Among the evidence that came into FBI possession during the John Rogers investigation were two batches of baseball bats bearing forged autographs.
Scrubbed free of bogus signatures, the once counterfeit sports memorabilia returned to the field of play last month in donations to youth baseball programs in Little Rock and Chicago. Dillon Hupp, commissioner of the Little Rock RBI League, was pleased to accept a gift of 279 wooden bats.
“FBI agents from the Little Rock field office came by Lamar Porter Field and dropped off the bats, and we distributed them to our players,” Hupp said.
“We were absolutely thrilled to have them. Most of our kids can’t afford high-quality bats like these, and we were grateful for the donation.”
The bats were owned by an Arkansas investor who acquired them from Rogers. The feds declined to identify the investor.
About 250 additional bats seized from Rogers during the 2014 search of his business and home were carted off to Illinois as part of the Chicago-based investigation. The bats were given new homes with the Chicago White Sox Amateur City Elite program and the Chicago Cubs RBI League.
“Otherwise, we would’ve had to destroy them,” said Brian Brusokas, FBI special agent. “John and [U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin] agreed if we could salvage any of the product of the investigation we could donate it.”