Pete Rose Inches Closer To Cooperstown...

Hello Friends,
   As the regular Baseball season winds down along with the Magic Number for my Playoff-destined New York Mets, I can't help but think of one player more than any other down the stretch. No, it's not Seaver, Strawberry, Gooden, or Piazza, all of whom are true champs, but this one fella is larger than life: Pete Rose.

Why Pete Rose?

  Pete Rose was and still is the epitome of drive, determination, and fire. Pete could eat a bowl of nails and still play that same day. He gave his heart and walked off the field at the end a success, whether the Reds/Phillies/Expo's...whoever...won or lost the game.

   Growing up in the 70's and 80's, and collecting baseball cards during that time, the buzz was always about the coveted 1963 Topps Pete Rose Rookie Card. Not Mickey Mantle, who enjoyed the media hype of New York, or else he would have wound up with the same unimpressive fame as Jim Thome's 600+ HomeRun Career, had Mantle wound up in a media quiet zone vs. New York (I'm obviously not flattered by Mantle, nor am I brainwashed by Mantle rhetoric!).

   I'll go on the record here and say I am one of the biggest PRO-ROSE-HOF folks out there. Did he jump into the stands and beat up fans, get drunk and beat his wife, or knock kids off their bikes if they got in his way? No, that's what the OTHER people already inducted into the Hall of Fame have done before being voted in!! He gambled, he bet FOR his own team, as that is finally now coming to light. Not AGAINST his team...FOR his team. From where I come from, that's called putting your money where your mouth is!. Why? Because it was in his best interest to win those damn games at all costs. I'm not saying what he did was right...but again, I ask, did he use "The Clear" rub-on steroids like that wonderfully nice guy, Barry Bonds did? How about Clemens, another honor roll guy. I'd love Mike Piazza to get another shot at Roger Clemens when he's not all tough-guyed up on drugs (Did George Steinbrenner know? Did he care? Sore Topic!). Piazza has too much class, and is too much of a gentleman to deal with guys like that. On this topic for another time, the only one I can show some respect for in that batch is Jose Canseco. He didn't hide it, come out and didn't say, "Duh, I didn't know this was illegal". He made bad choices, but he owned it. I teach my son that what they did was wrong, but to take something out of what Canseco did, and he took responsibility for his actions. Now, back to Rose.

   Rose had none of these problems. So it's irrelevant. He's not Communist Cuba, the embargo is over, and it should be for Pete as well. Is he the most upstanding citizen in the world? Would I want to meet him in a dark alley? Hell no! At 74, I saw Pete at the National back in April (See story here), he's still built like a tank and takes no "shoot" from anyone.

   What did I say to him when he was signing a bat and for my son? I told him that he's always been a source of inspiration ever since I was a kid my son's age, and I thanked him for being a role model. (I also said Giamatti and Selig were punks and were not even half the man he was; I got a wink for that from Pete along with a "thank you"!).

   Look, I'm watching guys get tagged out trying to stretch a double into a triple in a tight game. Why did it have to be ONLY Pete Rose that slid head first? Are they too pretty to do it. Hook in there with your hands and intimidate like Pete. Pretend it's Ray Fosse standing there!!!

   The only guy since Rose with any type of deep love for the game was Ken Griffey Jr., another true professional and an asset to the game, but one who did beat Rose out in the "smiles while playing" department. Love the Griffey family !!

   These new jacks to the sport need to "Hustle" like Charlie Hustle, and this is a shining example for what all of us should be doing in our lives.

   It was great seeing Rose broadcasting during the All-Star game, but he looked so uncomfortable from that side of the field. While watching the All-Star game, it got me thinking....LOOK HOW CLOSE ROSE IS getting back to Baseball....this guys about to get himself into the Hall of Fame!!

   This is a Pro. A Surgeon. A strategic hard-headed powerhouse with a love for the game. I'll be on that huge lawn up in Cooperstown when Rose makes his Hall of Fame speech, because you know what, Pete Rose IS baseball and Pete Rose MEANS baseball. Baseball runs through his veins.

