BGS “Discusses” The Strasburg Grade – FAIL

Its rare that a card like the Strasburg superfractor comes around. I have no idea why anyone would even think of grading this card to begin with, but the seller fell for Beckett’s black magic and submitted it. As I predicted ahead of time, despite obvious problems, the card received a 9.5. People who know grading, rightfully so, went ape shit because of the fact that the card was so obviously bumped because of its stature. As always, Beckett’s arrogance moved them to post this video on youtube for everyone to see. They actually thought they could prove the card was legitimately the grade it received, when really all it did was solidify everything that angry graded card collectors were saying. Basically, the Strasburg was not a 9.5, and probably wasnt even a 9. However, for a company that exemplifies everything that is bad about the hobby, it wasnt about anything more about making money and making themselves look good. Epic Fail all around.

Dont believe what I am saying? Think I have a bias because I hate everything Beckett stands for? Fine. You dont have to listen to me, but this supersized scan from the guy who pulled it originally speaks for itself:
No matter that the card is drastically off center, the edges are visibly frayed, and the corners are less than stellar, nothing on this card received less than a 9. Give me a fucking break. I have craps that could have gotten a better grade than this should have. Bottom line. Thanks for proving your irrelevancy to everyone all over again, Beckett. Love your work.

Beckett Announces That They Have Pulled ANOTHER 1of1 From Finest

Jim emailed me today with some very interesting news. He said that Beckett has announced that they have pulled ANOTHER 1 of 1 from their EARLY box of Topps Finest football. Regardless if this card is a printing plate, or a superfractor, the principle of the matter is that it is still a 1/1 that a collector will not be able to get in their box they BUY.

Just for shits and giggles, Im going to run down the list of cards they have pulled since they first started video taping their boxes. Remember, Beckett is not the only ones to blame, but they sure do like to pander to the card companies looking for more opportunities. Yes, multiple sources have told me that they have been approached by Beckett to provide a more active role in their box breaking episodes. On top of all of that, Beckett also doesnt show every box they break, only the ones they feel appropriate. Glad they are committed to providing a realistic picture of what is actually happening when you break a box of cards.
Here is the list:
1. 2006 Vince Young Exquisite Rookie Auto Patch /99 – The most valuable rookie at the time it was pulled. Worth more than $1,000.
2. Adrian Peterson Exquisite Rookie Auto Patch 1/1 – The most valuable Exqusite rookie auto patch of all time.
3. Walter Payton/Brian Piccolo Exquisite Dual Ledenary Cut 1/1 – A truly amazing card.
4. Ladanian Tomlinson 1/1 Exquisite Base Card
5. Joe Dimaggio Topps Sterling 1/1 cut auto jersey – The only one in 2007 Topps sterling
6. Brady Quinn 2007 National Treasures 1/1 Patch auto – Just a ridiculous patch
7. Topps Ticket To Stardom 1/1 Ticket Stub – not a horribly expensive card, but still a 1/1
8. Lucille Ball 1/1 Razor Cut Signature
9. Ryan Howard Topps Triple Threads Letter Fold out 1/1
10. Alex Rodriguez Topps Sterling Jersey Auto /10
11. Shoeless Joe Jackson Dual Bat /25
12. Matt Ryan Topps Rookie Progression Triple Auto – again, not worth much, but a ridiculous pull from a shitty product.
13. 2009 Topps Finest Football 1/1 – ???
So far thats more cards than could be counted on two hands. Again, the manufacturers are just as much to blame here, but the fact that Beckett runs it out there like a prized pig is getting to be one of the most disgusting displays in the hobby. I have said hundreds of times that each time Beckett pulls a “Beckett” it presents a horrible unrealistic expectation for the uniformed somebody who watches it, and I am encouraging the manufacturers to stop. As one blogger who commented on facebook said, “each time I see a box broken by Beckett, I lose respect for the people who send it.” From that, maybe marketing your product this way is not a good idea, especially when people only watch it to see them to fuck it up.
These breaks, hobby wide, are considered scams by most of the informed collectors. Of course, there are apologists, but walk into any store, and ask them what they think of Beckett’s string of “good luck.” In fact, I know the manufacturers are aware of our feelings, and either refuse to comment on it, or just say that they have a job to do to market their products effectively. Although I do understand that Beckett does get lots of viewers that will see the products, when do you start to question the fact that there is more negative feelings generated than positive? Personally, I had received handfuls of emails congratulating Upper Deck from ceasing their Beckett shipments, only to have the same people email me later in anger once they started up again.
I have also received emails from five or six shops saying that they had stopped carrying Beckett in their store, including one that had instead put a laptop on the counter with a place for collectors to look up their pulls on eBay. Of course, being the arrogant people that they are, Beckett will continue to force their prowess as the “number one source” down your throat, but fail to see the turn in the collecting culture over the last few years. Remember, hating Beckett used to be the exception to the rule, now supporting them is taking its place.
I mean, if they were really going to present a realistic picture, how hard is it to form a partnership with Blowout or DA? Show your receipt, buy your boxes like everyone else, and then there isnt a need to have to find the time to go to a shop and buy the boxes. They can be shipped overnight right to Dallas. That way, if Beckett actually does pull a 1/1, it will be with the same chances that everyone else had, and Blowout or DA gets a little publicity along the way.
Yet, Beckett doesnt think like that, they are above the plebes down here in the mud. They want their thousands of dollars worth of product to be free, and they dont give a fuck what we think. Maybe they should keep on doing what they are doing, because I also run this site for free, and I have no staffers to pay. I can keep on writing, and do it for the love of the game without fear of money. Beckett, on the other hand, cannot. Its all about green for them, and eventually that green will dry up. When it does, ill be there to laugh a great big fat belly laugh at them.

