The Worst Graded Card Ever

A fellow baseball-fever.com member recently posted a picture of his new purchase. The first PSA graded card of his collection. And the worst PSA graded card I have ever seen.

Lavalliere 1888 Donruss PSA

Lavalliere 1888 Donruss PSA

Surely it was graded for a laugh and whoever chose the card could not have done a better job at card selection. First of all he chose a card from the 1988 Donruss set. One of a string of marginal Donruss sets produced in the 1980s. Definitely no one’s favorite set, but not a 1991 Fleer either. Remember ’91 Fleer? That set was so ugly mom said I wasn’t allowed to get those cards.

1991 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr.

1991 Fleer Ken Griffey Jr.

Next off we’re talking about a card of Mike LaValliere. Nicknamed Spanky. Spanky had a good career in terms of longevity (12 seasons in the major leagues), but he only played in more than 100 games four times, and only two of those times he reached 120, with 121 being his personal best. He never reached the single-season 4 HR plateau but finished with a respectable career batting average of .268 and a Gold Glove Award in 1987. He was a catcher but versatile enough that in his 12 year career he managed to play 1 game at third base. All in all, he was a Major League Baseball player. he was no super-star, nor a franchise player, but I’d kill to have a career like his (Or a single plate appearance career).

So whoever chose this card was smart. Smart because the player chosen was unremarkable enough that it’s humorous to see someone paid to have the card graded, yet memorable enough that we feel some sort of nostalgic feeling when we see the card. Also the card could hardly be in worse shape. I don’t know if it was done on purpose or not but whoever damaged the card did a good job.

Anyone who has a problem with anyone destroying cards, especially cards from this era really has no grasp on the situation. To go out and destroy cards from this era (mid 80’s – early 90’s) is in someways to do a favor for the card industry. The cards were so overproduced that they have no hope of ever gaining significant market value, unless a large portion of them were destroyed. Now even though I believe that, I still have a sentimental attachment to all cards. So if you’re considering destroying old cards for the sake of the market, plese just give them to a six year old kid and instruct him or her that they are not to be treasured or set aside for a rainy day. They are to be enjoyed and to be used to learn about players and play games and to be sorted into various subsets. The destruction will take care of itself.

So this is just a reminder that baseball cards are supposed to be something that you have fun with. If you collect with an “investment” being one of your main reasons, you will most likely reach a point where you are unhappy with your collection and the time and money you spent on it. Collect for the fun of the cards. If it pays off, swell. If it doesn’t then you lost nothing because you were enjoying the process. People don’t buy video games for anything other than the fun and excitement that come with the game. Why should cards be any different?

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