   Pete had that Rocky "Eye of the Tiger" for over 25 Seasons playing and managing, and he never flinched once. Just don't block home plate or he will bowl you right over....but that's what the game is about and isn't that what life is about? Find what you love doing, and do it better than anybody around you and don't let anybody get in your way no matter who they are and how tough they appear? True toughness is in the heart, not in the fists! Although, Pete communicated quite well with both when someone crossed the line asking for it.

   Listen carefully...the lessons Pete Rose etched into the diamond are still echoing today to help teach us all lessons about ourselves and about life!

Prices Finally Jump for Late 80s/Early 90s Cards

Hi Friends,

   I'm glad to make the announcement that the tide has turned in the baseball card market. Let me explain:

   In the late 80's and early 90's, Topps, Donruss, Fleer, and the other baseball card companies started mirroring what they were seeing in the market over the previous years. What were they seeing? They saw people like me buying 10/20/30/40/50/100 of certain key players and rookies. For me, it was really about 1987 that things started heating up in terms of investing in baseball card rookies. I was hot on the prospects of Red Sox rookie Mike Greenwell. I had him pegged for a 400-500 HR Career. So I bought 100 of his 1987 Topps cards (Card #259), at 15 cents per card. I also got my cousin and uncle to invest, and since then, I have been the subject of many a family joke regarding it. Therapy helps, somewhat.

   I'm also loaded up with 50 x 1987 Dale Mohorcic cards and 50 x 1988 Mike Campbell cards, among many others (Note: I'm not complaining about the 20 x 1987 Topps Barry Bonds cards I snapped up for 15 cents each back then!!)

   So, anyway, the reaction of the big companies to this buying spree and the mentality of baseball cards of hot Rookies as a Blue Chip investment, or a Stock Market type of investment, was to produce. And produce. And produce. The flood came and it remained. All of them went overboard. Thus, the abundance of unopened packs/boxes/cases from those years that are/were out there.

   Now, I obviously have a vested interest in the success of those cards, especially the stars I have saved for years in Gem Mint condition. I watch that segment of the market very closely and I look for signs. And the signs are here and changes are coming. But Wait....

   For all of those who whine and complain that they mass produced cards in the late 80's and early 90's and they'll never, ever, be worth anything and you should "use them as wallpaper", and boo hoo/waah waah, I've got a news flash for you, so cover up those beer bellies, pluck the jumbo beefburger chunks out of your goatees, and tell your all of your ex-wives that you've got some amazing news!

   You see, in school, you missed a very important lesson in your Economics class, and the lesson was on Supply and Demand. Sure the supply is the same as it has always been, but production stopped eons ago. Look, I know first hand since my son is very into cards, and now, so are his friends, so that demand has increased because there are so many new collector's, kids and adults, entering the hobby. They know nothing about that over-production jazz, and they want cards from these years.

   More importantly, the tide is turning on prices, as you'll see everyday on eBay that more and more 1987/88/89/90, etc cards are being sold more frequently and at higher prices. Also, the supply of vending boxes, especially from 1987 and 1988 are drying up. 3 vendors I deal with told me they cannot sell these at $5 each now, and are commanding 2x that and even 3x that amount.

   Let's be clear: I'm not talking Tiffany prices here, but I am talking about regular Topps prices. So even if the 1987 Topps Charles Hudson card sold at $12 or the Jeff Stone sold at $14 due to population factors, can you say these cards are worthless when now the Barry Larkin Rookie from the 1987 Topps Rookie set sells for $38 and the Pete Rose for $36, per confirmed closed sales over the last 3 months? How about the 1988 regular Topps Nolan Ryan card selling for $50+ or the 1988 Topps Tom Glavine Rookie selling over $30? Similar price jumps are happening with the other major card companies, as well. People are plunking down cold, hard cash. Change your mentality, change the world.

