I will not be judged by my grades.

At the last card show I went to in Cedar Hills, Tom had a card waiting for me.

He had been telling me about this card for quite some time, and i was reluctant to even look at it.  Not because I wouldn’t be interested in the card, but because it would open up a whole new realm of collecting i had yet to endeavor in to.  Graded cards.

When I left collecting, these were not on the scene, or at least I don’t remember them being a part of the hobby.  I was aware that they existed though in my collecting sabbatical, but wasn’t sure why anyone would do this to a card.  Sending a valuable card in the mail to a stranger to get graded, slabbed and sent back to the owner for a relatively small fee, seemed foreign to me.  One of my favorite parts about collecting was actually holding and touching the card.  I realize this isn’t great for the cardboard, but i enjoy the connection with the artifact.  Having a piece of cardboard hermetically sealed in a plastic casing was in complete contradiction to this thought process.  The deeper I got back in to collecting I saw these graded things everywhere…and they were not going anywhere anytime soon.  With that in mind, i could choose to accept and embrace them or ignore them.

I chose the latter.

Until the card show.  Tom made some very compelling points for slabbing the cards, for example, keeping them in mint condition, depending on the grade, their value can skyrocket especially if said card is one of a few with such a high grade.  Just like the fluoride battle here in Portland, I was beginning to see the value in the oppositions ideas.  So I made the purchase and am now the proud owner of a 2012 Topps Magic Autograph of Alfred Morris, graded 9.5.  The autograph was graded to 10, which I guess is just verification that it’s real?  Seems like it should be a point or at least half point deduction for a sticker auto?

12 TM Alfred Morris Auto Graded 10

Tom gave me a great deal on the card and even threw in a Niles Paul autograph for my Redskins collection.  I am still on the fence about the grading of cards and may need to get another one or two cards graded before i decide to jump in.  If i can get through the idea that this is hurting the hobby, I may just become a supporter in the future.  I am very happy with the card and think the slabbing makes it much more of a show piece than just something that sits in a top loader or magnetic case.

What are your thoughts on graded cards?  Good for the hobby? Bad? Indifferent?

6 responses to “I will not be judged by my grades.

  1. My thoughts on graded card truly depends on my mood. There are moments when I’m on eBay searching for specific graded cards. Other times, I’m freeing them from their cases.

    I guess it boils down to money. I’ll never pay PSA or BGS to grade my cards, but if I find a good deal on a graded card, then I’ll pick it up.

    • The second paragraph is kind of where I’m at as well. Buying graded cards may be more likely for me than having my own cards graded…assuming fair prices.

  2. For sight unseen purchases of high value cards, it has validity.

    But I’ve always felt that a Gem Mint 10 card should be worth no more than high book value for a raw card. The inflated values caused by this corporate involvement in the hobby are a problem.

    • i completely agree with the heavy handed corporate/investor aspects of grading a card as it overwhelms this collector. it definitely takes the fun out for me…especially opening a pack of cards and worrying if it’s a gem mint or JUST a mint card.

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