Home Trading Cards & Memorabilia Forum
Options

THERE IS NOT ONE 1981 TOPPS REGULAR SET FERNANDO VALENZUELA PSA 10 BUT 3 1952 TOPPS PSA 10 MANTLES

Wow can't believe there hasn't been a 1981 Topps #302 PSA 10 Fernando Valenzuela graded to date but 3 1952 Topps PSA 10 mantles...head scratching statistic it seems :o.

«1

Comments

  • Options

    Fernando does not get the love he deserves. His cards have lower populations and reported sales compared to a lot of players from that era. When you consider what he did in his first year and a half I'm also surprised his rookie card is not more highly sought after. Plus the guy threw a screwball. What other pitcher can you name that threw a screwball? Anyways not sure why it's that way but that's what I found when I checked out his cards last summer before I sent in a Topps 1982 Valenzuala to be graded.

  • Options
    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This has come up before. I think somebody said his card was on the edge of the sheet and always off center.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • Options
    Jack131Jack131 Posts: 66 ✭✭

    The last pitcher to have at least 20 complete games in a season was Fernando in 1986.

    In 2023, all of MLB baseball had 35 complete games and the S.F. Giants led MLB with 4 complete games.

    The last TEAM(S) to have at least 20 complete games in a season was in 1998 when the Phillies had 21, Yankees had 22 and the Braves had 24.

    Fernando was amazing.

  • Options
    HarnessracingHarnessracing Posts: 327 ✭✭✭

    Remember when starting pitchers pitched almost 40 games a year? A pitching rotation was 4 starters?
    Now it seems pitchers have become fragile flowers.

  • Options
    ArtVandelayArtVandelay Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭

    I pitched for nearly 15 years. I'm pretty convinced the problem with starting pitchers has nothing to do with being fragile. If anything they are stronger given the conditioning they now have at their disposal. The problem as I see it is that MLB has structured the modern game to average 3+ hours a game with much longer time in between innings. When I pitched my arm always would get a bit more stiffer/tighten up the longer I had to wait to get back on the mound. The average game in 1980 and before was 2 hours with the better pitchers more than likely getting their games done in an hour and a half. The modern starter hits the 5th inning by the time the game has eclipsed the hour and a half mark.

    The pitch clock that debuted earlier this year hopefully will help out but unfortunately it we will never allow starters to get back to the 2 hour game.

  • Options
    countdouglascountdouglas Posts: 2,281 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The Valenzuela/Scioscia card is plagued with issues. It is located on the edge of the sheet, rarely centered, printed on mushy card stock, beset by issues with both registration and stray ink splotches, along with a misaligned back of the card that prohibits the back from being anywhere close to centered even if the front is dead on. I don't believe a 10 is possible. A true unicorn.

  • Options
    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    the biggest issue i always had with his rookie was the black ink runs that always seem to appear on that card.

    as I recall, when Dimitry Young was putting together his psa 10 run years ago he bought hundreds of vending boxes searching for the Fernando. Never got one 10.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

  • Options
    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ArtVandelay said:
    I pitched for nearly 15 years. I'm pretty convinced the problem with starting pitchers has nothing to do with being fragile. If anything they are stronger given the conditioning they now have at their disposal. The problem as I see it is that MLB has structured the modern game to average 3+ hours a game with much longer time in between innings. When I pitched my arm always would get a bit more stiffer/tighten up the longer I had to wait to get back on the mound. The average game in 1980 and before was 2 hours with the better pitchers more than likely getting their games done in an hour and a half. The modern starter hits the 5th inning by the time the game has eclipsed the hour and a half mark.

    The pitch clock that debuted earlier this year hopefully will help out but unfortunately it we will never allow starters to get back to the 2 hour game.

    that is a good point, and one I had never considered. the time between innings has gone way up because of commercials. I only pitched at lower levels then moved to the field so I never really had experience with tightening up during long innings.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

  • Options
    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    the biggest issue i always had with his rookie was the black ink runs that always seem to appear on that card.

