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Scrapbooking cards ruins grade, decreases value

By Staff | Jan 20, 2013

Dear Babe: I have some 1948 Bowman basketball cards and 1950 Bowman football cards. The cards are all in pretty good condition, but there is one issue. Back in the day I used Scotch tape to hold the cards in place. They have no crease, but the tape is visible. Not all have the tape on the corners, but most do. Once again the cards are in pretty good shape, but the tape stains are there, because they were all in a scrapbook.

– J.T., Loch Sheldrake, N.Y.

Unfortunately the news is not good.

“Catastrophic. Any tape on a card will typically relegate the overall grade to a Poor (1.0), or possibly a Fair (1.5),” said Mark Anderson, director of Beckett Grading Services.

Pat Blandford, vice-president of sales and acquisitions for www.kevinsavagecards.com/, agreed with that assessment, adding some detail for ungraded cards.

“If the cards are otherwise high grade and have great eye-appeal (tape mostly on back), you might be able to retail them for 10 percent-15 percent of guide. If they are stained and lower grade (or have most of the tape on front, lack eye-appeal, etc), I would think 3 to7percent of guide is much more in the realm of what you would probably get for them. Also, if you can find someone who is willing to take lower condition cards to finish a set, then you might be able to charge a little more for them, but you have to find that collector, which can be difficult in this day and age.”

“I think that most collectors look at serious tape stains as similar to writing on cards – you can get more for the ones that have writing on back and good eye-appeal, much less for ones lacking eye-appeal, or with writing on front. Obviously it will all come down to which cards have tape, how much they have and what a prospective buyer thinks about that.”

That said, we can take a look a couple of book values based on the list you sent. George Mikan’s ’48 Bowman is far and away the most valuable card in the lot. Beckett’s annual basketball card price guide lists it at $1,500-$2,200. Carl Braun lists for $200-$400 while Red Holzman, who coached the Knicks to their only two NBA championships in 1970 and 1973, books at $125-$225.

Tittle is the most valuable football card. the Standard Catalog of Vintage Baseball Cards from the editors of Sports Collectors Digest has a top value of $400, while Beckett’s annual football card price guide has a top book value of $250.

Those are the book values, which will have to be slashed by 90 percent or so if they have tape remnants or stains.

Babe note

The NFL season is winding down, but products with cards of players in one of the best rookie classes in a long time continue to appear on hobby store shelves.

Topps Strata, a brand new product, and Bowman Sterling are the latest release from Topps.

Strata features “Clear Cut” autographed relic cards. Cards of top rookies have a jersey swatch underneath a clear card front with an on-card autograph. Dual autograph cards with Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III top the list of combos. Quad signatures cards include one signed by Luck,

Griffin, Justin Blackmon and Trent Richardson.

Babe Waxpak is written by Bill Wagner. If you have a question for Babe Waxpak, include your full name and hometown, the card number, year and manufacturer or send a photocopy. Please do not send cards. The address is: Babe Waxpak, Box 492397, Redding CA 96049-2397 or email babewaxpak@charter.net.


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