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BigBeerGut
09-01-2019, 01:49 PM
How long has this been "going-on" without ever even being talked about?

Richard "Dick" Towle AND his wife and son

Altering cards before our very eyes without a mention.

After this they all get slabbed for us to buy.


www.gonewiththestain.com

Please post and admit it if you did not know this was "going-on" so
we can give you a Rookie hazing.

He is a very nice guy so no one will roast him here I bet.

Michael J Durrett

Paul S
09-01-2019, 01:53 PM
How long has this been "going-on" without ever even being talked about?

Richard "Dick" Towle AND his wife and son

Altering cards before our very eyes without a mention.

After this they all get slabbed for us to buy.


www.gonewiththestain.com

Please post and admit it if you did not know this was "going-on" so
we can give you a Rookie hazing.

He is a very nice guy so no one will roast him here I bet.

Michael J Durrett
Old news. Yes, their name has come up, and yes, IIRC, Leon (hi Leon) has banned them from Net54.

vintagebaseballcardguy
09-01-2019, 01:53 PM
If you do a search, you will find some old threads on this topic.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

Leon
09-01-2019, 02:22 PM
Since you are being quite the instigator lately why don't you tell us how long it's been going on? I am sure there is more ancient dirt you can dig up too if you keep trying.

How long has this been "going-on" without ever even being talked about?

Richard "Dick" Towle AND his wife and son

Altering cards before our very eyes without a mention.

After this they all get slabbed for us to buy.


www.gonewiththestain.com

Please post and admit it if you did not know this was "going-on" so
we can give you a Rookie hazing.

He is a very nice guy so no one will roast him here I bet.

Michael J Durrett

ALR-bishop
09-01-2019, 02:27 PM
This is where Peter should come in with the lyrics to How Long.....

Peter_Spaeth
09-01-2019, 02:41 PM
This is where Peter should come in with the lyrics to How Long.....

Sorry I am not dignifying Mr. Towle and his chemicals and crease removal with any lyrics. :cool:

Peter_Spaeth
09-01-2019, 02:46 PM
How long has this been "going-on" without ever even being talked about?

Richard "Dick" Towle AND his wife and son

Altering cards before our very eyes without a mention.

After this they all get slabbed for us to buy.


www.gonewiththestain.com

Please post and admit it if you did not know this was "going-on" so
we can give you a Rookie hazing.

He is a very nice guy so no one will roast him here I bet.

Michael J Durrett

A search for Towle reveals 5 pages of threads. Uh, did you look before your pronouncement?

Republicaninmass
09-01-2019, 02:47 PM
A search for Towle reveals 5 pages of threads. Uh, did you look before your pronouncement?

Then we couldn't beat a dead horse!

iowadoc77
09-01-2019, 02:49 PM
Since you are being quite the instigator lately why don't you tell us how long it's been going on? I am sure there is more ancient dirt you can dig up too if you keep trying.

Agreed. This appears to be Mr Big Beer Guts modus operandi. Very helpful
Eric Recker, per the rules.

ALR-bishop
09-01-2019, 03:08 PM
I am hoping someone will say this is news to them so we can see what a Michael Rookie Hazing looks like

toledo_mudhen
09-01-2019, 03:12 PM
Pretty sure everyone knew about this - cept for Beer Gut

Paul S
09-01-2019, 03:22 PM
This is where Peter should come in with the lyrics to How Long.....
Haha, you're quoting ACE. Saw them open for 10cc in Berkeley many moons ago.

BigBeerGut
09-01-2019, 03:24 PM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?

iowadoc77
09-01-2019, 03:31 PM
We did not say Towle isnít bad. Not at all.

And we arenít jumping on the new guy. Your flavor for posting just seems to be rooted in instigation. Please correct me if I am wrong.

And we are in a time where there is a colossal amount of negativity. It would be nice to see more content that isnít. Just my thoughts.

Paul S
09-01-2019, 03:33 PM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?

Who said Towle Clan is not? Just told you 30 mins ago he is banned here!

Hold me back - I might start talking on mid-70s disco.

Peter_Spaeth
09-01-2019, 03:33 PM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?

Maybe you should read the threads before concluding anyone is resigned. If nothing else read my posts and tell me I am resigned.

Peter_Spaeth
09-01-2019, 03:34 PM
Who said Towle Clan is not? Just told you 30 mins ago he is banned here!

Hold me back - I might start talking on mid-70s disco.

If I recall the song has the line, I ain't quite as dumb as I seem. Hmmm...

Paul S
09-01-2019, 03:45 PM
If I recall the song has the line, I ain't quite as dumb as I seem. Hmmm...
Yes, that too:D

BigBeerGut
09-01-2019, 03:46 PM
Maybe you should read the threads before concluding anyone is resigned. If nothing else read my posts and tell me I am resigned.

I would need a lifetime.

MD

Peter_Spaeth
09-01-2019, 03:55 PM
I would need a lifetime.

MD

I meant in the Towle threads specifically lol.

iowadoc77
09-01-2019, 06:08 PM
I would need a lifetime.

MD

Truth

KCRfan1
09-01-2019, 08:05 PM
Having spoken to Mr Towle in the past, he is a nice guy.

Whether you agree with his business or not is personal preference. As others have commented, there are numerous threads to review and comments to read to help guide and lead you down a path.

MD do you feel the same about ones who soak a card, because some on the forum have done so.

steve B
09-01-2019, 08:33 PM
From the webpage..

"Most recently we have developed a process to remove postage stamps from old albums and letters."

