Archive for Beckett Grading

Rookie Card Upgrade 6: 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

For the longest time I considered myself lucky to own a BGS 8 copy of the 1994 SP Alex Rodriguez.

It’s probably hard to remember now just how hot this card was in this hobby, but believe me, once grades get above an 8, things got pretty expensive. 

So when I scored an 8 on a copy I submitted to Beckett Grading about a half decade ago I was pretty happy.

Well, we know that A-Rod’s legacy has taken a major hit a few times since then and the value of his SP rookie has plummeted. And even with his resurgence this year, mint copies are now fairly affordable.

A few weeks ago while writing my column for Beckett Baseball, the one on stands now, I considered whether or not it was time for me to seek a rock solid mint copy of this iconic rookie for my collection. 

After moving a few extra pieces in my collection I found a nice copy to replace my BGS 8. Even with his checkered history, this is still a must-own card for rookie card collectors.


Debate: Crack and submit or leave as is

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 8, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

So, I threw this out on Twitter earlier but figured I’d add it here as well. Curious how you’d proceed with this. At this moment I am uncertain what I will do.

Here’s the issue: I own a T206 Roger Bresnahan card that is graded a GAI 1, Poor. Bresnahan is a Hall of Famer. I collect Hall of Famers. I also prefer Beckett Grading to any other grading service I am already submitting cards to Beckett Grading this week, so I could add this to my package

Here’s the hang up. Look at the slab it’s in. The label inside notes that this is the first Bresnahan T206 graded by GAI.

Do I crack the GAI case and destroy what is the only one in existence like this, or proceed to BVG and have it more uniform with the rest of my BGS items?


Rookie Card Upgrade: 1966 Topps Jim Palmer

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , , on January 14, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

Jim Palmer is kind of one of those Hall of Fame players who easily gets overlooked. Palmer also gets passed over quite a bit in the hobby. I once purchased this raggedy 1966 Topps Jim Palmer rookie for under $10, a place holder in my collection:

It served its purpose. But I always knew that it had to be upgraded at some point, preferably a centered copy graded by a BVG.

During a recently eBay spree I managed to find a gorgeous BVG 5 that looked dead center, and was not creased. It came with another card, but for about $40, the pair seemed like a deal, especially since the Palmer was exactly what I was looking for and I figured I could sell the other card for about half of what I paid for the lot.

Welcome home, Jim.


Rookie Card Upgrade: 1975 Topps George Brett

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , on March 5, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I posted this ridiculously awesome Icon-O-Clasm picture of my 1975 Topps George Brett rookie card. To say I needed an upgrade would be an understatement:


Well, thanks to some good luck via the eBay I managed to snag a beautiful Brett rookie already slabbed by Beckett.

1975BrettAs you can see, the card is actually slabbed under the Beckett Grading Services (BGS) standards and not the Beckett Vintage Grading standards, which adds some intrigue. Aside from the centering, the card is gorgeous. No creases, little to no chipping, and sharp corners. All of this for less than $50. That’s a hell of an upgrade and minimal cost.

**Addendum: This card was graded in 2000.

Latest BGS order delivers a pair of Gems

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic here.  Surely it’s nothing compared to what the folks on the East Coast are dealing with these days thanks to “Superstorm” Sandy.  But nonetheless, life has been hectic.

I’ve had little time to document much of my hobby achievements.  So I will do my best to post a few things here this morning before I return to my duties.

First off, here are the results of my latest Beckett Grading Services order.  I sent these cards in two months and they came back a few weeks ago.  But I’ve yet to share them, partially because my regular computer decided to take a crap and the scanner attached to it has been relegated to paper weight status.

Anyhow, here are the results.

When I went to The National in August, one of the cards I wanted to track down was a 1959 Sadaharu Oh rookie card.  And as I documented here, I managed to find one at a GREAT price.  Well, it’s finally slabbed.  It’s the first one graded by Beckett Grading.

About three weeks after The National, I managed to swing a deal in which I was able to acquire a 1949 Bowman Satchel Paige rookie card.  At the time of the acquisition, the card was slabbed by SGC and was graded “poor.”  I’ve said it before, I like the SGC holders — that black mat inset does look good with vintage —  but the majority of my cards are slabbed by Beckett. So yeah, I cracked the Paige and sent it to Beckett. Now it’ll fit in perfectly with the rest of the cardboard icons.

I bought this 1954 Bowman Don Larsen rookie on eBay a few years back and always thought it was in nice shape.  The one flaw is a surface wrinkle ON THE BACK OF THE CARD.  Really good-looking copy if you ask me.

About a week before I prepared my BGS order, I scored a 2005 Bowman Chrome Refractor Matt Kemp signed rookie year card for about half of what they were going for in May — you know, when he was the greatest baseball player on the face of the earth. It was raw when I got it.  Now it’s a slabbed  … as a mint 9.  I believe Mint copies of this card were about $500 in May.  That’s a win.

The last four cards in this batch were all cards I purchased over at Check Out My Cards.

Here’s another chrome rookie-year auto card from 2005.  This Jay Bruce Topps Update Chrome Refractor was sitting on the COMC ungraded and was made available to me for $40.  Seriously?!  I paid more than that for my regular version.  And given the Gem Mint grade that the BGS case now bears, I’d say I hit a bargain.

