There was nothing greater in my childhood than going through issues of Beckett, hoping, praying, that one of my crappy ’91 Donruss Griffey Jr. or Canseco cards was worth a couple of hundred just so I could afford to buy more baseball cards. Sadly, those cards never did pay off but nothing has really changed in over a decade. I am still purchasing my copies of Beckett to look up prices and read their articles and reviews. You can imagine my fanboy-joy when I found out they opened up their own blog, a behind the scenes look at a world and office we all wish we could be a part of.
A few days ago a man walked in from the woodwork and brought with him 270 Wayne Gretzky rookie cards to be graded by Beckett’s award-winning grading system. Somewhere along the way the cards were put on a table without any protection to be photographed for a clever blog post by the Beckett staff. At first everyone just thought it was cool to see so many cards worth almost a grand each all in one place at one time but a few days later someone questioned Beckett’s treatment of such valuable and delicate cards and all hell broke loose. Within hours a war was brooding between angry collectors, fearing cards submitted were not treated in the best way possible, and Beckett’s staff who was left defending themselves against attacks on their blog and message board. Comments were blocked, message board members were suspended, and many collector’s lost their faith in Beckett’s grading service.
Personally, I can understand collectors being upset but if I were to ever grade my cards there would only be one company I would ever trust to deliver a fair and honest grade and that would be Beckett. For more than 15 years I have trusted them with the prices of all my baseball cards and one error in judgment on their part is not going to waver my faith in them. If anything, their sole purpose of the photo op was to entertain their readers and to show them something that you don’t see every day/year/lifetime.
Before you go and question my own credibility for supporting Beckett in this time I should just mention that I have been collecting baseball cards since 1989 and would NEVER use Beckett to grade my cards or anyone else for that matter. I don’t believe in grading. Also, my first foray into Beckett’s message board resulted in my banishment by over-zealous moderators. So I could have a bone to pick with them as well but I know they deserve to be judge accordingly and not by one mistake, or 270 of them.