Thursday, October 8, 2015

Recap of the 8 Cards Submitted to Beckett For Raw Grade Review at South Bay Sportscards on October 3rd, 2015

As seen HERE I went to the South Bay Sportscards shop this past Saturday and did two transactions. Yesterday I showed off the cards I dropped off for full submission without a raw grade review. Two days ago though I showed off 8 already graded cards that I was looking for a bump in grade from a mint 9 to a gem mint 9.5. I have done this twice before and both times I came back empty handed. This will/would be my last time if I didn't get something positive back.

Like I stated in the original post I decided to keep the cards in their BGS cases instead of cracking them out. Hoping the change of submission procedure would give me a change of luck. Well here are the results of the cards.

I had one non Dodger in the batch in the form of this McCutchen auto. Hoping to turn my one and only autograph in my collection of this former MVP into a gem mint. BGS said no gold banner for me. Next

I also had one in the batch of future Dodgers pitcher Mr. Julio Urias. Getting this to turn into a 9.5 would have made my rainbow project of his look better but BGS once again said be happy with what I had. No bump.

I hate the color orange BUT this is a limited parallel of future All Star Corey Seager and this was a steal of deal when I acquired the card and an orange card would look much better pared with a gold banner than it does with a silver one. Nope, didn't happen.

Now I hoped for some love towards my Kershaw autographs....uh....denied

How about this one? Nope, try again.

Alright Beckett how about instead of getting a bump to 9.5 you change that autograph grade from an undeserved 9 to a needed 10? Sigh, rejected once again.


Well, well, well, what do we have here? Why that looks like a re grade package to me. Generally in life you do not like to see red but when it comes to Beckett you want to see red when you submit a card looking for a bump. Woo Hoo. I finally got one to change to a higher grade as centering was changed from a 9 to a 9.5 for this lovely....

KERSHAW autograph. It's always a good day when you get a gold banner autograph of this multi Cy Young winner. While this doesn't add all that much to resale value currently as that doesn't really matter since I have no intention of parting with a member of my Kershaw collection. Down the road though aka closer to the end of his career it does add a nice dollar bump.


Not one but TWO red sealed cards did I get back from BGS. While the Kershaw one in the long run probably won't see much movement price wise as it's not overly limited and not a rookie card this one could see a bright future for years to come...

A gold Seager parallel that will now get rid of that color coordinated challenged silver banner for a spiffy gold one. Though this card was high on my list of ones I wanted to acquire the bump my expectation was tempered due to the fact that Inception cards have a history of quality issues. I needed either the corners or edges to "improve" in the regrade. Corners stayed the same but the edges received that wanted bump and I know have another gem mint autograph of Corey.

I sent in 8 cards and "only" 2 came back with improved grades. That is a 25% clip but considering I have been batting .000 in all my previous regrades I will take this 2 and be very happy with my results. Yes, I would have loved at least half (4) to get a bump but 2 is better than none. These are on their way to Dallas to get fitted for their new case and will be back in my grubby little hands in a little over a month. Can't wait.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

30 Cards Submitted to Beckett For Full Grading at South Bay Sportscards on October 3rd, 2015

That twice yearly time is upon me/us once again as Beckett was back in town this weekend for a Raw Card Review event which I always attend as there are discounts that you only see at these. This time though there was more to be had as my friends from the Twitter and Blogosphere Derek and Frankie had me submit cards on their behalf which dropped the costs for all of us. Win win for everyone. I wish them great luck on having many great returns on their cards as I am sure they hope the same for me.

With their involvement in this batch I myself am submitting my biggest amount of cards yet to take advantage of the discount. I sold a couple of cards and a batch of paperbacks on eBay to cover the costs which makes any and all gem mint returns all the sweeter. Usually at these events I submit some cards for review and if I like their results then I submit them for slabbing but instead of "paying" twice I decided I am going to just send them all in for full grading and crossed my fingers. Of course with that mentality I KNOW there will be some results I won't like per se as there will be mint 9's which normally I wouldn't even bother sending in the first place but I can't resist not using the discount factor. I "might" be using the review portion of their event to see if I can get some bumps on some already graded cards and if I do I will do a separate post on that. (edit: see yesterday's post)

Well let's get to the cards. Like usual I will predict what grades they will receive from "worst" to best with thoughts on why that is my thinking for that particular card. Knocking on wood for great results.

