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#59818 - 02/08/03 03:37 AM My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 495

Offline
Growing up in MN in the 1970s and being a baseball fan, it was an obvious choice that my favorite player was Rod Carew . When penny-pinching owner Calvin Griffith let Carew, Bostock, Hisle, Ford and most of the good players go, it was a big disappointment. It started a string of poor seasons for MN sports fans with the Vikings and Twins being below average or worse for most of my sports following youth.

Fast forward to ~1982, my father took me to the Apache Plaza sports card show and bought for $29 a 1972 Rod Carew, #695. This was a huge some of money back then for a card and I would never pay this much for a card until last year (1977 BVG 9 Carew for $70) I recall the dealer telling my dad that it is in the best condition you'd ever find. At the time the 72 high-number was selling for more than his 1967 rookie card (a card I've yet to own). I believe it was 1982 because there was a great nostaglia and buzz around the 72 set being 10 years old and the high-number series being "tough" to find.

I kept this card is a plastic black design holder for nearly 20 years. I made a grave mistake by taking it out one day in the mid-80s to touch it. The mistake I made was dropping a sticker on its front that left a glue residue on it. ##@%F#@%!!*
It was a sticker that you'd find on items from a garage sale or that you'd place on cards at shows. I got bored one winter weekend and priced all my cards with stickers. If you look closely of the card card you will notice it located above the "W" in TWINS.

Fast forward to 2001, I decide to send the card into Beckett with coupons I'd received by signing up as a "silver membership" offer. I didn't know much about SGC at the time and no way in hell I'd send it to PSA (ugly holders, no sub-grading, no half grades and a fear it would get an OC mark of death). Beckett is a very tough grader and their holders are the best in my book. I figured it would come back an 8 or an 8.5. Had I not dropped the sticker on it, I figured a 9 was a real possibility, even though the centering top/botton is 60/40 thereabouts (card is nearly impossible to find in any condition centered 50/50 top/bottom. Drumroll....it came back an 8.5. I was pleased overall, and specifically that it didn't end up with the ugly bronze label given to cards graded 7 to 8 by BVG. Sure enough it was the dreaded "sticker drop" that kept from being a 9 due to a sub-graded surface of 8. The other grades were centering 8.5 (expected/accurate), corners 9 (expected), edges 9 (expected).

So I'm sitting with the highest graded BVG 1972 Carew in the world! A very proud feeling. The card is priceless to me and I wondered what it would sell for. Well, last week a guy on ebay is selling....yep...a 1972 BVG Carew graded NINE! I was mixed with disappointment and joy. On one hand I wanted to always have the best graded example of this from Beckett and on the other hand I was glad to see another one in this holder (right or wrong, I discount PSA and their service). The seller has a reserve that he tells me via email reply is $400. He sells it for $375 before the auction auction is even a couple days old. Part of me wanted to buy it but for no more than $150. Although it would never hold as much meaning to me based upon the history I've stated above with my example.

Now about 2 weeks ago another ebay seller offered a 1972 Carew, SGC 92 (highest ever). He only sold that card for $72, and it was the 2nd time he'd listed it. His opening was $70 and he received only 2 bids in 2 10-day attempts. Now I wish I would have bought that card. I'd like to see how it compared up close to my 8.5 Beckett. Oh well. I'll always be watching out for this card. The one I really want is a 8.5 or 9 of the 1972 #696 Carew in Action. This card is even more difficult to find properly centered. I have this card in fair/poor shape with Carew's actual autograph I got when he visited our elementary school in the winter of 77 or 78.

Here is the population report of the 1972, #695 Rod Carew Card:

Beckett: 41 graded. 36 graded below 8.0 with 3 8s, 1 8.5 (mine!) and one NINE
SGC: 46 graded. 32 graded below 88/8 with 10 88s and 4 92s & ZERO NINES
PSA: ?? You have to pay to see their population report. Although the ebay seller of the BVG 9 said that there were 425 graded with 20 NINES.

To prove my point about PSA. A PSA 1972 Carew 9 sold for a mere $53.29 on January 26th on ebay. An alarming price until you notice that it was graded OC (off center) top/bottom. My card looks pretty much the same and so does the BVG 9.

So that completes the story of my favorite card. I will for personal tracking and perhaps your enjoyment, look to update you on the market of this card bought/sold on ebay.
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#59819 - 02/10/03 07:58 AM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: estang]
Fabfrank
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 293

Offline
Great post Erik. You obviously have a passion for R. Carew and for this card in particular. I was surprised at the prices you quoted for the BVG Carew. The price on the PSA (OC) Carew is what you would expect from the OC kiss of death. I'm quietly happy/and disappointed with the SGC price. Although many SGC cards trade for less than PSA, they are a great bargain. I would like to see prices higher, but enjoy "buying the card, not holder" at a discount.
I started buying graded cards about 5 years ago. At first I found that many SGC cards were selling for more than PSA. I was willing to pay a premium for SGC over PSA at the time because I felt the cards looked better and the holder was more attractive. I feel Beckett was the main catalyst for the market perception that SGC cards are worth less than Beckett or PSA. It wasn't until Beckett started posting separate prices for the big 3 graded card companies, that you really saw the discrepancy in SGC pricing. Becketts teired reporting of prices became a self fulfilling prophecy.
Bottom line, enjoy your Carew card regardless of what holder it's in.

