N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

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N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Sun May 15, 2011 5:02 am

I've noticed that the pop reports for the rarity of OJ HOF'ers is expressly different than the rankings in the Old Judge book.

Updated to include PSA-graded cards.

In brackets is the Old Judge Book ranking. Model: SGC+PSA=TOTAL POP

Very Scarce:

1. Robinson 10+9=19 [2]
2. Nichols 17+7=23 [9]
3. McPhee 16+9=25 [1]
3. Mack 17+8=25 [6]
5. Wright 17+10=27 [5]
5. Griffith 23+4=27 [12]
7. Beckley 20+8=28 [15]


Scarce:

8. Hanlon 26+8=34 [11]
8. Hamilton 21+13=34 [8]
10. Connor 22+13=35 [10]
10. Rusie 24+11=35 [3]
12. Anson 22+17=39 [7]
12. Delahanty 25+19=39 [4]
13. Galvin 26+15=41 [14]
15. Duffy 36+10=46 [20]


Difficult:

16. Welch 44+18=62 [17]
17. Thompson 48+15=63 [18]
18. O'Rourke 40+25=65 [16]
19. Brouthers 48+18=66 [25]
20. Radbourn 38+31=69 [13]
21. Comiskey 40+30=70 [22]
22. Clarkson 49+24=73 [27]
23. McCarthy 52+27=79 [24]
24. Ewing 60+24=84 [21]
25. Keefe 64+33=97 [26]
26. Kelly 63+35=98 [19]
27. Ward 67+46=113 [23]

One can disseminate that the HOF'ers from NY and Boston had the largest print run. Interesting how in today's game those two cities have the most rabid fans. Some things never change Smile


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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by sabrjay on Sun May 15, 2011 1:28 pm

I have yet to see the OJ book. How does the pop report differ from the rankings there? I'm guessing that the guys who wrote the book know of a large number of raw OJ HOFers that don't appear in the pop reports.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Sun May 15, 2011 1:35 pm

Good question, I will put the OJ book rankings in brackets. Hard to know if they have inside information about how many ungraded examples there are, or if the rankings are simply inaccurate (or have become inaccurate since the publishing of the book).
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by fisherboy7 on Sun May 15, 2011 4:31 pm

Nice idea for a thread.

Initially I was surprised to see Mack so high and Rusie/Delahanty so low in the ranking....the bracketed rank confirms that. Undoubtably the OJ book rankings are more accurate than what the pop reports say....right?

Does the OJ book also rank the scarcity of the different poses of a particular subject? For example, the Harry Wright portrait has several poses (all similar but distinct), the one where he's wearing glasses and looking right is the toughest if I recall correctly.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Sun May 15, 2011 4:44 pm

Ben, you are certainly correct about the "third" Wright pose - however they do not rank the rarity of each and every OJ pose in the book. That would surely be a massive, and well worthwhile, undertaking.

You and Jay portend that the assumed knowledge of the OJ authors is a more reliable source than the empirical evidence provided by the population reports. As with all sets, there are certainly ungraded cards in circulation. Most collectors reason that the quantity of ungraded examples per player is in proportion to the quantity of graded examples.

I do not know whether this is true for OJ's, but it would be interesting to learn the methodology used by the authors to create the rankings.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by sabrjay on Sun May 15, 2011 5:27 pm

The guys that wrote the book are very knowledgeable and know most if not all of the advanced OJ collectors. Many of the toughest HOFers and poses are already in collections of long time collectors, many of whom do not get their cards slabbed.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Sun May 15, 2011 5:39 pm

sabrjay wrote:The guys that wrote the book are very knowledgeable and know most if not all of the advanced OJ collectors. Many of the toughest HOFers and poses are already in collections of long time collectors, many of whom do not get their cards slabbed.

I'm a bit suspicious of that line of reasoning, at least pertaining to the quantify of HOFers, if not the rare poses, because wouldn't most of those advanced collectors of ungraded OJ's desire at least one pose of each HOF'er from the set? Also, I can't figure how there would be enough advanced collectors of raw OJ's to dramatically alter the rankings.