    Yes, now that you mention it, ink was the problem.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • Options
    HarnessracingHarnessracing Posts: 327 ✭✭✭

    Actually Art, baseball games have never averaged 1:30 min. 1960’s 2:38 min, mid 70s dropped to 2:25 and today 2:58

  • Options
    GrooGroo Posts: 83 ✭✭

    Longer games are partially a biproduct of WAR. Walks slow everything down.

  • Options
    bgrbgr Posts: 231 ✭✭✭
    edited March 11, 2024 10:14AM

    I thought it was because the days are getting longer as the Moon moves farther away from the Earth and well... I assumed that Baseball was just adjusting to accommodate. Now that I think about it though that seems like it's unlikely to be the cause.

    I love the path this topic took to get to the reasons for the increased length of games!

    I think the commercials aspect is a good one. The big markets have the longest games on average with the Yankees and Red Sox having an additional 10 minutes (on average) of game durations.

    There's also an excellent correlation between number of pitches and game length. The thoughts on why there are more pitches are great.

    I think pitchers today also throw more pitches between starts and more pitches in the offseason, and I expect that adds up over a career. I was never a pitcher, but I have joints so I suppose I can see the extrapolation here. I wonder how many total pitches a Justin Verlander has thrown in his career vs. say... Cy Young.

    As for the original post. It is tempting me to open up one of the '81 vending boxes I have, but I have never had good luck with centering on '81s.

  • Options
    JoeBanzaiJoeBanzai Posts: 11,223 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Weren't all three of those Mantle 10's from Mr Mint's big find?
    Otherwise, no Mantle 10's.

    2013,14 and 15 Certificate Award Winner Harmon Killebrew Master Set and Master Topps Set
  • Options
    NGS428NGS428 Posts: 2,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yup, the backs are always just hanging on, even if the front is good . My 8 below..


  • Options
    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 960 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've had a ton of Valenzuela rookies that were perfectly centered...

    On the front.

    Then you turn it over and the back is so off at least one set of printing is all the way to the edge. I'd be happy to ever get a 9 on that card.

    I was always a huge James Rodney fan. That dude was amazing and so underrated. it's just a tragedy how it all went down and ended with him. So very sad.

  • Options
    ArtVandelayArtVandelay Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭

    @Harnessracing said:
    Actually Art, baseball games have never averaged 1:30 min. 1960’s 2:38 min, mid 70s dropped to 2:25 and today 2:58

    The average length of a 9 inning game was definitely not 1:30 but I'd argue that while the average length of games might have been 2:30 in 1980 the better starters certainly would have been below that number. The average length of 9 inning games in recent history (2014 and on) has been above 3:00 with it peaking at 3:10 in 2021. Prior to 1946, the average length of a 9 inning game never exceeded 1.57.

    The good news is that in 2022 the average 9 inning game was 3:06. With the installation of the pitch clock in 2023 that number was down to 2:42. I do think if they can get that mark down to 2:30 you will start to see more starters going 7+ innings on a regular basis. The other factor is how modern baseball utilizes relievers. There is much more emphasis in using multiple relievers as a means to keep batters unbalanced. We even see teams not even utilize starters and prefer to use 7+ pitchers in a 9 inning game. Given the effectiveness of doing so, we might not ever see starters being asked to go more than 6 inning in a game as batters tend to benefit the more adjusted they become to a pitcher.

  • Options
    jordangretzkyfanjordangretzkyfan Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The biggest driver of the length of a baseball game is switching pitchers mid-inning. This adds more time to the game than any other individual facet. Hence, if current starting pitchers went longer, they would solve their own game length problem. Guys these days are just softer based on pitch count management and their big contracts. Coaches feed into this by following saber-metric matchup stats out the window during games.

  • Options
    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have long thought that relievers need to enter the game ready to pitch. All warmed up and ready to go. there is zero need for 10+ warmup pitches once the change is made.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

  • Options
    4Boston4Boston Posts: 278 ✭✭✭

    There are uncut sheets of 81 Topps baseball out there. Someone can get a 10 someday if they focus on just that card alone.

