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  #1  
Old 07-31-2007, 09:00 AM
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Posted By: Chris Nerat

Greetings,

My name is Chris Nerat, associate editor of Sports Collectors Digest. First off I would like to commend your online community for continuing to present itself as one of the most informative that I have ever seen in the sports card world.
Over the past few years, I have read many posts on your forum and continue to be impressed.
That said, from time to time I have read the board members’ disappointment with our magazine’s prewar card coverage.
When freelancers send us prewar stories we always try to get them in our pages, but quality prewar material has been rather limited.
The reason for this post is to ask if there is anyone who would like to submit any prewar stories for our pages.
I can be reached at (800) 726-9966 ext. 452, or via email at chris.nerat@fwpubs.com.
Thank you in advance.
Chris

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  #2  
Old 07-31-2007, 09:47 AM
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Posted By: Tom Boblitt

that the Coaches Corner Auctions with all that top shelf authentic material was replacing all the vintage articles........

Okay, tongue-in-cheek, but that's something else someone in your magazine needs to address. Probably not you though.....

There have been some past great articles in SCD in regards to vintage stuff. Burdick, Carter, etc. Hopefully those writers can scare up some more quality news for those that still subscribe......

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  #3  
Old 07-31-2007, 10:16 AM
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Posted By: leon

Maybe you hit the nail on the head, at least partially. I know we all think of "credibility" when dealing with companies and individuals. The fact that SCD allows Coaches Corner to still advertise might be one of the issues that SCD has currently. I have read far too many bad things about that company (Coaches Corner) to want to do business with them or, possibly, with a company that has a partnership with them...ie advertising.....just a thought.....

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  #4  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:08 PM
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Posted By: barrysloate

I allowed my SCD subscription to run out as a protest because of one thing the magazine allowed, and that was the presence of a certain advertiser on the front cover waiving $100 bills and beaming that endlessly phony smile. Bad enough inside the magazine, absolutely tasteless on the cover.

SCD needs more than a few good writers to save iself. They need to make some decisions about how they want their publication to look.

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  #5  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:15 PM
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Posted By: T206Collector

I let my subscription run out a year ago and I still get the magazine. I regard it the same way I regard the countless Pennysaver advert magazines I get in the mail -- all advertising; no content.

I think SCD deserves some credit for coming onto this thread to seek better writing submissions. But frankly they need a new business model.

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  #6  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:44 PM
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Posted By: Mark L

I share many of the other members' misgivings but I still subscribe because I really enjoy the occasional article on vintage game used equipment and would welcome some more on vintage cards. I think it appropriate to thank Chris for his offer.

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  #7  
Old 07-31-2007, 12:54 PM
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Posted By: peter chao

With all the scholars here that are members of Net54 why do I need SCD and their articles? Advertising, I can find all over the internet, all I have to do is click on a banner ad. What can SCD provide us that I can't get here?

Peter C.

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  #8  
Old 07-31-2007, 03:43 PM
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Posted By: Anonymous

To answer your question Peter, SCD can get you an autographed Babe Ruth ball for 20% of market value.

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  #9  
Old 07-31-2007, 04:21 PM
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Posted By: Bruce Dorskind


Our hobby has changed precipitously during the past 10 years.

It is clear that the proliferation of "important auctions"
along with the accelerated growth of E Bay has reshaped
the entire dimensions of the market.

Few items of real interest are sold between collectors
or by dealers to collectors.

Card shows, whilst ideal for networking, rarely present one
with an opportunity to add a significant item to one's collection.

Accordingly, it is dfficult for a print publication with a
relatively long editiorial deadline, limited resources
and few advertisers who are actually selling anything to
remain as "a must read."

The organizations who are consistent SCD advertisers are
primarily interested in building their brand. They want to
remindcollectors to consider their organization if and when
a collection is going to be sold.

The role of SCD, like that of most trade and specialized print
publications, has changed. Just look at the recent redesign of
the Wall Street Journal. SCD, to remain vital, must provide
information that we can not otherwise obtain and/or produce
high quality feature stories.

