Archive for PSA

Why I choose BGS/BVG instead of PSA

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on May 22, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

 photo FC045908-2FD4-4B88-836B-DEBEEDC688B4_zpsmtwxgi5c.jpg
It’s been asked of me many times: Why do you choose BGS/BVG instead of PSA?

The reason might be simpler than you think.

Sunday morning I posted the attached picture to my Twitter account. I had been trying for a long time to take a decent picture of my “Card Wall” display case which contains many of the jewels of my rookie/vintage collection. 

The case contains 55 cards, all of which are graded by Beckett (Vintage) Grading. And the question about my grading preferences was asked again. And then it dawned on me that I never really explained here on my blog why I choose BGS/BVG instead of PSA.

One look at my bio may lead you to believe that my former affiliation with Beckett Media may have something to do with it, but in reality my loyalty to Beckett Grading began more than a decade before I penned anything for Beckett.

It started in 1999 during the grading card craze. PSA at the time was the big boy in the grading industry and many other small “grading” companies came along, most of which offered nothing more than slabbing your card for some fee. The quality of work really didn’t matter. They all had some fancy three-letter abbreviation and offered some plastic encapsulation, but the reputation of grading companies is built on one main thing: trustworthiness. In other words, does the grade you issue a card carry any value among collectors?

As you can guess, many of those fly-by-night operations didn’t last long as their services really offered nothing to collectors but a special plastic holder. Beckett started the Beckett Grading Services branch of the company right about that same time and to me, their product caught my eye for two reasons: First, the holders seemed superior to the PSA ones. Second, I didn’t have to join a club to get my cards graded.

The belief in my mind at the time was that I had to pay money to join the PSA club in order to even have the opportunity to get my cards graded. I also didn’t like the fact that the cost of services varied depending on the value of the card.

With BGS it was simple. You want cards graded? Package them up, fill out a form, pay a flat fee per card regardless of value and wait. There were no clubs. No hoops to jump through. It seemed simple. And it was.

Oddly enough my first order was a bag of mixed results. I got solid grades on my key submissions (1997-98 Topps Chrome Refractor RC Tim Duncan (9); 1998-99 Topps Chrome Refractors RC Vince Carter (9) and 1998 SP Authentic RC Randy Moss (9)) but there were some quality control issues. I had two cards in that first batch that came back damaged. Not the cases, but the actual cards! At some point during the encapsulation process, the edge of the card got caught in the area of the inner plastic sleeve where the plastic is heat sealed closed.

I complained and basically got the cold shoulder. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but I sent another submission a year later and had no problems. And truthfully, I have now sent dozens of orders in over the last 17 years and have not had any issues.

When it comes to grading, PSA and BGS are the two authorities. And everyone has their own opinion as to which is better for certain cards and why. Each also has a loyal following. Most modern stuff gets slabbed by BGS, likely because of the superior (in my opinion) cases and the existence of sub grades, whereas PSA continues to have a large market share of the vintage slabs.

On the resale market PSA still draws better for vintage cards which of course leaves me in an interesting predicament as it pertains to my collection. While I have a fair amount of modern stuff graded by Beckett Grading, I also choose BVG for all of my vintage cards. And I do this knowing that the cards might be “worth more” if they were in PSA holders, if for no other reason collectors of vintage seem to prefer PSA’s services.

What it all really comes down to is what you like. If you are a collector – and not a reseller, flipper, investor, etc. – you buy what you like, not what the next guy likes. Because really the only person you need to impress with your collection is the person you look at in the mirror.

Rookie Card Upgrade 7: 1961 Topps Billy Williams

Posted in Rookie Card Upgrade with tags , , , , , , on August 24, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

About 18 months ago I acquired a few PSA grades HOF rookie cards for what was a good deal at the time.  Among the cards was this 1961 Topps Billy Williams PSA 3.

 
It’s a good looking card with decent centering.  The funny thing is I wasn’t really looking to upgrade this card.  But last week when I visited one of my local shop they had this in the showcase.  