  • Options
    brad31brad31 Posts: 2,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If PSA is consistent. Back centering can be ignored on a card that is never centered on the back. This one should have no 10s but does. (Not my card image from VCP I have it in an 8.5 with an off-centered back).


  • Options
    totallyraddtotallyradd Posts: 928 ✭✭✭

    @craig44 said:
    the biggest issue i always had with his rookie was the black ink runs that always seem to appear on that card.

    as I recall, when Dimitry Young was putting together his psa 10 run years ago he bought hundreds of vending boxes searching for the Fernando. Never got one 10.

    I recall reading the interview he did with PSA when he was selling his collection. While selling off everything else, he said he will always chase that Fernando in a 10.

  • Options
    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 960 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I think if a 10 ever shows it could go for $100K at auction.

    I will not hold my breath.

  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    Dodgers rookies from the 80's actually get a lot of love. PSA 9's of Fernando, Kirk Gibson(Tigers love too) and Orel Hershiser particularly. Fernando and Kirk in PSA 9 are 3-figure cards. But yes, 99% of the high grade Mantle's exist because of the Mr Mint find. But you really do have to question the QC difference between 1952 and 1981. I've opened a ton of unopened the last year from 1981 and the biggest issues are centering, including diamond cuts, due to the low margin of error on all four sides. Then finally the cardboard condition with bubbles and other similar surface flaws

  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    @BBBrkrr said:
    I think if a 10 ever shows it could go for $100K at auction.

    I will not hold my breath.

    Easily

  • Options
    RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 808 ✭✭✭✭

    If 100 PSA10s existed, any number of the 300+ PSA9s could be PSA10s.
    But as time passed, the scrutiny of the card has become so severe and against the stated grading standard.
    Remember a PSA10 can have a 75/25 reverse.
    It seems the card would now have to be absolutely perfect to get a PSA10.
    And it would definitely have to be noticeably better than the best PSA9, or there will be outrage.

  • Options
    DBesse27DBesse27 Posts: 3,029 ✭✭✭✭✭

    LOUD NOISES!

    Yaz Master Set
    #1 Gino Cappelletti master set
    #1 John Hannah master set

    Also collecting Andre Tippett, Patriots Greats' RCs, 1964 Venezuelan Topps, 1974 Topps Red Sox

  • Options
    80sOPC80sOPC Posts: 1,248 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If there was a way to sheet cut a ten that would have already happened. By now the only way we see one is if some counterfeits one - and I don’t see that happening - or a slider grade.

  • Options
    brad31brad31 Posts: 2,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Sheet cutting won’t work because sheet won’t have back and front centered no matter how you cut it.

    A ten occurs in two ways:

    1) Back leniency like has been done on 1973 All Time Home Rub Leaders

    2) Misprinted back at the factory - one likely exists on a sheet where the back was printed off center and every card but the Valenzuela is miscut on the back. In this case the ink issues have to also be printed well and the front needs to be cut centered.

    At this point 2 is more likely than 1 because PSA has set such a long (and to me correct precedent) on needing to hit back centering guidelines. Not every card needs to exist in a 10.

  • Options
    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 960 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 81 Topps set has always been one of my favorites (I love the simple design, terrible photography and weird color choices) and have ripped a ton. The best I've ever had graded were a few 8s. Most are so badly centered they're not worth sending anywhere to be graded.

  • Options

    @totallyradd said:

    @craig44 said:
    the biggest issue i always had with his rookie was the black ink runs that always seem to appear on that card.

    as I recall, when Dimitry Young was putting together his psa 10 run years ago he bought hundreds of vending boxes searching for the Fernando. Never got one 10.

    I recall reading the interview he did with PSA when he was selling his collection. While selling off everything else, he said he will always chase that Fernando in a 10.

