I don't know what happened to this card before Greg got it, but I used to own it. As you can see from my scan, the back has a rip and is just plain ugly - there is a paper tear beginning to the left of "Phiadelphia" and going up diagonally to the right.
It really looks like the card has been repaired, both front and I'm guessing the back as well, since I know the graders at SGC aren't blind. This is no reflection on Greg, as he bought it from someone who owned it after me. I am very curious what the back now looks like, because there is no way in Hades this is an SGC40:
I have a gorgeous E94 Cobb with a tiny bit of paper damage on the back, great corners, brilliant color, perfect registry, snow white borders and THIS gets the same grade as my card from SGC??????
Something is rotten in Denmark....
I bought this card in a huge collection at the June 2003 Chicago show. It came from a dealer who does not set up but walks shows buying and selling.
Upon entering the show I walked over to GAI's table and there he was. As usual he asked me if I wanted to look at a collection. He asked Danny from GAI to hand him a box. I look at the box it has mainly 30's through 50's stars, a small run of T cards and the one caramel card. I ask what the high book value was on the lot. He says 130K to 150K. I ask how much, look through it again and 5 minutes later give him 18K.
The cards were at GAI's and he had already paid for the pre-grade. I did not want to take the business from them so I let them keep the cards. Got the pre grades a day later and let them holder the cards. In fact if I am not mistaken Pete Calderon and Steve Lucas saw these cards after the pre grades. In the pile of cards were a couple that they felt were possibly reprints.
This card graded a VG 3 from GAI. It sat on my web page since June of 2003 probably because I was asking too much. I submitted it for cross over to see if a change in holder would yield better results. That was done a month or so ago.
I cannot say that I paid that close attention to it, but in the holder and upon looking at before pre-grade the card looked fine. In the submission to SGC there were several cards that they did not cross and I was surprised that this one did in contrast to others that were in the submission.
I have not received payment from the buyer so I am able to provide a scan of the reverse.
Without looking at Scott's image of the card it gives none of the usual signs of having been cleaned up. I am in no way implying or saying that GAI and SGC do not know what they are doing but both thought the card was VG and I have to agree. I am holding the card in my hand and would swear up and down that the card is fine.
jay behrens (no login)
Re: Post Script
March 4 2004, 5:01 AM
Personally, I woudln't call anything with a obvious chunk of paper missing VG. To me, paper loss puts a card automatically in the Good catagory at best, if not Poor.
The tear on the back starts at the end of Wiltse's name, runs down the back of the card past the beginning of Reulbach, to the left of 'Philadelphia', and the paper can actually be lifted off the back of the card...provided it hasn't been glued down.
The guy who bought it from me sold it with the back described as clean. I emailed him mentioning the tear and he said the card was fine and that I was just jealous because he was going to get more for it than I did. I won't give his name, but he re-sold the card on ebay on July 29, 2002, after winning it from me for $369 on May 8,2002. Anyone here think a vg e95 Cobb would have gone for $369 on ebay? Also, that piece of paper missing at the top, on the front - a scratch extends below it that takes out a couple more small pieces. This has evidently been cleaned up as well.
Where is the paperloss on lines 13 and 23 as in Scott's scan?
runscott (no login)
March 4 2004, 10:15 AM
Dan, I am now able to see the back-scan that Greg posted, and this is simply incredible. Major, major work done to the back of this card. The tear that you see on my scan would literally pop up off the back of the card if you didn't have it in a holder. e95's are very thin and a surface tear like this is very fragile and curls up.
The restoration work done to the tear on the back, as well as to the scratch on the front (paper loss) and also the wrinkle at the bottom on Cobb's shoulder, is simply amazing. Whoever did the restoration did a great job, but there's no way it should have gotten past SGC. I may to offer to buy the card from Russell (R3), just so I can crack it out and look at it in person. Then we will have an even better story. I also know the guy who bought it from me, so it should be easy enough to track who he sold it to and figure out where the doctoring occurred.
I highly doubt that the person who I bought this from would have taken the time to play with the card. He makes his living flipping large deals and working on small margins.
I am going to contact R3 and send him this post. It seems that this card should be looked at by SGC again and taken off the market. Although as I hold the card in my hand I would have staked my life on the fact that it was untouched.
Not that I will ever understand people's motives but who would bother putting the time and or money into repairing lower graded cards of this caliber? Certainly I did not get that much more than Scott did and mine was in a VG holder.
One of the reasons that I switched from selling PSA 8's and 9's was that I was getting tired of taking 20 minutes to look at a card to see what had been done to it. The off grade, as I call it, was so much easier as it did not require that level of scrutiny.
runscott (no login)
Greg - it makes perfect sense to me
March 4 2004, 2:46 PM
This card was simply a "practice" item for the card doctor - why practice on high-dollar items? Also, I know from talking with some of these restorers that they get their rocks off trying to slide something like this by the slabbing companies. Certainly this particular card provided several great opportunities for practicing restoration:
-removing caramel from the back (especially at the top, but there were yellow to brown stains all over)
-pressing out (reducing) wrinkle on the front (Cobb's shoulder)
-re-coloring scratches on the front (top, below paper loss)
-whitening borders on front (not sure this was done)
-glueing down paper tear on back...amazing
-re-inking letters on the back...incredible
Geez, after reading the above it's incredible that this got by the graders at SGC and GAI.
Who has the skills and/or contacts to do such a thing?
Elliot (no login)
March 4 2004, 2:51 PM
It's nice to see a dealer do the right thing, instead of arguing that it's not the same card, or that it's not unrestored, etc. Please let us know what SGC says/does after they look at the card again.
re: Greg - it makes perfect sense to me
March 4 2004, 2:52 PM
runscott - Great post. I was wondering why anybody would want to go to such trouble for such a small profit. The fact that it got by two grading companies and an experienced dealer is very troublesome. I always thought it would be safe to buy VG and EX cards as the likelihood of them being altered was minimal. Guess not.
I just got off the tele with Sean from SGC and I will be sending the card back to them. I have told them to send it back to me out of the holder if they are not comfortable with it and I will sell it raw as having been played with.
I think that I would like to send it along to Baker at GAI so that he can study it as well.
The card will be coming back to me in ungraded form, I suppose, at which time I will be able to get a much better scan to you. As it is now the holder may obscure some of work and for SGC's sake I do not want to break the card out before they can see it.
runscott (no login)
Thanks Greg - I understand
March 4 2004, 4:46 PM
My concern was that SGC would reimburse you for the card and then toss it in the trash without sending it back.
Also, my interest is purely from the viewpoint of wanting to know what to look for in a doctored card - this was obviously done by a master, so would be a perfect study case.
I too want to study it. Never thought that I was as good as the graders at SGC and GAI but this one has left me wondering what happened. I did not want SGC absorbing the cost of this one. And therefore rejected their offer to buy it back. Frankly it should be put in the trash to make sure that it does not happen again. I allocated $350 as cost in my purchase of the collection so it may become one for my wall.
I will be sure to send scans at a minimum. May send the card to you for visual inspection.