Yes, it's called soaking, and typically involves Ö wait for it.... soaking the stuff in water. OR if you want to save the letter but sell the stamp (sometimes a foolish move as they can be worth far more together) Some humidity. Like a closed plastic box and a bit of very hot water.

And it's been accepted practice since probably 1840-41, when the first stamps were sold.

Exhibitman
09-01-2019, 10:13 PM
He said "Dick"

http://photos.imageevent.com/exhibitman/dropins/beavis%20and%20butthead.gif

Bram99
09-02-2019, 12:41 AM
or Towlie from South Park

lowpopper
09-02-2019, 01:06 AM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?


Towle does not catch as much flak
due to the level of transparency. He
announces what he does to the world.

simple as that

Republicaninmass
09-02-2019, 07:22 AM
For a minute...

I thought with the title with was BigBeerGut's farewell.


Guess we can only hold out hope!

BigBeerGut
09-02-2019, 01:01 PM
Stop running your mouth Republican!
Several people have told me your a real tool

egri
09-02-2019, 01:14 PM
For a minute...

I thought with the title with was BigBeerGut's farewell.


Guess we can only hold out hope!

And here I thought it was a baseball card-themed Gone with the Wind parody. Maybe someone more clever than me can come up with that one.

barrysloate
09-02-2019, 02:27 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pf9ccNlOTn8

How about the song, and not the movie.

drcy
09-02-2019, 03:14 PM
I know that GWTS's chemical treatments to remove signatures from baseballs is easy to identify under blacklight. And, in fact, on their website they themselves detail this.

OldOriole
09-02-2019, 03:31 PM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?

Hmm,

* New to the website but didn't research the topic.
* Didn't know other threads have gone into detail on this.
* Didn't know how to look up old threads (in spite of search button)

who should get the hazing?

As far as GWTS goes, it's rightfully controversial, but I'd hardly say criminal. They disclose the work they do, and, in some cases, even point out how to detect the work. To me, I disagree with some of it and I am OK with other parts. If I give them a page from a victorian album and they soak some T206's off of it, I hardly see that as a problem. We were meant to be able to hold the cards and view the backs (that's why they put advertising on them).

Peter_Spaeth
09-02-2019, 03:33 PM
Towle does not catch as much flak
due to the level of transparency. He
announces what he does to the world.

simple as that

Many people using his services do so ultimately to deceive. That he discloses in general terms what he does is a so what to me. His business is still based largely on helping people improve the appearance of cards in order to sell them deceptively.

I have no objection to soaking cards out of albums, and probably other minor stuff he does.

bobbyw8469
09-02-2019, 03:47 PM
Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?


IMHO, I think it is because Towle removes things that shouldn't have been on the card in the first place. Think scrapbook removal....removing wax stains....pen and pencil marks. Things that 95% of the Net54 members do anyway and don't see a problem with.

Why Moser is worse than Towle, is because he is trimming cards and adding colors. Where Towle is just removing things that shouldn't have been on the card in the first place, Moser is deceiving people in a major way. Trimming to sharpen corners is a definite no-no. Same goes for adding colors to cards.

Shoeless Moe
09-02-2019, 05:52 PM
I've sent them like 6 pairs of my boxer shorts.

All have come back like new.

I couldn't be happier with his service.

T205 GB
09-02-2019, 07:02 PM
or Towlie from South Park

Best Ever. Hahahha

swarmee
09-02-2019, 07:09 PM
Think scrapbook removal....removing wax stains....pen and pencil marks. Things that 95% of the Net54 members do anyway and don't see a problem with.
I disagree with your premise. If he catalogued the work he did and didn't gloat that it's getting past grading companies, maybe. But his alterations are done for the most part to deceive.

drcy
09-02-2019, 07:09 PM
Sorry.

It is true I am new and just saw this Towle guy and his website. I guess I just did not know you all were resigned to the existance of this sort of person. Sorry did not know there were threads from the past did not even know you could search for old threads.

Fine jump on the new guy at least my heart is in the right place! CRIMINALS operating before our faces and we buy the product back like Tyler Durden said!

Why is the Moser guy bad but Towle is not ?


I don't think Towle is malicious, or as malicious, as Moser, but here have been complaints and concerns, including on this board, that Towle's creations get into holders. So your question is not without a worthy point. There can be different intentions but with the same bad results.

Personally, I'm of the philosophy that, no matter what the reason or intent, cards that have been worked on should be permanently marked to identify them. And if you innocently restore a card but do not make that clearly known, that is a problem and a fault.

However, I also know that much of Towle's work is easily identifiable-- and even he has said so. As I noted earlier, he himself showed how some of his work can be identified under blacklight.

Peter_Spaeth
09-02-2019, 07:15 PM
He takes out creases. He has touted his success. Anyone want to defend that?

barrysloate
09-02-2019, 07:20 PM
People generally use the product on lower grade cards and turn them into higher grade cards. Does anyone feel that is ethical?

bnorth
09-02-2019, 07:26 PM
He takes out creases. He has touted his success. Anyone want to defend that?

It does increase the eye appeal and can get the best most accurate grading company PSA to give them the better grade they deserve.

bobbyw8469
09-02-2019, 07:47 PM
He takes out creases. He has touted his success. Anyone want to defend that?

Do cards come from Topps with creases and spider wrinkles? Just curious. I'm not old enough to have opened a pack of 1952 Topps when they were new.

Cliff Bowman
09-02-2019, 08:25 PM
Do cards come from Topps with creases and spider wrinkles? Just curious. I'm not old enough to have opened a pack of 1952 Topps when they were new.
I can attest that I pulled many a creased or ripped card out of packs in the late 70’s-early 80’s as a pre-teen.

