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  #1  
Old 09-18-2017, 12:59 AM
eldon80 eldon80 is offline
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Question Newbie mistake - what is wrong with my Clemente rookie?

Hi all - first time poster with a request for some info. Made a newbie mistake and hoping for some advice. May I never re-live this stupidity. I know, if I want a PSA slabbed card, I should buy one!

Recently purchased a 1955 Topps Clemente rookie on Ebay rated BVG 6.5. I"m sure you can still find the sale from early August. Card looks sharp, to-size, and pretty well centered. Since my goal is to complete a Clemente PSA set, I had grand delusions to break it out and submit to PSA, which I did. Of course, the card came back N5-Altered Stock. I've looked this thing over and over up close, under good light, and compared gloss, etc... to another fully authentic 1955 topps card and I can't tell the problem. My best guess is that it may be sheet cut, especially since it doesn't have any edge with that "fuzzy" edge look like I see on a lot of the other 55 topps cards.

Before I start resending this thing back to PSA over and over hoping for a miracle, or hoping that BVG will re-grade it and get it back into a slab, does anybody have any other ideas? Is it true that PSA won't really tell me anything?

One more thing - I did notice that on the front, there is a small area (approx 1/4 inch by 1/8 inch) along/near the bottom edge under the "OB" of "ROBERTO" where there appears to be some missing gloss. It is really only visible at an angle under bright light. Maybe more evidence of sheet cut or ???

Here are a couple of pics. Hoping somebody can help me know if it is a lost cause to try to get this into a PSA slab, or what my options might be. Worst case, I would try to get re-slabbed BVG. I'm not opposed to SCG, but I guess they are as strict or more than PSA...

Thanks!



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  #2  
Old 09-18-2017, 03:10 AM
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The first thing you probably want to do is put Roberto under a black light. That may expose the alteration(s).
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  #3  
Old 09-18-2017, 05:20 AM
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Altered stock is their term for a card that's been pressed from years in a screwdown holder. You can try with PSA again, but after that, send it back to BVG.
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  #4  
Old 09-18-2017, 07:29 AM
jfkheat jfkheat is offline
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I have a 55 Ted Williams that I submitted to PSA at the National. It came back as Altered Stock. I couldn't see anything wrong with the card so I took it to the SGC booth. They called me a couple hours later and asked me to come to their booth. I was told that it looks like someone had erased something across the bottom border. In looking at the card under magnification I could see some gloss was missing. I had it slabbed as authentic.
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  #5  
Old 09-18-2017, 08:41 AM
stlcardsfan stlcardsfan is offline
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Keep sending it in to PSA. I bet they will eventually give it a numerical grade. Might take several submissions.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlcardsfan View Post
Keep sending it in to PSA. I bet they will eventually give it a numerical grade. Might take several submissions.
As someone who has never played the grading game of resubmitting a card, I'd assume they keep track of your submissions. Do they not notice the same card being submitted over and over again?
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSeven View Post
As someone who has never played the grading game of resubmitting a card, I'd assume they keep track of your submissions. Do they not notice the same card being submitted over and over again?
These are just rumors so take what I say as that. Some have said that they use a mark to identify very high end cards good and bad. I could see this happening but with their huge turnover I can't imagine them doing it on 99.99% of the cards they receive.
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2017, 08:04 PM
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Your pics have disappeared, at least for me (Photobucket issues). I use, and quite a few others have switched over to FlickR.
Link below, which is a basic set up. Lots of options to play/set up as you like, and the best is, it's free.
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2017, 08:38 PM
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If you right click on the photobucket image and click "Open in new window", you'll be able to see the pictures.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:13 PM
eldon80 eldon80 is offline
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I will try to upload photos using something other than Photobucket. Hopefully you can still see them using the Photobucket link. I will definitely check with a black light. If anybody has any further info, that would be great. I'll take all the feedback I can get. I'm learning this baseball card grading game as quickly as I can.

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  #11  
Old 09-18-2017, 09:20 PM
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As to your question about whether PSA keeps records of previous submissions, PSA President Joe Orlando says that every card is considered brand new once it arrives. May just be talk, but he is on record saying it.