    Back in early 2000's I bought a 1981 rack box in hopes of finding a PSA 10 Harold Baines because Mr. Dmitri Young wanted one for his collection...I did get a 10 and sold it to him...I never realized there wasn't a 10 valenzuela until a few weeks ago...then i looked at some of the graded and raw ones on ebay and as many have mentioned the centering and printer ink spots seem to be the primary reason why...still is amazing though...hope someone gets one someday and shares the news on this thread...rock on!

  • Options
    RonSportscardsRonSportscards Posts: 808 ✭✭✭✭

    @brad31 said:
    Sheet cutting won’t work because sheet won’t have back and front centered no matter how you cut it.

    A ten occurs in two ways:

    1) Back leniency like has been done on 1973 All Time Home Rub Leaders

    2) Misprinted back at the factory - one likely exists on a sheet where the back was printed off center and every card but the Valenzuela is miscut on the back. In this case the ink issues have to also be printed well and the front needs to be cut centered.

    At this point 2 is more likely than 1 because PSA has set such a long (and to me correct precedent) on needing to hit back centering guidelines. Not every card needs to exist in a 10.

    But there is no back leniency in the example you showed above.
    It is withing the PSA10 standard of 75/25.
    I measure it at worst, 70/30.

  • Options
    grote15grote15 Posts: 29,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @RonSportscards said:

    @brad31 said:
    Sheet cutting won’t work because sheet won’t have back and front centered no matter how you cut it.

    A ten occurs in two ways:

    1) Back leniency like has been done on 1973 All Time Home Rub Leaders

    2) Misprinted back at the factory - one likely exists on a sheet where the back was printed off center and every card but the Valenzuela is miscut on the back. In this case the ink issues have to also be printed well and the front needs to be cut centered.

    At this point 2 is more likely than 1 because PSA has set such a long (and to me correct precedent) on needing to hit back centering guidelines. Not every card needs to exist in a 10.

    But there is no back leniency in the example you showed above.
    It is withing the PSA10 standard of 75/25.
    I measure it at worst, 70/30.

    The back of that 73 PSA 10 is within the parameters of a PSA 10 grade.



    Collecting 1970s Topps baseball wax, rack and cello packs, as well as PCGS graded Half Cents, Large Cents, Two Cent pieces and Three Cent Silver pieces.
  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    @brad31 said:
    Sheet cutting won’t work because sheet won’t have back and front centered no matter how you cut it.

    A ten occurs in two ways:

    1) Back leniency like has been done on 1973 All Time Home Rub Leaders

    **> 2) Misprinted back at the factory - one likely exists on a sheet where the back was printed off center and every card but the Valenzuela is miscut on the back. In this case the ink issues have to also be printed well and the front needs to be cut centered.

    **
    At this point 2 is more likely than 1 because PSA has set such a long (and to me correct precedent) on needing to hit back centering guidelines. Not every card needs to exist in a 10.

    I've broken 2 rack boxes the last few months with that hope. I've always believed that if all the other cards in a box are that bad, the ones that are normally that bad could be really good. Unfortunately, of the Fernando's I've pulled, they are all way OC. Then there is the whole ink, cardboard flaws, surface bubbles and diamond cut issue.

  • Options
    craig44craig44 Posts: 10,544 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If they ever graded one a 10 it would be closely scrutinized and hardly anyone would be happy with it. It would be a lose-lose situation for PSA.

    people need to remember that PSA 10 does not = perfect. look at the lone PSA 10 Thomas NNOF. it has noticeable and distracting ink smudging on the reverse. I have never talked to another collector who thinks that to be a true 10.
    I believe that was a Dmitry Young card.

    George Brett, Roger Clemens and Tommy Brady.

  • Options
    brad31brad31 Posts: 2,571 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the education on back centering. I would not have thought the 10 parameters allowed for the 1973 AT HR Leaders. I really do not collect 10s (only have one on my collection) so made a bad assumption. Part of what makes this board great is learning from everyone here.

  • Options
    19591959 Posts: 614 ✭✭✭

    On every dead centered front on Valen. the back is at best 90-10. If the back is good , the front is off. Never seen a front centered enough for a 10 with anything close to the back even 70-30. And now with AI and stricter back checking there will never be a 10.