Peter_Spaeth
09-02-2019, 08:31 PM
I can attest that I pulled many a creased or ripped card out of packs in the late 70ís-early80ís as a pre-teen.

You shouldn't have used your claws.:eek:

steve B
09-02-2019, 08:43 PM
I can attest that I pulled many a creased or ripped card out of packs in the late 70ís-early80ís as a pre-teen.

Early 90's I was standing next to a guy at the local shop who pulled a card that was entirely torn in half from a pack.
If I had been able to think of any way to prove it was in the pack like that, I'd have bought it. But I couldn't think of anything. (He got a new pack for free from the dealer, and the card went in the trash. ) I do have a card related scrap from classic, which is the bit of paper from between the cards. That also came put of a pack.

KCRfan1
09-02-2019, 11:43 PM
He takes out creases. He has touted his success. Anyone want to defend that?

If the card was for my personal collection, never to be sold or traded, I would certainly have him remove a crease.

While Towle discloses what he does, it needs to carry to the card owner to provide full disclosure. This is where problems begin and deception.

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 12:00 AM
If the card was for my personal collection, never to be sold or traded, I would certainly have him remove a crease.

While Towle discloses what he does, it needs to carry to the card owner to provide full disclosure. This is where problems begin and deception.

Try asking him for a list of cards he has worked on and for whom, and see just how transparent he is. There's no meaningful disclosure, just some generalities which are essentially advertisements for his services. At best he is knowingly enabling deception. And touting it.

bobbyw8469
09-03-2019, 12:01 AM
Try asking him for a list of cards he has worked on and for whom, and see just how transparent he is. There's no meaningful disclosure, just some generalities which are essentially advertisements for his services. At best he is knowingly enabling deception. And touting it.

And you think Towle is as bad as Moser??

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 12:03 AM
And you think Towle is as bad as Moser??

No. There's a spectrum and trimming is at the far end of it.

frankbmd
09-03-2019, 12:03 AM
You shouldn't have used your claws.:eek:

Peter uses his teeth.

bobbyw8469
09-03-2019, 12:57 AM
No. There's a spectrum and trimming is at the far end of it.

Trimming is bad. Color touching is worse than bad. I am dismayed that PSA can't catch green that was added to that Clemente rookie card.

Johnny630
09-03-2019, 07:55 AM
Trimming is bad. Color touching is worse than bad. I am dismayed that PSA can't catch green that was added to that Clemente rookie card.

If they can’t or they don’t care ? Please Submit Again

Our card submissions are up like ever before blah blah blah

Adding or removing anything from a cards original state is a no go to me

drcy
09-03-2019, 10:09 AM
Trimming is bad. Color touching is worse than bad. I am dismayed that PSA can't catch green that was added to that Clemente rookie card.

I've always considered trimming worse than coloring, but that's me and they're both bad.

CurtisFlood
09-03-2019, 11:47 AM
Having spoken to Mr Towle in the past, he is a nice guy.

Whether you agree with his business or not is personal preference. As others have commented, there are numerous threads to review and comments to read to help guide and lead you down a path.

MD do you feel the same about ones who soak a card, because some on the forum have done so.

I met Mr. Towle several years ago and found him to be a very pleasant chap. I just decided not to use his services.

Aquarian Sports Cards
09-03-2019, 12:01 PM
Gary Moser might be a sweetheart. Son of Sam liked dogs.

Johnny630
09-03-2019, 12:35 PM
Gary Moser might be a sweetheart. Son of Sam liked dogs.

Lmao !!

pokerplyr80
09-03-2019, 02:30 PM
Try asking him for a list of cards he has worked on and for whom, and see just how transparent he is. There's no meaningful disclosure, just some generalities which are essentially advertisements for his services. At best he is knowingly enabling deception. And touting it.

I would hope that no business would just hand over customer information without a court order. It has nothing to do with transparency, some people just value their privacy. Even if they aren't breaking any laws or committing fraud.

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 02:50 PM
I would hope that no business would just hand over customer information without a court order. It has nothing to do with transparency, some people just value their privacy. Even if they aren't breaking any laws or committing fraud.

Of course they value their privacy in this context, they don't want people to know they're selling doctored cards that they snuck past the TPGs. How many cards have you ever seen for sale where someone said, Dick Towle worked on this card and here's what he did?

PS I don't really expect Towle to disclose his client list, it's more a rhetorical point that he's knowingly assisting people in deception so I give him no credit at all for his supposed transparency.

KCRfan1
09-03-2019, 02:54 PM
Michael, bigbeergut, I'm still waiting for you to answer if you believe soaking a card, which some on this forum has done, is as bad as what Towle does.

So far, all you are doing is trolling.

pokerplyr80
09-03-2019, 03:01 PM
Of course they value their privacy in this context, they don't want people to know they're selling doctored cards that they snuck past the TPGs. How many cards have you ever seen for sale where someone said, Dick Towle worked on this card and here's what he did?

PS I don't really expect Towle to disclose his client list, it's more a rhetorical point that he's knowingly assisting people in deception.

I don't disagree with any of the points you've made. My point was that any business should deny a request to hand over customer lists or transaction history. Regardless of the service or product they provide.

As for gone with the stain they definitely operate in a gray area. I've never used their services. But as others have noted at least they're up front and honest about what they do, even if some of their clients aren't.

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 03:09 PM
I don't disagree with any of the points you've made. My point was that any business should deny a request to hand over customer lists or transaction history. Regardless of the service or product they provide.

As for gone with the stain they definitely operate in a gray area. I've never used their services. But as others have noted at least they're up front and honest about what they do, even if some of their clients aren't.

