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#55560 - 01/29/03 07:16 AM 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal???
Lothar52
enthusiast


Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 240
Loc: Ohio, USA

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I just went to BMW cards and saw a SGC 96 1955 Topps Ernie Banks went for 10,000

thats great.. and good for the guy who can afford it.. but let me just give you my opinion. If you plan to showcase your cards on a wall in a special "sports room"...like i do... if the card is centered and looks good from 2 ft away ... or from 3 ft away... if it looks good grade a 5-7 with no creases and the corners a just a slight bit touched.. isnt that the better deal??

i just got a 55 banks raw.. its centered... the cornes look mint about 2 ft away and just touched up close.... wasnt the 75 dollars a better deal leaving me in the case of that guy...9925 dollars to spend on the rest of the SET in 5-7 condition???

Lothar52

IM NOT SAYING CONDITION IS NOT IMPORTANT... but does it really matter ALL TOO MUCH IN THE WHOLE SCHEME OF VINTAGE... and mind you.. I MEAN VINTAGE.. not modern
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#55561 - 01/29/03 11:16 AM Re: 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal??? [Re: Lothar52]
aconte
Bid more or post more... tough one...


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 1896
Loc: On The Beach....where else!

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Lothar,

Good question. I guess the best answer is it depends. Mainly on what your
collecting preference is. I like to have a good mix of some high end cards
and other near mint cards in my sets. I think that high end cards over time
will hold a certain value. If someone pays large multiples of book value
for an item, depending on the item it could take time to recoup their intial
investment.

The bottom line is you should collect what makes you happy. Don't second
guess yourself or make purchases that you are not comfortable with. If
you are looking for investments from a card perspective buy high end cards
low and sell high! But have fun!

aconte
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#55562 - 01/29/03 12:00 PM Re: 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal??? [Re: Lothar52]
MW1
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Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Lothar --

I very much agree with you. For most collectors, the $75 1955 Topps Ernie Banks is a much better value than the $10,000 SGC 96. However, for the dozen or so collectors who want the VERY BEST, I certainly think this card fits that description. Considering all of the problems this card typically has with stray printing, poor centering, and the condition sensitive nature of the earlier series, the SGC 96 Banks that we sold was the best one that I've ever seen. Could it also be the best graded example in the hobby? Who knows...but I certainly wouldn't bet against it. The collection that it came from had been untouched since the 1970s and was suffused with some truly phenomenal specimens.

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#55563 - 01/30/03 01:20 AM Re: 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal??? [Re: Lothar52]
vic6string
The Collectinator


Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 366
Loc: Miami, Florida

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I am totally with you on this one. The multiples people are spending on high grade stuff in sportscards (and comics, my other hobby) is insane. WHen it comes down to it, the difference between that 96 and an 86 is the opinion of a grader or two. It isn't an exact science. I just got a BGS 7.5 Don Mattingly rookie for $4 that looks absolutely perfect. I could buy a BGS 9.5 for a few hundred bucks, crack them both open and without a magnifying lens I would guess that 50% of collectors would not be able to tell them apart. Those that can tell one from the other will have grades ranging from 7 to 10 for both. I look for great looking ungraded or lower grade stuff because the money on the super high grade stuff is insane. The cards I am looking for (Koufax rookie, and other old Dodgers) have gone way overboard in high grade, but can be found well below book price in lower grades.
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#55564 - 01/30/03 03:26 AM Re: 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal??? [Re: vic6string]
nolemmings
Hobbyist


Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 36

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I agree with Aconte-- collect what you want. I do not believe that Banks was a good investment, but I could be wrong, and we shouldn't forget that maybe the guy who bought it couldn't care less about selling it later.

I just don't understand the mindset of those who "must have the best". Your example is good, but even more amazing to me is the fact that some will pay large if not obscene multipliers for a 10 instead of a 9, or even a 9 more than 8. Forget looking at them from 2 feet away. Many times you would need a loupe to distinguish between a 9 and a 10 or some high 8s and low 9s. What satisfaction does one really find in knowing that some extremely small flaw is missing in his card? Using a real, recent Ebay sale for example, imagine having your buddy over:
" Hey Bob, see these 2 1975 Mike Schmidts, the one in the 8 holder and the one in the 9?'
Yeah?
Look at them under this 12x magnifier.
So?
see the speck under the "e" in Phillies on that 8?
I guess.
Well, almost all of 'em have that, but look closely, you won't see it on that 9.
Yeah.
So I got a great deal on that 9-- got it for just under a grand.
How much would it cost for the one with the speck ?
$60 bucks.
Wow, you 'da man.
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#55565 - 01/30/03 04:28 AM Re: 10,000 vs 75 dollars..whats the better deal??? [Re: nolemmings]
srs1a
Old, dense-headed hammers are cool. Best nail pounders.


