Mike Baker Authenticated Is An Unnecessary, Sloppy, Lazy Service

Severe amounts of conflicts of interests plague the entire grading side of the hobby. Its been that way since PSA graded their first card, and it probably isn’t going to change any time soon. Special grades for those submitting a certain volume of cards, specific grades for friends, and looking the other way allowing altered cards to make their way through the grading process happens all of the time. So many people turn a blind eye to these facts because the money and publicity that comes with these highly graded cards can be immense. In short, as long as the merry-go-round keeps spinning its extremely difficult to convince someone to get off the ride. You can blog, record YouTube videos, and Tweet all you want about how corrupt grading is and it won’t change a thing. In fact, grading companies like PSA have seen a record increase in sales even after stories exposing their corruption have come out.

Just when you thought card grading couldn’t get more ridiculous, let me introduce you to Mike Baker Authenticated. Mike Baker once worked for PSA. For a fee, his newly formed company will (get ready for this) grade your already graded cards. These graded graded cards come with a COA and a corresponding sticker attached to the card’s holder. I guess the holder is receiving the grade. This is total !@#$%.

The example I’m showing is of a LeBron James 2003-04 Upper Deck MVP #201 rookie card graded by SGC a GM 10.

Everything about this COA screams lazy. This is an SGC graded card, but the COA only mentions PSA. In addition to that, there are numerous misspellings:

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Probstein123 has been selling these on eBay. The two are probably working together. Probstein123 is notorious for shill bidding his own auctions, and a top place for card doctors to move their altered creations. All the investigations in the world haven’t been able to put a dent into his business. Very sad.

2020 has seen a massive wave of new money enter the hobby. Cards selling for record amounts have received national coverage. Services such as Mike Baker Authenticated prey on those who don’t know any better. You don’t need his stickers plastered all over your cards just to feel superior.

Unnecessary, sloppy, and lazy easily sums-up this service. The worst part about the whole thing is that people are buying into this garbage.

Topps Customer Service Makes Good On Goof

No company is perfect.  Mistakes are bound to be made.  How those mistakes are handled are what make or break their customer service department.  Ask any collector about their experience with a card manufacturer’s customer service, and you’re guaranteed to be flooded with great stories and horrific ones.  With the internet overloaded with so much negativity towards company’s customer service, I’d like to share a positive experience.

On August 21, 2017 I purchased card #504 from the 2017 Topps Now set celebrating the 1st MLB Little League Classic At Historic Bowman Field.  This was such a cool game that took place at a stadium that isn’t far from me, and I visit a few times every summer.  I had to have one of these cards.  I placed my order and eagerly awaited for my card to arrive.  When the package showed up, I dove into it like a child on Christmas morning.  But there was a little problem.  Inside was card #503 of Bartolo Colon commemorating him being the 18th player in MLB history to defeat all 30 clubs.  Definitely not the card I purchased.  The receipt had the correct card listed though.

I fired an e-mail off to the Topps Store (storehelp@topps.com) and explained to them what had happened.  That was a Friday night right before a three day holiday weekend.  The following Wednesday I received an e-mail back from a Topps customer service representative.  In the message they informed me that a replacement card had been ordered, and they supplied me with a prepaid FedEx label so I could ship the incorrect card back.  Not long after they received the Bartolo Colon card, my correct card arrived.

A big thank you to the Topps customer service team for taking care of this so promptly.  If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, I suggest following the same steps I took.

It was announced that the Phillies and Mets will play in the 2nd MLB Little League Classic next year on August 19, 2018.  We should see another Topps Now card for this.  Relics and autographs from this game would be great.  I’d also like to see a Topps Now card next year celebrating the Phillie Phanatic’s 40th birthday.  We have yet to have a Topps Now card featuring a mascot.

Customer Service Professional

Did your box get shorted on a memorabilia or autographed card?  Did you receive a damaged card?  Or are you having trouble with receiving your redemption card you have been waiting years for?  If your answer is yes to all these questions, then you should have this guy call for you.