At some point in my estimation it's wrong to knowingly enable people committing fraud, even if you're not committing fraud yourself. And yes I am sure that if we were to fully explore this there would be nuances and gray areas.

Aquarian Sports Cards
09-03-2019, 03:28 PM
At some point in my estimation it's wrong to knowingly enable people committing fraud, even if you're not committing fraud yourself. And yes I am sure that if we were to fully explore this there would be nuances and gray areas.

It's an issue I struggle with. Do I sell an altered card clearly stating it's altered? Maybe doing that is ethical, but I can't know what the next guy down the line is planning. Am I enabling the cheaters? Basically for now I'm giving consignors back their altered cards unless they're already correctly slabbed. That's not a perfect solution either but it's where I'm at.

vintagetoppsguy
09-03-2019, 04:32 PM
...I can't know what the next guy down the line is planning.

If you're selling an altered card and describing it as such, then kudos to you. But you can't worry about the next guy down the line. You're not responsible for their actions.

It would be no different if you were selling an Ex/Mt card as such and the buyer micro-trims it and sells it as NM-MT. Or if you were selling a VG card with minor paper loss on the front (that would otherwise grade NM) and the buyer recolors the paper loss area and sells in as NM.

You can only control your actions, not others. Don't sweat it. You're doing the right thing.

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 05:17 PM
It's an issue I struggle with. Do I sell an altered card clearly stating it's altered? Maybe doing that is ethical, but I can't know what the next guy down the line is planning. Am I enabling the cheaters? Basically for now I'm giving consignors back their altered cards unless they're already correctly slabbed. That's not a perfect solution either but it's where I'm at.

In a perfect world there would be a mechanism for taking the card off the market but since there isn't I think you're doing what you reasonably can. I also wouldn't have a problem if you just sold the card with a clear description. There's only so much any one person can control.

drcy
09-03-2019, 05:24 PM
In a perfect world there would be a mechanism for taking the card off the market but since there isn't I think you're doing what you reasonably can. I also wouldn't have a problem if you just sold the card with a clear description. There's only so much any one person can control.

If you are disclosing the alterations, that's what you can do.

CobbSpikedMe
09-03-2019, 07:03 PM
Couldn't Dick just have a searchable database showing all of his before and after comparisons so we could search a card we were thinking of buying and see if he worked on it or not? He wouldn't be disclosing his client list but would be giving the hobby the data and history of his work. That would be transparent no?

vintagebaseballcardguy
09-03-2019, 08:22 PM
Of course they value their privacy in this context, they don't want people to know they're selling doctored cards that they snuck past the TPGs. How many cards have you ever seen for sale where someone said, Dick Towle worked on this card and here's what he did?



PS I don't really expect Towle to disclose his client list, it's more a rhetorical point that he's knowingly assisting people in deception so I give him no credit at all for his supposed transparency.Maybe we could set up ole Dick with a sticker of his own. So when a prospective buyer sees the scarlet (or whatever color he might choose) Dick sticker, they know they are getting something...conserved...altered...special.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

Aquarian Sports Cards
09-03-2019, 08:50 PM
If you're selling an altered card and describing it as such, then kudos to you. But you can't worry about the next guy down the line. You're not responsible for their actions.

It would be no different if you were selling an Ex/Mt card as such and the buyer micro-trims it and sells it as NM-MT. Or if you were selling a VG card with minor paper loss on the front (that would otherwise grade NM) and the buyer recolors the paper loss area and sells in as NM.

You can only control your actions, not others. Don't sweat it. You're doing the right thing.

Thanks all for your thoughts. While I realize I'm not responsible for the next guy I do feel that auction houses and dealers should be stewards of the hobby in general. Call it enlightened self-interest, but if every seller turns out to be a piece of shit, the hobby won't last long. But if there are enough of us (and I'm taking liberties including myself in the group of auction houses and dealers as I am very small-time) who refuse to pass these cards on, maybe we can make a difference.

Especially good points about the legit cards being sold and then altered. Hadn't looked at it from that standpoint. Obviously there's nothing I can do in those instances. I see the difference as being those cards were legit as they passed through my hands, as opposed to cards that have already been monkeyed with before they come to me.

Peter_Spaeth
09-03-2019, 08:58 PM
I know that GWTS's chemical treatments to remove signatures from baseballs is easy to identify under blacklight. And, in fact, on their website they themselves detail this.

According to Dick, a black light does not detect his signature removal.

http://www.net54baseball.com/showpost.php?p=743631&postcount=50

pokerplyr80
09-04-2019, 12:06 AM
According to Dick, a black light does not detect his signature removal.

http://www.net54baseball.com/showpost.php?p=743631&postcount=50

I actually just read through that whole thread. Take the dates off and I may have thought it was current. Complaints about altered cards, talks of an FBI investigation shaking up the hobby, one guy complaining about the mob mentality around here, a few incoherent posts, quite interesting. Not much has changed in the last 10 years.

Not quite sure what to make of Towle's claim that he consulted PSA and SGC and tested his work. I don't doubt this happened as he said it did but figured these guys just submitted cards hoping to get them through. I wouldn't expect a card doctor to say hey I cleaned these up and removed some creases. Let me know if you see any signs of the alterations. I wonder if they graded them afterwards.

Leon
09-04-2019, 08:31 AM
According to a good friend of mine who used Towle's services, and knows how to spot fakes and alterations better than anyone I know (and I know a few people), he couldn't discern what Towle had done (or used) to get stains off. No detection possible he said. He had it done for card(s) in his own collection. I would bet many people use Towle's services for fraudulent purposes. I too would like to see his customer list. :)
And he wasn't too happy about not being allowed on our forum either. But what he does, imo, is contrary to good hobby practices. I don't dislike the gentleman whatsoever, never met him, but this just isn't the right place for him.

