PSA eCollector VOL. 2, Number 6 
March 20, 2001

The Market Report

Two Auctions Close and a Cracker Jack Find
With baseball just around the corner, the auction circuit is starting to heat up across the country. Two more prominent auctions have closed with record prices for cards and memorabilia. In this week's Market Report, we have included detailed recaps of both auctions, including highlight lists. In addition, a recent "find" of 1915 Cracker Jacks has made news this week. While the group is small, the quality is top notch. Anytime a fresh group of rare cards makes it into the marketplace, collectors want to know.
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Subscribe to the online PSA Population ReportSM and the PSA Price Guide for as little as $4.95 a month! Updated weekly, get the latest census data on all cards graded by PSA. And get the current prices for your favorite sportscards.

Collectors' Corner

Choosing an Authenticator and Other Good Advice
In this week's eCollector, we take a look at the topic of autograph authentication. Autograph collectors should take heed to five important rules when buying autographs, especially those purchased in cyberspace. Educate yourself and always look for adequate return policies. Taking the proper precautions, before you purchase an autograph, will ensure a pleasant collecting experience.
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The PSA Collectors Club offers free grading and a subscription to the Sports Market Report. Click here for details.

Our Readers Ask

Question:I have a 1958 Topps football set from when I was a kid. Most of the cards are nice as far as corners and centering is concerned, but on some of them I would place a small red pin mark on the reverse so I could distinguish my cards from my friend's. I am a little concerned about the effect. How much does an ink mark affect the grade of a card?

Answer: This is a very good question, but the answer really depends on the severity of the ink mark. A very small mark, as long as it doesn't destroy the eye-appeal, might not downgrade the card too drastically, but it will never be considered a high-grade example. If you don't mind qualifiers, you might receive cards that are within the PSA 7 or 8 grade but they will be marked MK. If you despise qualifiers, then the card is probably not going to grade very high. It's unfortunate because many collectors of vintage cards used to mark their cards when they would assemble sets or for organization purposes. This is just one more reminder of why vintage cards are so tough to find in high-grade. There is no official rule about ink marks, but they can diminish the value or grade significantly.
--Joe Orlando, Editor Sports Market Report

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The Expert's Corner

Signing Habits and Autograph Analysis of Norman Thomas 'Turkey' Stearnes
You may not recognize him by name, but this Negro League legend is one of the tougher signatures on the Hall of Fame checklist. Because he wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until after his death in 1979, his autograph popularity was limited during his lifetime. Expect to find only signed index cards priced over $1500 on "Turkey" Stearnes. Autograph expert Jimmy Spence takes an in-depth look at this obscure but important figure in baseball history.
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PSA On-Site Grading This Week in Chicago!

Bring your sportscards to the following show and have them graded by PSA:

Chicago Sun Times Sports Collectibles Convention
Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
555 North River Road
Rosemont, IL
March 23 - 25, 2001
Booth C7

Take advantage of these two PSA Show Services!

  • Guaranteed Two-Hour Show Service -- $50 per card
  • Standard Show Service (same or next day at show) -- $35 per card
Cards may be submitted at the show to all PSA grading levels.

So bring your vintage or modern cards of any value and have them graded at the show by the industry's leading card grading company, PSA.

For more information about Chicago Sun Times Sports Collectibles Convention, call Sportsnews Productions at 630-585-3636.

For more information about PSA grading at the show, call PSA Customer Service at 800-325-1121.


The FBI estimates that 90% of all sports autographs are fake! In this day and age, it's extremely important to have your sports autographs authenticated by a reputable third party authentication service. James Spence is considered the world's foremost sports autograph expert and a James Spence PSA/DNA Letter of Authenticity can significantly affect the resale value of your item.

Submit your sports autographs for authentication by James Spence at the following shows:

Chicago Sun Times Sports Collectibles Convention (submissions only)
Freeport Sports Show (submissions only)
Freeport New York
March 31 - April 1

Cost per item:

  • $75 - 1-10 signatures
  • $100 - 10 or more signatures and items signed by Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Christi Mathewson.

For a complete list of sports autographs that may be submitted for authentication by James Spence, go to and click on "Submission Center."

In addition to authenticating items, James Spence will be selling authenticated sports autographs and buying material at the Freeport Sports Show. For more information, contact James Spence Autographs at 888-947-7788.

Visit the PSA website for a complete show calendar. Click here.

Hurry! Superior Auction Closes Thursday

"The Spring Training Auction" ends Thursday, March 22, 2001. Bid by internet, email, fax, or telephone. Click here to visit the auction or call 231-922-9862 for information.

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