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Category Archives for "Baseball"

What Does ‘Authentic’ Mean In Card Grading?

SGC-Auth-MarisOne of the most frequent questions we get from novice collectors is in regards to the ‘Authentic’ grade from third party grading companies.

It’s confusing, since we automatically assume a card we get graded is authentic to begin with; thus why does a grading company label a card as solely ‘Authentic’ with no numerical grade (from 1 to 10)?  And then ‘Authentic Altered’…what’s the difference between the two?

Simply put, an ‘Authentic’ grade means that the grading company identified something wrong with the card, usually an alteration or some other major defect, which prohibited them from assigning a numerical grade to the card.  

In what follows, we will examine some of the nuances of ‘Authentic’ graded cards and why they are graded that way.  Hopefully this will help clear up some of the confusion.

Be also sure to check out our piece on ‘How To Spot a Trimmed Card’ which talks more about grading and trimming. 

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Could An Unopened Tobacco Pack Contain A T206 Card?

This Sweet Caporal pack was recently offered in a Facebook group for $1800 but I soon realized that there was zero possibility the pack could contain any T206 cards.

I recently came across a Facebook post with a seller trying to sell an unopened Sweet Caporal cigarette pack. 

The pack looked to be in relatively nice shape and the seller was asking for $1800, which to me seemed somewhat reasonable given that a T206 card might be nestled inside. 

I hadn’t really explored T206 unopened packs before and the listing triggered me to do some research into the topic.

Could this unopened pack hold a T206 card?  Imagine if it had a Honus Wagner, or even a near mint Cobb portrait.  The possibilities seemed nearly worth the risk at that point. 

However after researching old tobacco packs and examining some of the finer details on the pack, it was quite clear that there was zero possibility this pack held any cards from the T206 set. 

In this piece, I’m going to walk readers through the steps one needs to take in order to assess whether an old tobacco pack might contain a card or not.  

I also speak to noted tobacco pack expert Jon Canfield to discuss the topic in more detail.  

Please let me know if you have any packs that might be of interest.  Feel free to email me at chris@allvintagecards.com

 

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Inherited A Baseball Card Collection? Here’s What To Do Next

52-topps-robinson

One of the most intimidating situations can occur when a loved one leaves you a collection of valuable baseball cards.

For many, the cards represent a piece of their family member, and selling it can bring up a whole range of mixed emotions.

In addition to the emotions involved, if you’ve never bought a pack of baseball cards, inheriting a valuable sports card collection can certainly be an overwhelming situation. 

Sometimes the collection isn’t worth as much as you might have expected, although there are times when the value of the inherited collection exceeds all expectations

This resource will walk you through the different options for evaluating the inherited collection, including how to determine values, how to sell the card collection or holding onto the cards and safely storing them.  

Always feel free to reach out to me at chris@allvintagecards.com with any questions. 

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Do PSA Graded Cards Sell For A Premium vs SGC & Beckett?

dr-j-rookieWe have a lot of collectors asking about grading, namely how to do it, and whether they should do it?

But one of the bigger questions that has come up lately is this:

Do PSA Graded Cards sell for a premium over graded cards from SGC and Beckett?

I always assumed that this was true, but decided now to do a deeper dive into recent sales data to see if it was actually true.

Our findings: for older pre-war cards, PSA graded cards carry a XX% premium over SGC and Beckett.  For newer, modern cards, PSA pricing is more in line with the other grading companies.

Let’s take a closer look.

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The Best Topps Baseball Card Sets of All Time

reggie-rookieIn our history of baseball cards piece, we discussed at length the history of the Topps baseball card company; from their initial entry with the 1951 Red and Blue Back sets to their acquisition of Bowman in 1956.

In this piece, we wanted to have a little fun and rank all of the Topps sets starting with the ’51 Blue/Red Back issue all the way to the 1980 Topps Baseball card set. 

Now of course, we’ve noted that anything produced prior to 1980 is considered to be vintage, but we figured with this piece, we’d keep it to an even thirty years of Topps issues.  

Our rankings are based on a few different factors:

1) Overall design of the set

2) Star and rookie card power in the set

3) Collector Demand

4) Investment Potential

I’m sure there will be some that collectors disagree with, so let us know in the comments what you think are the best Topps baseball card sets.

For now, we’ve provided full writeups on the best ten Topps sets of all time.  At some point we might expand the writeups for all thirty Topps sets. 

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A History Of PSA “Flips” (And How To Detect Fakes)

hank-aaron-rookie

A PSA 9 Hank Aaron Topps Rookie card with one of the first front holograms.