According to Dick, a black light does not detect his signature removal.

http://www.net54baseball.com/showpost.php?p=743631&postcount=50

barrysloate
09-04-2019, 10:49 AM
I think just about everyone who participates in the baseball card hobby makes a kind of deal-with-the-devil: if you want to collect cards, you are going to have to put up with some level of fraud and deception. If you can live with it, power on and enjoy what you collect. If the threshold becomes more than you can bear, move on to another hobby. You can glue Popsicle sticks together with Elmer's glue and make lampshades. I hear that can be a great substitute for collecting.

frankbmd
09-04-2019, 11:00 AM
I donít get it. Why does anyone have a problem with disclosing client lists or even selling them?

If it works for Facebook, it works for me.:rolleyes:

MULLINS5
09-04-2019, 02:46 PM
I don't see anything wrong with restoration services. I've never had trading cards restored, but understand raw collectors may want some of their cards to have better eye-appeal. Yes, these cards may enter the hobby, but we paid PSA, SGC, BGS, etc, to detect them, right?

Personally I don't like the way they advertise their work getting past grading companies, but given everything that came out recently I guess that wasn't too difficult to achieve.

Think positive - this isn't worth getting all worked-up over.

steve B
09-04-2019, 03:19 PM
I think just about everyone who participates in the baseball card hobby makes a kind of deal-with-the-devil: if you want to collect cards, you are going to have to put up with some level of fraud and deception. If you can live with it, power on and enjoy what you collect. If the threshold becomes more than you can bear, move on to another hobby. You can glue Popsicle sticks together with Elmer's glue and make lampshades. I hear that can be a great substitute for collecting.

But you have to eat a ton of popsicles... unless you cheat and buy the sticks wholesale... Damn. Just when I thought there was a "clean" hobby to enjoy. :D

steve B
09-04-2019, 03:21 PM
I don't see anything wrong with restoration services. I've never had trading cards restored, but understand raw collectors may want some of their cards to have better eye-appeal. Yes, these cards may enter the hobby, but we paid PSA, SGC, BGS, etc, to detect them, right?

Personally I don't like the way they advertise their work getting past grading companies, but given everything that came out recently I guess that wasn't too difficult to achieve.

Think positive - this isn't worth getting all worked-up over.

So you're Ok with paying the high grade bonus price when the card is actually altered?

And you're Ok with me paying a higher price because the altered restored cards in higher grades bring more so the lower grade examples increase in price?

Gee... thanks... I guess.

GasHouseGang
09-04-2019, 06:55 PM
This article on Dick Towle's company Gone With The Stain appeared in an SCD blog on-line in 2008.

Restoration expert claims process is undetectable

October 7, 2008 | Chris Nerat |

The SCD crew couldnít detect his procedures on cards they sent him. He claims the grading companies canít detect the procedures, either.

Yet Gone With the Stain owner Dick Towle still catches flack from collectors. Whether heís taking off an ugly water stain, fountain pen ink or glue residue from a card, there are people out there who donít believe his stain removal process is ethical. Some think itís good for the hobby, while others consider it borderline taboo.

I recently did an interview with Towle about his controversial procedure for my Gavel Chat blog (gavelchat.sportscollectorsdigest.com), and thought readers of the publication would be as intrigued with this topic as our online readers were.

Sports Collectors Digest: Tell us about your company and how you got started.
Dick Towle: About 15 years ago, I had developed a process and took about two years of research and showed it to some prominent dealers who saw one of my processes for removing Scotch tape from a card that he (originally) said couldnít be done. That bothered me, so I went back, knocked on his hotel room door, showed it to him and his partner and he said, ďI canít believe it.Ē
We developed the processes for removing Scotch tape and over the years weíve increased that with cards that are glued into albums to remove the glue. We also do cards that have indents that shouldnít be on there, or cards that have staining on the back of them. Weíve been doing it for 15 years, and work with many prominent dealers around the country, including some of the great people on the Network 54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum, who I have as customers.
Itís quite a process. Itís evolved. My wife now has taken over a lot of my work, and my son. Itís a family business. I guess the bottom line is taking a card without adding anything to it, which to me is very, very illegal. But removing something that should not be on a card, and increasing the value. Weíre non-sports and sports cards, and weíve done quite a few different things for customers.

SCD: Do you use a chemical process?
Towle: Iíve got various chemicals. Iíve got about 13 that Iíve developed. Weíve just finished an ink process for a very prominent dealer down in Florida where weíve developed the process to take fountain pen ink off of cards. They were actually graded by two very reputable grading companies. They both passed grading. We were actually able to extract the ink. Weíre working on ballpoint pen right now. But the fountain pen ink came out and the cards were graded, which obviously adds huge dollars to a card.

SCD: Can you smell the chemicals on the card?
Towle: No. In fact, when I first started out, one of the prominent grading companies gave me cards as a test. And I did it for them, and they looked at the card and smelled the card and they said ďThereís nothing here.Ē And I said, ďCase closed.Ē That was really the launch pad right there.

