Sunday, April 2, 2017

PSA Grading: The Year in Review

Happy Opening Day, everyone!

Some quick housekeeping notes before I review all four of the PSA orders I've placed over the past year. Trade packages will be sent to GCA (The Collective Mind), Chris (Nachos Grande), AJ (The Lost Collector) and two surprise recipients. I would have sent them sooner, but the weather/my mood has been crap lately. 

Also I've started my first Franken-set: 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee Platinum Retro. I'll discuss that project when the NHL postseason starts. Now for the graded goodies...


My PSA collectors club membership expired today, and with a new baseball season starting I thought this would be a good time to look back at the 87 cards I submitted to PSA over the past year



My first order (and my first PSA submission in nearly six years) was the most disappointing. I had used my coupon for six free grading submissions on some 1952 and 1955 Topps cards I purchased on COMC.
N1: EVIDENCE OF TRIMMING 1952 Topps 123 Eddie Yost
EXCELLENT 5 1952 Topps 266 Murry Dickson
N1: EVIDENCE OF TRIMMING 1952 Topps 293 Sibby Sisti

EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1955 Topps 99 Frank Leja
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 1955 Topps 109 Ed Lopat
EXCELLENT 5 1955 Topps 139 Steve Kraly
MINIMUM GRADE 1955 Topps 166 Hank Bauer

I always set my minimum grades at 5 (with one exception). The 1955 Yankees graded out fairly well, but I should have re-sold the Bauer on COMC; someone made me an offer of $30 but I declined because I was too curious not to take it home. When I sold all four Yanks on eBay I probably made $30 total. At least I broke even on the '52s. 


Order number two was the big one. I had received a significant inheritance from my late aunt and planned to spend roughly 10% of it on sports cards. My wife was not thrilled with the idea, and didn't want to go to the East Coast National card show - so I bought a crapton of vintage singles on COMC and submitted the best ones to PSA. This is essentially the starting point of my 1956 Topps set:
MINIMUM GRADE 1956 Topps 9 Ruben Gomez Gray Back
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 22 Jim Finigan Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 34 Tom Brewer White Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 46 Gene Freese White Back
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 1956 Topps 56 Dale Long White Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 58 Ed Roebuck White Back
MINIMUM GRADE 1956 Topps 76 Ray Crone White Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 80 Gus Triandos Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 156 Wes Westrum Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 197 Granny Hamner
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 202 Jim Hearn
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 228 Mickey Vernon
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 229 Harry Brecheen
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 241 Don Mueller
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 243 Sherm Lollar
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 247 Bill Sarni
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 252 Vernon Law
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 290 Curt Simmons
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 313 Gene Stephens
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 315 Milt Bolling
I did a lot better with cards from later years:

NEAR MINT 7 1958 Topps 45 Dick Groat
NEAR MINT 7 1958 Topps 267 Sherm Lollar
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1958 Topps 305 Clem Labine
NEAR MINT 7 1959 Topps 45 Andy Carey
NEAR MINT+ 7.5 1959 Topps 206 Carl Furillo White Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1959 Topps 287 Don Zimmer
NEAR MINT 7 1959 Topps 359 Bill White
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1959 Topps 407 Moe Drabowsky
NEAR MINT 7 1959 Topps 416 Haywood Sullivan Circle Copyright,U.S.A.
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1959 Topps 422 Hobie Landrith
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1959 Topps 428 Buc Hill Aces Kline/Friend/Law/Face
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1959 Topps 460 Bob Friend
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1960 Topps 335 Red Schoendienst
MINIMUM GRADE 1960 Topps 495 Sherm Lollar
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1961 Golden Press 22 Jimmy Foxx
MINIMUM GRADE 1961 Topps 310 World Series Game 5 Face Saves the Day
NEAR MINT 7 1963 Topps 409 Roy Face
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1960 Topps 85 Frank Lary
EXCELLENT 5 1953 Topps 145 Harry Dorish
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1955 Bowman 53 Alex Kellner
MINT 9 1979 Topps 55 Willie Stargell
MINT 9 1991 Topps Desert Shield 212 Steve Finley
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1972 O-Pee-Chee 102 Frank Mahovlich
MINIMUM GRADE 1978 O-Pee-Chee 76 Bob Gainey
GOOD 2 1933 Goudey 44 Jim Bottomley
For newer cards like the Finley and Gainey, I set my minimum grade at 8. For the pre-war Bottomley I set my minimum at 2. You can read more about my Goudey cards here.