Tuff Stuff Wants To Discover What’s Wrong With The Hobby

Recently, Tuff Stuff has taken it upon themselves to go over what readers think is wrong with the hobby and to look for possible solutions. I think its a bold step, but in my opinion, a generally horrible idea in this format. First, the average reader has no fucking clue as to what is truly the more IMPORTANT bad things, and that will lead to a pretty boring list. Second, half the major problems in the hobby stem from things the magazine does themselves. Anyways, here is what their list will probably be, followed by mine.

TUFF STUFF PROJECTED LIST (not in order of importance):
1) Redemptions – I have said it before, its more the players than the companies that have problems with redemptions. If the players dont sign, the cards cant go out. I think the expectations set by the company, replacements for unsigned cards as well as lack of updates are the bigger problems. I will give kudos to Topps for publicizing their redemption updates via twitter.
2) Number of products – I cant tell you how much I hate it when people say that product variety is a problem. There are five million car companies, but no one ever complains that they have too many choices. Number of products as a complaint is shit. Just buy what you want and shut up.
3) Lack of kids/cost of boxes – Again kids havent been the primary focus of the hobby since the late 80s, and yet people think they are the answer to everyone’s problems. Complete crap. As that relates to the cost of boxes, its easy to blame the companies again, but the players are just as much to blame. There are still a lot of lower end products that are good, and yet the variety thing comes into play again. Yes, there are very costly products, but they dont account for everything.
4) Fake patches/cards/autos – I agree with this one, but the only solution is a photo database that is easily accessible to everyone. There are a few users who have taken it upon themselves to take care of this themselves, but it isnt perfect.
5) Some sort of eBay complaint – eBay sucks at doing some things, but is great about others. I will say that I would take eBay the way it is any day than having to buy singles at shows or at stores.
MY LIST (not in order of importance):
1) Price Guides – There is no reason for a price guide, especially one that is run by people making money off the hobby. The guides out there present unrealistic expectations of value, and cause more problems than they solve. Their existence continues to show that this hobby is more about vanity and money than about fun.
2) Boring concepts / Gimmicks – This hobby has spiraled into a snoozefest of products that are not designed well and feature horrible concepts and themes. Its time to get a better design team in there that focuses more about a good looking product. No more rehashes, no more copycatting.
3) Beckett – Their arrogance of their place in the hobby, as well as the fact that they serve more as an ad vehicle rather than an objective source is detrimental to the people that still follow them. Beckett as a group is underhanded, vindictive, and ethically objectionable, and has yet to provide a worthwhile contribution to the hobby. They also have a public relationship with a card company that breaks all sorts of moral rules.
4) Grading/Authentication – there is no need for it, especially by humans. Besides being completely subjective and arbitrary, it is commonly used as a publicity machine as well as a way to please large customers. On top of all of this, Beckett sells their own graded cards. As for the authentication, there are so many stories of people sending in IP autos they themselves have gotten and not getting auth. Just shows that humans are just that, human.
5) Complacency of the companies towards Fake autos/Fake Patches – There hasnt been much done to counteract the criminal empire created by thieves on eBay. Ebay wont do anything, the card companies wont do anything, and the collectors only have so much of a voice. Until a bigger focus is made policy, we will continue to be victims of the great douches of the hobby.