   As for my Mike Greenwell investment, I was a little off on the career home run tally for him, and he only hit 120 homers over 12 years. But did you realize that he was a lifetime .300 hitter, batting .303 by the end of his career? Lifetime .303!! Not too shabby! Did you also know that after retirement, he opened up and runs an amusement park? A true, but irrelevant fact...Yay!

   But seriously, after almost 27 years of sitting under $1, the graded card has sold on eBay multiple times the past few months, ranging from $6 to $16 (plus shipping costs, so that's $10-$20). This has all happened recently, but it's a very promising start. I am happy to say that I am now once-again a full-ranking member of my family, and I've have been welcomed back to all family functions, except Bingo Night.

   For all of you that are swimming in these cards, take a step back and handle them with care. Sleeve them. Top Load some of them. Start putting out a little taste to see if you get some bites. We have all been incredibly patient, and now the time is starting to become ripe for us to sell these beautiful vintage cards to the next generation for them to collect and enjoy. It's a good day !

Rob Eisenstein

Related keywords: baseball cards, tiffany, Topps, investment, 1987, 1988, Bonds, Larkin, Greenwell, Red Sox, eBay
#baseballcards #topps 

Card Grading...for HUMANS!

Hi Folks,
   Welcome back!

   This Blog post will serve as the content for our new website section titles, "How we Grade Cards", just in case that content seems familiar when you hit that section! More inventory is being prepared daily, and will soon be added to the site, so please keep an eye on the For Sale sections.

Card Grading...for Humans

   You will notice a theme here, which is how strongly we feel against 3rd parties causing ripple effects in markets. Our industry is no different. There are some companies that come in and want to exert their dominance, and their demeanor is as welcoming as an angry viper, a rabid pit bull, or their offspring.

   At Cardboard & Coins (C&C), we believe that cards and coins are here to be enjoyed by humans, not super-humans. Therefore, we don't use 80 billion magnification in order to find anything to pick at just to lower the grade (which, by the way, creates repeat customers in the most devious of ways!).

   In addition, we are actually humans grading the cards. You won't grade a card here and wonder why it wound up with a ridiculously low score without even receiving a score breakdown. Shamelessly, one of the largest card graders simply states that they just "expect you" to know their rules. Come on! Drop the light-year telescopes and have the no-name and no-face chimps in your secret grading rooms give it a rest! Is this your little hold on the market? It's in how you put a spell on people to get them fearful and worried if they don't hear those 3-little letters in the card grade?

   I get it, I was one of those people. But when a card that we unanimously graded as a 9 came back to me as a 5, I had enough. I cracked open the magically secret slab-box from, let's call them "XYZ", which I sent to Beckett that same day and had a 9 a few days later. For good measure and for solid measure, I cracked the Beckett case and sent it back to XYZ. This time, XYZ gave me a "7". Huh?? I call the XYZ customer service reps and they give me some BS that there are no notes from the graders and maybe it had shipping damage. Yeah, right, so explain to me why when it came back to me a few days later that second time, I cracked their case again and sent it to Beckett, and once again, they gave it a "9".

   Wait, this one will give you a chuckle. Earlier this year, I picked up a 1975 Topps Baseball Mini Wax Pack from Steve over at BBCExchange. I do the pack break video, pull some great cards including a #7 Highlights with Nolan Ryan on it and a pricey Ed Goodson. I submit both to XYZ among other regular cards in the same order. The Ryan HL gets an 8, but Goodson, from the same sealed pack as the Nolan, a pack that came from one of the most reputable unopened pack vendors in the business, gets an "N6: MINIMUM SIZE REQUIREMENT". How can it be an N6? I know you respect BBCExchange, so would it have been different if I told you it was from them in the beginning? My guess is you would have gone that extra mile. Apparently, the high and mighty facade does not make you clairvoyant!

