Why I Chose PSA
When I committed to collect a complete set of Houston Colt 45s baseball cards in professional graded condition, I quickly determined that they all had to be graded by the same company. The choice seemed simple, because my source for cards was going to be mainly eBay, and the overwhelming number of cards available was graded by PSA. A bit of due diligence was invested to check out the alternatives.
Thanks to Henry Woodruff’s article “The Who’s Who of Card Grading” (http://www.tradingcardcentral.com/articles/2004/08/09_005_001.php), the major services could easily be identified and explored on their websites.
PSA (Professional Sports Authenticators), www.psacard.com
BGS (Beckett Grading Services), http://www.beckett.com/grading/
SGC (Sportscard Guaranty), http://www.sgccard.com/online_submission.htm
GAI (Global Authority, Inc.), http://www.globalauth.com/services/card-grading
In the end, PSA was my choice because of the availability of highly graded cards. After all, the goal was to complete a set in a reasonable amount of time with a target grade of 8 or higher out of 10. I’m not certain that I would have met that goal by opening day of the 2011 season with any other grading service. I am certain I would not have assembled a set of ungraded cards of sufficient quality to be submitted and graded 8 or higher. See Standards—Thanks—Houston Sports Connections for more on this.