The Beckett Blog

Faking a fake: 1928 Fro-Joy Babe Ruth by Andy Broome

28ruthfrojoydoublecounterfeitruth1What are the odds that a counterfeit card becomes so famous that a fake is made of the fake?

There are not too many cards that have gained such status. The 1928 Fro-Joy Babe Ruth set is definitely one of the few sets.

While some of the Fro-Joy counterfeits can be difficult to detect without the proper tools and knowledge of the printing technique used, some of the fakes are just plain bad.

If you have studied this set even casually, you probably know about some of the characteristics of the more common fakes, the uncut sheets and the color versions.

If you see a color Fro-Joy, run away. These cards never saw the roaring 1920s or even the roaring 1960s for that matter. No color Fro-Joy cards were produced for the Fro-Joy ice cream promotion of the late 1920s.

Some people have said that possibly 99 percent of all Fro-Joy cards are fake. While I do not have the research to back this number up, I will agree that well more than half of the Fro-Joy cards I see are, in fact, fake.

If that wasn’t enough reason to stay away from Fro-Joy cards until you learn more about them, here comes the fake of a fake!

The card in question is a copy of one of the color counterfeit Fro-Joy cards. This card is very poor quality, even compared to the “real” counterfeit card.

You can see the forced, artificial wear to the corners and edges. Under a loupe, you will find the tell-tale printing pattern of a computer printer. The text is fuzzy and almost hard to read. There are multi print dots throughout the card, including the borders.

Yes, the “original” counterfeit color Fro-Joy is actually better quality than this homemade version.

Once again, this card represents the level counterfeiters will go to in order to make a quick buck. Find a card issue many of today’s collectors are not familiar with, find a fake of said card issue and then fake the fake.

— Andy Broome, BGS Grading


11 Comments so far
Leave a comment

a fake is a fake is a fake lmao a can of coke and some air!brent cross

Comment by brett

does anyone have a PICTURE of the AUTHENTIC 1928 Fro-Joy’s? All the images I see are fakes

Comment by joe

How much would a 1928 Fro-joy baseball counterfeit uncutt sheet card be worth if anything @ all? thanks

Comment by Dan

Why don’t you post a picture of the 1928 Fro-Joy uncut sheet?

Comment by Tom Davis

Who is the expert on the Fro-Joy cards and uncut sheet? Can I get an email address for a little help? Thanks! Tom(pigouts)

Comment by Tom Davis

Hey Tom! What kind of Fro-Joy help can we give you?

Andy Broome

Comment by Andy Broome

I would like to know when the counterfeits were made. I have an uncut advertising sheet with 6 cards, in color, and thought that I had a printers proof. Date of counterfeits would help me to establish authenticity or fakeness, as I have had this in my possession for many years. THANKS for any help.

Comment by Chris

I beleive i have an original uncut sheet of the fro joy cards. It was found in a folder of a retired baseball collector. could some one tell me what it is worth.

Comment by doug hutson

I see sooooo many of these here in Florida how come they are not confiscated and destroyed?
It is a shame how many people are trying to sell these as real.
I have a GAI authenticated frojoy and you can see the fake a mile away.
I was in a friends store in Bradenton Ryans cards And low and behold in comes a kid with a fake and swears it is real .
I wanted to tear it in half and throw it at him because I knew he was a scam.
I guess it is a buyer beware world any more SAD!!!
If any one out there can give me a solution to getting these cards off the market please write me back on this.
Thanks to all the true collectors out there!!!

Comment by cliff vangordon

In response to Cliff’s question for a solution to get the fake cards off the market place, there is not any way to make people destroy fake cards. The best way is to educate people how to identify a fake from an original. Although some people have provided information how to determine if the card is a fake from a copy machine, I have seen not seen any advice as to determining if an older looking card is a fake. Best thing to do is assume the card is a fake until it could be determined as genuine. I have an uncut sheet that I purchased from the widow of a WWII Naval Veteran about 15 years ago. He kept the card in a trunk with his uniform since the war ended in 1945. His widow mentioned when I purchased the card sheet and his uniform that he had the card since he was a kid. Although there is some provenance, I still must assume the possibility of being a reprint.

Comment by Phil

Okay, I will give a description of the Uncut Fro Joy Babe Ruth sheet that I mentioned earlier. First, the cardboard stock is in 6 layers of fiber. The front and back side layers of the cardboard are whiter yet have a slight yelowish tint. Keep in mind some con artist have figured out how to age paper and make it appear old so don’t asssume you have an original by the tint of the paper. The outer paper appears to be of a varying white shades of the fiber. There are four layers of a yellow colored fiber on the inside that is sandwiched between the outside layers. I can see this easy as one of the corners is frayed and shows the layers. If not frayed, you should still be able to see the sandwich of the yellow paper between the outer layers. If your cardboard stock is not layered this way, it is modern cardboard stock and a definate fake. Sorry if this dissapoints anyone. Now I look at the half tones under a 10X loupe. The halftone dots which make up the image are not distorted as they would be if a copy were made from the original print. I compared the quality with half tone printing of the period and the dots are consistent as being printed from original plates. I made a copy of the original in black and also in color. About 40-50% of the halftone dots dissapeared although you cannot see this unless magnified. The black copy had a darker colored black ink. The color copy printed with a slight tint of brown ink nearly matching the original, but the printing took away much of the detail such as the shaded area of Babe Ruths eyes beneath his cap. The halftone dots become distorted in both copies. Many of the dots on the copy became out of line and many of the original dots dissapeared. The example I made from the copy displays evenly spaced dots in the halftone and the copies did not. The Darker areas of the card became mostly filled in on the copies with very little number of half tones (dots) present. Still not totally positive my uncut sheet is positively genuine but it does has some characteristics to what an original should indicate. Hope this helps all those to identify what they have. I will continue my investigation and keep you informed as I find new information. Sincerely, Phil Rimer

Comment by Phil

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: