August 26, 2014
That has to be the longest title for a blog post I've ever done. But I wanted to make sure I got the accurate title of the item I'm going to be discussing here. About two weeks ago someone contacted to me to see if I knew anything about a Mike Schmidt variant bobblehead that was given to fans "with the purchase of 100 tickets or more, and it was the first 25 buyers." The bobblehead has a silver bat with gold stripe and a gold home plate. The person informed me that the seller was trying to sell them said bobblehead for $75 and sent me pictures.
My first thought (which is still my thought today) is that this is a fake and someone painted the bat and home plate. My second thought was that the seller knows it's a fake and is trying to make a few dollars quickly. The seller has an eBay account through which he sells sports collectibles that are mostly Phillies and bobbleheads. The seller has had 153 bobblehead listings since May. This guy isn't a naive person who just stumbled upon what could be the most rare Phillies bobblehead in existence and then was willing to sell it for a mere $75. There's no way he doesn't know the possible value of a rare bobblehead that was limited to 25, as he claims.
So after a little back and forth with the potential buyer of said bobblehead, we both came to the conclusion that this likely wasn't real. I even said it was funny this guy was trying to avoid selling it on eBay and "he wouldn't dare put that Schmidt on eBay" (because collectors would know it was fake), but last night he proved me wrong, as the "MIKE SCHMIDT 2003 HOF SILVER SLUGGER VARIANT BOBBLEHEAD GOLD HOME PLATE" was listed on eBay. There are a few things that this seller left out of his auction description that he told people when trying to sell it outside of eBay. Including where he claims he got this bobblehead and that the bobblehead was given to the first 25 fans who purchased 100 tickets or more.
I'm not trying to disparage the seller of this bobblehead and I won't type his name or even link to the auction here. But if you're a Phillies bobblehead collector you've seen the auction and you've likely seen auctions from this seller in the past.
I'm just going give you a little list with some questions and everyone can come to their own conclusions about this situation.
Has anyone ever seen or heard of a 2003 Mike Schmidt Variant silver bat gold plate bobblehead? I didn't think so, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. After all, the 2003 Mike Schimdt Retail Version was only recently discovered.
The seller tries to avoid saying this was a group leader gift, although stating "with the purchase of 100 tickets" makes the ticket buyer a group leader. Also the Phillies have never given a group leader gift with a sponsor logo on it.
What does a silver/gold bat signify? If it's for the silver slugger award, whats with the gold stripe? To my knowledge, the first SGA bobblehead to feature a silver bat was Vladimir Guerrero in 2006 but I could be wrong. When looking further at one of the photos provided in the listing, it looks as though the flash of the camera was so bright it caught a spot on the bat that wasn't painted well enough.
What does the gold plate signify? I can't even give an explanation for what this could be.
The seller of this bobblehead has two custom, hand-painted Phanatic figurines for sale on eBay. Here's one:
The seller is currently selling fake Phillies SGA flags and has sold multiple fake flags in the past. He avoids putting "SGA" in the title and doesn't state that they weren't given out by the Phillies. I do not know if this seller knows they are fake, but the fact that he avoids listing them as SGA leads me to believe he knows. In 2013, an eBay seller from California flooded the market with knockoff Phillies flags that look like the SGA version but are different, and weren't distributed by the Phillies. The fake flags are folded in squares and come with a piece of paper that has the specifications of the flag on them. I purchased two flags from the CA seller and I will admit, they look better than the version that the Phillies gave out. That doesn't make them any less fake, but they are nice as you can see in the photo below. After I purchased the flags from the seller he messaged me to see if I was interested in purchasing Phillies flags wholesale from him. I declined.
The seller currently sells "limited edition" Dunkin Donuts Gift Cards. He has "limited edition" gift cards that include: Phillies, Eagles, the Phanatic, Pete Rose and even Elvis. The fact is that these aren't limited edition at all. They are custom gift cards from DD that anyone can make. It's a clever way to make a buck. But to sell these as "limited edition" as though they're some sort of collectible is a little shady in my opinion.
I can't say the Schmidt is 100% not real because I didn't work for the Phillies in 2003 and I wasn't one of the first 25 fans to purchase 100 tickets or more. But I'm pretty certain that something isn't right with this one.
IF it's proven that this is real, I will gladly apologize to the seller of this auction and remove this post from my site.
Should you have any information or documentation that can verify that this Mike Schmidt Variant bobblehead was given out by the Phillies, please email me.
©PhilliesSGA - 2014