Friday, August 20, 2010

Hammer to fall

This is one of the greatest cards ever.

I received it quite awhile ago, from Dave of Tribe Cards, in its current encased state.

On the back, Professional Sports Authenticator tells me it is graded "Good," and that it is a "2."


I never think about grading cards. The only time I think about grading is when I come across a blog post that rips someone for having a card graded, or recommends someone have a card graded. Either way, it makes me sleepy. I don't sell cards. I don't plan to sell cards. Grading doesn't have a place in my life. And thank goodness. My life is packed full.

Sealing up cards in plastic strikes me as weird, even though when I think about it really really hard, I can come up with a reason for doing so.

But that doesn't mean I like owning graded cards. Whenever I happen to obtain a card enclosed in a case meant to protect me from myself, I do one thing:

I find the closest hammer (we have a few scattered all over the plantation), and I blast that plastic to bits.

Don't worry. Safety goggles are involved.

The cards come out without a scratch, and I happily place them in a  page pouch so I can remove it when I want and rub my dirty fingerprints all over it in hopes that it will act as some sort of card voodoo doll for some grading snob and he'll suddenly start squirming and twitching because someone OUT THERE is TOUCHING their CARD.

Still, my Dodgers Sluggers card sits as I received it. Sealed up tight.

For some reason, I can't get myself to break it open.

I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps I'm afraid the hammer will ruin the card. Perhaps I'm afraid if the card experiences air molecules then it will disintegrate on the spot. I think that might be the reason.

But the card isn't THAT fragile. Sure, it's got some creases on three of the four corners (Duke Snider is taking the biggest hit). But otherwise it's rather nice. I'd grade it higher than "good," personally.

So, what should I do? Should I finally set it free? Or should I keep it sealed for that day when all my life savings are gone, and I desperately need an artificial hip?

My retirement years are in your hands.


  1. If you know how to open it without injuring yourself or the card, go for it.

  2. If you can safely keep it stored that way, why not keep it in the case? My only gripe with graded cards is that they are so big they don't fit in normal storage containers. I have to lay them sideways and then they take up too much room.

  3. Actually, PSA is the easiest to crack. Just hold the card firmly in one hand, take a pair of pliers and break off another corner (near label.) It's simple to pry apart from there. No hammer required.

  4. I've wondered the same thing about the 1940 Playball Bob Seeds autograph that I have. I like my signed cards in binders and yet that card still sits on my desk in a graded case. It is a very tough call to make. I', sorry I couldn't help much.

  5. Like Cardboard Icons said, it's easy enough to free the card from its plastic slab without even touching a hammer...I've liberated a couple of them myself over the years.

  6. If you're looking for hip replacement money, you better have some Gem 10 Mantle's to go with it.

    As an aside, why don't they have horizontal slaps for horizontal cards & some kind of easel type clear flap on back for upright display? OOps-unfortunately it would make shoebox storage pretty much impossible!

  7. Free to be, you and me! Viva el liberacion! And all that...