17 AM  
Blogger JRJ said...

Mike - Thanks for staying on this, running the blog and for the Robert Lifson report. I'd like to see this as a topic on their blog.

June 2, 2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

people who oppose what you say or do are part of the problem. you don't see many pro-Coach people, do you? keep on top of things and great work reporting the truth.

June 2, 2009 12:25 PM  
Anonymous dvitoc said...

Mike, somebody stated a thread on PSA's message board about TS. It's already 3 pages long and is titled, :TS O'Connell= Get a New Job!. It's a good read.

June 3, 2009 3:17 AM  
Anonymous Bob Lemke said...

This site sucks!!! Take it down-NOW!!!!

June 3, 2009 6:47 PM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

This site does suck! So does Mike The Ringhole. I mean a55hole!

June 3, 2009 8:08 PM  
Anonymous dvitoc said...

Go away and leave this web page alone you morons. You will not intimidate us or threaten us to stop or leave. I know you must be losing money...but that's what we want!

June 4, 2009 5:51 AM  
Anonymous dvitoc said...

Check out Tom's new video on youtube. He discusses the witch rug and it's comical as hell.

June 4, 2009 6:11 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Ha! I love this s--t! Coach's is as funny as those who try to pretend they belong to that outfit! Keep up the good work on the net54baseball.com board. Notice how Lemke chooses only to answer what he wants to answer and do you think they will talk about the new ring fiasco? Nah! Bury the head in the sand.

June 4, 2009 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

Is the ring really a fiasco? I guess it is. Were there other errors in the auction as well?

June 4, 2009 8:44 PM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

This website really irks me!!!

June 5, 2009 8:33 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

I'm not sorry at all that coache's corner is irked by this site.

What about the hundreds of people every month that see your advertising, and visit your site?

Your business corrupts our industry, sending hundreds of pieces of garbage into the hobby each month. When people find out they have worthless crap how many of them leave the hobby and never come back?

How you guys sleep at night? Shame on you. Shame, shame!

If anyone would like to contact cc directly, their email address is:

ccsa@mycomcast.com

June 5, 2009 8:47 AM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

Every single signed item we have up or have ever had in one of our auctions is legit. They all come authenticated by a company who employs some of the most respected men in the industry. Take this site down-or we will!

June 5, 2009 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

I just want to make sure I understand what you are saying. Are you threatening me?

what will you do if I do not take this site down?

June 5, 2009 9:00 AM  
Blogger JRJ said...

Mike & CC -
Instead of threats and name calling, lets get to the answers and the issues:

1-What is the relationship with SCD and CC?

2- Would you be willing to take the same items to another 3rd party authenticator?

CC - Why not have a conference call to answer questions from your customers? Mike could record it and post on this blog and others.

Mike & CC - Perhaps we can work something out with JSA, PSA or someone else you prefer to get another opinion on items in question.

I'm willing to help. Just let me know - I think the issues are getting lost in the cloud of threats/name calling.

June 5, 2009 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

JRJ - You are right on. That would be great but I doubt CC would do that.

I kind of hope they decide to sue me. I would have the opportunity during a disposition proceding to ask them the types of questions that you and many others have brought up. They would need to answer these questions as honestly as possible since I assume they would be sueing me for libel. Can you image the discovery process and how entertaining and informative it would be for our hobby.

Let's hope they go this route and try to shut me down. It would get very interesting. Could you imagine the hobby coverage of this?

I can't wait.

June 5, 2009 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike,
I doubt any of the comments we're seeing here by "CCSA" were actually written by CCSA. They've really never publicly addressed complaints against them before as far as I know and I don't see them starting now. In fact, I seriously doubt we'll ever hear from SCD or CCSA on this matter at any time.

Unless the police or FBI intervene, CCSA isn't going away. What they're doing simply doesn't bother them. They have no conscience, no ethics and no motivation to change their practices as long as someone is willing to promote them.

SCD, on the other hand, will not survive this. From what I've heard from a couple people close to them, they're print pub may be gone within the year.

Our collecting community would obviously benefit from SCD's departure. If you want to kick off a blog campaign to put them out of business, I'm in.