Whilst there has been some attempt to do so, in our view
the publication has fallen short. We, for example, no
longer advertise "America's Toughest Want List."

That said, we still believe SCD does offer some potential
value, and is, from time to time, a valuable information
source.

While we do not have a business relationship with a number
of advertisers, we would never consider cancelling our
subsription because we don't care for a particular advertiser.

We don't see anyone deciding not to watch their favorite
TV show because the sponsors are not in sync with the
viewers' position on a wide range of issues.

This country is built on free expression. Each dealer has
every right to tell his story in any manner he sees fit.
Cancelling a subscription to protest the fact that one does
not like a particular advertiser is, in our view rather short-sighted.

Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

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  #10  
Old 07-31-2007, 05:07 PM
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Posted By: Mark Holt

I've continued my SCD subscription and plan to do so as it comes up again. They've had some decent articles in the past year and its easy enough to pass over Mr. Mint and Coaches Corner. There are advertisers (Savage and Keating to name two) who I trust and look forward to checking out each week.

Rather than blast them I'd love to see some of the folks on this forum submit some articles - I'm guessing their subscription list is larger than the regulars on this board and spreading more info out to the hobby can only be good....

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  #11  
Old 07-31-2007, 05:22 PM
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Posted By: leon

Hi Bruce,
With all due respect we politely disagree with almost everything ya'll said.
Ya'll said few items of real interest are sold between collectors anymore.

We know of many that have sold privately in the last few years. WE even bought a few from ya'll that were very interesting....and we can name many other transactions that were of a more substantial nature that were done privately.....

We feel the uniquely known Home Run Kisses, the SGC 80 T217, the uniquely known E94 overprint and many other things, are some of the stuff we have bought at shows (the National) in the last few years and we call them significant. We know of other extremely significant items bought/traded by others, at the National, also. We have first hand experience of these transactions so it's not hearsay.

Ya'll went on to say that advertisers advertise to get their brand out to the public.....ok...we can agree on that but it's kind of obvious. Cancelling a subscription because of a particular advertiser might be short sighted in ya'lls opinion. For most things ya'lls opinion is certainly not the norm though.

As far as not taking SCD, or taking SCD, because of advertisers, no doubt ya'll don't care. No doubt a lot of others do care. Personally, we have never taken it and at the moment, with all that has been said, see no need to.

We applaud the gentleman from SCD for coming onto the board and asking for participation in the vintage arena. That is very commendable and shows SCD is still trying......best regards

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  #12  
Old 07-31-2007, 05:24 PM
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Posted By: Dan Bretta

While it is true one can overlook a Coach's Corner advertisement...it is not so easy to overlook the real damage that Coach's Corner does to the hobby. You can't tell me that the editor and publisher of SCD is not aware of the problem items that consistently show up in CC's auctions. IF SCD really cared about the hobby they would not allow CC to advertise, and I imagine if SCD cut off CC then they would go out of business as SCD is probably catering to the last few collectors who are not on the internet and probably unaware that there is any problem with CC.

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  #13  
Old 07-31-2007, 05:43 PM
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Posted By: barrysloate

Besides the annoying advertiser I cited, the magazine falls short in many areas. Too much of the advertising is nothing more than name brand recognition. That's fine for the businesses, but unappealing to the readers. Yes, we get it, everybody is looking for consignments...my grandmother is looking for consignments. But I don't need to subscribe to figure that out. The magazine had its heyday but that has long passed.

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  #14  
Old 07-31-2007, 05:51 PM
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Posted By: Dan Bretta

Ebay and the internet have killed these types of trade magazines and it is only because of a few big time advertisers that these magazines still exist. I remember the days when the SCD was as thick as the Sunday newspaper...not anymore. It is now wafer thin and contains the same exact ads that were in there the week before and the week before that. I would probably still support them if I didn't allow CC to advertise because they do get some good articles on occasion.