Registered: 08/15/02
Posts: 987
Loc: NY

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nolemmings,

That post makes me laugh -- good one! As I am sure you are aware, there was a long thread on the "other board" talking about this specific card and its $1000 dollar price tag. But, if it makes someone happy and they have the cash...good for them.

I think that the tremendous price differentiation between nm/mt, mint and gem mint is curious. I just got my first card graded as gem mint 98 this month -- its a 1968 common. I was really excited and ripped open the box to gaze in wonderment on its gem-ness. To be honest, I was disappointed.

There is no question that it is a really nice card -- but, I think that many of the 96's that I got in the same submission are just as nice and some even have superior eye appeal (to my eye, anyway). The 98 was not exactly dead centered (darn close, though)...but a few of the 96's were dead centered...all the corners/edges were dangerously sharp...but, I guess each 96 had a print spec somewhere on them and the 98 didn't.

Now don't get me wrong -- I am happy to have a gem-mint card in my set...and even happier that it came from my own submission...but is it really nicer than a mint card?

Scott






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#55566 - 01/30/03 11:23 PM A couple of comments [Re: srs1a]
MW1
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Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Just a few comments.

First, the 1955 Topps Ernie Banks that was sold was an SGC 96, not an SGC 98. I don't believe SGC has graded more than a handful of 98s from the entire run of 1950s Topps Baseball Sets. And yes, I do agree that the difference between a Mint and Gem Mint card is sometimes very minor; however, I think the difference between a NM and Mint card or even a NM/MT and Mint card can be quite significant. Usually, these differences are reflected in one or more characteristics including color, border whiteness, centering and corner wear. In the case of the card we sold, the corners were absolutely Gem Mint, the printing was virtually flawless and the reverse side was phenomenally white. The only real defect was centering -- and in this case, I could certainly understand the argument that a perfectly centered example should not be valued much higher.

Image of 1955 Topps Ernie Banks -- SGC 96

While I agree that to the average person, it is puzzling to regard the disparity in price between an "almost perfect" and a "perfect" baseball card, think about other collectibles, hobbies or pastimes. Certainly, the same disparity in price exists between a perfect and an almost perfect signature of Babe Ruth on a baseball, a 1908 Motto St. Gaudens $20 Double Eagle in MS64 and MS66, a genuine antique Ming huanghuali chair and a genuine antique Ming zitan chair, the stud services of a race horse that finished second as opposed to first in some triple-crown races, etc. Usually, we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars of difference in minute details that many just wouldn't understand.

Still, I understand the point that is being made. Is the difference between a Mint 9 and Gem Mint 10 card really warranted? In many cases, I would have to answer no. How many Gem Mint cards originally resided in Mint 9 holders before a "review" process took place? In fact, that's one reason why I've always been a proponent of half-grades -- I think they offer a more precise graduation for price changes -- a type of "weigh station" for graders who assign a high degree of perfection and a guardedly reserved population status to Mint condition vintage sports cards; and certainly, the collector is given a better idea of the TRUE difference between a Mint and Gem Mint card.

