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?

Vintage Redskins and funny helmets

So, one of my goals as a Redskins collector has been to acquire some vintage cardboard.  As you vintage collectors know, this is difficult for various reasons.  They tend to be a little pricey for a basic common card and they are not always in the best of condition.  I’m trying to be a little selective in the cards I do end up purchasing, but also keeping in mind that I don’t need gem mint versions of 60 year old cards.  I kind of like the softer corners and faded images of these cards.  They help tell the story or history of that card.  I can imagine some 10 year old in 1955 getting excited to pull an Eddie LeBaron card from his Bowman Football card pack, rocking the face mask-less leather helmet and chin strap, just in case someone knocks his lid off…

55 BF Eddie LeBaron

In picking up these vintage Redskins cards, I stopped and visited with a dealer that i typically pass up.  My first interaction with him a few months ago wasn’t that great.  He had a sign that was a little confusing and instead of getting 80% off, i paid 80% of the card value…so i stayed away for a while as i am a tremendous grudge holder.  Today though, the Cedar Hills show was dead and I had time to (re)visit new tables.  I guess that’s what happens when it’s a sunny May day in Portland, Oregon.  Nobody wants to be inside looking at old cardboard.  So, with less dealers, there was more time to look at stuff i normally pass up.  The dealer was much more welcoming and open about his pricing this time and an provided an excellent conversation.  He explained his pricing and had gotten rid of the confusing signs which i appreciated.  Maybe i’m just a dolt and didn’t get it, but who says you pay 80% of the price, you say 20% off…am i right?  I have an issue with holding grudges, but i need to let go.

Anyways.  The vintage selection this guy had of his football cards were fantastic.  Most of them were in good condition with minimal creases, plus he had them organized by year and card number which i appreciated.

The prices were very fair considering the condition and age of the cards and he even gave me a break on the Sam Baker card.  Being in Oregon, like any other place in the country, when you get a hometown guy his cards tend to be in higher demand.  Mr. Sam Baker is from Corvallis and played at Oregon State University…which is a rival to my Oregon Ducks, but I don’t really care as a Redskin trumps Ducks 8 days a week…Ironically, the High School Sam Baker went to (Corvallis High School) was demolished and redone by my office a few years ago.  We did a pretty good job on the project.

59 TF Sam Baker

One of the great things about the vintage cards is the level of graphics and cut & past images.  If you look closely at the very racist Redskins mascot for the two cards below, you can see the image was cut out differnetly and the image of the indigenous person is darker than the other card.  I have no problem with this at all, just noticed it.

55 BF Gene Brito John Carson

Another thing to check out is the sweet soft-white vignetting that surrounds the players.  This is especially noticeable on Ralph Gugliemli as he does his best RG3 impersonation…look at that hair…fantastic…who needs helmets when you have locks like that?  Who knew Daniel Craig was a Tight End for the Redskins in 1954?

55 BF Ralph Gugliemli Chet Ostorwski

The last card is Don Bosseler.  There are no backstories to this card for me, but he looks like a total badass and someone you really don’t want to mess with.  He went to The U, which i’m pretty sure was different back then…but i’m sure he is connected in someway to Luther Campbell.

58 TF Don Bosseler

good night and Hail Victory!

The boxes of neglect…

This new blog was an attempt at therapy for me and a way to connect better with my favorite hobby.  Unfortunately, life always seems to get in the way…as it does and doing one post a week has become difficult.  This is by no means me waving the surrender flag, but more of an apology to the blog itself for my neglect.  With that in mind i am going to attempt to up the ante and do two blog posts a week, one on Wednesday and one on Sunday…we will see how that all works out.

Ebay cardsAnother task that i have thoroughly neglected with my collection is the purging i promised myself and my wife.  I’ve gotten to the point of putting the cards to be sold into a nice empty white box, which is now a grey dusty filled box.  The biggest problem is the time involved with this task along as well as the difficulty in dealing with the fine folks on ebay.  The scanning and describing and mailing aspect seems insurmountable at times, especially with a 4 month old.  A new short term goal is to get a few dozen posts before February…it would be nice to have some loot back in my paypal account as well…to buy more cardboard.

The last item of note to get off my chest is this Washington Redskins shoebox that needs some serious sorting and organizing.  I would say that i’ve done a wonderful job at purchasing cards through checkoutmycards.com, the two card shows in town and my favorite local card shop, The Sports Room.  But i’ve done a terrible job at organizing them.  I know for a FACT that i purchased two Ryan Kerrigan autographs from COMC at about $8 each.  Not the worst thing in the world, but that money could have gone to another card i don’t already have.  I could also use this time to figure out what RGIII cards I have and which ones i can afford to purchase.  So, i’m hoping to get this going on the next few weeknights around the Riddle house here…work be damned!

Redskins Box 1PC Box 1











Look for more info on these short term goals…and don’t be afraid to keep me on my toes. -HTTR!