SCD: What will happen to the cards that youíve treated years from now? Are there been any long-term effects?
Towle: No, because again, Iím removing something that shouldnít be on there. Now, there are people that will use lighter fluid to remove stains from cards. Well, it will work, but only on a short term because paper has moisture in it. The lighter fluid actually takes it out. That card becomes brittle like a credit card and can snap. Thatís actually happened before. We did a Roberto Clemente card just to prove the case. It snapped. After about five days the card snapped in half, very brittle.
If you send me a card with a rounded corner, with an indent, youíre going to get the card back with the rounded corner, but the indent will be gone. Cards with stains, youíre going to get the stains removed.
People have asked me, ďDo you tell the customer that the stain has been removed?Ē Well, 99 percent of my work is done for dealers and individual customers around the country. What they do with the card after that, I have no idea. But then again, if a card is already graded from a ď4Ē to a ď7,Ē that really tells the story.
I just completed a Mickey Mantle rookie for another prominent dealer down in Florida. It had terrible stains on the back and we got the stains off. He said the card would probably get a ďlock 8.Ē But it wouldnít get it with the stains on it. Heís as happy as a bullfrog.

SCD: Do you have any stories about very valuable cards that youíve seen in graded-card holders that would have been really low graded if you wouldnít have done your process on them?
Towle: Oh, yes. There was a complete Cracker Jack set. These cards were all glued in a book. They commissioned my company to remove the cards, remove the cards without damaging and remove the glue. We did them all. We got it all out. They sold for well in excess of $50,000. They actually ended up selling, all of those cards in PSA sleeves, for around $180,000.
Thatís because there was nothing on the cards. The cards were fine.
I once got a Clemente rookie, and the customer wanted the stain out. I put it in the solvent, and noticed the card was very hard. That bothered me. I got it out of the solvent and had two pieces of the card in my hand. What it was, someone did a very masterful job. The card was perfectly torn in half, they glued it and then they put the non-florescent paint on the card. And they brought it together. We proved that somebody had tried to defraud this customer.
When I do a lot of cards, Iíll see sometimes that a card has been painted because the solvent will actually take the paint off the cards. So somebody buys a beautiful card and asks me to take out an indent. Iíll put it in the solvent and Iíll look and see the tip of the card. And all of a sudden Iíll see the color come off. I say ĎWell I got good news and bad news. I got your stain out, but now youíre going to get a true grade on this card because now you can actually see the white from where somebody painted it.í

SCD: Knowing what you know from your experiences in the hobby over the years, and knowing what you have been told by people about your process, what do you think the grading companies will think about this interview?
Towle: It is what it is. Iím not putting anything into a card, and they canít see anything. There are other people out there who do bits and pieces of what I do. Overall, I probably have the market as far as overall. But there are people that are as good as I am in sections of the card repairing field. But the grading companies know itís out there and they know me. I canít fear what somebody else may think or do. All I know is, for 15 years Iíve been satisfying hundreds of people around the country.

SCD: How much does it cost?
Towle: Generally, $25 or $30 on a card. Now thereís going to be rare exception where it will be higher. For instance, ink takes up to three or four day to remove. Itís a very slow, methodical process. But you can figure an average of maybe $25 or $30 is about the worst one would have to pay. Thatís not a lot of money to have a card maybe go up a grade or grade and a half. If somebody sends me bulk, I will give them a deal.
SCD: Whatís the average turnaround time?
Towle: Less than two weeks.

SCD: Have you ever had anybody who was able to detect that you did a removal on a card?
Towle: No, not a one.

SCD: How many cards have you treated in your life?
Towle: Without exaggerating, probably 15,000-18,000 cards.

SCD: And not one person could detect anything being done to one of them?
Towle: No, because thereís nothing there. Thereís nothing that they can see.

SCD: What are some of the more valuable cards that youíve worked on?
Towle: Lots of tobacco cards. I had a Babe Ruth rookie I worked on, a lot of Old Judges. Iíve probably done about 500 Old Judges that we got those looking really nice and they all graded. Iíve done so many Mickey Mantle rookies itís ridiculous.

SCD: Whatís the hardest substance to remove from a card?
Towle: Possibly the ballpoint ink, but thatís getting closer. The ink, youíve got to be careful, because you donít want it to bleed.
Probably the hardest are the cards that are glued into something. About nine months ago, a woman sent me an actual chest, like a pirates chest. She sent me the top. I got this monster thing from UPS. And there were 28 tobacco cards glued into the top of the chest, and eight of them were Ty Cobbs. We actually had to get a jigsaw and cut out the cards. And then I had to work from a piece of wood in my solvent. And we got them all out. Now true, there was some staining on the back. I couldnít help it. It was wood. But the cards were absolutely gorgeous. I sent them back, and she was ecstatic. Whatever happened to them (after that), I have no clue.

SCD: Do you have any clients that are auction houses.
Towle: No.

SCD: If somebody wants to contact you about submitting cards to your company, how should they go about it?
Towle: My e-mail address is . . .

JollyElm
09-04-2019, 07:44 PM
We developed the processes for removing Scotch tape and over the years weíve increased that with cards that are glued into albums to remove the glue. We also do cards that have indents that shouldnít be on there, or cards that have staining on the back of them. Weíve been doing it for 15 years, and work with many prominent dealers around the country, including some of the great people on the Network 54 Vintage Baseball Card Forum, who I have as customers.

(Emphasis added.)

Oof...I hope I haven't unwittingly put money in the pockets of any of the "great people" he references.

1880nonsports
09-04-2019, 08:30 PM
you have....

Peter_Spaeth
09-04-2019, 08:50 PM
Real tough questioning in that interview. LOL.

perezfan
09-05-2019, 12:22 PM
Real tough questioning in that interview. LOL.

