vrijdag 19 juli 2013

Graded Baseball Cards: A Warning

If there was ever a concept sensitive to counterfeiting it’s autographs. It’s been around for ages. Players of the New York Giants had kids perfect their signature and let them sign balls for them. I’m sure loads of other teams did/do that. There are baseballs out there being auctioned as ‘signed by the player’. Who knows, even some of the Babe Ruth ones might be fake after all. One way to determine if a signature is fake or not is to have it authenticated and graded by one of the companies providing said service. There are a bunch of them out there. Some of the biggest/best known:

- Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA)
- Beckett Grading Services (BGS)
- Sports Cart Guaranty (SCG)
- Global Authority Inc (GAI)

I’ve never been an autograph collecting guy. Only when I get the chance to meet with the signer him-/herself I’m sure that it’s real. Other items that pop up often being fake or tampered with are baseball cards. They, like autographs, can get you big bucks, hence a lot of forgeries or pimping of an original card. Now, again, if you want to make sure you’ve got the real thing, send your item to one of the companies listed above and they’ll do an authentification and can grade it as well. A few weeks ago I blogged about the Bowman Campanella cards I wanted to collect. A big step for me because of the possibillities of cards being fake or tampered with. So I decided to go with PSA graded and encapsulated cards only. I did find a 1949 Bowman Campanella Rookie card on Ebay that was graded by GAI with a 8.5 and judgeing by the picture it looked great. Sharp corners, centered picture. I even thought it might be a 9 if I had it regraded by another company. I checked on the Internet and the company’s reputation looked rotten. But I thought: it’s no autograph and if it’s graded it at least is original, no reprint. I took a chance, did a best offer and it was accepted.

The day I bought the card I filled out a form to have it regraded by PSA. I could choose what minimum grade I wanted the card to receive. Which I thought was weird, because they are the experts. If I say ‘give my GAI 8.5 at least a 8.5’ how is this independed grading? So I filled in: Minimum Grade ANY. If it’s a 7, it’s a 7. No problem.
A few days ago I received the results. My GAI 8.5 was graded N1 by PSA: ‘Evidence of trimming’, which made my card worthless. Now, what I don’t understand is how GAI could ever have graded a trimmed card with a 8.5! What I díd understand now was why the picture was so nicely centered! So the fact that a trimmed card got a high grade made me doubt grading companies. I send an e-mail to PSA asking how it’s possible a company gave a trimmed card an 8.5. The answer I got shocked me and made my distrust in ALL grading companies complete. The reply read: ‘Different grading companies have different standards and opinions.’
NO company should EVER have such low standards as to admit a trimmed card let alone give it a high grade! No surprise I’m done with baseball cards, graded or not.

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie plaatsen