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Category Archives for "Football"

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

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

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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.  

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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1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie Card: A Closer Look

joe-montana-rookie-cardWhen I was growing up as a collector in the 80’s, the 1981 Topps Joe Montana Rookie card was one of my prized possesions.

Montana was my favorite player, and since the Patriots weren’t all that great, I gravitated to the 49ers.

That Joe Montana to Jerry Rice connection was a thing of beauty and Montana was my idol.

Montana’s rookie card was hot in the 80’s, but back then we didn’t know about production runs or have access to daily updated pricing.

Armed with what we know now, let’s take a closer look at Montana’s 1981 Topps rookie card, one of the hobby’s most valuable football cards.

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The Most Valuable Football Cards of All Time

namath-rookieIn continuation of our coverage of the most valuable sports cards of all time (see our recent Baseball and Basketball pieces) in this article we present the Most Valuable Football Cards of all time.

Many older vintage football cards don’t quite get the same level of respect as their baseball counterparts.  Sometimes I wonder why; I guess baseball being America’s past time has led to a sort of lack of attention for older football players.

Because of this, I do believe that vintage football cards offer good value for collectors seeking a good investment opportunity.  The only problem is that I’m not sure what the catalyst would be to help close that gap between older baseball and football cards.

I’m all ears–let me know in the comments if you can envision a scenario in which vintage football cards start to appreciate significantly versus vintage baseball cards.

Whatever the case, we hope you enjoy the following list of the most valuable football cards of all time.  Some of the cards are quite rare, such as the first card on our list (N302 Dunlop) and some are not as rare and are mostly supported by the strong demand for the player and card. 

We try to update these lists every year, but if you see something that should be on the list, let me know via email at chris@allvintagecards.com.

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