Tokens & Icons

MLB Authenticity

In 2006, we were approached by one of our New Jersey-based customers, Jennifer Madsen, who wanted to introduce us to Bill Hartel, a dentist by day and an entrepreneur by night. Bill's father had been involved in Comiskey Parks' demolition in 1991 and had salvaged a chair, which sat in Bill's garage for a few years until his wife encouraged him do something with it (or else demanded it be tossed!). When Bill saw a pen turned from wood, he realized a use for the chair and after receiving positive reactions to his first pen run, he began acquiring other stadium seats, thus founding BallPark Pens. Tokens & Icons indeed agreed with Jennifer's thought that this fit into our authentic icons mantra and so we became a licensee of BallPark Pens and began producing cuff links from the same authentic wood seats. When we realized Bill was becoming frustrated with life as a wholesaler, we threw out if he ever wanted to sell his creation, we would like the first option. That day came to pass three months later around the same time that we started to become acquainted with MLB's Authentication Program. In time, Tokens & Icons entered into a license with Major League Baseball. We were wowed by their chain of possession authentication process and, in turn, so were our customers. In 2009, cuff links, wallets and pendants made from Game Used Authenticated MLB baseballs and uniforms became official!

As balls come out of play, MLB Authenticators are
witnessing, logging, and hologramming these artifacts.

Major League Baseball game used ball with hologram.

MLB authenticator affixes secure hologram to the back of each cuff link.

The hologram contains a number that references MLB's Authentication Database.

Type hologram number into


Authenticity card included with each MLB authenticated item

The MLB Authentication Program was founded in 2001 so that memorabilia purchasers could have a comfort level that the artifacts are in fact 100% authentic and backed by a foolproof method. Major League Baseball exclusively hires the Authenticators for this program from the law enforcement of each city in which their Major League teams plays. As these individuals witness balls going into the dirt, bats breaking, etc., they are then immediately handed these balls and bats by the ball boy and hologram each game used item with tamper-proof holograms produced by OpSec. Tokens & Icons works closely with Michael Posner, the Manager of MLB's Authentication Program, to have his same Authenticators, who authenticate at the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants games, come to our office multiple times a week to authenticate each product we make from MLB's authenticated game used artifacts. Therefore, every MLB Game Used Tokens & Icons gift has its own hologram, which customers can then look up in the MLB Database at Please see How to View MLB Authentication to learn how to find the details about the artifact in your gift.

We purchase balls, bats and uniforms on an ongoing basis directly from Michael Posner and his MLB Authentication team.

Please note that all BallPark items are made from bench wood removed before the MLB Authentication Program began. The wood we use is from authentic vintage stadium seats from two trusted resources with whom we have worked since 2006. In the first year, we sensed that they were the right people and not only have we not been disappointed, we are in awe of their knowledge, integrity and their passion for authenticity. Our trust in them has only been enhanced after six years of working together, and, as with Michael Posner at MLB, we have "caught the passion" these folks have for America's pastime!

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