Friday, November 1, 2013


I'm always curious what collectors are up to. Blogs make being nosy easier, but so has Professional Sports Authentication. The dubious plastic-slab company, which grades cards on a 1-10 scale, ranks entire PSA player collections and company sets right down to the last decimal point.  

If eating hot dogs can be turned into a competition, I guess collecting baseball cards can be, too.

While you and I collect for the love of it, these PSAers are out to win mythical card collecting titles and the notoriety that it must bring. The urge to slip on a foam No. 1 and parade around is irresistible for some. To me, it sounds like another way of measuring who has the biggest, uh, well you know.

Call it PSA Envy. 

By the way, that slabbed Brooks Robinson up there was a garage-sale find and probably would make a blue-blooded PSAer snicker.

The stakes are no laughing matter in PSA Nation, especially when ranking Hall of Famer player collections. Take Hank Aaron. There are four categories of competition: Basic Set, Master Set, Basic Topps Set and Master Topps Set. Biggest Set is not yet a category.

A closer look at the 24-card Aaron Basic Set All-Time Finest rankings shows that 118 collections have been graded and Donald E. Spence -- The Lone Star Collection has been No. 1 the past five years. 

Quiet golf clap.

He took down the Rivard Collection, which had bitch-slapped all comers from '02-'08. 

Feast your eyes on these stats:
  • % Complete: 100
  • Weighted GPA: 9.130 
  • Set Rating: 9.130
Bully for The Lone Star Collection.


If you thought PSAers entered only their high-dollar vintage cards for the ultimate smack down, you'd be as wrong as having a 4 in your possession. Five PSAers are locked in the quest to assemble the All-Time Finest Fritz Peterson Basic Set. 

That's right, one of baseball's greatest wife-swappers is the object of some serious card-swappers. 

Three-time champ D.J. Walla, take a bow.
  • % Complete: 100
  • Weighted GPA: 9.11
  • Set Rating:  9.11
Four others registered their Mario Mendoza Master Sets with straight faces to decide who has mankind's highest graded collection honoring the infielder who put a name to hitting below .200. The inaugural winner of this competition has not been settled as no one has completed the set. The current All-Time Finest leader is -- envelope, please -- sonnyorkin's The Mario Mendoza Set! 

More polite applause. 
  • % Complete: 92.86
  • Weighted GPA: 9.538
  • Set Rating: 8.857
Good luck to sonnyorkin completing his project and holding onto No. 1. He'd be wise to remember what Satchel Paige once said: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.'' 

By the way, The Lone Star Collection also has the top-ranked Satchel Paige Basic Set (8.17 weighted GPA). Who is this guy, the Nick Saban of card collectors?

Of course, card collectors don't win PSA championships; PSAers do. 

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