Beckett Authentication Services
Twitter – @Steve_Grad
One of the top autograph authenticators in the world, Steve Grad is one of two principal authenticators who helped form Beckett Authentication Services (BAS) in November 2016. He is perhaps best known as the autograph expert featured on The History Channel’s “Pawn Stars” since 2013. Grad is celebrated for authenticated some of the most iconic sports memorabilia, including the highest-graded Babe Ruth single-signed baseball and the only known Joe Jackson-signed photo.
Grad’s passion also has fueled nearly a lifetime of chasing memories. The avid White Sox fan has attended every opening day game since 1987. Despite owning more than 250 authenticated autographs of Harrison Ford, Grad’s favorite tribute to the “Star Wars” legend is the Han Solo tattoo on his left arm, and he has seen Metallica in concert 39 times – and counting. His pursuit of autographs has taken him to Australia, Canada, France, Great Britain, New Zealand and, of course, across the United States.
Before helping to launch BAS in November 2016, Grad built PSA/DNA’s authentication business for 15 years. There, he authenticated some of the most storied sports memorabilia, including the bat used by baseball legend Babe Ruth to hit the first home run in old Yankee Stadium in 1923, which sold for a record $1.265 million.
In addition, the world’s most respected auction houses, such as Christie's Auction House, Guernsey's Auction, Heritage, Goldin Auctions and REA Auctions, consider Grad as a trusted authenticator of autographs and artifacts. Even the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations has engaged Grad to authenticate seized items.
Some of Grad’s most notable authentications include:
- 1857 “Laws of Baseball” document was sold for $3.26 million and it is largely considered the highest selling piece of memorabilia in the business.
- A 1927 New York Yankees Team photograph signed by the team, which sold at a private sale for $370,000
- Babe Ruth's 1918 contract with the Boston Red Sox, which sold at auction for $1.02 million
- A Babe Ruth-single-signed baseball that sold at auction for $388,375
Grad began his career in sports broadcasting after studying broadcast journalism at Columbia College, Chicago. He appeared in 1995 and 1996 as the sports anchor on the original Mancow’s Morning Madhouse, one of the top morning shows in the Chicago media market, which was syndicated in various cities across America. He also served as an anchor and host on One on One Sports, which delivered closed-circuit broadcasts to spectators attending sporting events, and Sporting News Network, the first 24/7 sports radio network. As a broadcaster, Grad covered Super Bowls and NBA Finals, including the Chicago Bulls during the team’s championship runs in 1996 and 1997.