Yeah, really hard-hitting questions. I think it was one of those articles that says "Paid Advertisement" in small type at the top. :rolleyes:

GasHouseGang
09-05-2019, 12:49 PM
I think one of the interesting things he said in the article was this:

SCD: How many cards have you treated in your life?
Towle: Without exaggerating, probably 15,000-18,000 cards.

In 2008 when this article was written, he had been doing this for 15 years. It's now 11 years later so we can probably add at least 12,000 cards or so to that total. So one card doctor has done at least 27,000 cards, possibly many more. That's a lot of altered cards by one guy.

Aquarian Sports Cards
09-05-2019, 12:59 PM
And his work is more time-consuming than micro-trimming

Johnny630
09-05-2019, 03:49 PM
Subpoena card doctors and their underlings financial accounts looking for purchases of micro trimming machines

calvindog
09-05-2019, 04:53 PM
Subpoena card doctors and their underlings financial accounts looking for purchases of micro trimming machines

Iím guessing youíve never asked a judge to so order a subpoena. Just a hunch.

murphy8276
09-05-2019, 05:03 PM
Iím guessing youíve never asked a judge to so order a subpoena. Just a hunch.

He likely doesn't have the authority to do so...

71buc
09-05-2019, 06:04 PM
For those who might be interested, these cards were worked on by GWTS.

http://www.net54baseball.com/showthread.php?t=269343

Aquarian Sports Cards
09-05-2019, 06:33 PM
For an undetectable process the borders are significantly LESS white on the ones with ink removed.

Peter_Spaeth
09-05-2019, 07:24 PM
I think one of the interesting things he said in the article was this:

SCD: How many cards have you treated in your life?
Towle: Without exaggerating, probably 15,000-18,000 cards.

In 2008 when this article was written, he had been doing this for 15 years. It's now 11 years later so we can probably add at least 12,000 cards or so to that total. So one card doctor has done at least 27,000 cards, possibly many more. That's a lot of altered cards by one guy.

No worries, CU's CEO and CFO say none of this is material, and judging by the stock price they must be right!

MULLINS5
09-05-2019, 09:05 PM
So you're Ok with paying the high grade bonus price when the card is actually altered?

And you're Ok with me paying a higher price because the altered restored cards in higher grades bring more so the lower grade examples increase in price?

Gee... thanks... I guess.

Restored cards are altered so they are not higher grade.

steve B
09-05-2019, 10:22 PM
Restored cards are altered so they are not higher grade.

they get into high grade holders...

I'm ok with altered cards when it's sold as altered, and readily detectable. Like the old collections where tall T206s got the tops shortened to fit the early plastic pages that had pockets that were a very tight fit.

But when it's altered and slides through TPG and ends up as an 8 or 9 that's a problem.

MULLINS5
09-05-2019, 10:42 PM
they get into high grade holders...

But they're not high grade.

CobbSpikedMe
09-06-2019, 08:20 AM
But they're not high grade.

Doesn't matter, the flip says it's high grade and that's all that matters to enough people that the prices are strong.

GasHouseGang
09-06-2019, 02:02 PM
This article appeared in the May 31, 1996 Sports Collectors Digest. I guess Gone With The Stain was just getting started at this point. I hope the copy is big enough to read. I can send someone the original .pdf scans if they have a better way to make them more readable.

parkplace33
09-06-2019, 02:22 PM
Subpoena card doctors and their underlings financial accounts looking for purchases of micro trimming machines

Microtrimmers? Is that something new?

swarmee
09-06-2019, 03:25 PM
Basically, they're shaving off 1/64ths of an inch off a card to reduce corner and edge wear. Sometimes they cut off quite a bit more to make a card more centered to enable it to get a higher grade.

iowadoc77
09-06-2019, 03:26 PM
Microtrimmers? Is that something new?

Like nose hair trimmers I think:eek:

GasHouseGang
09-06-2019, 04:54 PM
Larger scans....

http://luckeycards.com/scd1b.jpg
http://luckeycards.com/scd2b.jpg

Leon
09-06-2019, 08:05 PM
Nice article. I have less of a problem with a substance removal (still not totally ok with it with unknown solvents) than I do the crease removal.

MULLINS5
09-06-2019, 09:20 PM
Doesn't matter, the flip says it's high grade and that's all that matters to enough people that the prices are strong.

Well, if it doesn't matter, then it doesn't matter.

GasHouseGang
09-07-2019, 11:59 AM
Leon, thanks for your help in reposting the article so it's readable. :)

GaryPassamonte
09-07-2019, 01:26 PM
There have been threads ad nauseum recently concerning the various grading "scandals" happening in the hobby today. I will preface my comments by saying that I got out of the grading thing in the 1990s, basically at the inception of grading. I sold almost all my cards and started collecting 19th century photographs. I figured the photographs would not be affected by the new grading craze and that assumption, in my case, has turned out to be true. Just finding most images is difficult and condition is not as important as it is with most cards. I wanted no part of grading and believed that eventually many issues would result. That too has come true. I met Dick Towle once back in the 1990s. He bought some of the cards I sold at the time. I knew nothing of his intent or his future business. I found him to be a pleasant guy. Now fast forward to today. Dick Towle has a business that is doing nothing illegal. He is providing a service, nothing more and nothing less. He is no more guilty of the scandals of today than the grading companies. The whole system is dirty and as long as there are egos it will remain that way.

steve B
09-07-2019, 09:53 PM
What bugs me is how many people think that none of this is a problem.

Peter_Spaeth
09-07-2019, 10:40 PM
What bugs me is how many people think that none of this is a problem.

