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  #101  
Old 09-07-2019, 10:59 AM
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Leon, thanks for your help in reposting the article so it's readable.

Last edited by GasHouseGang; 09-07-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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  #102  
Old 09-07-2019, 12:26 PM
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There have been threads ad nauseum recently concerning the various grading "scandals" happening in the hobby today. I will preface my comments by saying that I got out of the grading thing in the 1990s, basically at the inception of grading. I sold almost all my cards and started collecting 19th century photographs. I figured the photographs would not be affected by the new grading craze and that assumption, in my case, has turned out to be true. Just finding most images is difficult and condition is not as important as it is with most cards. I wanted no part of grading and believed that eventually many issues would result. That too has come true. I met Dick Towle once back in the 1990s. He bought some of the cards I sold at the time. I knew nothing of his intent or his future business. I found him to be a pleasant guy. Now fast forward to today. Dick Towle has a business that is doing nothing illegal. He is providing a service, nothing more and nothing less. He is no more guilty of the scandals of today than the grading companies. The whole system is dirty and as long as there are egos it will remain that way.
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  #103  
Old 09-07-2019, 08:53 PM
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What bugs me is how many people think that none of this is a problem.
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  #104  
Old 09-07-2019, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve B View Post
What bugs me is how many people think that none of this is a problem.
Starting with Joseph J. Orlando, apparently.
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  #105  
Old 09-08-2019, 10:30 AM
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I wasn't aware that Towle can take creases out of cards until I read this article. If it wasn't already apparent, third party grading has virtually no meaning anymore, since nearly every VG card will eventually become a NR MT one. What's the point of even grading cards? Few if any of them are what they appear to be.

Last edited by barrysloate; 09-08-2019 at 10:31 AM.
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  #106  
Old 09-08-2019, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by KCRfan1 View Post
Having spoken to Mr Towle in the past, he is a nice guy.

Whether you agree with his business or not is personal preference. As others have commented, there are numerous threads to review and comments to read to help guide and lead you down a path.

MD do you feel the same about ones who soak a card, because some on the forum have done so.
Agree. In my opinion removing something that was not originally there is not alteration.
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  #107  
Old 09-09-2019, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
I wasn't aware that Towle can take creases out of cards until I read this article.
I'm pretty sure most people weren't aware that Dick's company offered to take creases out of cards and fix corners. He always talks about the chemicals they have developed to remove gum, wax, and tape stains. He likes to say they only take out things that shouldn't be there anyway. I guess that includes creases.
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  #108  
Old 09-09-2019, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GasHouseGang View Post
I'm pretty sure most people weren't aware that Dick's company offered to take creases out of cards and fix corners. He always talks about the chemicals they have developed to remove gum, wax, and tape stains. He likes to say they only take out things that shouldn't be there anyway. I guess that includes creases.
He admitted it here years ago.
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  #109  
Old 09-09-2019, 12:31 PM
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True, but if you didn't happen to read the right post on this board, or the article above, you may think all they are about is removing stains.
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  #110  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:37 AM
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He admitted it here years ago.
He did. And I should make it clear that I don't personally dislike or even know Dick or his company other than a few choice emails after he was told he could no longer be here. There is no doubt he is NOT doing anything illegal. There is also no doubt his work is NOT being sold transparently all of the time. That is an issue. And what he does just goes against the grain of the fraud we are fighting in the hobby.
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  #111  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrysloate View Post
. . . third party grading has virtually no meaning anymore, since nearly every VG card will eventually become a NR MT one. What's the point of even grading cards? Few if any of them are what they appear to be.
It is not my intention to challenge any of your views regarding TPGs, grading, or card doctoring. I wanted to suggest a possible path forward, one that could make grading even more important. I submit that the TPGs are reasonably competent at grading the cards as presented, despite the unavoidable angst over a half a grade one way or the other. What they have not done historically is identify and screen out doctored cards. So all (or almost all) existing graded cards might have been doctored prior to grading. This uncertainty will weigh on the value of graded cards. The market will sort out those values over time. Another thing the TPGs have not done is keep track of "a digital fingerprint" of each card graded and pool that data so that once a card is graded, it is permanently precluded from being doctored (any further) and then regraded without disclosure. (I am making up digital fingerprint, but it seems to me the TPGs have a clear incentive to implement some form of tracking system so that they can not be exposed ala Breakout in the future.) If I am right, once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.
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  #112  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by GeoPoto View Post
once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.
That's exactly where we were 30 years ago...