2013 Topps Five Star Ernie Banks Autograph /50

No way no how. That is the chance that this card has in earning a gem mint 9.5 from BGS. 30/70 is the chance in my opinion that it comes back as a 9 as I am looking at a possible 8.5 from Beckett with this great looking Banks card but maybe the hobby Gods will be on my side and give me a 9 which I will be more than happy to receive. This was going to be a raw review card but it got bumped into the full submission stack once the volume got higher and higher. There are two corners that have issues and I am hoping that they are minor enough that they can earn an 8.5 so the card can achieve an overall 9 but there is a possibility they earn an 8 which I am hoping I am wrong.

2014 Allen Ginter Yasiel Puig Mini Metal /10?

Here is another card that could go either way and one that was going to go the raw review route first before I changed my mind. Metal cards have a history of having surface issues which obviously affect grades from BGS and since I haven't seen any of these Ginter cards in person other than this one I have none to reference when it comes to the surface. I think there is nothing wrong with it nor anything else on the card for that matter but I am not going to hold my breath. I think it could and should be a gem mint card but at the same time BGS can come back and say no and slap an 8.5 on it. Well here's hoping for the former and not the latter.

2014 Topps Five Star Miguel Cabrera Autograph /50

Miguel here was another one of the cards I was going to do a raw review and if it came back as a 9 or God forbid a 8.5 I would not submit it for full slabbing but the massive discount the group is getting I decided to send it in for a full slabbing treatment. The issue I know that this card will have are the corners. As most Five Star cards are subject to that this one has not the sharpest corners. As long as they come back with a 8.5 on that sub grade I am confident everything else will grade out to at least a 9 if not 9.5 for an overall 9 return, If the corners come back as an 8 then I will be irritated and probably will crack it open and try again with another Cabrera card.

2013 Topps Five Star Bryce Harper Autograph /25

I'm hoping with Frankie being in this group submission that his presence will give me good luck on this card but I am not holding my breath. I acquired this from Frankie awhile back with every intention to send it to BGS for grading and once in hand it looks great to me except for one corner. Always the problem with Topps Five Star. Just like the Cabrera if it can hold to a 9 I think everything else will come out to a 9.5 for an overall 9.5 but at the very worst I will getting a mint 9 card back from BGS of this likely 2015 NL MVP.

2012 Topps Tribute Clayton Kershaw / Matt Kemp / Dee Gordon Autograph /18

Yet another card that was going to go the raw review route till the discounts kept piling up. As many of you know I despise sticker autographs and the only reason I acquired this one was that I made a trade when Joc was hot and my rationale was that even though it's a sticker it's still a Kershaw autograph which trumps a Joc autograph any day of the week. The other reason that I was not going to do a full submission is that Clayton's autograph comes ever so close to the bottom of the sticker and if BGS deems it does then they will knock it down to a 9 instead of the desired 10. Also one of the corners is slightly frayed. So while I would love a 9.5 on this card if I was to get a 9 overall with a 10 autograph I would be content. Please surprise me Beckett and give me a gem mint.

2013 Topps Musem Hanley Ramirez / Adrian Gonzalez Autograph /15

The return grade on this one will be surprise to me in some way as I have no idea since past returns on Topps Museum have not been kind to me. I have submitted a dual autograph in the past and came back a 9 when I thought it would get a 9.5. I submitted a Kershaw autograph expecting a 9 but it came back an 8.5. So while I see nothing wrong with this card as centering and surface looks good. Corners while not pointy sharp are still pretty good in my opinion. Almost any other card I would "expect" a 9.5 back but if it comes back a 9 I will be more than happy to take it. Considering I paid nothing for it all this is gravy anyways.

1999 SP Adrian Beltre Autograph

I am actually submitting two copies of this Beltre card as I picked one up on trade (actually my card being reacquired) and one from eBay when I was void of Beltre autographs. This is the oldest (16 years) card I have ever submitted and while they both look exactly the same condition wise I don't know what years of being passed around does for my chances to have at least one of these if not both come back as gem mints. At the very least I think they come back as strong mint 9's.

