Meet Our Autograph Experts

 

James J. Spence, Jr. - Founder & President


James Spence, Jr. has the universal respect and approval of auctioneers, dealers, and collectors worldwide with his accurate authentication expertise. A third generation autograph collector, his knowledge and exposure has its roots in over thirty years of hobby experience. Spence is a 1982 graduate from Iona College of New York with a double major in International Business and French. In addition, he has certification in Forensic Document examination.  World renown auction houses including Sotheby’s, eBay, Mastro Auctions, Heritage Auctions, Upper Deck, SCP (CA), Huggins & Scott Auctions, Christie’s, Legendary Auctions, Steiner Sports, and virtually every other major auction house in the country employ the services of James Spence to insure the legitimacy of their autographed offerings. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of the Treasury (IRS) have depended on Spence as their sports authentication adviser and asked for his assistance during past investigations. Law enforcement and insurance carriers have placed their trust in Spence to assist in their analysis.  In this regard, Mr. Spence has testified as an expert witness on numerous occasions.  Dealers have also relied on his knowledge, experience and integrity for some of the highest valued, historically significant and rarest signed artifacts in existence. Recently, Mr. Spence has appeared as an expert authenticator on the reality TV Show, All Star Dealers, appearing on the Discovery and Velocity channels.

 

 

 

 

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James J. Spence, III - Vice President

A fourth generation autograph collector, James J. Spence III, has been exposed to autographs his entire life. While growing up, he consistently did the national show circuit with his father. This experience provided him with a great working knowledge of autographs and the hobby. He began working full time for JSA following his graduation from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Finance and Economics. His passion for autographs and knowledge of the industry has made him a valuable member of the JSA staff.  James III currently directs JSA's first expansion office in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

 
 Robert Wharton
 

 

 

Robert Wharton - Director of Authentication / Authenticator

As a child, Robert was introduced into the sports memorabilia hobby. His passion for collecting started with cards, and eventually spread to other sports memorabilia and autographs. Over the years, he has involved himself in the industry through local sports shows, retail sales, and now as an autograph Authenticator. Robert has a Bachelor of Science degree in Actuarial Science from St. Joseph's University.  Shortly after graduating, Bobby joined the JSA team and is presently the director of authentication. 

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Erik Santomauro - Authenticator

Heavily influenced by his father, Erik Santomauro began collecting autographs at an early age.  His family's passion turned into a business, when they formed Jesse's Coins and Collectibles, operating out of Myrtle Beach, SC.  

Erik has spent the past 3 years with JSA, primarily stationed out of the Florida office. He continues to be a valuable asset to our team playing key roles in major projects including the launch of our Signature Debut and Wizard World programs

Erik enjoys collecting baseball, boxing, WWE and particularly MMA autographs 

 

 
 
 
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Wade Hampton - Authenticator

Wade Hampton has a lifetime of experience in the industry and an extremely well-rounded skill set.  With a passion for sports, pop culture and history, he began collecting cards then autographs and memorabilia in the 1980s.  Over the years and throughout his career, Wade has had the opportunity to work in all aspects of the hobby.  Through the mail requests, in-person signings, at trade shows and retail sales (including both public and private signings).  He has become a well-known and respected fixture on the national collector circuit, while amassing a large and varied collection of autographs and game-used memorabilia.   Wade was raised in Collinsville, IL and is a graduate of Lindenwood University with a BA in History and an MA in Education. 

 
 

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Mike Gutierrez - Field of Expertise: Vintage Baseball 
Specializing in sports Mike is the foremost autograph authenticator of sports memorabilia, and many serious buyers consider his approval a requisite to their sports autograph purchases. With over twenty years experience, Mike has earned an unsurpassed level of trust in a field that has seen fraud and forgeries tarnish its reputation. Through his knowledge and professional affiliations, Mike takes pride in working to preserve and enhance the integrity of the sports memorabilia market. His respect and influence is best measured by the added value his endorsement brings to items he authenticates. For this reason, Mike's services have been sought by both private collectors and professional concerns worldwide.

 

 
 

Kip Ingle - Fields of Expertise: Golf/Baseball 
Kip Ingle, consultant, brings to James Spence Authentication, LLC a wealth of experience in the autograph industry. At the age of seven Kip began obtaining in-person autographs, even choosing to attend college in Florida, in part to be near numerous golf tournaments and spring training to obtain signatures. Following graduation, he spent 10 years in front office sports management with the New York Yankees as editor of their team publications and with the St. Louis Cardinals as the team's Director of Public Relations. Currently Kip is involved with professional golf management through his company Kip Ingle & Associates. Throughout the year Kip staffs numerous golf tournaments where he is involved with various aspects of tournament operations. While at these tournaments he is actively involved in obtaining golf autographs and monitoring signature tendencies of the sports biggest stars. The place to find Kip in April is at Augusta National where, since 1993, he has been a regular along the rail of the driving range pursing his passion: Masters Champion's autographs. Each summer, Kip is employed by the United States Golf Association to use his professional sports management skills in tournament operations for the U.S. Open. Through the years Kip Ingle has gained the trust of countless veteran collectors and auction houses in the sports autograph and memorabilia industry.