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  #15  
Old 07-31-2007, 07:03 PM
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Posted By: bruce dorskind



Dear Leon:

You all may have obtained a few interesting pieces from
our collection. And we, in turn, have obtained a few
from yours. In fact, we have obtained 10 super rare type
cards from our postings on the Network 54 Board...that said...

The facts clealy speak for themselves. If one takes a look
at all the significant items you all and (we all) have obtained
in the past 4 years, auctions win hands down.

If you all limits your analysis to those items which fetched
( a nice Texas word) more than $2500, our guess would be more
than 75% of the items emanated from an auction.

Whilst we did not have the opportunity to attend last year's
National, our total spending in the prior four years was well
under $10,000 ( we spent more on travel and hotels then we did
on cards).

Two Simple Points

1. There are, from time to time, some very insightful stories
in SCD and there is a chance to learn about someone who, heretofore,
one did not know.

2, Despite you all and we all's wish to contrary, the vast majority
of high end rare material is sold through auctions.

You all have a nice evening. We'll leave the light on for ya.


Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

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  #16  
Old 07-31-2007, 07:11 PM
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Posted By: leon

Nicely worded. Last night I bought a large lot of Baseball Dime Novels from the early 1900's and I asked the seller for a "brother in law" discount. He liked the wording and we struck a fine deal. I will concede that most higher end items find their way to auction houses....But there is always that plumb to be found in other places which helps make the hobby continually fun. I doubt I will ever find a better situation than the one I had with the gentleman from Grass Valley, CA., about 3 yrs ago, and the 760 cards I bought from him..all privately. ....Ya'll have a good night too.....and ya'll should mosey on out to the National sometime. It's a lot of fun hootin' and hollerin' with friends....take care

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  #17  
Old 07-31-2007, 08:52 PM
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Posted By: jeffdrum

Good night John Boy!

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  #18  
Old 07-31-2007, 09:56 PM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

"We" [I guess he must be descended from royalty so that he can use the plural when talking about himself, since normal people are simply "I" in normal parlance] can't even spell y'all right. That makes it hard for me to take anything he says seriously. Everytime "we" make yet another self-important post, "I" get more tired of reading it. Pompous, boorish and boring. Drink a beer and get a life. Best.

Kenny Cole

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  #19  
Old 07-31-2007, 10:33 PM
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Posted By: Paul

I don't get it. I agree SCD has some problems, and I agree that this forum is a great place to discuss those problems. But it seems a little harsh to do it in this thread. An SCD editor comes onto this Board, compliments its members, and then presents what I have to believe is a sincere request for assistance. You can politely say "no." But to bash a guy whose only crime was having the good sense to come to this Board when seeking help with vintage cards just doesn't seem right to me.

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  #20  
Old 07-31-2007, 10:42 PM
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Posted By: FGN

Its nice to know someone at SCD is lurking and seemingly willing to address issues with the publication. Not to call anyone out but now that their presence has been established on the forum I'm sure I'm not alone in waiting for them to address the CC issue. Maybe Chris isn't the guy maybe he is. If not I'm sure he can direct TS O'Connell to the forum. I know if the concern is raised to SCD directly, by an individual, they will tell you what a good track record CC has and how few complaints they have. Here, on a forum such as this, that response will not fly as many have voiced their displeasure regarding this advertiser.

TS, come out come out wherever you are . . .

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  #21  
Old 08-01-2007, 12:36 AM
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Posted By: Kenny Cole

Paul,

I understand what you are saying. However, the flip side of the coin is that people were on this very chatboard talking about the problems with the publication many years before this particular post without any response from SCD whatsoever. I was one of them. I took SCD for 16 years. The last 5 or 6 were a complete waste of money. I finally quit about 4 years ago. When this topic came up soon after, I [or "we" in some circles, lol] explained why. So did many other people who had quit taking the magazine. As best as I can recall, there was not even a peep from SCD in response to those posts. That led me to believe, rightly or wrongly, that SCD really didn't care too much about the opinions of the vintage collecting group, at least at that time.

Now it purportedly does? Now it wants input from the same vintage colletors it completely ignored for years? I'm sure the request is sincere, but I have to wonder why it is being made so late. It seems to me that the obvious answer is money/circulation.