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#59820 - 02/10/03 04:52 PM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: estang]
MW1
veteran


Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Erik,

Great story! I fondly recall a similar experience I had in a downtown Milwaukee card shop in 1982 (amazingly, the same year as you!). I can't remember which shop it was, but I had $2 to spend at the time and I ended up purchasing a 1970 Rod Carew and a 1959 Frank Robinson. And yes, I distinctly remember both a 1972 Steve Garvey and a 1972 Rod Carew in the large, middle showcase in the shop. Unfortunately, I could not afford either one. Against the far wall of the shop, I can also remember an entire multi-tiered showcase filled with stacks of 1952 Topps baseball. The prices ranged from $1 to $5. I can only imagine what type of "damage" I could have done with a couple hundred bucks.

Great card, by the way!

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#59821 - 02/10/03 05:05 PM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: Fabfrank]
MW1
veteran


Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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Fabfrank,

Great analysis on the pricing structures used by Beckett -- I think you are absolutely correct. As the self-proclaimed hobby leader in pricing, they should be more careful in being fair and accurate. Still, they're in business just like every other major grading company. I'm sure there's a certain conflict of interest there -- just like there is in the prices reflected in PSA's SMR price guide.

Here's the link for the most accurate SGC prices.

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#59822 - 02/11/03 05:54 AM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: MW1]
Fabfrank
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 06/11/02
Posts: 293

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Thanks MW1- I was astonished as well as disappointed when I first saw the changes in Becketts graded card pricing. It is more than a conflict of interest on their part. I saw it as pure price manipulation. That coupled with their "tiered services" (BGS, BVG, BCCG), has done them more damage than good in the hobby.
I have to disagree with you regarding PSA's SMR. Even though many prices need to be updated in SMR, at least they are only reporting PSA card prices. I don;t see SMR doing the damage to SGC that Becketts pricing policy has.
I've always felt the key word in Price Guide is "GUIDE". It's not a price bible. The only factor that should determine what I believe a card to be worth, is what I'm willing to pay for it.
Keep up the informative posts MW1. They are read and appreciated.

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#59823 - 02/11/03 06:14 AM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: Fabfrank]
MW1
veteran


Registered: 07/30/02
Posts: 1358

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FabFrank,

Yes, you're definitely right about the pricing strategy employed by Beckett. Publishing prices for graded card from your own company as well as for two of your competitors might be considered ethically questionable. I believe that Krause Publications also experimented with a similar three-tiered pricing structure, but it was put into print prior to their entry into the graded card market. On an interesting sidenote, in one of these Krause magazines, an article was written on eBay sales and we were ridiculed for listing an SGC graded N172 Old Judge on eBay for a high price and having it fail to receive an opening bid. Several months later, we sold the card offline for $6910 -- a record price (to the best of my knowledge) for an Old Judge "common."

BTW, thanks for the compliment, Frank!

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#59824 - 02/24/03 10:16 AM 1972 Carew PSA 8 goes for only $58.77 [Re: MW1]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 495

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It closed the other day on ebay. No qualifiers. A pretty low price for a tough high number card.

However, I bid and tracked a 1977 Topps BVG 9.0 Thurman Munson that went for just over $75 (it had 2 9.5s). I tell you that a Mint Vintage card in a BVG holder goes for a premium. I paid $75+ for a 1977 BVG Carew (one of a handful of cards I'd pay that premium for).

_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#59825 - 02/24/03 10:28 AM Re: 1972 Carew PSA 8 goes for only $58.77 [Re: estang]
uniship
Learning the Ropes


Registered: 01/31/03
Posts: 10

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Sorry to pimp my own auction, but I thought you may have an interst in a possible re-grade. The PSA 7 1972 Carew I have for auction is extremely well centered and undoubtedly high end for a 7 - probably an sgc 86 at least. I'll give you a full (no questions asked) money back refund if you don't like it or if you don't like the re-grade if you do re-submit it. Here it is:

72 Carew PSA 7



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#59826 - 02/24/03 10:45 AM good luck with your auction [Re: uniship]
estang
(S)uper Collector


Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 495

Offline
I have this card in BVG 8.5, but I'll keep an eye on it and maybe even place a bid. I'd pop it right out of that PSA holder and probably put it in SGC or keep in raw in my Twins binder.

You're right. An SGC 86 would be better than a PSA 7 anytime/anywhere.
_________________________
Enjoy Your Collection & SKOL VIKINGS!

Erik

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#59827 - 02/26/03 12:39 AM Re: My favorite card: 1972 Rod Carew and its story [Re: Fabfrank]
vic6string
The Collectinator


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

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I think it is ridiculous that Beckett has a grading service AND reports prices on graded cards. It is like letting the CEO of Ford pick Motor Trend's car of the year every year. Or letting French judges into the Olympics :-)

As for the Carew, that really is a great card, but as a Dodger fan I have always been after the 72 Topps Garvey. That card was my collectible Holy Grail as a kid. Maybe someday I will put out the cash to get one as nice as your Carew.

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