Friday, November 30, 2012
By now, many of you have read the news, as first reported by the New York Daily News Sports I-Team that Bill Mastro, the prima donna of the high-end sports collectibles auction world has plead guilty to altering the fabled T-206 Honus Wagner card.
While it has long been suspected by many hobby elites that the card had been altered to earn it's grade of a PSA 8, (which was also the first card ever graded by the company) the cat is now out of the bag. Knowing that the ugliness of a trial would ultimately do more harm than good, Mastro changed his plea after being indicted several years ago for this and other charges including, "routinely defrauding customers, rigged auctions and inflated prices paid by unwitting bidders."
Many of you might remember the ill-fated attempt by Sports Collector's Digest and it's has been "journalist" T.S. O'Connell, some years ago, who had the gall to disable comments on his blog rather than answer critics questions regarding the issue, mine included. Here are links to those posts from several years ago.
TS O'Connell, SCD, Mastro, FBI
T.S O'Connell Loses Hobby Credibility
Mastro Auctions No More
O'Connell's deer in the headlights response to this new fangled social media platform called blogging and it's intent to be a two-way dialogue and not just another means of broadcast, only served to solidify what most educated collectors already knew and that was the fact that Tuff Stuff and SCD's time in the hobby as a reputable, reliable and newsworthy source of hobby media, were long gone.
O'Connell's defense of his "friend" and the free publicity given to the auctioning of the once fabled Mastro Collection, despite occurring amid these far reaching and damning allegations was indefensible. O'Connell's posts have long been deleted along with the numerous comments questioning the integrity of him and SCD as an unbiased news outlet.
While Bill Mastro had a good run, in the end sweet justice has been served. As for T.S. O'Connell, he's crawled under some rock of obscurity, hopefully never to be heard from again.