Monthly Archives: May 2021

A Guide To Investing In Satchel Paige Cards

satchel-paige-rookie-leafLeroy ‘Satchel’ Paige was one of baseball’s most legendary pitchers and a trailblazer in that he was the first black baseball player to play in the American League. 

He played for an amazing 21 years in the Negro Leagues and was ready to call it quits at the age of 41, but then joined the Cleveland Indians in 1948.

While most baseball fans are familiar with the legend of Jackie Robinson, many aren’t as familiar with the story of Satchel Paige. 

It feels like collectors are finally starting to give Paige’s cards a bit more respect, as all of his baseball cards have increased significantly in value.

In this piece, we examine the baseball cards of Satchel Paige and help collectors determine whether his cards are still a good investment.


Do Screwdown Holders Damage Cards?

screwdown-holderIf you got started collecting in the 1980’s you might have kept some of your prized sports cards encased in what is commonly known as a screw-down holder. 

When protecting your cards starting becoming paramount in the ’80s the screw-down holder was viewed as the premier way to encase your card.  What better way to keep your card safe than holding it together with a big, gigantic piece of plastic held together with four tight screws.  

Although it used to be the preferred way of protecting valuable cards, screw down holders can cause significant damage to sports cards.  The pressure applied from the tightening of the screws can flatten out the card over time. 

This can make it appear as if the card has been altered, and the grading companies will often reject cards stored in screwdown holders, returning them as ‘Altered’.  


Can You Grade Your Own Cards?

psa-card-gradingCard grading has completely changed the hobby in the last decade.  While there have been some hiccups, a more standardized system has led to a more uniform and liquid market for cards. 

Most newer collectors think that they need to send in all of their cards for grading to maximize value, but this isn’t necessarily always the case.  

Collectors should certainly engage in self-grading their own cards.  The more one can become educated in the process of how grading works, the better-equipped one will be to decide whether to spend the money for card grading. 

And as more and more collectors become efficient in grading cards, the more accepted it might be to buy and sell ungraded (or raw) cards. 

Unfortunately, despite becoming an efficient grader, an ungraded card still tends to sell for less than any card that has been graded by a third-party grading company such as PSA, SGC, or Beckett.


1980 Topps Rickey Henderson Rookie Card: A Closer Look

henderson-rcIf you’ve followed along here, you might know that our definition of a vintage card is ‘loosely defined as anything pre-1980; however, we certainly have made some exceptions in regards to some other early to mid 80’s sports cards.

Thus, the 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie card certainly toes the official line of a vintage card, however, it is now basically the pinnacle and must-own card from the 1980s for vintage baseball card collectors. 

The 1980 Topps set, while still generously produced, didn’t quite have the same sort of massive overproduction as other later 80’s sets did.   And Henderson himself is still probably one of the more underrated players of his generation, one of the best five-tool players of all time. 

Thus, it seemed like a good time to review Henderson’s 1980 Topps rookie card, which has experienced a bit of a renaissance of late; a recent Gem Mint (PSA 10) copy of the card sold for $180K at auction

As follows, we’ll examine the population reports for Henderson’s rookie card, current values, and take a look at his career, while providing thoughts on the future investment value for the card.


1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card: A Closer Look

brown-rookieWhen we speak of all-time football greats, Jim Brown is usually a centerpiece of any discussion.

In fact, a 2019 USA Today poll of nineteen pro football writers saw Brown ranked as the number four pro football player of all time. 

In the hobby, Brown’s 1958 Topps rookie card remains one of the most sought-after cards for vintage football card collectors.

And in high grade, the card is among the most valuable football cards in the hobby.

In this guide, we take a closer look at Jim Brown, the football player, while examining his rookie card — including the existing population, card values, and future investment potential. 


The Future Of Card Grading: Are Price Hikes And Massive Wait Times The Norm?

psa-logoThe last few years in the sports card market have been to say at the very least- a bit crazy.  Sports card grading has exploded, driven by a surge in values for both vintage and modern cards. 

This surge can largely be explained by increased speculation and greed, fueled by the advent of card breaks, flippers, investors, and the like. 

A global pandemic seemed to stoke the fire even further as bored, work from home collectors sought refuge in the hobby.  Stimulus checks seemed to keep it all afloat, although as the economy has started to reopen, there do appear to be some kinks in the armor. 

Through it all, the card grading companies have been beyond overwhelmed—PSA in an April letter to its followers, said that it had received more submissions in three days than it had in the previous three months.   Even SGC had said that over the course of a 24 hour span, the number of cards submitted to SGC for grading increased by over 500%. 

The deluge of grading requests forced PSA to halt all submissions below its Super Express ($300) grading level effectively putting a pause button on things to help its graders get caught up.   Along the way, PSA also hiked prices for all of its grading services, thus, once operations resume (expected in July) it will cost collectors $50 to grade a card (unless it is submitted in a bulk value or grading special submission).


PSA has pretty much shut down grading unless you want to submit at the $300 level