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#55567 - 01/30/03 11:56 PM Re: A couple of comments [Re: MW1]
vic6string
The Collectinator


Registered: 04/25/02
Posts: 366
Loc: Miami, Florida

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My issue is not with people paying so much more for a minute difference. Heck, if you have the money, who cares. It is like when people made a big deal of Michael Jordan betting 20 grand on a round of golf. When he made 60 million that year, 20 grand to him is like 50 bucks to a regular joe, and no one ever argues about 50 dollar golf rounds (except maybe the wives of the losers). What gets me is that they are spending these insane amounts of money because one or two people say that this particular card is better than another. Just because they stick it in a slab and put the grade in writing doesn't make it gospel. It is far from an exact science. Take the Ernie Banks. I, and many other collectors, feel that centering is a major factor, and would never call anything but a perfectly centered card gem mint or even mint. Others disagree. What if the grader had spent all day grading 1934 goudey cards and all of a sudden here is a nice looking 1955 Banks. It looks so much better than the last hundred cards he graded...sharper corners...higher gloss...etc. It gets a 96. What if the same Banks is graded by some guy on a day when he has graded nothing but Upper Deck cards from the late 90s. Hundreds of flawlessly printed, super glossy, sharper than razor edged cards, and then suddenly this 55 Banks shows up in his hands. Now it looks like a 90. Still a great card, but the difference between a 90 and a 96 is the difference between a Corvette and a Ferrari. The only way to truly give an accurate grade would be to find every existing 55 Banks and line them up together and judge them all at once. And even then you run into problems like the question "what is more important, sharp corners or centering?" or "Just how important are printing defects?" There is no true standard that everyone agrees with, and these aren't computers making the grades. I have been grading cards for 20 years and will admit that something like a migraine headache might change a grade in my mind from a 98 to a 94. I understand paying a premium for the best of the best, but in this case it is one person's opinion of what is the best. Just because it is in writing is not enough in my mind to justify paying sometimes hundreds of times what it usually sells for.
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#55568 - 01/31/03 12:15 AM Re: A couple of comments [Re: vic6string]
MW1
veteran


Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Vic,

I hear what you're saying.

Again, I think you're absolutely right about minute differences in condition for some cards -- no question about it. In the case of an SGC 92 vs. an SGC 96 Ernie Banks, though, I think one of the following would be enough for a card to reside in a lesser-encapsulated state:

(1) Centering worse than 60/40
(2) A visually unappealing print defect
(3) A surface flaw
(4) Corner wear

To me, and to the SGC graders, those defects reflect pretty significant clues. Grading has become much more standardized in the last 13 years; so much so that knowledgeable collectors or dealers, no matter what major grading company they prefer, can look at a vintage card and tell you whether it is NM, NM/MT, or Mint. Yes, in many respects, card grading has become a science. I know that when I look at a vintage card and I'm trying to determine the exact value, I see a glass that's filled with water. Only instead of noticing whether the glass is half full or half empty, I'm checking out the tiny graduations on the edge of the glass to ascertain the EXACT level of the liquid contained therein.

Your argument comparing 1950s cards to Upper Deck cards from the 1990s is also a very good one. But consider this -- a card from ANY time period should have Mint corners in order to be put into a Mint holder. Getting back to the example of the 1955 Ernie Banks, either it has Mint corners or it doesn't. If the corners are like those on a 1990s Upper Deck card, it's got a shot at an SGC 96; if not, the best it's going to do is to take up residence in an SGC 92 (If the glove fits...).

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#55569 - 01/31/03 02:23 AM Re: A couple of comments [Re: MW1]
Lothar52
enthusiast


Registered: 08/23/02
Posts: 240
Loc: Ohio, USA

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im going to buy one of those PSA/BGS/SGC frames that hold 50 some cards... you guys know any bigger or made specifically for horizontal cards ???? anyway... after looking at my 55 banks i got for 75 bucks raw...and the 55 banks sgc 96 that went for 10,000.... i say toyou this.. mine has 50/50 centering top to bottom, left to right.. PERFECT. Its got white boarders..... its got great color and only minor print defect byt he cubs sign not visible 1 foot away. its corner dmaage is not visible 1.5 feet away. When i make my sports room after i get out of med school... and iput my 55's, 56's etc on the wall... i believe my sgc 40 (remember it had the small fingernail impression to the left of banks ear (go look at the pic..do u see it?? NO) 55 banks will look just as good, be just as eye appealing..and look just as classic as the sgc 96 the guy payed 10grand for (a new toyota corolla baseline model)....meanwhile my 75 dollar plus 6 dollar grading fee card (at the price of a fancy steak dinner for 2) will look just as nice when i glance up on the wall in my secluded sports room

i respect what ya do MW... but when i finally start makin the big bucks...ill be looking forthe centered, not creased, 5s though 7s

Lothar
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