2013 Bowman Chrome Corey Seager X-Fractor 

These next two are place holders for my collection and normally I wouldn't be sending either in to get slabbed but considering the amount of cards going it is too good a deal not to. I am getting ever so close to completing my rainbow project for Corey and I want all of them to be at least in certified mint condition. I know this card has no chance at gem mint as the centering is off enough that it will probably earn an 8.5 but even with that I believe the overall will still be a mint 9. I will gladly put that into my collection till I get my hands on a gem mint at some point down the road.

2013 Bowman Chrome Corey Seager Refractor

Just like the X-Fractor of this card I am only getting this slabbed due to discount on this batch. I also believe that do to the centering that this card will also earn an overall grade of a mint 9 just like its X-Fractor brother. And just like that one this one is a place holder till I get my hands on a gem mint copy at some point down the road.

2013 Topps Tribute Buster Posey Autograph /25

This is another border line card in my mind on whether it will receive a 9 or a 9.5. The autograph is crisp so I see no issue there but where I have pause on it earning a gem mint grade is the top left hand corner is slightly frayed. With the naked eye you can't see anything but under the loop you can see the "damage". My belief is if the corners hold to a sub grade of 9 then it earns a gem mint overall grade as I see nothing else wrong with the card.

2015 Allen Ginter Clayton Kershaw Mini Flag Back /25

Allen Ginter has always been boon or bust for me so I always submit them with a grain of salt and with this batch that means I have a lot of salt to send as I have plenty of Ginters. As per the norm nowadays I want all my limited/numbered Kershaws to be graded and slabbed and I believe this has a good chance for a gem mint return. Everything looks great except that on the lower right hand corner there is a slight speck that I don't know if it belongs there or not. We shall see but hopefully at worst surface comes back as a 9 and everything else is a 9.5.

2014 Allen Ginter EXT Mini

Another Ginter, another Kershaw and another expected return of the bare minimum of mint 9 but if push came to shove I would say this is border line gem mint. I see nothing wrong with surfaces and edges so they should earn 9.5's but the corners and centering might just be a tad off on both that they both earn a 9 which would make it an overall 9. Hoping one if not both can garner a 9.5 so I can have another gem mint mini Kershaw in my collection.

2015 Allen Ginter Mike Trout Mini Red Border /40

Another Ginter but one that I hope just a little higher hope that it will grade to gem mint compared to the flag back Kershaw. The only issue I see that might arise is that it is not perfectly centered but its not too bad. Corners look good and surface seems fine other than the fact that there seems to be some blotches but I have seen that on a lot of these so I'm thinking it's part of the process. Here's hoping I am right.

2015 Allen Ginter Clayton Kershaw Mini Red Border /40

Just like the Trout I see nothing wrong with this Kershaw red border mini and I am looking to score yet another gem mint limited Kershaw for my collection. Corners even look better on this one that they do on Trout but I still believe they should both earn 9.5's but at the very worst it should be a strong mint 9 but to be honest if it does receive that I will be disappointed. Don't disappoint me BGS.

2013 Allen Ginter Sandy Koufax EXT Mini

My one and only Koufax of the batch as I still don't have a lot of the man in my collection but the ones I do have are all limited in some way or another. This is the EXT mini parallel that could only be found in rip cards and I picked this up in a trade that was in my favor or at least I believe it was. As now just like then I believe this is a solid candidate for gem mint status as everything seems to check out. Corners are sharp, no surface issues and centering looks spot on. Hoping and semi expecting another gold banner here.

2014 Bowman Draft Alex Verdugo Silver Wave /25

First of two Verdugos in this batch and even though I rank this lower on the list of earning a gem mint return I still think it has a very good chance of doing just that. Everything looks good from my point of view on this rainbow card and hoping to keep the streak alive on Verdugo graded cards in my collection as all of them are gem mint as of now. Come on BGS, no silver banner here please.

2013 Bowman Chrome Corey Seager Gold Refractor /50

When I first acquired this card I thought it had a great chance to earn a 9.5 grade and once I took it out of it's plastic holder to clean up the surface (dust, fingerprints, etc) I still come away with the thinking. The card might be ever so slightly off centered but not enough to knock it down. Corners are crisp so I hope to add yet another gem mint card to my Seager rainbow project.