But I have seen about 15 of these "Altered Stock" posts and the vast majority are cards pressed thin by screwdown bricks. PSA normally labels erasures with (MK) qualifiers.
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2017, 05:05 PM
bigfanNY bigfanNY is offline
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I agree with last post. I asked this question last year at the national in A.C. and was told that for the most part altered stock qualifiers ment that the card was pressed either on purpose or by a screw down case. I had a number of 80's rookies come back this way ( Montana, Gwynn, McGwire etc) and I had removed them from heavy screw down cases. PSA rep showed me where you could see a very light surface wrinkle had been flattened. I can't see it without magnification but that is what I would look for on your Clemente.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2017, 11:33 PM
dplath dplath is offline
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Send it to SGC. Their customer service is great. If they don't give it a numerical grade they'd be willing to talk to you on the phone as to why.
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  #14  
Old 09-28-2017, 03:42 PM
ls7plus ls7plus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swarmee View Post
Altered stock is their term for a card that's been pressed from years in a screwdown holder. You can try with PSA again, but after that, send it back to BVG.
Sounds like a PSA gambit to buy only cards already in a PSA holder to me. If you tighten the screws just finger-tight, it doesn't do anything to the card, and the card is not going to slip out. On the other hand, if you really crank the screws down like your life (or the card's) depended on it, it might pinch the corners.

Just MHO,

Larry
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  #15  
Old 09-28-2017, 05:43 PM
chalupacollects chalupacollects is offline
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I have never had the issue of altered stock from cards being in a screw down case - maybe just lucky until I learned about this happening on the net... Now however anything with a screwdown I get I take it out and let it sit in a humid room (basement) for a while... maybe the cardboard breathes in some humidity and expands back - I don't know but then it goes into penny sleeve and toploader... makes me feel better about that issue...
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  #16  
Old 09-28-2017, 07:42 PM
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I got lucky as well, I guess.

I remember adding them to the cubes and I also remember being very careful just to screw them down just enough.
They were stored in these for 25-30yrs but were placed on their side, not their backs, so that may have helped?
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2017, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigfanNY View Post
I agree with last post. I asked this question last year at the national in A.C. and was told that for the most part altered stock qualifiers ment that the card was pressed either on purpose or by a screw down case. I had a number of 80's rookies come back this way ( Montana, Gwynn, McGwire etc) and I had removed them from heavy screw down cases. PSA rep showed me where you could see a very light surface wrinkle had been flattened. I can't see it without magnification but that is what I would look for on your Clemente.
I just received a 1954 card back from PSA with this N5-Altered Stock non-graded rating. I have not owned the card but for the last few years, so do not know if it had previously been placed in a screw-down case. I cannot see any "wrinkles" that may have been flattened. A friend mentioned that maybe the card corners are "flatter" due to the screw-down. If the corners have been thinned due to prolonged pressure, is there anyway to salvage this card? Will the card "re-form" over time? Any thing I need to do to save this card or do I just replace it?
Dave
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  #18  
Old 09-29-2017, 04:22 PM
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Altered stock could also mean recolored or erased, or heavy amounts of gloss removed. Doesn't mean the card doesn't look nice raw. PSA could pass it on a future submission or you could send it to BGS or SGC.
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Oh, what a difference a year makes.
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2017, 05:14 PM
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Say you had a corner that came slightly separated from the underlying cardboard. In other words, the thin, glossy top portion of the card was no longer 'attached' to the core card, just at the very corner. The normal approach would be to grab something like the flat end of a pen and try to smoosh it back down/flatten it out to make it whole again. Would something like that come back as 'altered stock'?
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  #20  
Old 10-02-2017, 02:54 AM
pclpads pclpads is offline
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The moral to the story is if you want a key card in a PSA holder, bite the bullet, pay the going rate over taking a chance on a second tier grading co. Lots of horror stories like yours out there. BTW, PSA loves guys who continue to sub again and again, hoping for a better grade. I think it is part of their corp profit strategy.
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  #21  
Old 12-21-2017, 10:21 AM
eldon80 eldon80 is offline
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Thanks to all who chimed in. Just a quick update for you all. After being rejected as altered stock twice by PSA, I sent the card to SGC. SGC graded 60 first try. I spoke to a representative who told me they noticed a very slight wrinkle in the upper left corner under heavy magnification. I guess I'll never know if this was the reason PSA called-out altered stock.

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  #22  
Old 12-28-2017, 01:51 PM
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The subject of "altered stock" whether it relates to corner rebuilding, erasures, screw-down damage, or any other number of perceptions is one of my largest problems with professional grading. PSA, SGC (to a lesser degree) and Beckett across the board are wildly inconsistent on this issue, and it's not at all uncommon to hear stories of rejected cards being graded by another provider, or by the same TPG the next time around, and that kind of thing.