It is possible that due to the higher demand and value for cards like Rusie, Delahanty and Anson, that more people would choose to grade lower grade examples. But what if cards of Delahanty/Rusie/Anson were simply sold less frequently due to their desirability and therefore seemed more rare?
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by BigGuy219 on Sun May 15, 2011 7:11 pm

jbonie wrote:
sabrjay wrote:The guys that wrote the book are very knowledgeable and know most if not all of the advanced OJ collectors. Many of the toughest HOFers and poses are already in collections of long time collectors, many of whom do not get their cards slabbed.

I'm a bit suspicious of that line of reasoning, at least pertaining to the quantify of HOFers, if not the rare poses, because wouldn't most of those advanced collectors of ungraded OJ's desire at least one pose of each HOF'er from the set? Also, I can't figure how there would be enough advanced collectors of raw OJ's to dramatically alter the rankings.

It is possible that due to the higher demand and value for cards like Rusie, Delahanty and Anson, that more people would choose to grade lower grade examples. But what if cards of Delahanty/Rusie/Anson were simply sold less frequently due to their desirability and therefore seemed more rare?

Amos Rusie collectors are a crazy, dedicated bunch.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by sabrjay on Sun May 15, 2011 8:02 pm

I'll trust the info of advanced collectors like those that wrote this book over pop reports. PSA doesn't remove returned flips and then there are the other cards that get cracker out. Although this probably isn't a problem with OJs since they tend to buy the picture instead of the grade. Either way, I'll trust the authors before I trust a pop report.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Sun May 15, 2011 8:38 pm

If so, then why would more Delahanty's and Rusie's get cracked and resubmitted than the other HOFers?

There's been many times when experts have written things in books that turned out to be inaccurate. They created a fabulous book, no doubt, but that doesn't mean collectors must take everything in it as gospel.



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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by nolemmings on Sun May 15, 2011 9:39 pm

I don't take what they say as gospel, but their experience and opinions should not be discounted easily. In the case of OJs, I believe there are far far more raw than graded examples in collections. This set probably more than any other is the poster boy for buying the card and not the holder. As Jay said, the photo is much more important than the technical grade, and therefore the slab has noticeably less value than it does with other cards. Once you get past the registry guys, who are nuts anyway if they worry about their overall gpa on this set, those buying slabs of OJs are mostly concerned that the card is authentic and unaltered (especially not rebacked). The experienced collector with a keen eye traffics in these mostly on a raw basis; thus, the overall populations are not accurately reflected at all by the pop reports. Experienced collectors who have followed and handled these for years should probably be granted a great deal of deference on what is and is not tough to find, IMO.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by BigGuy219 on Sun May 15, 2011 10:28 pm

Well, the thread is quickly moving off topic so let see if I can derail the train completely.

There seems to be a butting of heads in the hobby that has been going on in the 'internet age' in a time when pop reports are readily available versus pre-conceived notions, experiences, and in some cases expert knowledge.

This is a growing problem in our society, unfortunately. To me what comes to mind immediately is Wikipedia. When I was in college, Wikipedia was in its infancy and my professors were all "You can't use it!" and we're chasing up the mountain with pitchforks. Wikipedia is a site where Stephen Hawking can write something about physics, and 15 seconds later anyone here can anonymously revise it. Amazing. However, my cousin who is now a freshman in college, IS now allowed to use Wikipedia on her college work.

Times change. Notions change.

There have been comments in other threads about the new collectors who will be emerging and pursuing 'esoteric' cards. Well, I want to go on record predicting that this 'Wikipedia generation' will be chasing cards based on the pop reports, not the books.

There is a definite 'anti-expert' culture developing among my age group and younger. It is a bit uncomfortable, and I see many similarities to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. "Stop doing everything in Latin. We don't understand it!"

Wow. That's a lot for a baseball card thread. Sorry!