There are things that could be done to alter the cards digital fingerprint too. (depending on how that digital fingerprint is done)
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  #113  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:22 AM
GeoPoto GeoPoto is offline
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Perhaps the situations are parallel, but I'm not sure the TPGs really signed up to prevent doctoring, but rather committed to standards and practices that were perceived to be adequate to do so. It seems to me now they have no choice but to explicitly prevent the doctoring of previously-graded cards. You are also right that I am assuming the technology is available to support a very effective system for preventing cracking, doctoring, and then regrading without public disclosure. Identifying raw cards that have been doctored may still be difficult.
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  #114  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:41 PM
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I think graders are useful at authenticating cards, and that is an important service to collectors and dealers-- all the other stuff (especially obviously alteration detecting) is pointless.

If graders provide high-resolution scans of what they grade, that would be an important step.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoPoto View Post
It is not my intention to challenge any of your views regarding TPGs, grading, or card doctoring. I wanted to suggest a possible path forward, one that could make grading even more important. I submit that the TPGs are reasonably competent at grading the cards as presented, despite the unavoidable angst over a half a grade one way or the other. What they have not done historically is identify and screen out doctored cards. So all (or almost all) existing graded cards might have been doctored prior to grading. This uncertainty will weigh on the value of graded cards. The market will sort out those values over time. Another thing the TPGs have not done is keep track of "a digital fingerprint" of each card graded and pool that data so that once a card is graded, it is permanently precluded from being doctored (any further) and then regraded without disclosure. (I am making up digital fingerprint, but it seems to me the TPGs have a clear incentive to implement some form of tracking system so that they can not be exposed ala Breakout in the future.) If I am right, once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.
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  #115  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:15 PM
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Default Hi George

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoPoto View Post
Perhaps the situations are parallel, but I'm not sure the TPGs really signed up to prevent doctoring, but rather committed to standards and practices that were perceived to be adequate to do so. It seems to me now they have no choice but to explicitly prevent the doctoring of previously-graded cards. You are also right that I am assuming the technology is available to support a very effective system for preventing cracking, doctoring, and then regrading without public disclosure. Identifying raw cards that have been doctored may still be difficult.

Hi George, this is from the main PSA webpage where they advertise that they detect trimming.

THE GRADING PROCESS
PSA authenticates both sports and non-sports trading cards across all eras.

A series of PSA graders review your cards for authenticity. If genuine, PSA looks for evidence of doctoring, such as re-coloring or trimming.

If your cards pass these two steps, PSA grades the condition of each card on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best.

After grading, PSA holders each card in its own tamper-evident case. A label within the case displays the card's pertinent information and unique certification number.
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  #116  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:52 PM
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Stevie Wonder could do just as good as the PSA Experts at determining wether a card has be trimmed or re-colored.
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  #117  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:10 PM
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Stevie Wonder could do just as good as the PSA Experts at determining wether a card has be trimmed or re-colored.
Perhaps better
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  #118  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:59 PM
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Cant help but wonder if he paid for an ad here, what the judgement would be
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  #119  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:26 PM
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Cant help but wonder if he paid for an ad here, what the judgement would be
From me it would be the same. You don't have to wonder. And of course it's a non starter as he wouldn't be allowed to advertise in the first place.
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  #120  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:32 PM
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From me it would be the same. You don't have to wonder. And of course it's a non starter as he wouldn't be allowed to advertise in the first place.
Not that long ago PWCC voluntarily asked to take their ad down. Someone advertising soaking cards off album pages is not what the hobby is about.

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  #121  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:40 PM
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PWCC did ask and I did it. As things progressed it would have come down anyway. Other than that I am not sure what you are talking about.

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Not that long ago PWCC voluntarily asked to take their ad down. Someone advertising soaking cards off album pages is not what the hobby is about.

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  #122  
Old 09-10-2019, 08:54 PM
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Transparency

We are all adults. Someone offering to soak cards off album pages is taboo. However someone selling known trimmed recolored cards, shilled and otherwise is defended left and right.

3 pages of drivel.


