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The Post War Cards Newsletter #14
👋 Welcome to the latest issue of The Post War Cards Newsletter, the newsletter that celebrates #TheHobby.
🗓️ Every other week, I share unique content about vintage sports cards, hobby & sports history, and industry activity with collectors.
😎 Sound cool? Feed your hobby soul with issues sent directly to your inbox:
👩⚖️ A Collectors Universe Patent
In July 2020, when Certified Collectibles Group announced they were getting into the sports card grading business, I wrote an article about 5 Ways the Sports Card Grading Industry Should Embrace Technology. I highlighted the use of digital tools for transparency, grading support, and fraud detection.
Well, a few weeks ago, Paul Lesko, a plaintiffs' litigator, who tweets about the legal aspects of the hobby, wrote, “Recently, a Collectors Universe patent application was published, and it gives us a view into what PSA may be working on. Keep in mind, this is a patent application not a patent...so what ultimately may issue might have different scope than this app.”
Essentially, PSA seems to be working on machine learning algorithms for grading cards by loading a lot of pictures of cards into a training program and enabling the comparison of new cards to that database to determine if the new card shares traits with any conditions in the library.
While most patent applications don’t make it, it’s still interesting that PSA is working on some sort of automated grading methodology.
✍️ Great Hobby Writing
The Collective Mind: Bruce Sutter Closes His Longest Game
The Topps Archives: Buzz Kill
Cards as I See Them: Custom built heroes
n j w v: Common Culture vs Hegemony
Collectors Dashboard: Do Mickey Mantle Cards Deserve the “Mantle Premium” Over Rival Stars?
Sports Collectors Daily: Buying, Selling, and Trading on Twitter
Have you been following the Collecting1965Topps Blog?
Night Owl Cards: The Other “World” Series
The Fleer Sticker Project: Fun with Astros vs. Phillies Programs
Sports Collectors Digest: Don Mattingly collector shows his passion for Yankee great with unique, online checklist
Greg Morris Cards: Set Spotlight 1954-55 Topps Hockey
🥣 1952 Wheaties Borders
You can see on the uncut panel above that Wheaties encouraged collectors to “Cut ‘em out.” But how were they supposed to be cut out and trimmed, and how are today’s third-party graders supposed to evaluate the cut?
Luckily, an advertisement from the era shows us that Wheaties expected kids to cut out the cards with rounded corners and a consistent blue border.
Neither PSA nor SGC seems to do a good job consistently grading these, though. You will find squared-off versions with high grades, rounded blue-bordered edges with low grades, and vice versa.
⚾️ Juan Gonzalez
If someone mentions Juan Gonzalez, I immediately associate him with his incredible 1998 season, his 1990 Topps baseball card, and a unique batting stance (in that order).
In his final game before the 1998 All-Star Break, Juan Gonzalez hit two home runs and had 4 RBIs bringing his season total to 101, which is the second most in baseball history by the all-star break (Hank Greenberg had 103 in 1935 in 11 fewer games than Gonzalez). Gonzalez won his second MVP that year, finishing the season with a league-leading 50 doubles and 157 RBIs; he also hit 45 home runs with a .318 batting average. I remember ESPN reporting the heck out of his performance, and it really stands out in my memory.
I always seem to connect Juan Gonzalez’s performance that year with his 1990 Topps baseball card, despite it being released eight years earlier. I think this is because 1990 Topps has always been one of my favorite junk-era sets; I was eight and super into baseball cards when they came out. Plus, a few years ago, I ripped a case of them and have uncut sheets of the entire set.
My love of baseball wasn’t just exhibited via the hobby; I played too. And as a kid in the early 90s, we all tried to mimic Gonzalez’s unique batting stance, which started with his bat over his head in preparation for a pitch followed by a high leg kick to try and hit the ball farther.
🗞️ In the News
The Hollywood Reporter: From ‘Pawn Stars’ to Sports Card Collectibles: Inside the Rebirth of Transactional TV
The Street: EBay Completes a Crucial Acquisition
PSA Blog: The 2022 PSA Set Registry Award Winners
🏅 On the PostWarCards Blog
October 31st, 2022: Why Didn’t Topps Print Hockey Cards in 1982 or 1983?
November 1st, 2022: This Month on PostWarCards – November 2022
November 2nd, 2022: 1991 Topps Desert Shield Wax Pack and Box Authentication
November 7th, 2022: The Post-War OG Sports Card Checklists
November 8th, 20022: The Unique 1984 OPC Baseball Rack Packs
🐐 Jordan Checklists
Props to the 1993-94 Upper Deck Pro View design team on their two checklists!