With more than $540,000 in counterfeit merchandise seized in and around Kansas City leading up to the 2012 MLB All-Star Game, it's hard to tell how much was actually sold to fans in the area.
Federal officials and Major League Baseball offer the following tips to ensure the merchandise you buy (or bought) is real:
• Look for misspellings on the labels
•Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag with raised red baseball stitching design
• Look for a sewn-in or screen-printed label or notice identifying a licensee that has been authorized by Major League Baseball Properties to produce "official" licensed merchandise.
• Shop at MLB-authorized retail locations, such as the Official Team Store and MLB.com -- rather than buying items from itinerant street vendors, flea markets, or other questionable sources.
• Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.