I certainly can't fault SCD for trying to regain a customer base. However, it will take far more than an incredibly late request for articles from the same people that SCD ignored for years to make me want to join up again. Perhaps I'm wrong but from my perspective, insofar as the vintage aspect goes, this request is far too little and far too late.

Kenny Cole

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  #22  
Old 08-01-2007, 06:03 AM
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Posted By: barrysloate

It is fine that Chris introduced himself to the board and asked if anyone was willing to write some articles for SCD about vintage cards.

But veteran collectors have some real problems with the direction a once great magazine has taken, not the least of which is it once had 400 pages a week chock full of great cards for sale, and now has 60 pages of "We are looking for consignments" ads. Yes, there are a few good articles worth reading, but the Coach's Corner issue is a serious one and the front page advertising has turned off many readers.

As such, I think the responses on this thread have been fair and respectful. If SCD wants to gain back the vintage card people, they need to make some changes.

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  #23  
Old 08-01-2007, 06:30 AM
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Posted By: Tom Boblitt

I just checked with Guiness Book and we now have the record for usage of the word Whilst (3, soon to be 4 times in this thread alone!)........previously the record was set in 1215 by the boys who penned the Magna Carta......(yeah, the date's correct)....

Whilst we subscribed to SCD for years, both the thickness and relevance of the magazine has diminished to a point where the cost/benefit analysis swayed to the cost side. It used to have all the Oser auctions, Centerfield and some really relevant articles in it. Now, it's a haven for scammers like CC, horn blowers like Mr. Mint, home for new wax boxes and supplies. It was always interesting reading Lemke's columns on new card finds out there too.

While advertising revenue is paramount to their existence as any magazine, how can they in good conscience allow CC to sell dozens, maybe hundreds of questionable autographs every week in their pages....by doing that, they are part of the whole problem out there....I guess if you buy 6-8 FULL pages weekly (or frequently), you get a hall pass.......

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  #24  
Old 08-01-2007, 07:48 AM
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Posted By: Alan

Years ago, I told the ex-publisher from Michigan (he has since passed) that the publication should be called Sports Auction Digest (SAD) instead.

Bruce - Will you be at the National ? Let's have lunch together there.

Alan

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  #25  
Old 08-01-2007, 08:05 AM
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Posted By: Jimmy Piccuito

I stopped buying the SCD about 5 years ago; I was two years into buying pre-war cards at the time. I just lost interest and there was a lack of articles and even dealers that focused on the subject unless it was an auction house. If the Sports Collectors Digest focus on pre-war cards on there website and in the SCD more - I defiantly would have more interest.

Jimmy

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  #26  
Old 08-01-2007, 08:09 AM
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Posted By: Rich Klein

The biggest issue with all this is print publications are not what they used to be in terms of interest, even of a couple of years ago.

The recent departure of myself, and others, from Beckett; the shrinkage size of SCD (the last issue I received had fewer than 50 pages, including the front cover ad); the ending of venerable publications such as the Baseball Guide and the Football Register from the Sporting News; the cutbacks at almost every daily paper in this country; .... As a matter of record; I just recieved the National issue of SCD which did have over 100 pages. However, I will suspect in advance that the following issue will have somewhere between 48-60 pages.

In many ways, this is a similar issue to the lessening of stores and shows across the country; as many people want their information delivered to them via the computer screen or to order their cards the same way. How this eventually gets solved will be the conclusion of this informational revolution.

As an now unbiased observer, SCD has many issues; although they are a weekly publication and very timely; information can be delivered immediately to a readership via email. Thus, they can't be as fast as they were even 10 years ago when the internet was still in a primitive stage. Sports Illustrated; Newsweek; Time; all of these types of publications have the same core issue of timliness. If you read a Time magazine from the 1970's and you read one today; you will notice less ads and less news.

