High-Grade Cards not the Only Focus in Trimming/Alteration Scandal

While high-grade cards are often suspected targets for alterations, lower-end ones are surfacing, too

Blowout’s incredible thread of altered cards keeps growing. And while the high-grade cards are the ones that are attracting a lot of attention, one thing that’s important to note is that the scandal is covering cards of all kinds of grades.

Cy Young E90-1 PortraitN162 BeecherMid-grade pre-war and vintage cards can fetch pretty strong values. So this Ted Williams 1949 Leaf card, which was a PSA 4 and upped to a 5 after, what appear to be some minor tweaks, is no small deal. According to the post, the card was purchased for just under $600 and sold for a little more than $1,400, thanks to the bump. And here’s a Jackie Robinson that appears to have received the same ‘fate.’

On the pre-war front, this N162 Goodwin Champions card of early football star Harry Beecher was an apparent fix as well. The card is an important one as it is often recognized as the first true football card featuring a real player. The card looks to be cleaned and switched from an SGC 2.5 to a PSA 5.

And even cards that are lower-end in terms of condition are being hit, too. This Joe DiMaggio Leaf card, as the post suggests, looks like it had some work done to it on the right side. Once residing in an SGC 1.5 holder, it was bumped up to a PSA 3, selling for nearly $300 more.

Now, as I’ve written before, there’s generally lower risk with low-grade cards. It’s part of the reason that some collectors go that route.

For one thing, the prices on them don’t tend to fluctuate nearly as much since more potential buyers can get in on the action. And for another, there’s less of a chance of card doctoring with low-grade cards involved.

Cards with telltale signs, such as major paper loss or creasing can be easy to spot by detectives. Plus, cards with major damage simply can’t be improved drastically like what trimming can do to take a mid-grade card and turn it into a high-grade one. None of that even covers the fact that altering really low-grade stuff will often have a minimal effect (if one at all). After all, will trimming that T205 card with a dozen creases in it to sharpen the corners really make a difference in price? Not likely.

Still, the examples in this post make it pretty clear that high-grade cards aren’t the only targets of those altering cards. And that means collectors of all sorts of cards, including those with low-grade and mid-grade examples, should be on the lookout.

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