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Editor’s Blog: Collectors and Condition

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Awhile back, we wrote about collectors and how we view the condition of a card.  More specifically, what type of defect is the biggest turn off (boy, that sounds geeky doesn’t it?).   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but some don’t care at all as long as they can add a vintage star card to their collection.  Others are willing to hold out for something more pleasing to the eye.

We got a lot of response to the question when we put it on our very active Facebook page recently.  Here’s what some of you said.

Sandy Koufax 1959 ToppsDave Hill:  The two things I avoid with vintage cards are paper loss and writing/holes on the card. If the centering is decent cent and  it’s not too badly creased, I’m more than content to pick up the card.

Marty Nussbaum:  I have to say the off center cards are what I say away from most. I can deal with sligt corner wear or even a light crease over being off center.

Kevin Bowman:  Writing, tears, water stains and paper loss makes me say no thanks to vintage.

Keith Patterson:  If it’s a BIG name and priced right, no nasty condition problems I’ll buy it  just to say I’ve got one. I learned when I passed on a ruff Willie Mays ROOKIE (for) $5.00. Still kicking myself!!!!

Mike Brooks:  I agree with Keith above. I’ve passed on cards years ago but I wish I had now just to say I have. Traded a muffler for a Michael Jordan rookie card with a big ugly crease on it just so I have 1. Possibly 1 of the weirdest transactions I know of for a sports card.

Michael Ivey:  I really don’t care about the condtion of vintage cards I love them in any form. I know that aren’t as valuable as cards that are in near mint-mint condition? I rarely pass on any vintage cards that I can afford? I have a 1954 Wllie Mays Topps card in awful condition and I am proud of it. A vintage card is a vintage card no matter what condition it is in.

Justin Evans:  I avoid paper loss and holes, other than that I just like to collect old cards to get signed. I have 54 1957 Topps cards signed. I collect for fun not for value.

Aman Reaka: I think it actually ADDS some “personality” or “quality” to an old card if it’s banged up. I want it to look old. Like a special dent in that old Chevy truck. I’m odd.

Paul DeVorse:  I’m picky. I’d rather pay more for a well-centered card with 2-3 sharp corners. Paper loss, creases (at all), excessive printing lines, too much wax staining, bad centering, or marks are definite no-nos. I try to stay in the EX-MT to NM+ range. If I bought a card with a noticeable visual defect mentioned above on it, intentionally or not, I would replace it.

Adam J. Moraine:  Vintage is the vast majority of my collection. I will usually go for PSA grades 4-7. That said, when it comes to vintage I avoid cards that are way off center, have holes, writing, paper loss and creases. The only exception was the purchase of my “dream card” in 2006……..A T-206 Cobb (portrait, red background) in a PSA 1 holder.

Terry Wilcox:  I try to stay in the VG range. I dont like heavy creases but it depends on the card for instance I have a 1951 bowman Mantle that is creased bad but it’s a 51 mantle!  I’m building a 1964 Topps set and those I’m trying to stay at VG on but they are tough finds especially the high #’s.

About Rich Mueller

Rich is the editor and founder of Sports Collectors Daily. A broadcaster and writer for more than 30 years and a collector for even longer than that, he's usually typing something somewhere. Type him back at [email protected].

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