I still find it amazing that so many cards issued in the late 1880s have survived. It's a testament to our ancestors.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by sabrjay on Sun May 15, 2011 10:40 pm

The problem with pop reports is that they are not reliable. When PSA gets handed a stack of flips that they just toss them in the trash, it just proves that they don't care about the accuracy of their pop reports. There is no incentive for them to keep it up to date because they don't make money from any changes they make. I'd be curious to know if anyone has tracked whether a card they have submitted for a regrade and got a bump had the old grade removed from the pop report.

Sadly, most people are too lazy to do any legwork on many things they are trying to learn about. They just assume that what they find on the internet is correct. There are some things, like OJs that require more than just reading about them on the internet and looking at pop reports. You need to get to know other collectors because there is a lot of information about this set that is held close to the vest because these advanced collectors do not want everyone to know what the truly rare cards are in the set.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by terjung on Sun May 15, 2011 11:39 pm

Old Judges are not a "crack and resubmit" type of set, so I don't suspect that either of the pop reports overestimate their population. As many have said, the majority of this type of collection resides in raw collections. For my $0.02, I'm going to trust what Jay Miller and Richard Masson contribute in their book over anything else I see in a pop report. Those guys are an absolute wealth of knowledge and I respect their contribution particularly with their OJ book a great deal.

I suspect that if you asked them, they would state that their are errors in the book or things that could be updated; however, the book (as a fraction of their knowledge on the subject) is pretty phenominal. I said all that to say this... Be careful when stating something that flies in the face of probably the most unanimously acknowledged experts on Old Judges - especially when it comes to basing it on something as flimsy and commonly inaccurate as a pop report. Could they be wrong? Sure. I suspect that they would both say that they too have much to learn about OJs, but that shouldn't discount the tremendous amount of research and collecting experience that went into the production of that book. It's an extremely valuable resource that has a ton more credibility than a pop report, at least in my eyes.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by Bicem on Mon May 16, 2011 12:06 am

pop reports are a joke, I've only owned two OJ's in my life and one (Delahanty) was crossed between PSA and SGC at least 4 times (twice before I got it and twice after I sold it).

Would definitely trust Miller and Masson when it comes to this set.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Mon May 16, 2011 12:59 am

There's no definitive answer - the only thing we know sure is that we're not going to find out. There are a lot of great posts about this set, and I think Chris is right that younger generations are less trusting of "experts".

As far as nolemmings' musings on OJ's, I can't agree with his assertion that technical grade is irrelevant. Prices clearly do not dictate this to be the case; just look at the SGC 84 Comiskey that went for 7k at REA. Then take my Sunday Kelly, for example. Surely it would have gone for more if there was no back damage and had sharp corners!

I wasn't expecting quite the reaction that the initial post garnered, and in spite of some potential inaccuracies, the chart clearly suggests that Delahanty and Rusie are more bountiful than once thought, with Beckley more scarce. I've seen a number of Delahanty's for sale in the last year, which would support that notion.

Frankly, I found it amusing that so many people came rushing to the book's defense. Surely people must understand that my posts are an attempt to update knowledge and accuracy, not to undermine or discredit the authors? scratch
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by Bicem on Mon May 16, 2011 1:08 am

jbonie wrote:
Frankly, I found it amusing that so many people came rushing to the book's defense. Surely people must understand that my posts are an attempt to update knowledge and accuracy, not to undermine or discredit the authors? scratch

yes, but you act like the book was written in 1972. Do we really need to try to update it's accuracy already? And are we even really qualified to do so? I would say no to both those questions myself.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Mon May 16, 2011 1:23 am

Jeff,

We don't need to take the Old Judge book as gospel, and can actually use our brains. To expect that Jay Miller and Richard Masson understand the whereabouts of every single OJ HOF card on the planet is unrealistic.

The pop reports have Mack, Nichols and Wright at 17 with Rusie/Delahanty at 24/25. Amos/Dela would each have to be cracked and resubbed 8/9 times to get underneath those other guys. And that's assuming Mack, Nichols and Wright were never resubbed themselves! Can you understand the unlikelihood of that?

