Operation Bullpen: The Inside Story

The Home Run Chase

"Tens of thousands of different counterfeit autographs done by scores of different forgers across the country," prosecutor Phil Halpern said about the frenzy that occurred in the racket during the 1998 home run chase. "As quick as Mark or Sammy would hit a home run, the balls would be produced. Home run sixty-eight -- thousands of them with a little sixty-eight on them. Sixty-nine -- thousands. Seventy -- thousands."

Photo of Mark McGwire Photo of Sammy Sosa

Getting the Details Right

At the end of Mother Teresa's signature are two scrawled, lower case letters that only handwriting experts and professional forgers would have known about: "mc." These initials stand for Missionaries of Charity, her religious order, and she customarily signed her name with them. So even at this late stage in the game, with the nonstop pressures to turn over material fast so they could sell it and take more orders and turn over more material, the guys still cared enough to get the details right.

Mother Theresa baseball

John Olson's Ali

"It was crazy. We went on for years. People saying, 'I want to buy five hundred Ali photographs. I want to buy a thousand Ali photographs.'" --John Olson, on forging Ali's sig to this Ali photo (seen here with the Japanese wrestler Antonio Inoki) and the thousands of others he did over the years.

Photo of Mohammed Ali and Antonio Inoki

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