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An Old-timer talks about High-grade Cards

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  • An Old-timer talks about High-grade Cards

    I don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but I just came across an interesting post today that I want to share with you folks. Here it is below:

    As I've mentioned before collecting in the 1970's and early '80's piecing together 1950's sets from my childhood and pre-war cards for complete sets, I would have to go to several shows just to find cards without creases etc. I wanted the best for my sets. When I sent some in to see the grades years later, they ranged from 5-7. Not sure where all those 8,9 and 10's were back 40 years ago. Somehow when grading started the cards ended up in better condition !!!!
    I remember Mastro at a show , I think it was in Chicago, when he bought a 52 Topps Mantle from a guy that was VG at best. When the seller left he stated to his pal, that he could get that crease off the card etc.

    This is probably the 30th time where I've read a post where an old-timer talks about not seeing any high-grade cards when he collected back in the day. It's true there was no Internet back then and folks weren't connected like we are today, but they would attend show after show, and sometimes even travel to different states, and no where did they see these vintage gems. Now grading comes along and suddenly they are popping out everywhere ... hmmmm ...

  • #2
    Going to shows in the 90's, I remember spending hours and hours going through 1000's of early 70's hockey cards albums at sellers desks in order to find a few NM-MT cards.
    I later learned they kept their nicest ones at the hotel room for some of their few selected customers.

    On another topic, I haven't bought a single graded card in the past 4 months. Just got too sick of the shipping fees, GSP, canadian duties and currency exchange. During the Summer, I received an email from PWCC offering reimbursment on a proven 1951 Parkhurst altered card. I guess this was the last straw.
    On the sell sides not much neither. I guess all the selling conditions, fees and risks involve with the trade just demotivated me.

    Hope to be back one day...


    • #3
      If this guy lived on the east coast, then he would have found lots of high grade cards available to him. But yes, you did have to travel in order to find these gems. From Boston to New York and Pennsylvania, where many of the companies who made cards were located, there were guys who had lots of high grade examples for sale. Yes, the hotel room story is true. Certain people I know would go into a room where the most famous east coast dealer who got his stuff directly from topps, and they would have available to them "bricks" of Ryan rookies, Bench rookies, Jackson rookies, Seaver rookies, and so on, and so on. Mint Namath rookies and Dr. J rookies, and anything you wanted from the Big 3 American sports were available to big dealers in back rooms. But as far as the pre war stuff, that was not widely circulated as much as the 60's product. Hockey was sold in quantities as well in these back rooms. "Bastard" sets of 1-132 Topps and 133-264 OPC were sold on the east coast in hotel rooms, and large quantities of them. That's why you see so many high grade 69 opcs from vending, but there wasn't much low series until all the Mastro sheets were cut and found their way into PSA holders. Same thing with 70 opc and 71 opc. Many high numbers were sold in the states, but we didn't have the low numbers because dealers in the states were getting the Topps instead. For some reason we never got much Parkhurst or pre war down here. We didn't get much of the Orr rookie year, or the Test issue either. Most of our high grade hockey began in 1968 with opc highs and topps lows, and that trend continued for many years. I've personally heard of these hotel room stories, where this well known east coast dealer would sit in there with table upon table of mint fresh cards from Topps. And anyone who had a truck and a truckload of cash could come and buy from him. I personally met one guy a long time ago who had 500 Gordie Howe Mr. Hockey's along with 500 of every other card from the 1969 opc high series. For certain sets and certain years, there is many good quality, high grade, untrimmed and unaltered cards out there. Not all of the hobby is ruined, even though it does get worse and worse with each passing day.


      • #4
        Every year, I meet new collectors. I collect some things I enjoy. My knowledge grows with a lot of help from my friends and a good deal of reading. For me, the hobby is as fun as it has ever been.


        • phite84
          phite84 commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed Hart. Life is what you make of it.

      • #5
        Originally posted by exodus View Post
        Not all of the hobby is ruined, even though it does get worse and worse with each passing day.
        You're spot on with that comment. It does look like it's getting worse by the day.