What used to be quiet chatter on obscure internet message boards–a secret whispered among those in the know–is now a national discussion. The forum talk about trimming became part of the content for a book that made those observations public. Still, it wasn’t much of a water cooler discussion unless your water cooler was inside a sports card shop or other hobby business.
Then came the FBI investigation and resulting charges against one of the hobby’s one-time titans of high end sports memorabilia.
When a judge refused to accept Bill Mastro’s plea bargain earlier this month, the story about the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner card–the ‘holy grail of holy grails’ in the baseball card business–gained new legs.
Now, ESPN’s 30 for 30 has produced a 15-minute film on the card, the controversy and what it’s all meant for the hobby.
In it, PSA’s David Hall, who examined the card when it was submitted early in the company’s history, maintains the card didn’t appear trimmed.
The card’s last sale, at $2.8 million, was made to Arizona Diamondbacks’ owner Ken Kendrick and despite all of the controversy over what its grade should be, it’s already had an impact on the value of high-end vintage baseball cards and T206 cards in particular.
“A rising tide does lift all boats,” says Keith Olbermann, noted collector and talk show host who is interviewed for the piece, which you can watch below. Even if there isn’t much new information, it’s a well-produced Barnicle Brothers effort that’s worth watching if only for the additional national attention it’s brought to the hobby.