One of the troubling issues with deeming something "altered" is that in the card collecting hobby - unlike other professional collecting disciplines - intent matters when it comes to assessing damage or wear on a card. If a corner is dinged on this card or a crease exists on that one because well, that's just what happened in that particular card's life - that is fine and the card will be slabbed mid- or lower grade. But if a TPG can prove that the card was intentionally "altered" - whether that is making the corners sharp again, or erasing an errant mark on a border - or something so sinister as Bill Mastro circumcising the fabled T-206 Wagner to make it a mint condition card again - well that is frowned upon and not treated the same in the world of professional grading. (Unless of course you were Bill Mastro and the founders of PSA were totally in bed with you. Something they are rarely called out about today. But I digress...)

My concern for some of these cards that are not famous, overly valuable, or otherwise under a high amount of scrutiny - is how the hell does PSA or any of the others KNOW how some of that damage occurred to cast a judgement on it? Certainly in the case of overly tightened 1980's screw cases - pressed out corners were not something that was done intentionally to damage the card. If you screwed a card down so tight that it cut a corner off that would be one thing, but just because the surface area of the card is a fraction of a millimeter thinner at the corners than it is say in the center of the card (how is that even measured, anyway?) to me is not enough reason to say no, sorry. That's "altered" and therefore not worthy of a numerical grade.

I value the services that TPG's provide and even for myself as a collector of mostly affordable, mid-grade vintage - they help me make decisions when buying cards online that I cannot hold in my hands first. But I also believe there is an aspect of professional grading that is absolutely insane. The difference between a PSA 8 and a 9 is what exactly - to the untrained eye? I can quote you what PSA says the difference is in theory off of their website but that is beside the practical point. What is the difference between a BVG 9.5 Gem Mint and 10 Pristine if you don't look at everything in your life with a 10x jeweler's loop? I can understand that the super high-end of the market for cards and especially vintage cards in these type of grades is more for investors than for true hobbyists. I get that and am fine with it. But I am also troubled by the inconsistency of a company like PSA. Look at a PSA 5 card from the 1950's that was graded this past year and then compare it to a PSA 5 that was slabbed in 2002. Do you think their standards have changed? I do. Also troubling is the fact that you can find examples of truly altered / doctored cards graded and IN normal slabs today if you look hard enough. Just because they are the "pros" does not mean that TPG's are always immune from human error themselves.

I compensate for some of what I mention here by trying to not be too hard myself when pulling mid-grade but still eye-appealing and affordable cards for my collection. I try to be forgiving if I don't know for certain "how" a defect or spot of damage / patina on a card got there - and just chalk it up to history. Grading serves a purpose, but it's also nice that not every piece of vintage cardboard out there has to be hermetically sealed in a plastic tomb. At some point worrying about things like this is what takes the hobby from fun and relaxing to overly scrutinized and stressful.
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Last edited by jchcollins; 12-28-2017 at 01:56 PM.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2017, 02:07 PM
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Stories like this are why I'm too scared to play the crack and resubmit game. I'm sure the times it pays off make up for situations like this, but I somehow doubt I'd come out ahead in the long run.
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2017, 06:03 PM
MCoxon MCoxon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dplath View Post
Send it to SGC. Their customer service is great. If they don't give it a numerical grade they'd be willing to talk to you on the phone as to why.
I think this is good advice.

I just bought a 54 Wilson Franks Feller in BVG 5.5, mainly because I couldn’t find a PSA priced right. When I bought it a few days ago, my plan was to submit to PSA, stillin the BVG holder, requesting a minimum 5 grade; but it may be a good candidate for SGC. I’ve also recently grown to really like their customer service and their slabs.

But to be honest, I fear that one of the earliest posts on this thread is spot on: if you want it in a PSA holder, buy it in a PSA holder

Last edited by MCoxon; 12-28-2017 at 06:04 PM.
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  #25  
Old 01-06-2018, 04:56 AM
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Exactly why I have stopped buying vintage in BGS Slabs - Way too many issues when trying to cross to either SGC or PSA. They should really stick to what they know - grading the chrome plated shiny shit.....
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  #26  
Old 01-08-2018, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo_mudhen View Post
...chrome plated shiny shit.....


I think I just picked up a new term in my vocabulary, for new cards. Or CPSS for short.
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