What I would do if I were SCD (and remember they are now owned by a corporation, not Chet Krause or the employees); is to go bi-weekly to let an advertister's ad breathe a bit to give them a chance to sell some items at a fixed price. Also, it would take some pressure off the editorial staff (Led by TS O'Connell, who does a fine job IMHO); to have to go to war every week. I would also institute some caretaking toward who I allow to have ads.

At some point, this may all be not possible any more as if SCD contiunes to lose their subscriber base; there may not be enough left to have a publication.

The choice is up to them. And as a subscriber for more than 30 years, I hope they can turn it around and make the right choices for themselves and the hobby.


Regards
Rich

Edited to fix some bad grammar in the final paragraph; Edited for some changaing information.






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  #27  
Old 08-01-2007, 10:28 AM
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Posted By: Paul

I do agree with nearly all the criticisms. If you do a search, you'll see that I raised the Collectors' Corner issue quite a few years ago. I just think that SCD will not look for our help now in making their magazine more relevant to us.

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  #28  
Old 08-01-2007, 10:33 AM
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Posted By: Dan Bretta

Paul, why should anyone here help them out when they are doing damage to the hobby by allowing CC to fill the hobby with forgeries?

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  #29  
Old 08-01-2007, 01:33 PM
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Posted By: Bob

I was born as a collector because of Sports Collector's Digest having read my first issue in 1978. I have read maybe 6 issues over the last 8 years. Why? Because of Coach's Corner.

Being in management, the most important thing is to listen to the consumer and this periodical does not care about what any of us have to say. It does not take into consideration any complaints and expects us, the readers (and those who support it either by advertising or subscribing) to be 'okay' with the finalized product and to look past the general displeasures that we have that truly effect the hobby.

They expect us to purchase their magazine and their teaching tools. I have in my hand 'The Standard Catalog Of Sports Memorabilia' published in 2003 by Krause/F+W Publications. They have on their ackonwledgments page a list of contributors and fine articles about detecting fraudulent autographs by Rocky Landsverk and Ron Keurajian. I wonder what Mr. Landsverk and Mr. Keurajian think about Coach's Corner? Anyone ever ask them?

I would especially be interested in Mr. Keurajian's response as he does in depth studies on the signatures that ALWAYS appear in Coach's Corner Auctions like 'The Bambino', Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson and Hack Wilson.

Hey Ron, what do you think of the two Walter Johnson signed bats that they had last month? In the SCOSP, it says 'unknown' as far as it's value goes...is about $500 the right price?

This is something that I think could have been corrected a long time ago, but it's now been I believe seventeen years since Coach's Corner first touched down on Krause turf and it's safe to say that SCD is totally dependant on the advertising of CCSA.

It will simply be a matter of time (50 pages now...wow...you don't say!) before the hobby entirely gives up on this once legendary periodical and a billion dollar collectible field will be void of a newsprint that they can call their own. It's simple math as far as I am concerned. If 1,000 people (that number may be quite high, but I know quite a few people who feel the way I feel) refuse to subscribe to SCD because of CCSA, does that number not benefit the publication as it makes more sense to keep that huge advertising contract of CCSA on board? $40,000 or about $100,000? Hmmm...

My thoughts for what they are worth. Looking forward to some feedback.

Bob

P.S I love this site!






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  #30  
Old 08-01-2007, 03:01 PM
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Posted By: Bob Lemke

I've said it before, but in case you missed it . . . if SCD were to banish Coach's Corner from its ads pages, it could not survive as a print publication; I wouldn't give it six months.

I'm glad I don't have to make that decision.

Please don't blame Chris Nerat or T.S. O'Connell for CC's continued presence in the paper; as editorial personnel they have zero input into the business side. SCD's current ownership has no interest in the long-term welfare of the sports card/memorabilia hobby, nor the collectors involved therein. They were bamboozled by the previous ownership (Google "F+W Litigation" for particulars) and are only interested in putting lipstick on the pig to attract the next buyer. Everybody from the newest ad salesperson to ober-publisher Kevin Isaacson knows that if they rejected CC's ad dollars, they would be summarily fired.

