Archive for October, 2008

Reader Brandie Stucky emailed a question about a sneaky little Eric Chavez card:

I have a 2002 SPx # 209 – Eric Chavez.

It matches the card pictured on page 1245 of the 2008 Standard Catalog. However, those in the book, are only listed up to number 190. Having gone through a few thousand cards over the last few weeks, I think I have the book figured out, but who knows!

Anyway, if you could point me in the right direction, I’d be very grateful!

I put this query to Tuff Stuff staffer and my colleague, Joe Clemens. He knows the database of the modern issues like the back of his hand, solves the mystery:

Your card isn’t listed in 2002 SPX because it came out of 2002 Upper Deck
Rookie Update.

We list cards with the product that the card came out of. Rookie Update
updated three sets: SP Authentic, SPX and Diamond Collection

Its on page 1615 in the 2009 Edition.

Thanks for asking your question and for buying our book, Brandie.


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1930 Post Famous North Americans
Christy Mathewson

We get email. Or, in this case, I get messages on MySpace because when people pop my name into Google, my dormant, crusty MySpace page is the first hit, for some odd reason. But because it’s the only way for some Standard Catalog readers to find me, I pan for gold through all that spam…and lo and behold I found a nugget today:

My name is Dan Mathewson. Christy Mathewson, the NY Giants pitcher of [yore], is my great-great uncle. I’ve been collecting memorabilia of his for years.

…There is an entry for the 1930 Post Cereal Famous North Americans. Wherein Christy is featured on the back of the cereal box with three other characters: Andrew Jackson, Dan’l Boone and Pocahontas. I have three of the cards graded (Christy alone). But, i wondered if you have ever come across a “guide” or suggestion for a value given two other instances: One, where i have the entire back panel (christy and the other three persons). And, Two, where I have the entire cereal box (lid/top cut off).

This is an interesting question. As always, the exact correct answer is “whatever someone will pay you for it, that’s what it’s worth.” Especially on these cards, which sell so infrequently it’s tough to get a bead on rock-solid pricing figures.

That being said, it’s hard to take that to the insurance appraiser, so I huddled with Bob Lemke via email and did some power-Googling and we came up with:

  • 10-15% premium over the total value of the individual cards for the box panel.
  • The whole box is tough; Bob estimates (and I agree) that a whole box, intact, would be valued roughly at double the sum of the card prices. Without the top, though, we’d only multiply it 40-50%.

Hope this helps!

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The experts have been stumped here at the Standard Catalog, which typically (but not always) means we’ve been asked to identify an obscure 1970 collectors’ issue.

So I throw it to y’all: What it this card? Recently purchased on eBay by a reader, the card is in a “PSG slab” of some sort (can anyone tell me what THAT is, too?) identifying it as a 1957 Baseball’s Best Ted Williams #56-1 on the front, although the image is unclear. On the back, it clearly is a puzzle piece.

What the [ bleep ] is it?

Rich Klein took a stab at this, noting that the scan makes it impossible to know for sure:

I think that is what is called in the Beckett Data Base 1976 Taylor/Schmierer Bowman 47 #21 Ted Williams.

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Loyal reader Pete D’Luhosch asks:

I’ve got a question re. vintage card pricing. If a near mint 1951 Bowman is priced at $100 in the Standard Catalog, what would a NM/MT example be? A MINT example? Is there a multiplier for vintage cards that are better than NM?

The answer:

It’s one of those things that falls under the category of “things that are are rare enough–and the market changes enough–that the correct answer is ‘some number, higher than NM, agreed upon by you and your buyer/seller.'”

Truth is, that’s high-end stuff and we can’t get a bead on it because it’s a moving target.

A good yardstick is eBay and SCD’s reference site for non-eBay auctions, SCDauctions.com. While that isn’t the be-all and end-all, it can give you an idea. If it doesn’t have the exact card you are looking for, you can kinda get an idea of the multiplier by poking around in the general year and series, etc. I.E. if a Mays and Pafko go for 3x NM in mint slabs and you can find a couple other singles verifying that pattern…you have your answer of a reasonable asking price.

All this make sense? A little “inside baseball” on this imprecise science.

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