2014 Bowman Chrome Clatyon Kershaw Bubbles Refractor /99

Bubbles, bubbles, give me more bubbles. This is basically a throw in for the batch. Having it come back as a gem mint (as expected) doesn't really add any resale value to the card other than to hardcore Kershaw collectors but since it is numbered and limited why not have another gold banner of Kershaw to file away? This is not the prettiest of cards but I still want it slabbed and this is the perfect time to do just that.

2015 Bowman Chrome Alex Verdugo Twitter Refractor /10

Going back to back on these Twitter parallels Alex here gets the 2nd spot (edit: I took out the other one as I sold it for a premium that I couldn't pass up) as he is further out from the big leagues but he did quite well in Rancho Cucamonga so he might make it sooner than I and others think. Condition wise this cards looks to be in fine form and say there is more than a 50/50 chance that it earns a 9.5. Only the centering on the front gives me a little concern but everything else should prop it up.

2015 Topps Heritage Yasiel Puig Black Refractor /66

The first of two black refractors from this year's Topps Heritage brand. Though this one is ever so slightly better centered than the other the reason Puig is up first is because the other one is Trout. Puig is good (when healthy) but Trout is great and even when hurt is still better than Puig when healthy. That said I still think Puig can and will have a very good career and I believe this is a gem mint card ready to happen and would love a gold banner atop Puig's smiling face.

2015 Topps Heritage Mike Trout Black Refractor /66

Another Trout card for the submission and one of the ones that I think has a better than not chance earning a gem mint grade. I picked this up "basically" for free and would love to turn it into yet another gold banner Trout card for my collection. Being numbered out of only 66 and highly sought after makes this the only real chance I have at that grade as I won't be looking to replace it if it comes back with a mint 9. With that said I don't really see an issue other than it's not 50/50 on the front but in my opinion not bad enough to knock down the overall grade.

2015 Topps Chrome Mike Trout Photo Variation

The Trouts keep on coming for this batch and after 3 years of tracking down a photo variation of Mr. AL MVP I have high hopes that it will come back as a gem mint beauty. Chrome is usually good to me in these submission but the last one I had a 2014 Chrome of Mike and it came back as a disappointing mint 9. The only thing I see that could possibly give this card a problem is that one of the corners is not the sharpest but you can only see that under a loop so we shall see what Beckett thinks.

2015 Topps Series 1 Yasiel Puig Framed /20

Thee Puigs in this batch and two happen to be metal based. Go figure. Unlike the Ginter mini though I am confident that this one will come back as a 9.5. I hope the combination of my past history with Puig and these metal framed cards will translate into yet another gold banner card. Puig is low in the hobby right now but if and when he comes roaring back this is a nice little card to flip for something I really want and if it's a 9.5 I might be able to get something really nice. We shall see.

2015 Topps Series 1 Mike Trout Framed /20

Same as the Puig before this one. I believe all of these framed (metal) cards from Topps should come back from BGS with 9.5's but I have seen (not my cards) that is not the case as. Edges and corners are metal and are "sharp" and clean with the surfaced cleaned up with a tissue. I hope to par this with my other gem mint Trout from Series 1.

2015 Gypsy Queen Clayton Kershaw Mini Frame Autograph /25

Oh yeah. Time again for another potential gem mint Kershaw autograph to be added to the collection. This card really becomes a deal if/when it comes back with a gold banner as the original "purchase" was a steal and once it made to my grubby little hands I could see no flaws but from past history mini frames at times have cause me problems. The autograph is perfectly centered as well as the card itself and I don't see anything else to worry myself over but I am still crossing my fingers.

2015 Allen Ginter Clayton Kershaw EXT

We come to the last Clayton of the batch and the one that I am most confident will return to me in gem mint form and I think it actually has an outside chance of a pristine 10. If it does come back that way it would be the second card that came from Asia that received a 10 and to me that is amazing considering it being handled by multiple people and going through customs, etc. I see nothing wrong with this card and anything less than a gold banner would be a major disappointment.  

