PSA eCollector VOL. 2, Number 17 
August 21, 2001

The Market Report

The Aftermath of "Black Betsy"
As the summer heats up, auctions continue to appear in the form of beautiful catalogues throughout the country's post offices and into our mailboxes. As another catalogue auction closed, we are once again reminded of the power of Babe Ruth. Items pertaining to the Sultan of Swat continue to bring strong prices at auction and, this time, an unsigned photo brought over $20,000. Despite the Babe's stronghold on the market, for now, the market news king remains Joe Jackson and his "Black Betsy." We break down the possible aftermath from this great sale. With so many record prices being paid for game-used bats, does the future look bright for game-used bat collectors or is this merely the result of a lumber fad?
Click here to read more.

Set Registry Spotlight                       

Bob Walters - 1957-58 Topps Basketball- The Number One Finest Set of All Time
With a set rating of 7.82 and 100% complete, this set has 71 PSA 8's out of a total 80 card set! With a highest possible rating of 8.49, there's not much room for improvement. Click here to view and enjoy!

The PSA Set Registry is in full swing with new sets being added every day. Click here to browse.

This week we added the 1963 Fleer baseball set. The request list for new set composites continues to grow. If your set is not currently listed, please send your request to [email protected]

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

1914 Cracker Jacks; Elusive and Beautiful
Cracker Jacks, a good candy but a great baseball card issue. Those striking images and bold red backgrounds make this vintage set as aesthetically appealing as can be. As a collector, you have a choice. Do you try for the nearly impossible 1914 set or do you try for the more attainable yet more popular 1915 set? With so many similarities and differences on the table, we break down the positives and negatives to both issues. One thing remains certain. No matter which set you choose, both are deserving of a collecting home.
Click here to read more.

The PSA Collectors Club offers free grading and a subscription to the Sports Market Report. Click here for details.

Collector's Survey

Which all-time statistic is the most impressive?

1. Hank Aaron's 715 Home Runs
2. Pete Rose's 4,256 Hits
3. Nolan Ryan's 5,714 Strikeouts
4. Cy Young's 511 Wins
5. Hank Aaron's 2,297 RBI's

Click here to answer. Results will be posted in the next eCollector.

Results from last survey: 38% felt that Pete Rose is the most deserving of Hall of Fame induction. Click here for a complete breakdown.

The Expert's Corner

Japan's Leading Man
A Look at Ichiro Suzuki's Japanese Rookie Cards

There was Fernando-mania and Nomo-mania but Ichiro-mania has struck the baseball scene like nothing before. Ichiro Suzuki is now leading the Seattle Mariners to quite possibly the best record in baseball history. From his slashing batting style to his daring outfield play and baserunning, Ichiro is now one of the hottest baseball players in the card market. What many collectors fail to realize is that there were a variety of Ichiro cards produced years before his major league splash.
Click here to read more.

Our Readers Ask
Question: I am wondering how it is possible to have items taken from unopened factory sets and have the cards grade below Mint 9. I sent in five Barry Bonds cards and received one PSA 9, three PSA 8's and one PSA 7. How is this possible?

Answer: Believe it or not, this one is easy to answer. Many cards do not come straight from factory sets in mint condition. In fact, this card is usually found off-center and chipped along the black border. Factories simply do not produce perfect cards all the time whether it's from unopened packs or factory sets. Here's an example. The 1989 Upper Deck Griffey rookie is constantly found with paper wrinkles on the reverse, which can severely downgrade a card. The 1986 Donruss Canseco rookie card is another example. That card is usually off-center, with blunt corners and also occasionally suffers from paper wrinkles. In addition, the 1987 Fleer Bonds rookie is usually chipped and off-center. These are all examples of cards that are found with defects straight from the factory sets. I realize that many collectors believe that factory or unopened material is assumed mint, but it's just not the case. Modern cards are obviously produced with much more consistency and care compared to vintage issues and opening new sets or packs is a great way to find gems, but it doesn't always work out that way. There's no guarantee of mint cards, even straight from the manufacturer.
--Joe Orlando, Editor Sports Market Report

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


Tri-Star Collectors Show
August 31 - September 3, 2001
Concourse Exhibition Center
635 8th Street, San Francisco, CA

West Coast Sports Collectors Convention
September 7 - 9, 2001
Hollywood Park Casino and Convention Center
3883 W. Century Blvd., Inglewood, CA

76th Philadelphia Sports Card & Memorabilia Show
September 21 - 23, 2001
Fort Washington Exposition Center
1100 Virginia Drive, Fort Washington, PA

PSA On-Site Grading Show Services

  • Guaranteed Two-Hour Show Service -- $50 per card
  • Standard Show Service (same or next day at show) -- $35 per card
    (James Spence On-Site Sports Autograph Authentication is also available at the Ft. Washington Show)

    14th Annual East Coast National
    August 17 - 19, 2001
    Westchester County Center
    198 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY

    Tri-Star Collectors Show
    August 24 - 26, 2001
    Arlington Convention Center
    1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington, Texas

    Sunday, September 16, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    Buena Park Holiday Inn
    7000 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, CA
    Autograph Guest Stars: Oakland A's Hot Rookie Young Stars Frank Menechino and Johnny Damon: 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. PSA/DNA Authentication is available on-site.)

    Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo
    October 4 - 7, 2001
    Long Beach Convention Center
    Long Beach, CA

Cards may be submitted to all PSA grading levels at the shows. Cards submitted at the "PSA Submissions Only" shows will be graded by PSA and returned via mail.

For more information about PSA grading at any of these shows, call PSA Customer Service at 800-325-1121.

For more information about the West Coast Collectors show, go to:

For more information about the Tri-Star Collectors Shows, go to:

For more information about the Long Beach Coin & Collectibles Expo, call 805-962-9939. Or go to:

For a complete PSA Show Schedule, click here.


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