 

 

Tom Kramer - Fields of Expertise: Vintage Hollywood/Entertainment 
Tom Kramer, consultant, has been a collector of vintage Hollywood/entertainment autographs for over two decades. For the past 17 years, he has been the owner of Golden Age Autographs, one of the few autograph dealerships specializing in vintage entertainment. His article on collecting Hollywood autographs appears in the 6th edition of "The Sanders Price Guide to Autographs" published in 2003. He is also the author of a signature study on Bette Davis and contributed additional signature studies to the authentication website, www.isitreal.com

 

 

John Reznikoff - Field of Expertise: Historical/Political 
Historical and political autographs and documents are the specialty of John Reznikoff, latest consultant addition to the JSA authentication staff. John has been a stamp, card and autograph collector since the age of 8, became a dealer by the age of 13, and started his own business The University Stamp Co. - while in college. Now as founder of University Archives, a leading document and manuscript firm in Westport Connecticut, John has become a renowned authenticator of all things political and historical. John served as an expert witness in numerous criminal and civil trials for the US Department of Justice; he also has expertise in items related to the Space & Aviation arena. He is a published author for nationally circulated magazines and has been taped by Good Morning America, Newsweek, CNN, and ESPN to name a few for his expertise and experience. We are proud to have John on our team.

 

Roger Epperson
 
 
 



Roger Epperson - Field of Expertise: Music 
Music industry autograph authenticator, collector and expert Roger Epperson, has an extensive background as a full-time dealer in the collectibles industry. Roger is the only dealer in the world that deals exclusively in music related autographed collectibles. This narrowed focus has established him as a valued, and trusted, authenticator for all genres of contemporary music. From Elvis to Pink Floyd to Springsteen, Roger's dedicated research has brought him the recognition that has made him a valuable resource to independent authentication specialists and autograph collectors everywhere.

 

JD Bardwell
 
 

JD Bardwell - Field of Expertise: Contemporary Entertainment
A native of York, Maine and has been a dealer in contemporary Hollywood autographs for over twenty years. For the past decade, he has been a partner in 'Autograph World, LLC', one of the largest internet based dealers of contemporary autographs. Mr. Bardwell served for over twelve years on the UACC Executive Board and is the creator of the UACC Registered Dealer program. He is also a UACC approved authenticator in the field of contemporary autographs.

 

Herman Darvick

Herman Darvick - Field of Expertise: Historical/Political 
Charter Member (1965) and President of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club from 1968-1987, longtime editor of “The Pen and Quill,” and recipient of the UACC’s first Lifetime Achievement award (1984), is the author of “Collecting Autographs,” published in 1981 by Messner Books, a division of Simon and Schuster. Herman’s “autograph” article has appeared in Volume 1 of every edition of “World Book” encyclopedia since 1984. He wrote “The Jimmy Carter Philographic Study” and is credited in “Reagan: A Life in Letters” (2003) with discovering that Ronald Reagan’s mother answered much of his fan mail when he was an actor. Herman was an expert witness on autograph authenticity and value for the United States of America in the case of the Estate of Richard Nixon v. United States (1998-2000). Items he has authenticated and sold at his public auctions held from 1985-1995 include Jack Ruby's gun, Judy Garland's last passport, Oscars awarded to John Lennon and Harold Russell, and the first authentic signature of Shoeless Joe Jackson ever sold. He has been interviewed on the subject of autographs by, among others, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, Bill O'Reilly, Phil Donohue, and Joe Franklin, as well as by the Associated Press, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Yomiuri Shimbun, Der Spiegel, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, CNBC, and other media. Herman and John Reznikoff are co-authors of Chapter 1 “Authentication” of “The Sanders Autograph Price Guide 7th edition” (2009).

 

 

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Steve Zarelli - Fields of Expertise: Space/Aviation

Steve Zarelli has been collecting and closely studying space and aviation autographs for over 15 years. He has been at the forefront of identifying deceptive forgeries and his findings have been published in the definitive space collecting reference, “Relics of the Space Race,” as well as the UACC’s Pen & Quill magazine. Steve was also a contributor to the UACC signature study, “Neil Armstrong: The Quest for His Autograph.” Steve has been an active member of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club for 15 years; he previously served as the Ethics Chairman and currently sits on the UACC Board of Directors.