2014 Topps Tribute Pedro Martinez Autograph /99

Here is a card that falls under the "I'm pretty damn sure it should be graded gem mint" category. I first thought there was a surface issue but after some research I found out all of these Tribute cards have this attribute so no worries there. Corners are a non issue as there are no corners that need to be sharp as they are rounded. Autograph is perfect so I am hoping/expecting that my one and only Pedro autograph will come back with a gold banner.

2015 Topps Series 2 Clayton Kershaw Framed MVP /20

Is it wrong for me to expect a pristine return? Well if it is I then say I expect a solid gem mint then as I see nothing wrong with this card. With the Trout framed card there is the smallest of surface issue that I saw but with this Kershaw one I see absolutely nothing. Half way expect a pristine but will be happy with a 9.5 to par with my other Kershaw framed cards.

2013 Allen Ginter Josh Hamilton Mini Frame Autograph Red /10

Normally I would never put an Allen Ginter card this close to the top of the stack on an expected gem mint return from BGS BUT since I actually owned this card once before and submitted to Beckett and it came back from them with a 9.5 I am expecting it once again. Yes, this is the same card I submitted once before but I traded it and that person cracked it open but kept it in its sleeve so it was never handled so I am expecting another 9.5. To say I would be disappointed if it didn't come back with that would be an understatement.

2015 Topps Series 2 Clayton Kershaw CY Young /20

Yeah... I'm just gonna copy and paste here from the previous Kershaw card :

Is it wrong for me to expect a pristine return? Well if it is I then say I expect a solid gem mint then as I see nothing wrong with this card. With the Trout framed card there is the smallest of surface issue that I saw but with this Kershaw one I see absolutely nothing. Half way expect a pristine but will be happy with a 9.5 to par with my other Kershaw framed cards.

Different card same mentality. The only reason this one gets a higher rung on the ladder to greatness is I like this picture better.

And there we go. The biggest batch I have ever sent in for grading. Bigger batch means more of a chance of less than 9.5's but at least this time I am expecting that result on some of the cards so I won't be overly disappointed. when I see those silver banners unless it is on a card I expected a gold one though.

I always say that I am close to being done with submitting cards to Beckett but 6 months in between these events is a lot of time to pick up more to grade. With that said if Topps fulfills my redemptions by the next time BGS rolls into town I can already ear mark another 4 for grading. So I guess I will be back here in March talking about my next batch. Ha Ha.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Card of the Day - 2013 Topps Five Star : Gerrit Cole Base Autograph (136/353)

Gerrit has been on my look out list for a couple years now and with 353 copies of this card I have tried multiple times to acquire it on the cheap but prior to now I have always come up short. With the season that he is having I decided it was time to raise my price ceiling a tad before the cost really starts not to feel like a bargain.

The card books for a high of $40 but I was trying to pick it up in the high teens for almost 2 years now but no such luck. I didn't care what product line his autograph would be on but it had to be an on card variety and each time I came back to this Five Star card. Even with the big print run there never seems to be more than a couple on the bay at any given time and more recently they were on BIN auctions so when this one came up on a reasonable traditional auction with a small enough starting price I put it on my watch list and hoped to finally pick up a Cole autograph.

Two bids is all it took and I finally picked up this card after years of trying. I had no intention of getting this graded as the $40 book value is a little on the low side when I consider getting cards slabbed but this came in what appears to be gem mint condition I might do at least a raw card review. We shall see.


Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

8 Cards Submitted to Beckett For Raw Grade Review at South Bay Sportscards on October 3rd, 2015

Well here I go again.

Last time Beckett was in my neighborhood I submitted 2 cards looking to get a bump in the grades from a mint 9 to gem mint 9.5. I never discussed my results as I struck out on both of them. Those two though I cracked out of their BGS cases and submitted them like it was the 1st time I ever sent them in. They both came back with the same grade they had in the case. I was not happy with that so I sold them both and ended up acquiring some other cards I wanted. One is actually in the next batch which is in tomorrow's post. That post is a full submission recap without a raw review prior to them going to Beckett. This post is only about the reviews.