Sometime last year I acquired a 1957 Topps Frank Robinson rookie card on the site that was graded a 4.5.  I was content with the grade, but it should be noted that the card had been graded in 2000 and in my opinion, the card appeared to be a bit stronger that the grade on the old BGS label.  I was right … a slight bump.

This 1952 Topps Billy Martin was on the site in raw condition and was obtained for 10% of high book … solid buy and addition to my rookie card collection.

And we’ll save the best for last.

It’s hard to top some of the cards already shown in this post.  But let’s consider this.  This 1981 TCMA Pawtucket Wade Boggs minor league “pre” rookie card was the only one available on the COMC site and I snapped it up for $10 seconds after it became active.  I bought it and it sat in my inventory for months; then I had it delivered and it sat in my house for months.  Literally minutes before I sealed up my BGS order I figured I’d sent it in.  Why?  Because it looked perfect. Well … I was right!  Only SIX of these have been graded GEM MINT by Beckett.  Awesome.

A stunning statistic about my 2011 Bowman Chrome pulls

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

Some time late last season, 2011 Bowman Chrome baseball was released.  And as usual, I bought a fair share.  I failed to pull any of the super high dollar cards, but I did get a few cards I liked, like the green XFractor Brett Lawrie and the 2001 Bowman Chrome Throwbacks Bryce Harper.

Well, when I pulled the cards from the packs, they looked absolutely perfect.  The Harper was pulled the same day that a major case buster pulled one and posted a picture of it.  His copy was horribly miscut.  I decided that day to have mine graded.

And so I did … along with my Brett Lawrie and nine other random cards.

Well, both the Lawrie and Harper came back Gem Mint 9.5.  I was stoked about the Lawrie because traditionally XFractors are tough to get in top shape.  The sub grades on both are stunning.

But this was like three months ago.

I haven’t written about this grading batch, so the other night I prepared to write about them and decided to do a quick population on both.

Here is the “stunning” statistic:

As of Jan. 20, 2012, I had the ONLY cop of these cards that have been graded Gem Mint.  And to that point, these are the ONLY copies to even have been submitted for grading by Beckett Grading Services.


Wonder why this is the case.

Lawrie is a top prospect who has a pretty decent following in the hobby.  This is a version of his first Bowman Chrome card.

And Bryce Harper is still a top draw in this hobby.  It would see that ANY of his cards would be submitted for grading.

**Note, there has been one additional Harper graded gem mint.

— Jan 27, 2012.

My latest BGS order is a bag of mixed emotions

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on October 10, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

About a month ago I sent a batch of cards to Beckett Grading for slabbing purposes.  Say what you want about grading, but I still rather enjoy having some of my cards encased in thick plastic and assigned a grade. Keyword: Some.

First off, let me say that I was disappointed that Beckett did not grade three of my cards — 1948 Bowman Bob Feller rookie, 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra rookie and my 1938 Goudey Heads Up Joe DiMaggio XRC.

The Feller and Berra have writing on the front, not unlike my 1939 PlayBall Ted Williams that Beckett Grading slabbed earlier this summer.  I placed a note on each card asking that the card itself be graded and that I knew the “signatures” on the front were not real.  This was a reasonable request based on my return on the Ted Williams rookie.  Both cards were returned just as I submitted them with a note stating that “Service Unavailable.”

Head scratcher for sure.

And the DiMaggio? Check it out:

Doh!  Really?  We’re going to flag this one for restoration?  If you look at the card in hand, you can see someone traced DiMaggio’s head with a dried-out pen.  The markings make the card look worse than before.  Couldn’t we just slab this one a “1” and call it a day?  That’s all I want. The card is clearly authentic.

Now that the bad news is out of the way, let’s have a look at the en-tombed items.

Yes, this card graded a 1, but if you’ve ever held this card in hand, you’d enjoy it’s true beauty.  Aside from the obvious paper loss, this is a beautiful example of Phil Rizzuto’s 1948 Bowman Rookie Card.  Love that I can now display it in my graded card case.

You might think that 6.5 grade is ugly … not I.  Do you know what I paid for this card? Yeah.  The key here is that this 1985 Nike Michael Jordan “rookie” is authentic.  The only real flaw are the corners, which show some white.  This is a nice win for my collection.

This is a straight cross over from a PSA slab.  I prefer BGS slabs.  I have said this many times.  I got this 2008 Bowman Chrome Draft Buster Posey on  Probably  a bit pricey, but it was a must-own for my collection. Proud to have it in a BGS case. Straight 9’s, homey.

Speaking of COMC, here is a duo of 2002 Upper Deck Premire XRCs that I snagged off the site in raw condition.  How excited do you think I was when I saw that the Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke graded Gem Mint.  Not a rare grade for these cards, but clearly they display well.

And finally …

These are solid copies of some of 1994’s rarest error cards.  These are 1994 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Silver Signature “White Letter Variation” cards of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter, the two best in the set.  As I’ve documented here before, these cards are much rarer than the basic silver signature cards that were offered one per pack.

I picked up both of these at a local shop and they were priced as basic Silver Signature cards.  The Rodriguez was about $15, and the Jeter was $6.