And that's one unfortunate aspect of human nature - when something fabulous is created (in this case the OJ book), people latch onto it as if it is a bible and everything written is incontrovertible evidence. The authors themselves practically become dieties.

I once heard the expression [I'm paraphrasing] "something is completely mocked and renounced right until it becomes common sense". Is that the boat you want to set sail in? And furthermore, would it really do any good for the hobby that is already littered with cards that are not as rare as once thought?
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by BigGuy219 on Mon May 16, 2011 1:27 am

Whether the pop reports are accurate or not given the nature to crack and re-submit is nothing that can ever be quantified in my opinion. Nor can we count what cards remain in the hands of collectors who are opposed to grading, or the ones that are in a cigar box in someone's attic.

What cannot be argued with is the fact that pop reports are definately changing the hobby. Almost every auction catalogue I receive now makes use of the reports as a marketing tool. With some embarrassment, I admit that I pulled the trigger on no less than three cards in the past twelve months due to a 'fear' of not seeing them again based solely on what I saw in the reports.

I think for right now, that book is what Old Judge collectors will be using to base their views, and bidding will be handled accordingly. However, I feel that within 10-15 years, as the 'internet generation' skeptical of experts, enters the hobby they will be more inclined to use the pop reports.

We can go back and forth on which is more reliable and accurate, but the question to me is, what will most skew public opinion in terms of price? Clearly my answer is the book today, but increasingly the pop reports as print continues to die.

I have never bought a card for the purpose of investments, but if I were a 'flipper' I would view the Beckley as a potential longterm sleeper based on what the pop reports will make future collectors think, regardless of what the truth is.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by Bicem on Mon May 16, 2011 1:39 am

jbonie wrote:

And that's one unfortunate aspect of human nature - when something fabulous is created (in this case the OJ book), people latch onto it as if it is a bible and everything written is incontrovertible evidence.


I get what you're saying, I do, but aren't you kinda doing the same thing just with that pop reports instead of the book?

Also, what Chris said. Crossovers plus the VAST amount of raw cards make the pop reports extremely flawed.
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Mon May 16, 2011 2:01 am

So if all the cards are relatively close to their OJ Book rankings, with the exception of three of them, that wouldn't suggest to you that those three cards might be more or less rare previously assumed?

And when, praytell, did I ever say that the SGC pop reports were definitive?

Bid McPhee has pop 16, while Robinson has a pop of 10, but McPhee must be the rarest HOFer? Kind of like all the experts who said Lowdermilk is the rarest T207?

I've heard of dogma, but this is cartoon
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Mon May 16, 2011 2:03 am

You know what annoys me the most is that in a few years, they'll probably revise the book and switch the order of the HOF rarities but by then everyone will have forgotten about this stupid thread! flaming mad
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by sabrjay on Mon May 16, 2011 2:25 am

Frequency of seeing something in an auction is a bad gauge of rarity. Just look at how e107s, t208s, m110s, m101-5 Thorpe and other rare cards have come and gone. I watch the Thorpe pretty closely and from 2002-2009 I saw a total 3 for sale not counting my own. We've seen 6 in the last 18 months. E107s used to be very prevalent in auctions. Now you see very few. Same for t208s. We've seen a lot over the past year or two but I don't think you'll be seeing many in the next few years.

I trust the knowledge of a collector actively pursuing over a pop report. Especially with sets where a large number of the rare cards are ungraded.

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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by ullmandds on Mon May 16, 2011 2:43 am

personally...i like the OJ book as more of a reference to view all of the different poses...like any price/reference guide...scarcities and values must be somewhat taken with a grain of salt...as these are really just 'opinions."
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Re: N172 Old Judge HOF Rarity Rankings

Post by jbonie on Mon May 16, 2011 2:54 am

Thank you, Pete! Very Happy

I did just insert the PSA pops as well to get a full picture. It changed the rankings for some slightly, but overall the same snapshot.
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