In case you haven't been on the SCD website recently, you may not have noticed that the company is directing a great volume of resources to building an on-line editorial content. If I had to guess, I'd say the intent is to eventually eliminate the print version, with its attendant printing and mailing costs, and become strictly a cyber journal.


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  #31  
Old 08-01-2007, 03:18 PM
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Posted By: jay behrens

If I were to write an article again, I'd but submitting it to Old Cardboard because I'd want my article to get to the people that really care about it.

Jay

The richest person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

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  #32  
Old 08-01-2007, 03:23 PM
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Posted By: Paul

Wow, I guess we know why Bob left.

Dan, you raise a good point. I still would not have pounced on the guy who came to the Board, but I can certainly see why you would not want to write an article for them.

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Old 08-02-2007, 12:49 PM
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Posted By: Mike

I am not much of a card guy and a frequent contributor pointed me to this thread. I do enjoy the sports memorabilia tab and will find a nice home there.

I have always found something incorrect in the constant inventory of Coach's Corner and calling those who no longer read the publication because of something that bothers them like this, short-sighted, is in fact moronic. What if there was a company that continued on a monthly basis to produce cards you favor in immaculate condition, using slab companies that aren't respected and it was impossible to prove on way or another...you would be upset as well. Especially if had the "never before seen" T206 Red Hindu backed Connie Mack card and then one Uzit after another after another.

I have in the past e-mailed SCD about my concerns and they went unanswered. I had a nice long talk with the FBI which got me no where as they were wrapping up the second Operation. I then e-mailed Coach's Corner about how they can maintain such an inventory and allow items to sell so cheaply every month and while they sensed I was being sarcastic (they must get a lot of people like me...it was following a string of Mathewson signed items), they commented on April 26, 2006 with the following mature line:

mike, get a life. or maybe a girlfriend, but I am guessing a boyfriend. End of conversation.

I have e-mailed them once or twice since without a response and don't plan anytime soon to do so again. What's the point really.

A lot of good points were made here in this Forum thread but I have a question for Bob Lemke.

Bob, I believe you were publisher of SCD when Coach's made their debut. You must have had some knowledge of the business and did you ever ask yourself to how they were always able to get such amazing items and such little respect, price wise month after month?

If you do not want to share here, please e-mail me.

Their ads (or inventory) have not changed in fifteen+ years...only the authenticators.

Thank you for your time.

Michael


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  #34  
Old 08-02-2007, 12:59 PM
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Posted By: barrysloate

Michael- just the way they responded to a seemingly reasonable question leads me to believe they have a lot to hide. I too am baffled that they have been allowed to sell this material unchecked for many years. Who are their repeat customers?

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Old 08-02-2007, 01:52 PM
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Posted By: Scot Reader


When T.S. O'Connell proposed last year to publish my T206 manuscript in installments across several issues of SCD I was happy to oblige (especially since it was the only proposal to publish the work in "hard copy" format that I received). I found T.S. responsive and professional and publication went off without a hitch. While I do not subscribe to SCD, I think the more outlets there are for vintage baseball card information the better and am glad to see SCD actively seeking new material suitable for publication.

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Old 08-02-2007, 02:06 PM
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Posted By: Al C.risafulli

Whilst we have read many funny thingses on the internets, the exchanges between Leons and Bruces in these threadses might be the funniest things we have ever read on Net54s.

-Als

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  #37  
Old 08-02-2007, 02:28 PM
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Posted By: Bob Lemke

I honestly can't tell you whether or not I was publisher of SCD when Coach's Corner began advertising. I relinquished the publisher's role in the early 1990s when I became a corporate officer.

I can tell you this unequivocally, though; if they were advertising when I was in publisher, they were not generating reader complaints or, if there were complaints, they were satisfying them according to our then-current customer service policies.

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Old 08-02-2007, 03:42 PM
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Posted By: DJ

My opinion on this matter has even exhausted myself and therefore I'm not much in the mood to pile on the deceased equine.

They must have first advertised in 1990 if I did the math correctly.

I tried to google the F+W Litigation, but it didn't lead me anywhere. Can you send a link as I am curious.

Thanks

DJ

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