   Another recent case: I bought 15 packs of 1983 Topps Baseball cards from a very reputable source, and I pulled a Gwynn, Sandberg, and a Boggs, the "Triple Crown", from these 15 amazing packs. I send them into XYZ, with the grades coming back as a "9" for Sandberg, a "9" for Gwynn, and for Boggs, another N6? Guess what, XYZ?; They all came from packs from the same box! I fooled you, XYZ. N6? Have you compared that next to other cards from the same year? I cracked open the Sandberg and used a precision measurement system used by High-tech oil drilling companies which measures down to a fraction of a millimeter, and the cards were the same size. Precisely. What the heck is going on over there? Laziness or short-staffed, or too busy with those Honus Wagner and Charlton Heston autographs we are reading about all over the Web.

   Honestly, If you would be more human, things would be different for all of us. I have friends at your headquarters, and I know you are hearing the chants, thus, the reason for your road show visits to the major cities to bridge the widening gap.

   OK, obviously, I find XYZ arrogant, inconsistent, and after being in the industry over 25 years, I hear plenty of buzz and disillusionment with them, so I see them as a few years short of end of their life-cycle. Now, don't get me wrong, but I do agree with how strict they are with their published standards, which is key, in grading. But once they get your card, there are different standards at play, so you also need to be fair and human-oriented. I mean, we're humans, not from Krypton, like Superman, so what's up with the 1000x magnification? People are blindly sending money to some "secret society" who expects us to know their system. It has to stop!

   Deeply irritated and obviously bitter over this fiasco, I knew I was not alone feeling like this. I do like Beckett's break-down of scores, and I use them along with GMA Grading (the oldest grading company here on the East Coast). But I also continued grading my own cards, which I now do with 2 other folks for our C&C inventory. I figured with 25+ years in the industry and with millions of cards that have passed through these fingers, I could also appoint my own self as an "expert", and assemble a team of skilled eyes. As you can tell from the above, we are pretty spot-on with our scores.

   Our theory on card-grading: As humans, we are guided by our senses, and what we can see, touch, feel, etc shapes our world, so our grading system mimics that same system.

   We created a 7-step process, starting with the 4-C's

   First, we start out with Centering in the Front. Each section, top/bottom and right/left are worth 1.0, for a total of two full points, if you have perfect (50/50 centering), you get the full point. If not, your value starts at two and decreases.

   The same with the Centering on the Back. We are just as stringent as the front, and harder than most others on this, as 50/50 centering must also be present on the back in order to achieve those two points as well. It's all about what our human eyes perceive as eye candy, and symmetry is something our brains love.

   Corners are very important, and they are valued at 3 points, or .75 per corner. We use a simple every-day magnifying glass to examine the corners, and each corner is graded separately for a sum total. If your corner looks like a bomb went off on it, that's a zero corner. If there is a little wear but it looks visually pleasing and strong, it's between a .4 and a .5 corner. Very simple.

   Creases can make a card look ugly. Here is where we factor in any creases longer than 1/8". The overall surface is reviewed for creasing. No sliding scale here: it is either 0 points or 1 point. Any crease of 1/8" or longer....ANY crease....results in a zero, that is 0 points. Crease free gets the full 1 point.

   Next, we look at Color/Gloss/Surface/Focus, which is where we look over the entire card, from corridor to corridor, for paint chipping, out-of-focus pictures, loss of gloss, bumps, clipping, doctoring, etc. This runs along a sliding scale from 0 points to 1 full point.

   The 5 C's are done and we are in the home stretch. These last two steps may seem redundant, but necessary in order to be accurate.

   The 6th step is Visual Appeal, which makes us take a step back and look at the entire card. How is the gloss? Are there wax or gum stains? Are any off-centering traits or paint chips or creases or worn corners taking away from my visual enjoyment of the card? With the year of the card in mind and the nuances of that specific year taken into account, with all factors considered, the sliding scale goes from 0 to 0.5, or half a point.