This time I am going to submit them while still in the case. I have heard stories and theories from both sides of the tape on which was is better. Since I struck out the other way I decided to do it this way this time. Let's see if the results are any different. Since they are all graded I can't really say which ones I expected will be gem mints and which will remain mints so I will post them in the order of more importance (at least to me) on them acquiring a gem mint grade. Obviously I would like all of them to receive the bump but I am realistic that will not happen. So here they are with results in a day or two.

2014 Bowman Chrome Julio Urias Green Wave

I just showcased this card last week in a post and already I am trying to get it to higher grade. While I would love all my Urias cards in the rainbow project to have gold banners I was always content in plain ole mints for them. With that said I would love a bump here. I need either surface or edges to earn an extra .5. When it comes to the 4 sub grades I think and have heard that those 2 are the "easiest" to get a bump. We shall see.

2014 Topps Tribute Clayton Kershaw 

Another card that was just showcased last week. I scored this on a major bargain and I am always "content" for the most part on non ultra limited Kershaw autographs receiving a 9 grade but it never hurts a card's value if you can get that gold banner. This one needs either surface or centering to get an extra .5. I've always wondered how centering can change from a 9 to a 9.5 but I guess it all comes down to the inspector's perception. Hopefully this swings my way.

2010 Allen Ginter Andrew McCutchen

The only card in the batch that only 1 sub grade can help get the bump. There are already 3 9.5's that this Andrew card earned with corners being the only "bad" grade with an 8.5. Corners is another subjective view when it comes to grading. I have looked under a loop and can't see why this card earned an 8.5 so I am hoping that another pair of eyes agrees with me and gives it a bump to a 9.

2014 Stadium Club Clayton Kershaw

Another Kerhsaw another autograph another card that just needs a .5 to make this a great gold banner card. This one needs edges or corners to get that bump and though I can see the corners earning the 9 the edges look good to me so lets see if I can get another 9.5 Kershaw for the collection here.

2013 Bowman Inception Corey Seager

Alright. Now we get to the 4 cards that if they earn a bump in grade they also will earn a nice bump in resale price if I chose to sell them down the road. This gold Seager also was just showcased last week and with it being an Inception card I am really crossing my fingers here as they have a notorious past in quality issues. I need edges or the corners to earn a bump and knowing how Inceptions can grade out I am pinning my hopes on the edges as the corners are always a problem. Nice little investment piece here on a bargain "purchase"

2012 Bowman Sterling Corey Seager

The only card that is already graded as gem mint in the this 8 card batch. So why am I submitting it again for a review? That annoying 9 you see that the autograph earned. This is a limited refractor of Corey and would receive a nice $$$ bump if I can get that grade switched to a 10. It earned a 9 due to the fact that the original grader thinks it streaks. Does it? Yes, it does, but just a tad. With that said I have seen a lot worse and they have earned 10's so I am hoping I can get a sympathetic eye this go around to get my 10 grade.

2013 Bowman Chrome Corey Seager

Unlike Urias I strive to get gem mint returns on my Seager rainbow project and this orange beauty is one of the few that do not already have a gold banner. I picked up this graded card on the cheap back in May when Seager's cards were still in a holding pattern. That's not the case anymore and if I can get a bump on this card it would add a nice $$$ total to the it's value. Centering and corners are the 9's on this card and with the naked eye you can see centering is not going to get the bump so I have to hold out hope on corners. There is no fraying so I have to cross my fingers that the grader thinks it deserves the bump.

2009 Topps Heritage Clayton Kershaw

... and we arrive to the final card of this batch and surprise surprise Mr. Clayton Kershaw makes yet another appearance. Tomorrow's full submission post has him all over the place there too so lots of Claytons that I want to earn a gold banner. I picked this up during this past off season when demand was lower and was even surprised myself on how cheap I got it for. Centering and corners are the grades that can go up and while corners are still subjective I think if there is going to be any bump it will be on centering as it looks pretty spot on to me. Here's hoping I can add another gem mint Kershaw autograph to the collection.

And with that we are done with the 1st batch that I submitted to BGS this past Saturday. I will post the results in the next day or so. God forbid but if each one comes back with the same grade they are still great pieces in my collection. Here's hoping that I can get at least a few if not half to earn a bump.

Thank you for reading and have a blessed day.