  • Options
    1951WheatiesPremium1951WheatiesPremium Posts: 6,244 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ArtVandelay said:
    I pitched for nearly 15 years. I'm pretty convinced the problem with starting pitchers has nothing to do with being fragile. If anything they are stronger given the conditioning they now have at their disposal. The problem as I see it is that MLB has structured the modern game to average 3+ hours a game with much longer time in between innings. When I pitched my arm always would get a bit more stiffer/tighten up the longer I had to wait to get back on the mound. The average game in 1980 and before was 2 hours with the better pitchers more than likely getting their games done in an hour and a half. The modern starter hits the 5th inning by the time the game has eclipsed the hour and a half mark.

    The pitch clock that debuted earlier this year hopefully will help out but unfortunately it we will never allow starters to get back to the 2 hour game.

    You pitched in the bigs for 15 years?!?!

    And all this time, I thought you were an architect.

    (Or at least pretending to be a architect.)

    Curious about the rare, mysterious and beautiful 1951 Wheaties Premium Photos?

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/987963/1951-wheaties-premium-photos-set-registry#latest

  • Options
    ArtVandelayArtVandelay Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭

    Convincing people that I was a big league pitcher for 15 years would be the ultimate Costanza! No, my 15 years ended with a torn rotator cuff in college.

  • Options
    19591959 Posts: 614 ✭✭✭

    Lets see the back.

  • Options
    BBBrkrrBBBrkrr Posts: 960 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's a great looking 9 (on the front :) ). One of the nicest I've seen.

  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    I jut pulled 4 front a rack box break and they were all OC on the font and back. Except it would be OC right and on the back it would go the opposite way.

  • Options

    @PatriotTrading said:
    I jut pulled 4 front a rack box break and they were all OC on the font and back. Except it would be OC right and on the back it would go the opposite way.

    yeah is very very difficult 10 to get but 75/25 is allowable on the back centering...

  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2024 11:12AM

    @HOMETOWNSPORTS said:

    @PatriotTrading said:
    I jut pulled 4 front a rack box break and they were all OC on the font and back. Except it would be OC right and on the back it would go the opposite way.

    yeah is very very difficult 10 to get but 75/25 is allowable on the back centering...

    Yes, I'm familiar with the grading standards. I hit a few 1981 and 1986 football PSA 10's with OC backs. I thin kbeing that there are no 10s of Fernando, the proper difficulty level at this point is 'impossible'.

  • Options

    @PatriotTrading said:

    @HOMETOWNSPORTS said:

    @PatriotTrading said:
    I jut pulled 4 front a rack box break and they were all OC on the font and back. Except it would be OC right and on the back it would go the opposite way.

    yeah is very very difficult 10 to get but 75/25 is allowable on the back centering...

    Yes, I'm familiar with the grading standards. I hit a few 1981 and 1986 football PSA 10's with OC backs. I thin kbeing that there are no 10s of Fernando, the proper difficulty level at this point is 'impossible'.

    Maybe you could be right but one strategy might be to check the centering on existing sharp 9's and if the centering qualifies crack or get card reviewed...just a thought

  • Options
    PatriotTradingPatriotTrading Posts: 191 ✭✭✭

    I'm not wasting money on that endeavor at $200-$350 a shot. :D

  • Options
    HOMETOWNSPORTSHOMETOWNSPORTS Posts: 70 ✭✭✭
    edited March 20, 2024 4:04PM

    @PatriotTrading said:
    I'm not wasting money on that endeavor at $200-$350 a shot. :D

    :p .....although the upside is HUUUGGE (name your price kinda thing)!!!

  • Options
    yankeeno7yankeeno7 Posts: 9,242 ✭✭✭

    Valenzuela was my grandfather's favorite player. When he came on the scene I never seen my grandfather so excited to watch someone pitch.

    As far as time of games, blame it on money. Television commercials so the networks can make their billions.

Sign In or Register to comment.