Monday, May 18, 2009

Biggest Collecting Mistake

In January of 2008 I was still very new to the hobby, having just started collecting again in October of '07. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that I had to have a 1909 t-206. Not just any t-206, I had to have a Hall of Famer. The obvious ones were most definitely out of the question, Wagner and Cobb were way out of my price range, as were most of the other big names. After some quick research, I eventually settled on Frank "Home Run" Baker. He was from my home state of Maryland, and was regarded as a slugger in his day (11 HR was enough to lead the league back then).

So after deciding who, all I had to do was find a card. Naturally, I made my first mistake, which was resorting to eBay. I really had no idea what I was looking at, but managed to find a couple of Bakers, which varied in price from a few hundred dollars, down to about a hundred bucks, depending on condition and grading. What I should have done, especially since I did not know what to look for, was buy a low graded card, since condition isn't all that important to me. A PSA 1 or 2 can be had for less than $100, and in retrospect would have made me more than happy.

What I ended up doing however, is what I consider my biggest collecting mistake to date. I found an ungraded card, that looked to be in great shape. It was being sold by an antique dealer on eBay who had recently purchased a huge lot of t206's and claimed not to know much about them. The scan made the card look great, so I bid on it and ended up winning the card fro just about as much as a PSA 1 or 2 would have cost me. Great, I figured, I just got the deal of a lifetime. I can send this card in to be graded, and based on the scan, it should come out with at least a 4 or 5, or so I'd hoped.

Well, when the card arrived in the mail, and I ripped open the bubble mailer, I immediately knew something was fishy. The card appeared to be off center, and the top edge was slanted. The top left corner looked like someone had tried to round it, for an authentic look, but turned out looking like someone had taken nail clippers to the corner and simply lopped it off.

I know now that I purchased a trimmed card that is essentially worthless. Hell, I'm not even sure anymore that it's an authentic t206. My gut tells me it is, but there's really no way to be sure, since most grading companies won't touch trimmed cards with a ten foot pole. I made a total bone-headed move, and really should have done my homework before buying a 100 year old card, especially given all the shadiness surrounding "The Card" and other t206's.

Here is a scan of the card I've looked at maybe 5 or 6 times since I've owned it. It's painful for me, since I know I made a mistake, and wasted my money on a card that has been trimmed, and may or may not be real. Why would anyone EVER trim a card to begin with? Nevermind, I know the answer to that question. There really is only a single word that summarizes why anyone would do this, and that word my friends is GREED.

The funkiness around the edges is from my scanner.

P.S.- Don't forget to vote for which box will be busted and featured next. Poll is on the top right.


  1. That really sucks. It never would have occured to me that it was trimed. I guess it pays to get graded cards when you are going vintage. Jeez, I probably would have done the same thing.

    What a douchebag. Did you try to contact the seller or anything?

  2. I did, and he played the "they were like that when I acquired them" card. He also claimed not to know what trimming was.

  3. Get out a magnafying glass. Look at the border real close. If it is at all blury or dotted than you have yourself a fake. As far as I have heard that is the inital test that needs to be done and catches 90% of the fakes. I bet someone like Dayf could give you a few more tips though.

  4. Yeah, I read about that one, and this card passes that test. It's probably just trimmed, but that's bad enough.