Trimmed Goudey Ruth at PWCC Auction Outed By Blowout Forums

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I thought we might be taking a breather on some of the trimming nonsense, but alas there’s been another major discovery in the vintage card world.  One of the trimming experts over at Blowout Cards (aka ‘BODA) has discovered another trim job, this time with one of the more storied cards of the hobby–the 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth (#181) card.

And of course, it was a card being sold over at PWCC.  Can someone at eBay please tell me why PWCC is allowed to sell cards on their platform, after all that has happened

Here’s what BODA has discovered.  The 1933 Goudey Ruth that was being auctioned off by PWCC was formerly graded by SGC (as a 5 or Excellent condition), cracked from the slab, trimmed and retouched, and then resubmitted to SGC.  In turn SGC re-graded the trimmed card at a higher grade, a 6.5 or Excellent-Near Mint.  

Here is the original 1933 Goudey Ruth that was sold at Heritage Auctions back in 2012 for nearly $6,000.


And here is the newly slabbed card after being altered:


Ruth Icon

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BODA discovered that the card had been trimmed silly…check out this overlay below of the two cards that he provides.  Check out how the entire left hand side has been scalped. 


And then here is a closeup of the trimmed left edge.  Check out how rough the edges are with a jagged sort of look.  For all of you novice collectors out there–etch this image into your brain.  It is now up to us to verify that all of our cards (either raw or graded) are not trimmed.  


I honestly am amazed at the work of BODA; it takes some serious skills to piece together what he has actually done, and what he has exposed in this hobby.  Here’s a shot of how he identified that the two cards were the same, by matching up the marks on the rear of the card:


All collectors owe BODA a word of thanks, because without an oversight system such as this, these card trimmers would be running rampant.  

Now, PWCC did end up pulling the auction, apparently after they saw the forum post at Blowout.  But given their track record, we must ask–did they pull it because they were exposed or because they simply got fooled as well?

And then, there’s SGC, who has typically been a minority player at fault in the trimming scandal over the past several years.  But this one is unacceptable.  How does a grader take a look at that left edge and NOT conclude that this card has been altered?

I’ve soon come to the realization that this problem will continue to plague the hobby until technological grading advances are implemented.  There has to be a better way.  

But in the meantime, I’m super thankful for people like BODA that are providing an invaluable oversight to the hobby.  Thanks for your service BODA!

What are your thoughts? Have you completely lost confidence in the graders?  Drop me a note below with your thoughts.

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