Saturday, April 18, 2020

Why bother grading a 1/1?

I've been reading everyone's "Things I like that you don't" blog bat around posts and I continue to see conflicting interests in the subject of graded cards.

Some people like them.

Some people don't.

I used to only like base vintage cards graded because it gave a sense of security for the validation of a card's authentic grade.  However with all the new card doctor reports surgically adjusting their cards and sending them in for consignment, I even question that now.

I no longer have an interest in graded cards.

Now that doesn't mean I won't buy a graded card.

As a matter of fact I have picked up two major additions to the collection because they were graded.  The cards both received grades below 9.0 which made them less desirable.

The best part to me is that they are both 1 of 1s.

Despite a low grading from Beckett, no one else could claim to have this type of card.
Back before all the crazy parallels made in today's current hobby, 2005 Bowman Chrome Draft had only a handful of parallels to chase.
Refractor (not numbered)
X-Fractor /250
Blue /150
Gold /50
Red 1/1
Superfractor 1/1
That means that there is only 456 cards that were numbered and only 1 of them has the red borders like the 7.5 BGS I now own.

Compare that to 2019 Bowman Chrome which has added the colors purple, green, and orange to the numbered parallels.  The reds have been increased from 1 to 5 copies and the refractors are now numbered to 499 copies.  The 2019 Bowman Chrome has 1,079 numbered parallels compared to 456 numbered parallels from 2005.
This 1/1 red Refractor is super rare.  It (along with the traditional 1/1 Superfractor) fell 1:6,609 hobby packs.

You may remember a few years ago that my brother got me a graded 1/1 from Cutch's draft year (see this post here about the graded 1/1 2005 Bowman Heritage Draft my brother got me).

He was able to get it for a big discount due to the 8.5 grade, despite being a 1/1.

In addition to the 2005 Bowman Chrome Red Refractor 1/1 I picked up in the past few months, I have also picked up the below laundry tag booklet.

The workout jersey cards for the All-Star games are used in various products following the All-Star game.  Topps Update is where you can typically find the small swatches (with very little patches available) and the following year's Triple Threads product often has laundry tags, sleeve patches, and huge patches from the All-Star Game.

This 2013 Triple Threads booklet features the laundry tag from Cutch's workout jersey he wore during the Home Run Derby in the 2012 All-StarGame.

All 3 of the above cards were picked up for steep discounts compared to similar players mainly because of the lower grade, despite all being 1/1s.  Had the cards remained in raw form, the seller probably could have gotten twice the price.

Would you buy a 1/1 card for a discount if the grade is below average for a modern card?


  1. I think I would. If a low grade cheapens a 1/1 I want, sign me up.

  2. Absolutely. You can't really hold out for one in better condition, can you?

  3. I'm not a graded card guy, but I have a few that I've won in contests on Twitter, etc.

    If someone got me a graded Freehan RC I wouldn't be sad.

    Good Job! 👍

  4. If it's a 1 of 1, I definitely would pick up a low graded card for a discount. In fact, I'd welcome it. The lower the grade, the lower the price, the happier I'd be.

  5. I probably would even though I don't specifically like graded cards. However, that being said, I think for me ever to buy vintage, it would have to be graded so I know it's real

  6. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like it would make sense to take the lower grade 1/1's out of their holders. Not only would they look better, but also if you ever had to sell them, people wouldn't know that they had a such a "low" grade, and heck, from what I've heard, the cards would probably end up getting a higher grade if they were re-submitted anyway.