On this week’s podcast, Senior Vintage Sports Card Grader at Certified Sports Guaranty (CSG) Andy Broome joined the show to talk about CSG’s new label, their updated grading scale and his experiences grading cards including the famous T-206 Honus Wagner card.
Broome has graded a lot of cards in his professional life– over one million and counting. As Senior Vintage Sports Card Grader at CSG (csgcard.com) Andy has seen it all. He talks about what’s happening at CSG including the recent release of a new label design and tweaking of CSG’s card grading scale.
He shed light on some upcoming new grading features on the horizon and we talk about whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have a significant impact on grading in the future. He also discusses the time when he graded a T206 Honus Wagner.
In addition, we learn how Andy helped with the Shoebox Treasures Exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His interview is at the 1:13:05 mark.
We also discuss some recent autograph experiences, new releases and more.
Next week’s guest will be six-time American League All-Star pitcher Sam McDowell who has written a new book The Saga of Sudden Sam: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of Sam McDowell.
TTM This Week
TTM returns have started to trickle in this week with a decidedly basketball flavor. I sent out about 15 basketball requests two weeks ago and I’m starting to see some results.
Here’s a few of my recent TTM successes.
Bob Cousy – He’s 93, but Hall of Famer and Celtics icon Bob Cousy continues to answer his fan mail, thrilling TTM collectors with beautifully signed cards and photos. Cousy readily signs requests free of charge but always personalizes them. If you are looking to get a straight autographed in your item he will oblige but does require a fee. I picked this card up at a comic book store in Salem MA for a quarter last week and sent it off. It was returned in less than 10 days. Cooz’s signature is still beautiful and he adds a nice inscription: “Peace.”
Glen Combs – Glen Combs was known as “The Kentucky Rifle”. After getting drafted by the San Diego Rockets out of Virginia Tech, Combs chose to play in the ABA and wound up spending his entire career in the league of the red, white and blue ball.
From 1968-75 he played for Dallas, Memphis Utah and Virginia. He was a three-time All-Star and a member of the 1971 ABA Champion Utah Stars. Combs scored over 7,600 points during his career and ranks third all-time in the ABA for 3-point attempts with 1,369. He made over 36 percent of them. Glen signed his 1974-75 Topps card showing him in his Memphis Sounds uniform for me and returned it in less than two weeks. No donation was required.
Billy Keller – Billy Keller spent his entire basketball career in Indiana. First as a member of the Purdue Boilermakers and then as an Indiana Pacer in the ABA from 1969-1976. He later went on to coach the University of Indianapolis form 1980-87. He was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. Keller was just 5’ 10” but was a prolific scorer, tallying over 6,500 points during his career.
I sent this 1974-75 Topps card of him holding that magical ABA ball to him and he signed it and returned it to me in less than two weeks.
Archie Clark – Archie Clark played guard in the NBA from 1966-76 with four teams including the Lakers, 76ers, Washington and the Pistons. He was a two-time All-Star, scored over 11,800 points in his career and was a member of the 1968-69 Los Angles Lakers team that lost to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. I am a big fan of vintage in-action cards and really liked this 1974-75 Topps featuring Clark in his classic Bullets uniform. Archie signed and returned this little beauty to me in little over two weeks.
Marty Lyons – After staring at Alabama, Lyons was selected by the New York Jets and became a member of the famed “New York Sack Exchange,” the team’s dominant front four in 1981 and 1982 that also featured Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam and Joe Klecko (a great TTMer as well). He played his entire career with the Jets from 1979-89.
Marty signed his 1987 Topps football card for me and returned in a few months.
Blaze Jordan – Jordan is #7 ranked prospect in the Boston Red Sox system. He was drafted in the third round of the 2020 MLB Draft. He’s a power hitting third baseman currently playing for Salem in the Single A Carolina League. He is a baseball card collector and has been a favorite of the TTM community since he was drafted. I send this Bowman insert card to his house right before Spring Training started and got it back signed and personalized in about 10 days. I saw Blaze signing autographs for fans during Spring Training at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, FL and I’m sure he’ll be a willing signer at the park during his minor league season.
Here’s a list of a few other former players who are currently signing for free. I have had success with all of them in the past:
- Don Beebe – Buffalo Bills WR
- Mark Gubicza – All-Star pitcher from the Royals and Angles
- Bobby Hebert – New Orleans Saints quarterback
- Gary Sutherland – Infielder in the 1970s with the Tigers
- Junior Bridgeman – Guard with the Milwaukee Bucks
TTM tip of the week:
Sportscardforum.com provides TTMers a free and easy way to dip your toes into the hobby. It is free to register, and it is easy for collectors to navigate allowing them to quickly locate mailing addresses and recent signing habits of current and former athletes. Once registered, the collector will gain instant access to mailing addresses. It’s simple to navigate. Select the TTM Manger tab at the top of the site and them select Recent Successes from the left TTM Menu. You’ll be off and running.
Have a TTM success story you would like to share with me? Please, send it me at [email protected]. If I use it in my column, I’ll send you a prize.