Leta keep posting to keep his company on page one. Its like a free ad

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  #123  
Old 09-10-2019, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Republicaninmass View Post
Transparency

We are all adults. Someone offering to soak cards off album pages is taboo. However someone selling known trimmed recolored cards, shilled and otherwise is defended left and right.

3 pages of drivel.


Leta keep posting to keep his company on page one. Its like a free ad

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I have said repeatedly I have no issue with soaking cards out of albums, especially with water. It's a time-honored and essential part of the hobby given how many cards were put into scrapbooks historically. If that were all Dick did, I would have no issue with his work.
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  #124  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:35 AM
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What's our best guess as to how long these changes will maintain their illusion? At some point, chemical alteration to these old cards have to start showing, don't they? I refuse to believe that these now undetectable changes will remain as such in perpetuity.
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  #125  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:30 AM
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What's our best guess as to how long these changes will maintain their illusion? At some point, chemical alteration to these old cards have to start showing, don't they? I refuse to believe that these now undetectable changes will remain as such in perpetuity.
Good question. I've wondered the same thing. I also wonder if any creases removed will return. Do we have any actual examples of cards that were treated later deteriorating in the holders?
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  #126  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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Good question. I've wondered the same thing. I also wonder if any creases removed will return. Do we have any actual examples of cards that were treated later deteriorating in the holders?
It's sad but once said card is in a holder nobody seems to care. I've seen cards in slabs with old PSA grades, with paper loss on front that have tiny specks of paper at bottom of the slab from chemicals/restorations jobs gone band. Maybe one day a card will crumble in a slab. Who knows?

Last edited by Johnny630; 09-12-2019 at 11:57 AM.
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  #127  
Old 09-12-2019, 01:53 PM
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Default Soaking is Taboo?

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Originally Posted by Peter_Spaeth View Post
I have said repeatedly I have no issue with soaking cards out of albums, especially with water. It's a time-honored and essential part of the hobby given how many cards were put into scrapbooks historically. If that were all Dick did, I would have no issue with his work.
Agreed. We just had a great post about a wonderful find of 19th century cards, including many Old Judges. They are, unfortunately (but not surprisingly) attached to album pages. These will eventually get soaked off, as they should. In this manner many collectors can enjoy the individual cards as was originally intended. Soaking is hardly taboo and has been going on for longer than any of us has been collecting. I'd venture to say well over half the Old Judges I've seen originally came out of albums. The albums preserved them and now we can enjoy them....individually. This is exactly what collecting and enjoying some of the older card series is about.

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  #128  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:10 PM
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I'm against computers because people download porn, and order illegal substances. We should ban computers here

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  #129  
Old 09-12-2019, 02:47 PM
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I could be wrong, but I had heard of Dick Towle long before I knew anything about TPG's or bought anything in a slab. It seems to my recollection that I heard his name in the same vein as card "restorers" - which at that time in the 1990's - while budding controversy even then - was kind of a "thing" in some hobby literature. Oh, you can have a card professionally restored just like you can that old Corvette restored. It was generally billed as something that was super expensive to do, but if done right - at least some of the articles I read suggested it was perhaps even noble.

That's kind of a tangent, but I believe it speaks to the time that Towle started and how he's been perceived since, as others have already mentioned - as at least (er, kind of?) transparent about what he does.
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  #130  
Old 09-12-2019, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
I could be wrong, but I had heard of Dick Towle long before I knew anything about TPG's or bought anything in a slab. It seems to my recollection that I heard his name in the same vein as card "restorers" - which at that time in the 1990's - while budding controversy even then - was kind of a "thing" in some hobby literature. Oh, you can have a card professionally restored just like you can that old Corvette restored. It was generally billed as something that was super expensive to do, but if done right - at least some of the articles I read suggested it was perhaps even noble.

That's kind of a tangent, but I believe it speaks to the time that Towle started and how he's been perceived since, as others have already mentioned - as at least (er, kind of?) transparent about what he does.
I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but PSA started slabbing cards in 1991, and the article posted above about Dick Towle and his new business is from 1996. So I have to assume that PSA card grading was happening first.
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  #131  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GasHouseGang View Post
I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but PSA started slabbing cards in 1991, and the article posted above about Dick Towle and his new business is from 1996. So I have to assume that PSA card grading was happening first.

You are probably right, and I had just not yet heard of PSA. I quit collecting probably in 1994 while still in high school, and then didn’t get back into it until I was a senior in college in ‘99.


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