James Spence has never signed an autograph, but no memorabilia collection is complete without his signature.
Millions of dollars in autographs have been reduced to scribble because of Spence, who in recent years has become judge, jury and endorser in the autograph business.
He’s handled many of sports’ rarest documents and artifacts. Owners and investors travel thousands of miles to show him a piece, hoping for his approval. They know, as do potential buyers, that it isn’t real until Spence says it is.
Spence, 48, is the nation’s leading autograph authenticator. He’s handled everything from a 1923 World Series baseball bat used and signed by Babe Ruth to a signed wooden leg once attached to deceased Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck.
Wednesday, Spence was at Home Court Sports, 6450 SW Archer Road, for his first public authentication in the area. Looking for Spence’s approval, collectors traveled from as far as South Carolina to show off their items.