 
I’m more of a BVG guy than PSA. It’s my personal preference. This card on this grade at that price was a real and a heck of a way to upgrade this rookie card.  Besides, this is an old slab with sub grades.  I love these.

 

Obama & Jackie Robinson 1/1 auto on eBay raises questions

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

So I peeked at the Beckett Blog today — I do this a few times a week — and noticed that Chris posted a LINK to the 2008 Topps American Heritage Barack Obama and Jackie Robinson 1/1 cut auto that is on eBay. The card is at $3,000 with 15 bids as of Monday morning. But as I looked at the auction, something really pissed me off about this card. If you’ve yet to do so, go read the auction description. The seller notes that the card was yanked off eBay in January so that Topps could switch out the Obama autograph with one CERTIFIED BY PSA. Compare the first auction with the second, the Obama autos are different, although both could be — and likely are — real. Does this strike anyone else as despicable. I mean I guess we should be thrilled that Topps wanted to make sure that the future owner of the card got a real Obama autograph. But I find this act troubling because if there was any question as to the authenticity of the first Obama autograph, then that 1/1 should have never even been placed into the packs. Kudos to Topps for the secondary move, but truthfully it should have never gotten to that point.

Oldest Card Update

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

Well, I’m still not sure if the story about the oldest baseball card being unearthed in Fresno, Calif. made it to the CBS Nightly News with Katie Couric, (my wife was in labor that night) but the story did make it to the Tonight Show with Jay Leno Show last week. In case you missed the Jay Leno episode, you can see it (HERE). It’s toward the middle of the episode, just skip through the crap and wait for the commercials to play. It’s worth watching if you’re a card collector.

Also, big shout to my boy Mike Osegueda, the reporter at the Fresno Bee who broke the news to the world. He made it into the new Beckett Baseball. Chris Olds, editor of Beckett Baseball, contacted Mike about two weeks ago — after Chris finished working on the Rookie Card Rolodex, and after this story went national — to get permission to run a photo of the card in the magazine. There is a short snippet on Page 44 of the new magazine, which hit shelves on Tuesday. Whether you like or hate Beckett, you have to admit it’s a cool thing seeing your name — or that of a person you know — in print. Mike and I are both newspaper reporters so the whole name in print thing is common, but this is pretty neat considering we both have collected cards and have held Beckett in high regard. The closest I ever got was having one of my eBay sales (2001 UD HOFers Walter Johnson cut signature /5 ) mentioned in a special blurb. Ha.

Rare first 1869 baseball card unearthed in California

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

1869redstockingsbackofcardBack in September, my college buddy and one of my best friends, reporter/columnist Mike Osegueda at the Fresno Bee newspaper, wrote me an e-mail asking about baseball cards. It was an odd inquiry considering that Mike really hadn’t collected cards since the early 1990s. But he knew that I was addicted to the cardboard. He wanted to know if I had ever seen this card to the left.

One of Mike’s sources contacted him and shared this story about a female antique dealer uncovering this 1869 Peck & Snyder card featuring the Cincinnati Red Stockings, considered to be one of the first cards ever made.

Mike’s story was published today. Read HERE for all the details on this historical find. Truely amazing.

Card of the Day: 1909-11 T-206 Piedmont Nap Lajoie

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

During my seven week hiatus I acquired only two cards, and both of them are almost 100 years old. The first I’ll discuss is this 1909-11 T206 Piedmont Nap Lajoie. Widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, Lajoie played nearly 2,500 career games over 21 years, carried a career average of .338 and collected more than 3,200 hits. He also drove in 1,599 runs while slugging only 84 total homers.

I caught this card on eBay about six weeks ago while reading the first half of “Cobb.” It didn’t cost me much to add this to my collection, a mere $60 (the price of a Billy Butler Bowman Chrome auto rookie) was all it took to add this century-old classic to by display case. And while the condition leaves much to be desired, the mere presence of this card adds a new dimension to my collection, and has made me rethink my focus again. Continue reading