   The last step might take you by surprise; Texture Front. Remember, we "Feel". We are humans! The feel of the entire card is key here; hold the card with your hands and feel it. Is it smooth? How thick was that gum or wax stain? Is it smooth or gritty? Are there bumps and valleys you couldn't see? This is the human factor. Again, the sliding scale ranges from 0 to 0.5, or one half of a point.

   Add it all up, and take a step back.

   The card must be checked for a Diamond Cut. Basically, this happens when the card is cut slightly diagonally with more border the higher (or lower) you go. It's ugly, and it will chop 1.5 points off your final score.

   Next, did you see any evidence of doctoring, for example, black magic marker on those 1971 borders, or trimming of corners or corridors to make them look neater. This is 2 points off per "perceived" violation, and I say perceived as we would subtract more, but we are not in the finger-pointing business, and these counter-balances are in place to level the playing field against scammers.

   When the final score is derived by all 3 of the graders separately, we look at the 3 scores and drop the top and bottom and use the middle one. I can tell you that most often, all 3 of us come up with close to the same grade. The system works!

   Since we're not in the grading business, no fancy "slab" is needed. This is the purchase of a card you are making from us, and you are free to do whatever you want to with it once you receive it, just as long as you know we sent it to you graded, as promised.

   The Grading System will most always display the standard numeric score, but might have a corresponding ABC Grade, as well.

   Remember, you will see cards on our site with grades from Beckett, GMA, as well as cards graded on the above criteria by C&C. You might be shocked to find some by PSA, since we have a lot of inventory to blow out. However, you will see more and more graded by C&C, along with a mix of GMA & Becketts over the longer term.

Will we grade your own personal cards?

   Eventually, we plan on doing some grading, but as long as our main focus is on tearing down the boundaries to a free and liquid market.

Always remember our mission:

   To Create an open, honest, objective environment that fosters mutual trust and instills mutual confidence, allowing us to step away from the "slab trap" that has been created by handing over our power to "self-appointed experts" as part of a 3rd party dependency, and with the termination of this dependency, the natural forces of the market will prevail again, fostering the re-emergence of a true "Liquid Marketplace" for Dealers and Collectors of Cards and Coins.

Thanks and Happy Collecting !!

Rob Eisenstein

Related Keywords: baseball cards coins collector grading graded cards PSA BGS Beckett unopened wax pack wax box cello pack rack pack

#baseballcard #coins #waxpack

The Wind-up: National Card Show Weekend at Hofstra

Hi Folks,
   Twice a year, collectors in the baseball card world get to experience a smorgasboard of all kinds of cards displayed before them. As far as your eyes can see, it seems, the nearly endless tables of vendors are lined up, and from the moment you walk in, you have that feeling that you've arrived, both physically and mentally.


   The same joy the collector's have at these shows is also experienced from a different perspective by the vendors; they get that little ping in their stomach when you walk in the door! Customers were in full force and everyone was buying.

   A fun thing for everyone was the high-powered autograph line up of Wade Boggs, Dennis Eckersley, Fergie Jenkins, Bud Harrelson, and a few others on Saturday, and on Sunday, my favorite player, Pete Rose, along with Jose Canseco, Dave Kingman, and a few others. It was baseball bliss!

   I have to wonder; Would that bliss have been shattered if Bud Harrelson signed Sunday instead, and sat close to Rose, the two guys who knuckled it out in a bench-clearning brawl in the 1973 NLCS. I like Bud, but after I saw the ageless powerhouse Rose and the cannon-armed Canseco sitting right next to each other, almost like a man-made wall, I'd say Bud chose the right day to sign.

   It's great walking around and chatting with all of the vendors I've befriended in my years in the industry, but this was not strictly business. I made some great purchases this weekend, such as:
   * 1971 Topps Tom Seaver
   * 1968 Topps Joe Morgan
   * Some very NM++ 1971 & 1972 Topps High Numbers.

   My 8 year old son bought a 1973 Topps Reggie Jackson, as close to Mint as I've seen one, and he even negotiated the price down about 20%. WOW, 3rd grade is really working for him ! He also got, with some help, a "4256" inscribed official bat with Pete Rose signing it for him. I've sworn him to agree to hold on to it and not sell!