6) Boxes for Review – Again, this whole practice solves absolutely nothing, and creates a ton of problems. There are currently more than 50 different groups of people who receive free product the companies. More than half hold a vested interest in the product’s success. That means, ad money, publicity, reviews, etc. This is not just for highly produced stuff, but also the very limited products too. Beckett received 4 boxes of 2009-10 Exquisite Basketball. That is close to 2400 retail dollars of swag. Completely unacceptable considering that they price cards for over 50% of the uniformed hobby.
7) Lack of communication – Card companies are about as transparent as a lead door in this industry. There is rarely any info transmitted that actually gives collectors what they want, and that needs to stop. There needs to be better websites, more feedback, and more involvement with the collecting public. Talk to the boards instead of with Beckett.
8) Brand/Player/Sport exclusive contracts – there is nothing worse for collectors than exclusive anything. This should be at the top of everyone’s list. The fact that there is only one NBA license and only one MLB license is ridiculous. It is also ridiculous that players like Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Jeter, Griffey, A-Rod, Pujols and company are only able to sign for one brand. That is a poor situation. Look at the NFL, there is no exclusives and it is one of the best places to start a player collection. So many choices, and that is a great thing!
In all reality, there could be a huge economic disaster, worse than the last few years, and the hobby would still survive. People like to collect shit. That will always be a given. The industry part may fall by the wayside, but cards will always be a commodity. So, to put together a list like this is easy, but pretty much ineffective. The effective part comes from the buying public, as they need to put their money where their mouth is. I have been practicing this for the last few years, only buying the stuff I like, instead of wasting my money on stuff that is just there, or buying because I am bored. As a result, I have a collection to be proud of, rather than a hoarded mess of cards I have no connection to. Hopefully others will follow suit and not give their money to products and company that shouldnt get it.

A Comment On Beckett’s Most Recent 1/1 Pull

Mario just alerted me that Beckett has pulled ANOTHER 1/1 out of an early box of Topps Ticket to Stardom. I still cannot believe that there isnt someone who has pulled the plug on this video crap yet. This time it was a ticket stub to a Presidential Inaguration, but the principle of the matter remains. Sadly this brings the pull list from Beckett box breaks to a fucking retarded number of cards, with now over six 1/1s alone from a very small number of boxes.
I CONTINUE to have no idea why companies continue sending boxes out in this respect. It creates more problems than it solves, and its even more stupid for Beckett to post them due to the encited hatred. Of course, due to the extreme douchey arrogance the magazine has over its place atop the hobby media, they would never believe they are anything but invincible. Therefore why not post it, right? Fuck the haters, they cant do shit.
Either way, im not going to say much more because its all been said before. When they close their doors sometime in the near future, I hope they finally will realize how awful they really are. Considering that they have pretty much turned the entire internet against them, I think its slightly apparent already. Hell, two years ago, it was against the grain to hate Beckett, now, its an exception to the rule to side with them. I think its hilarious. Even more so when I get emails from shops saying they have stopped carrying Beckett. Those types of emails are becoming more frequent due to the moral ambiguity the magazine displays on a regular basis. Glad to see things are working out for them. Number one source indeed.
Nice job there guys.