An Uncharacteristic Addition: Non-Sport Autograph Purchase

***This post was written by Richard Hardy.  You can follow him on Twitter at @BossHardy202***

Anyone who knows me, knows I mainly collect Pittsburgh sports items, Daryl Richardson cards, and vintage. Lots of vintage. A few weeks back, however, I surprised myself by stepping out of my comfort zone and making an instinctive purchase (after a little bit of research). As I was scrolling through my Twitter feed, I happened upon a sales post for an item I would never have guessed I’d want. When I read what it was, though, I was instantly interested. An autograph from Langston Hughes; a famous poet and social activist, among many other things. Hughes was a very influential individual for American culture, during an extremely racially-charged time in history. The signed piece was framed with a typed letter by Hughes and came with a PSA/DNA certificate of authenticity. I immediately started negotiating with the seller, still blown away from finding it. After coming to a price the seller and I could both live with, the agonizing wait was on. The wait was worth it to own such a great item.

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One Card, An Addition to Three Sets

Kin Kinsley
July 24, 2016

As the focus of my collecting has changed, I’ve started new projects.  Last weekend I started two new ones, allowing this one card to go into three different sets.

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Jose Reyes: From Superstar to Suspended

Jose Reyes is on the brink of being suspended by Major League Baseball (MLB) for at least 60 games after being arrested last October for assaulting his wife. Even though no charges were filed since his wife did not cooperate with the police, MLB is taking this matter very seriously, hence the suspension. 

It’s hard to believe that Reyes was once a superstar for the New York Mets alongside David Wright and thought to be on his way to a stellar career. He was even the National League Batting Champion back in 2011. 

All that leads me to the point of this writing. 

I recently purchased the card pictured. It’s a 2001 Topps Chrome rookie card of Reyes that has been graded a Gem Mint 10 by PSA. 

Ten years ago, I probably would have had to shell out $6-10 for a raw copy and almost $100 for a PSA 10. But, thanks to his fall from grace, I was able to purchase this card for a whopping $2 plus $3 for shipping. 

I doubt he’ll ever return to the prime playing days he enjoyed as a Met, but this was a card I couldn’t pass up as a lifelong Mets fan and as someone that always had this card on their bucket list, albeit it was more of a priority when he was in the orange and blue. 

Happy Collecting!

Product Review: Ultra Pro PSA Slab Clam Shells

One thing I love about this hobby is the way that trading cards and other memorabilia can be displayed and protected. 

With my personal collection lately, I’ve been buying more graded cards to save for my son in hopes that he can do something positive with them in 20 years or so. But, as any collector knows, half the battle is finding something to buy and the other half is finding a way to store and protect them. 

Well, a few days ago I found a new-to-me product that I wanted to try. 


I purchased this 3 pack of Ultra Pro PSA Slab Clam Shells for just under $6, or $2 each. I could’ve gotten a bulk discount had I wanted more but since I had never used them before I decided the smart move would be to test them out first. However, I’m now regretting that decision because I absolutely love these!

Each clam shell is a two-piece set with the pieces “locking” into place with side notches (see the picture). 

Once the slab is in the clam shell, there is no movement whatsoever, which kind of surprised me. I thought there may be a little bit of rattling back and forth but there’s none of that. The slabs fit very snug. 

There’s also a great deal of eye appeal to these clam shells as I think they actually make the graded cards look very attractive. It’s like putting a common card in a One Touch. It just looks expensive!

Overall, I would highly recommend this product for anyone that collects PSA-graded cards! A few extra bucks can keep the slab in good condition for a lot longer and even add some eye appeal to your collection!

Mail day! An Alternative Eddie Murray PSA RC

Here’s another addition to my PSA rookie card collection! It’s somewhat of an alternative to the traditional Eddie Murray Topps 1978 rookie card and it’s definitely cheaper!

I was able to add this PSA 8 1978 Eddie Murray Kellogg’s #25 to my stash for less than $15 delivered. 

This will go great with the PSA 5 1972 Carlton Fisk Topps rookie card and the PSA 10 2015 Carlos Correa Topps Heritage rookie I recently purchased. 

I have one more PSA-graded rookie card en route to my mailbox that I purchased on eBay for $4.99 delivered. Who could it be? Here’s a clue. He is affectionately known by some as “Uncle Ray!”

Stay tuned! That card will be revealed soon!

Mailday: PSA 10 Style!

I may or may not have mentioned this before but I grew up collecting in what is now referred to as the “junk wax” era and I’ve been trying to build a collection of PSA 10 rookie cards and on-card autographs of players from those years. 

Well, this beauty arrived a couple days ago and it’s a PSA 10 1992 Cliff Floyd Topps Gold RC.  Floyd was a major contributor to the Expos in the 90’s and is now part of the MLB Network on-air cast. 

This will go nicely with my BGS 9.5 (10 auto) 2015 Stadium Club Autograph featuring Cliff in his Expos uniform!