Up until this week, I hadn't heard of Pat Gillick... but he's guided two teams to three World Series Championships.
Blyleven started pitching before I was born, so by the time I began recognizing his name on cards... he was already an established veteran. However, I never took the time to collect his cards because there were so many other pitchers from his generation that I was fascinated with: Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jim Palmer, and my favorite of them all... Steve Carlton. I think the only card I have of Blyleven is his 1971 Topps rookie card:
He finished his 22 year career with 287 wins (27th all-time) and 3,701 K's (5th all-time). One of these days... when the HOF hype is over... I'll go after a memorabilia card and an autograph card to create a trifecta of him.
And finally... there's Roberto Alomar, who started playing at the peak of my collecting (for investment) years. By the time he had finished in 2004, I had stopped and started collecting again more times than he won a Gold Glove... which was ten times. Alomar was an all-star 12 consecutive years from 1990 to 2001, because he could hit and field... and was very consistent.
His rookie cards were produced in 1988... which was towards the beginning of the junk wax era. You can find his 1988 Donruss rookies for a quarter if you look hard enough. But his 1988 Score Rookie/Traded card is a different story. In the early 90's, this set was hot... especially the Mark Grace single... because of perceived scarcity. I flipped through an issue of Baseball Cards from 1991 and found five vendors selling the set... the lowest was $65 and the highest was $79.99.
I was fortunate to pick up a set when they first came out... but I didn't pick up a Alomar's 1988 Score R/T single until a few weeks ago.
I paid $17 (plus shipping & handling, which was probably around $2 on COMC) for this PSA 10 copy. These days, you can find sets on eBay for $12 to $20... and raw copies of this card in the $3 to $8 range. A PSA 9 graded copy recently sold for $8.20 (+ $2.50 shipping)... while a PSA 10 sold for $37.50 (+ $2.50 shipping).
Which finally brings me to today's topic:
What's your opinion of professionally graded cards?
I know that there's a lot of people who like them... and there's probably just as many people who don't. I personally have never sent anything in to a grading company, however I will pick up graded cards here or there if they're affordable and if it makes sense. I go back and forth about the protective casing. Sometimes... I like the idea that the card is sealed. But other times, I think it's cool to be able to touch the actual card.
As of today, here's my take on graded cards:
A. If I decide to ever submit a card to PSA or BGS, the card will either be vintage (to verify that it is authentic and hasn't been altered) or from a condition sensitive set (like the black borders from the 1987 Donruss baseball set).
B. I'd never submit a newer issue to be graded, since these days... most collectors handle their cards carefully. I have picked up a few graded copies of recent issues... but they were PSA 9 or 10 and were cheaper than the cost of ungraded copies (it's a long story... but there was a vendor on COMC, who was dumping his port at ridiculous prices).
C. I would only consider purchasing graded cards from PSA or BGS. If I did pick up a graded card from a different company, it would have to be cheap as a raw copy... and I'd probably end up popping it out of it's case.
D. I have purchased a couple of PSA/DNA encapsulated & authenticated autographs of postcards too... but once again... only if the price was in the same range as raw copies.
E. When it comes to my graded card collection, there's a minimum grade I'm looking for...
1990's - PSA 10
1980's - PSA 9 or better
1970's - PSA 8 or better
1960's - PSA 7 or better
1950's - PSA 6 or better
F. I know it sounds like I have a bunch of graded cards, but in reality I have less than 100 in my collection. Since I don't store the majority of my collection at my house... I don't know for sure... but my guess is that it's more in the 40 to 60 range.
I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say about the topic.
In the next few minutes, I will be turning off comment moderation and you will be able to see everyone's picks for tonight's game. However I won't be updating point totals until probably tomorrow night. My Macbook Pro has seen it's last days... and last night it finally moved on to computer utopia. Unfortunately, it had all of my contest files on there, so I will have to create a new excel document from the screen shot on my blog.
It kind of sucks, because it's been my sidekick for the past 4 years... but I definitely got the most out of the 2k I spent on it. I'll have to check into my finances to see if I can afford a new one. Until then, I'll be posting everything from my desktop... which means that I won't have the flexibility I had before.
Okay... it's about that time to see who picked what for tonight's Rangers & Blue Jays game. Best of luck to everyone!
Happy Sunday... and Sayonara!