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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Condition my Condition is in

Card Condition.  The funny thing about card condition is that collectors run the gammit from could care less to everything has to be PSA 9 or 10.  Basically, when I was a kid we graded cards pretty loosely.  Creases were a no no, so were wax and gum stains, we were pretty forgiving of centering provided it was reasonable, but corners were our issue.

Corners are a funny thing.  We had "bent corners" which were actually bent, rounded that were really fuzzy and rounded, and then good corners which were pretty good although not perfect but we didn't care. The card shops would sell cards that were 6-8 but only trade for cards, at half book mind you, that were absolutely perfect.  In those days cards came out of packs in pretty good condition.  Every once in a while you would get a miscut card, wax stain, gum stain or a bashed in corner but old cards sorta got a pass.  These days you get packs with peeling foil board, miscut (my 2008 heroes baseball boxes still pisses me off, two boxes worth of basecards 85/15 or worse and no real way to replace them), crappy corners etc.

We all know that vintage cards get huge premiums at psa 7 (sometimes) and higher, but the question is does it really matter.  On close insepection of the card, you can certainly tell, but a PSA 4 and higher can have a ton of eye appeal.  Unless you are an obssessive compulsive a PSA 5 (BVG 5.5?) can meet your needs and save you a ton of cash.  Plus nobody is going to say your collection sucks when you have this in your collection:
That is one sweet card and the last thing you will hear is, boy that is a crappy card.  I mean, anybody that says that should be banished from the collecting world. Something that caught my eye is the line in the text that has some missing ink.  Could this have been a crease that was pressed out? The funny thing is that as much as I despise fake autos and fake patches, cards that may have been "repaired" don't really bother me except for corners being rebuilt or color touch up. Pressing to remove creases doesn't get me.   I don't know why and I understand that people will think that is dumb, but if a card has been put in a lazer cutter and 1/64th or less of the edges have been shaved off to clean up the edges and sharpen the corners I don't have a problem with it.  Obviously trimming with a knife or a paper cutter ends up looking horrible and ruins the card but no one can tell.  I reconcile that with fake patches in that the patch was never worn.
Just thought I would throw in a PSA 9 for comparison.  A superior condition card in every way, but I would rather have all the stars from the 51 bowman set than 1 PSA 68 Topps All Star. Now the pay off
PSA 5 Spahn $80
PSA 6 $128
PSA 7 $150
PSA 9 Harmon All Star $140-$170


TheIronLung said...

Sometimes just having the card is enough. Condition is secondary to me, especially for older cards. If it's ungraded, I almost feel more secure in having an ugly 1950s card. That way I know it's real! :)

King Felix 4 CY said...

Best Kenny Rogers song ever. Period. The Dude abides.

Brian said...

Thanks, now I have a brain worm! (Can't Get You Outa My Mind).