   A big Shout-out goes to JP’s Sports & Rock Solid Promotions’ (JPRS) for coordinating one heck of a show and their massive All-Star Autograph line-up. Kudos, Guys!!

Stay Tuned for more industry news!
DON'T FORGET - Subscribe to this Blog !

Rob Eisenstein

TAGS: #PeteRose #HallofFame #Cooperstown #BaseballCards #JoseCanseco #ReggieJackson #TomSeaver #Hofstra #CardShow

Why Card Sleeves contribute to Low Population!!

Hello Everyone,
   Welcome to, a site that was created to join two great hobbies, Card collecting and Coin collecting.

   I've been in the hobby, or "hobbies" I should say, for close to 30 years. I grew up during a time when Saturday meant cartoons in the morning, bowling with the Cub Scouts, a trip to the arcade, and baseball cards on the way home. Later in the day, it was time to go through the big change bucket from the past week, and to sort through all of the years of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and to put them in the Whitman folders I was filling for each type of coin. Yes, I was...and I still am...a proud dork!

   As far as baseball cards, I remember laughing at some of the cards from the 1983 Topps baseball set, and in particular, the Wade Boggs card (his rookie). Well, as the title of this post reads, let me explain and use the Boggs rookie as the perfect example.

   Just last week, I decided to remove some old school sleeves off some cards and replace them with the new Penny Sleeves. Simple enough, right? I get to good ole' Wade and the darn penny sleeve lifted up the first layer in the lower left corner of the card! Really? How could these little plastic slips cause such destruction? It makes me wonder that if this happened to me (it does happen from time to time), then think of how many others are having the same issue.

   Perhaps some of you were trying to sleeve a 1977 Don Money card, but then this mishap prevents the card from fetching a 10. The end result is the 1977 Topps card of Don Money (a lifetime .261 hitter) being more valuable than the 1977 Topps card of Rod Carew (a lifetime .328 hitter). Oh, bittersweet population. For those of you who are not aware of population, it means the total amount of a certain card that was graded a "10" for example, by a specific grading company. So when you see a low population of high-grades for a specific card, just blame the Sleeves!

   Now, the alternative would be life without the penny sleeves. Think of all of the cards out there with scuffed up surfaces and greasy finger marks. No thanks. Penny sleeves are very important, and when used properly in a controlled environment with some peer supervision, they can prove to be quite helpful.

   Remember: do NOT top-load your card without putting the card in a sleeve first. It pays to have an extra layer of friction to hold the card in place, or you might have the same incident that happened to me with the 1985 McGwire Rookie (It's too painful; I don't want to get into it, but let's just say cards slide out of top loaders when they're not sleeved). Cards also have a tendency to fall with precision accuracy right onto one of their 4 corners. I know what you are about to ask; Yes, it did happen to me. Learn from that sad incident. Sorry, Mr. McGwire. I know you'd probably pick me up by the throat with one hand. Umm, but please kindly refrain.

   So, with all of that said, welcome to our site. Going forward, you'll probably notice I refer to our hobbies as our "industry". In the coming months, we have a lot of surprises planned for you here, including some Blog posts written by (and also written about) some pretty influential folks in our industry. We are in talks with a few different webstore providers, and our inventory should start appearing on the site within a few weeks. Be sure to bookmark us and check back often!

   In closing, who's going to the National at Hofstra University in Long Island this weekend?

Best Regards,
Rob Eisenstein

TAGS: #Aaron #baseballcards #cardshow #coins #Donruss #Fleer #football #Jeter #Mantle #Mays #pokemon #charizard #PSA #BGS #rookiecards #sports #Trout #UpperDeck

Baseball Card Scams And Fraud During The Holiday Season

Hi Folks,    Hello Everyone,    I hope your Holiday season has been great, thus far!     If you've been buying baseball cards and coins ...