If ever there was a National Sports Collectors Convention to attend, 2019’s event was most definitely the one. With a huge scandal involving fraud and garnering attention from the FBI and non-hobby news outlets, you’d think the entire show would have been clouded by the controversy. Surely, someone would be out there ready to call out Beckett Grading Services, PSA, PWCC, Leaf Trading Cards, and known trimmers/shillers at the event, right? Well, from the looks of it, fair-weathered collectors have completely forgotten or flat out ignored the crimes committed against their own thanks to giveaways, free celebrity signings, a bizarre Gary Vee hero worship, social media selfie opportunities, and more.
Unfortunately, there are two groups battling it out over this card trimming scandal. The ones who have no investment and/or have accepted the truth and want JUSTICE brought to collectors who overpaid into the millions AND the suckers who have chosen to hide their heads in the sand in hopes that this scandal blows over quickly. That way, their trimmed and otherwise altered cards bounce back on the market and come close to being worth what they originally paid for. The latter group is currently busy defending PSA and other scammers like they are on these companies’ payroll, fighting it out on forums and social media or doing their best to change the story or distract from it with slow-pitch softball podcasts straight from the NSCC stage.
Recently, PSA Grading has taken to blocking dozens of collectors on Twitter who dare to call them out. This seems like a bad idea. If Beckett Media’s lack of response is now the norm, PSA’s silence should come as very little surprise. Clearly, these companies are counting on collectors having very short memories and moving on to whatever quasi celebrity has signed for Allen & Ginter and/or how many cards Vlad Guerrero Jr. used to pick out food from his teeth while signing. Simply put, many collectors just do not care about this serious case of fraud by multiple individuals and companies and I do not understand why. Instead of confronting the scammers at the National, collectors are more interested in finding below average deals and kissing Gary Vee’s multi-million dollar ass for almost an entire week.
Meanwhile, even though PSA is nowhere near making a public statement, they are being called out almost every single week on Blowout Cards Forum and now with this unbelievable letter from an alleged PSA insider. This leak comes at the very worst time possible for PSA because the feds and collectors are all scattered in one location at the National. Hilariously enough, PSA’s Twitter profile with over 12 thousand followers featured a trimmed and altered card for everyone to gaze at with the very unfortunate statement “When Cardboard Turns Into Gold”. The thing is, no truer words have ever been spoken.
You see, that Joe Namath card that was plastered on PSA’s Twitter (now removed due to public shaming) was once a PSA NM-MT 8 that sold for $149. Not quite gold, I know. After that sale, the card was altered and re-submitted to PSA’s “experts” and somehow came back a Gem Mint 10. Now, that $150 investment turned into a $19,135.20 sale! That’s gold if I’ve ever seen it. Just imagine how many times this scam has been perpetrated over and over again. Or even worse, imagine being the poor bastard who overpaid by almost 20k? Congratulations, you can afford to drop $20,000 on a trading card, clearly you have a much better life than I do buuuuuuut there’s something you should know.
That’s gotta be a tough pill to swallow. I mean, if you can afford to drop 20K on a single football card you probably don’t care that you were ripped off but what if that purchase involved your life savings? Or if this purchase was your “dream card”? The trimming, card altering scumbags deserve to go down and so does PSA for running a scam that’s completely ruined a once innocent hobby. Sure, the “junk wax” era did a lot of damage but it’s nowhere near as bad as what PSA, BGS, and other grading companies have gotten away with. Bad people have gotten rich off collectors for way too long.
A perfect example is what I’m going through at this very moment. I need a 1999 Bowman Chrome Refractor of Josh Hamilton. There are graded versions selling from as low as $600 to as high as $2,000. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I don’t need to tell you that a Josh Hamilton rookie card shouldn’t be in the 4 digits. Unfortunately, in 1999, Topps wasn’t overproducing cards like they do now so Refractors carried a lot more weight than they do today. Hell, I remember buying a box of 1996 Topps Chrome and pulling just TWO refractors. That was it. Today, you’d get several different versions per box, along with certified autographs because collectors won’t buy otherwise.
That is perhaps why most collectors and dealers want this controversy to disappear. People have invested quite a bit into graded cards and do not want to lose money. It makes perfect sense. After all, there is a maniac holding on to a Josh Hamilton rookie card who thinks because he has a perfect grade given to them by these so-called “experts”, that someone is willing to pay a premium price. He thinks that way because for years and years collectors have been doing just that. Overpaying for a low-pop grade is the name of the game and it is why no one is ready to denounce PSA, BGS, and the rest of these con artists.
So enjoy the fun times at The National. Get in all your selfies with Ivan and Gary but remember that there are real victims out there. Collectors who trusted companies like PSA and PWCC and spent millions and millions based off that trust and are now left looking like idiots. I hope that as many as possible come forward and get their money back so that some of these companies are finally held accountable and ultimately go under, hopefully never to be seen or heard from again.
Also, I’m hoping someone out there has a raw Hamilton rookie card for a decent price.