The 1979 Topps Willie Stargell was sold a while back - but it inspired me to start a sports card-specific blog and helped fund my high-grade 1956 Topps Warren Spahn card. The Steve Finley Desert Shield card is the only other 9 I managed to earn this year.

 

My third order was short and sweet. You can read my blog post about these cards here.
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1953 Bowman Color 14 Billy Loes 
EXCELLENT 5 1953 Bowman Color 46 Roy Campanella 
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 41 Hank Sauer Gray Back 
MINIMUM GRADE 1956 Topps 138 Johnny Antonelli Gray Back 
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 192 Smoky Burgess 
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 335 Don Hoak 
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1957 Topps 157 Wally Post 
NEAR MINT 7 1957 Topps 160 Billy Pierce 
NEAR MINT 7 1961 Golden Press 14 Joe Cronin



My fourth and final order wasn't the best or the worst, but it was the first that didn't contain a declined card.
EXCELLENT-MINT+ 6.5 1956 Topps 9 Ruben Gomez White Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 17 Gene Conley White Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 19 Chuck Diering White Back
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 1956 Topps 24 Dick Groat White Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 32 Frank House White Back
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 44 Windy McCall White Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 50 Dusty Rhodes White Back 
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 57 Duke Maas Gray Back
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 69 Chuck Tanner White Back 
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 1956 Topps 76 Ray Crone Gray Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 105 Al Smith Gray Back
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 1956 Topps 108 Laurin Pepper Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 122 Willard Nixon Gray Back
NEAR MINT 7 1956 Topps 123 Roy McMillan Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 154 Dave Pope Gray Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 160 Billy Pierce Gray Back
EXCELLENT 5 1956 Topps 161 Joe DeMaestri Gray Back
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 186 Ron Jackson
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 233 Carl Erskine
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1956 Topps 262 Howie Pollet
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1958 Topps 390 Del Crandall 
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1959 Topps 446 Rocky Nelson
NEAR MINT 7 1959 Topps 458 Gordon Jones
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1961 Topps 433 Art Mahaffey
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 1971 Topps 370 Joe Torre
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 1971 O-Pee-Chee 195 Jacques Plante

Since this post is pretty bland I'll spice it up with a few more scans:

 





Here's the final tally by grade:

MINT 9 (2 cards - Stargell, Finley)
NEAR MINT-MINT 8 (7 cards - Loes, Crandall, Drabowsky, Friend, Mahaffey, Torre, Mahovlich)
NEAR MINT+ 7.5 (1 card - Furillo)
NEAR MINT 7 (17 cards)
EXCELLENT-MINT+ 6.5 (1 card - Gomez)
EXCELLENT-MINT 6 (30 cards)
EXCELLENT+ 5.5 (5 cards - Lopat, Long, Groat, Crone, Pepper)
EXCELLENT 5 (14 cards)
GOOD 2 (1 card - Bottomley)
rejected cards - 9



Thanks for reading this. Enjoy the Opening Day and Final Four games!



~

4 comments:

  1. Maybe it's because I don't really understand the whole grading thing, but this seems like an awful lot of cards for someone to have gotten graded in just a one year span. Oh, and that '53 Campanella is really fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It probably is a lot, but there are a couple reasons why I had so many cards graded this year. PSA often has monthly specials that require a 25-card minimum, my aunt (and my mom) knew that card collecting is like a lifetime joy of mine and encouraged me to spend some cash on my collection, and the one-year membership comes with a coupon for six free submissions.

      It will probably be another six years or so before I grade again, so I crammed in as many cards as possible.

      Delete
  2. I've been going back and forth on whether or not to get a PSA membership. There are a few cards I want to get graded, but I'm afraid that once I go down that road... I'll never want to go back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I felt the same way at first. It's a lot of fun to submit to PSA (or BGS) and it can be tempting to get more and more of your cards graded. That's why I try to stick to pre-1970 vintage and some 80's OPC hockey sets.

      Delete