June 5, 2009 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

SCD was such a good publication and did so much good for our hobby, I somehow hope they change their ways and survive. I don't think we need a blog to put them out of business. They have lost so much advertising revenue and subscriber revenue that they may have passed the point of no return and may go out of business all on their own, without our influence.

I am not sure if I was really contacted by CC. The email "from" matches their email address on their website but I guess these things can be made to look like it came from them.

If it did not come from them who would be silly enough to want to act like them and defend them and to threaten me?

June 5, 2009 10:20 AM  
Anonymous dvitoc said...

Go away you morons!! Leave this page and Tom's you tube page the fuck alone!! You will not scare us off!

June 5, 2009 6:48 PM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

I still see this website is up and operating...and no we will not go away.

June 6, 2009 6:44 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Mr. CCSA, no this blog is not going away. Maybe you can tell us Mr. CCSA why all of the Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, etc. autograph items are all buried deep in the auction listings? Maybe you can explain to us, Mr. CCSA why there are so few photographs of the Derek Jeter autograph items up for bid? Maybe you can explain to us Mr. CCSA why a Babe Ruth autographed jersey sold for under $600.00 a month ago on your auction site when it normally should have sold for $15,000? Maybe you can explain to us Mr. CCSA why a super-rare Mike "King" Kelly autographed baseball sold for only $1,520.00? How about some answers, Mr. CCSA?

June 6, 2009 9:13 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

As for you Chefraider; the purpose of my videos is to expose the forgeries that we are all getting sick and tired of seeing. If you want to kiss Todd's butt that is your perogative, but you won't do it under my videos.

June 6, 2009 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Mike the ring guy said...

Yes CCSA, the web site is still up. Are you surprised? Are you going to answer my question? I asked if you were threatning me and I also asked what you planned to do if the web site is not taken down. Please answer!

June 6, 2009 2:37 PM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

I still see this is up and operating.

June 7, 2009 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Mike The Ring Guy said...

I see you site is still up too. How do you bastards sleep at night?

June 7, 2009 6:41 AM  
Anonymous ccsa@mycomcast.com said...

We sleep like a baby actually. We have never done anything wrong or been convicted of any wrong doings, regardless of your accusations.

June 7, 2009 8:17 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Hey Mr. CCSA, why don't you point out to us an authentic item from Stat or Chris Morales that is actually authentic.

June 7, 2009 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Bob Lemke said...

I'm sorry I was a tad upset in my previous post. I just can't fathom why this website must continue. How is it benefiting anyone? Also, why does "Mike the Ring Guy" hid behind anonymity. No real name or contact information, except a lousy cell phone number.

June 7, 2009 7:42 PM  
Anonymous Mike the ring guy said...

Bob Lemke (or whoever you are)

1) I will explain this you very simply. This site must continue because what SCD and CC are doing is awful. CC is polluting our industry with garbage. Why does SCD get to choose what infractions they will report on and which they will ignore because they have an advertising and business relationship with a company that violates ethics in our industry?

2) You wrote, why must I just can't fathom why this website must continue. How is it benefiting anyone? This website must continue because SCD is hiding and not reporting on important problems in our industry. Worse, SCD shut down our ability to leave comments on O'Connell's blogs. It is benefiting everyone by allowing us to be heard!

Last, you wrote Also, why does "Mike the Ring Guy" hid behind anonymity. No real name or contact information, except a lousy cell phone number.

Funny, SCD and all of your publicaitons have hidden too. You are complete inaccessable to us in the industry who wish to discuss this matter.

So what if I am anonymous. I am not the story, CC and SCD is the story. I'm just producing the medium by which us hobbiests communicate. Besides, as you pointed out, my cell phone and email address are on my website.

Bob, here I am, email me or call me. I'd love to talk to ya'. Unlike TS, I won't leave you on hold for thirty minutes or bury me head!

June 7, 2009 8:34 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Bob,

You are a voice within the hobby. A rather loud one sir. What is stopping you from screaming somewhere, anywhere that what CC is doings is wrong. You have been dodging questions regarding them for years. Just like your buddy TS OConnell.

June 7, 2009 8:53 PM  
Anonymous Bob Lemke said...

OK, that's it for me on here. I am not going to field questions on different auction houses when I am the consignment director of an other one.

June 7, 2009 9:25 PM  

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