Over the years, PSA has made various changes to the labels on its PSA holders (or ‘flips’ as most in the hobby call them) and the actual plastic ‘slabs’ themselves. Some variations are not as noticeable as others, but it’s important to know the difference when buying graded cards.

This guide was designed as a resource for collectors to help distinguish the different PSA ‘labels’ and ‘slabs’ to help identify some of the fake holders and labels that exist.  I haven’t run across many fake PSA slabs, but they do exist and can usually be spotted if you know some of the telltale signs

We hope this guide on PSA holders is a useful resource.  In future posts, we also plan to examine the history of both Beckett and SGC graded holders as well.  

Risk Reduction In Acquiring Autographs

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in the September 1997 edition of The Vintage and Classic Baseball Collector (VCBC) magazine. We have received approval from the prior owners of VCBC magazine to republish this article in digital format.  We are thrilled to be able to re-circulate the fine works of VCBC magazine for today's vintage collectors. 

by Rich Ferrari

babe-ruth-autoThis article is mant to serve as a guide for collectors to become familiar with handwriting (autograph) and document analysis.  Hopefuly, you will be better protected from acquiring a forgery or secreterial signature. 

Document and handwriting analysis is not an exact science, and is subject to error. One could interpret the facts incorrectly, wrong conclusions can be drawn from the facts, and sometimes it is impossible to determine the facts to formulate an opinion.  

With more information and study, you’ll be better equipped to trust your judgment, and come to at least a preliminary conclusion regarding your own acquisitions. In my own collecting experience, the items I had reservations about when first purchased, are items that I later confirmed were not authentic.

This article is not meant to promote forgery fear or cast doubts. The goal is to set a standard of excellence in determining the genuineness of autographs.

How To Spot a Trimmed Card

blowout-trimmed-berraWith all of the latest trimming scandals running rampant throughout the hobby, we’ve had many collectors ask us about how easy it is to spot a trimmed baseball card.

We’ve spent a lot of time discussing how to detect counterfeit cards, but haven’t spent much time discussing cards that have been altered or trimmed. 

My hope is that this guide will become the premier resource for collectors and help educate everyone in order to avoid buying any altered cards.

Let’s face it; PSA, SGC and Beckett are just third party authenticators.  There is no guarantee, whether intentional or not, that the graders will get it right. 

It’s now on all of us, to be a ‘fourth party grader’ of sorts to ensure that we are not getting scammed.  

If you come across any graded cards that look like they might be trimmed, shoot me a note at chris@allvintagecards.com

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An Expert’s Guide To Collecting Vintage Wax Packs

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An unopened box of 1948 Bowman Baseball wax packs

Collectors often dream about some of the unopened wax packs owned by Steve Sabow.  Sabow is one of the hobby’s preeminent dealers of vintage wax packs.  In fact, Sabow has sold more unopened vintage wax in the last three years than anyone else in the country.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sabow recently and found him to be an all-around great guy and a wealth of information in relation to buying and selling vintage wax packs. Sabow has been at this for a while; he started out selling cards at flea markets back in 1976 and started branching out into local card shows while also promoting several shows throughout the NY and CT area.

He’s been selling packs since the 1970’s, but it was only recently that he started getting heavily involved with vintage packs.  In fact, Sabow credits his vintage card business as allowing him to stay alive in this hobby longer than most.  He’s had a booth at the National Convention every year except for the first four.

Steve is retired now, but still quite active as a vintage card and wax pack dealer (although COVID-19 has slowed down business a bit). His list of packs for sale is one of the most impressive lists of packs I’ve ever seen.  We’ve summarized our discussion with Sabow, providing some of the most important points for any collectors interested in vintage unopened wax.

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1933 Goudey Babe Ruth Cards: Overvalued Or Good Investment?

The 1933 Babe Ruth Goudey cards (note there are four of them) have been among the hottest vintage cards in recent years.  Given the significant price increase for the cards, many collectors wonder if Ruth’s Goudey cards are still worthy of an investment?

Ruth’s 1933 Goudey cards (despite the significant price increases) remain one of the best longer-term investments for vintage collectors.  The four cards are not cheap by any means, but if you have the funding, Ruth’s Goudey cards should continue to appreciate over the next several years.

In this guide, we take a closer look at the four Goudey Ruth cards and provide collectors with more information on the current values, scarcity, and the ultimate investment potential. 

four-ruth-goudey-1933

The four Babe Ruth cards from the 1933 Goudey Gum set.

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