Okay, the title is something of a misnomer. I own plenty of graded cards. In fact, I recall buying them as early as 2002 (if not earlier), and over 450 cards in my collection reside in slabs assembled by SGC, PSA, or BGS. However, I never actually submitted any of my own cards for professional grading until the most recent CSA Chantilly Card Show, back in the beginning of October.
I resisted (and will likely continue doing so, as much as possible) getting my own cards graded for so long solely because of cost considerations. For the most part, it just isn’t the best use of my resources. However, I am not completely oblivious to the fact that at some indeterminate point in the future, I will likely need to start selling the collection, and when I do so, it may be to my advantage to have at least a few key cards in slabs in order to maximize my returns. So, I decided to take advantage of the fact that both SGC and BGS would have submission tables at the show and see what would happen.
With the first card, my primary concern was to get the autograph authenticated. I knew it was legitimate because I paid to have Ennis sign it in person at a card show in Ocean City, NJ during the summer of 1992 or 1993. When the day comes that I start breaking the collection up, it certainly will be one of the last cards I sell, but I felt authenticating it would be to my advantage when the day to sell finally arrives. I know having the card itself graded really isn’t important for most collectors, but when the SGC representative told me it would only add a few bucks to the overall cost, I thought, “What the hell.”
I decided to get the Schilling card graded because it’s probably the most unique card in my collection. I have a few other 1/1 cards, but this is the only one bearing an autograph and multiple relics.* It felt like I was taking a gamble because I knew that there was no way it was grading as anything higher than an “8.” In fact, given one of the corners, a “7” or “7.5” was far more likely. I was pleasantly surprised when it came back bearing the “8,” but sure enough, thanks to the corner I worried about, it did get a subgrade of “7.5” in that category.
I’m certain that I will submit other cards for professional grading at various points in the future. I’m not very happy about the cost of doing so, but I actually enjoyed seeing the Ennis and Schilling cards return in their new tamper-resistant, condition-preserving holders. Figuring out the next cards to send will be a bit of a challenge (I’m guesstimating that I have roughly a dozen cards I would like to submit for grading), but it will take a number of months before I’m reading to determine which ones.
* I posted about this particular Schilling card previously.