Starting with Joseph J. Orlando, apparently.

barrysloate
09-08-2019, 11:30 AM
I wasn't aware that Towle can take creases out of cards until I read this article. If it wasn't already apparent, third party grading has virtually no meaning anymore, since nearly every VG card will eventually become a NR MT one. What's the point of even grading cards? Few if any of them are what they appear to be.

cammb
09-08-2019, 12:11 PM
Having spoken to Mr Towle in the past, he is a nice guy.

Whether you agree with his business or not is personal preference. As others have commented, there are numerous threads to review and comments to read to help guide and lead you down a path.

MD do you feel the same about ones who soak a card, because some on the forum have done so.

Agree. In my opinion removing something that was not originally there is not alteration.

GasHouseGang
09-09-2019, 01:01 PM
I wasn't aware that Towle can take creases out of cards until I read this article.

I'm pretty sure most people weren't aware that Dick's company offered to take creases out of cards and fix corners. He always talks about the chemicals they have developed to remove gum, wax, and tape stains. He likes to say they only take out things that shouldn't be there anyway. I guess that includes creases.

Peter_Spaeth
09-09-2019, 01:06 PM
I'm pretty sure most people weren't aware that Dick's company offered to take creases out of cards and fix corners. He always talks about the chemicals they have developed to remove gum, wax, and tape stains. He likes to say they only take out things that shouldn't be there anyway. I guess that includes creases.

He admitted it here years ago.

GasHouseGang
09-09-2019, 01:31 PM
True, but if you didn't happen to read the right post on this board, or the article above, you may think all they are about is removing stains.

Leon
09-10-2019, 09:37 AM
He admitted it here years ago.

He did. And I should make it clear that I don't personally dislike or even know Dick or his company other than a few choice emails after he was told he could no longer be here. There is no doubt he is NOT doing anything illegal. There is also no doubt his work is NOT being sold transparently all of the time. That is an issue. And what he does just goes against the grain of the fraud we are fighting in the hobby.

GeoPoto
09-10-2019, 10:49 AM
. . . third party grading has virtually no meaning anymore, since nearly every VG card will eventually become a NR MT one. What's the point of even grading cards? Few if any of them are what they appear to be.

It is not my intention to challenge any of your views regarding TPGs, grading, or card doctoring. I wanted to suggest a possible path forward, one that could make grading even more important. I submit that the TPGs are reasonably competent at grading the cards as presented, despite the unavoidable angst over a half a grade one way or the other. What they have not done historically is identify and screen out doctored cards. So all (or almost all) existing graded cards might have been doctored prior to grading. This uncertainty will weigh on the value of graded cards. The market will sort out those values over time. Another thing the TPGs have not done is keep track of "a digital fingerprint" of each card graded and pool that data so that once a card is graded, it is permanently precluded from being doctored (any further) and then regraded without disclosure. (I am making up digital fingerprint, but it seems to me the TPGs have a clear incentive to implement some form of tracking system so that they can not be exposed ala Breakout in the future.) If I am right, once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.

steve B
09-10-2019, 10:57 AM
once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.

That's exactly where we were 30 years ago...

There are things that could be done to alter the cards digital fingerprint too. (depending on how that digital fingerprint is done)

GeoPoto
09-10-2019, 11:22 AM
Perhaps the situations are parallel, but I'm not sure the TPGs really signed up to prevent doctoring, but rather committed to standards and practices that were perceived to be adequate to do so. It seems to me now they have no choice but to explicitly prevent the doctoring of previously-graded cards. You are also right that I am assuming the technology is available to support a very effective system for preventing cracking, doctoring, and then regrading without public disclosure. Identifying raw cards that have been doctored may still be difficult.

drcy
09-10-2019, 01:41 PM
I think graders are useful at authenticating cards, and that is an important service to collectors and dealers-- all the other stuff (especially obviously alteration detecting) is pointless.

If graders provide high-resolution scans of what they grade, that would be an important step.


It is not my intention to challenge any of your views regarding TPGs, grading, or card doctoring. I wanted to suggest a possible path forward, one that could make grading even more important. I submit that the TPGs are reasonably competent at grading the cards as presented, despite the unavoidable angst over a half a grade one way or the other. What they have not done historically is identify and screen out doctored cards. So all (or almost all) existing graded cards might have been doctored prior to grading. This uncertainty will weigh on the value of graded cards. The market will sort out those values over time. Another thing the TPGs have not done is keep track of "a digital fingerprint" of each card graded and pool that data so that once a card is graded, it is permanently precluded from being doctored (any further) and then regraded without disclosure. (I am making up digital fingerprint, but it seems to me the TPGs have a clear incentive to implement some form of tracking system so that they can not be exposed ala Breakout in the future.) If I am right, once this system is in place, getting raw cards graded will become the simplest way to put the cards beyond the doctor's reach.

buymycards
09-10-2019, 02:15 PM
Perhaps the situations are parallel, but I'm not sure the TPGs really signed up to prevent doctoring, but rather committed to standards and practices that were perceived to be adequate to do so. It seems to me now they have no choice but to explicitly prevent the doctoring of previously-graded cards. You are also right that I am assuming the technology is available to support a very effective system for preventing cracking, doctoring, and then regrading without public disclosure. Identifying raw cards that have been doctored may still be difficult.


Hi George, this is from the main PSA webpage where they advertise that they detect trimming.

THE GRADING PROCESS
PSA authenticates both sports and non-sports trading cards across all eras.

A series of PSA graders review your cards for authenticity. If genuine, PSA looks for evidence of doctoring, such as re-coloring or trimming.

If your cards pass these two steps, PSA grades the condition of each card on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being best.

After grading, PSA holders each card in its own tamper-evident case. A label within the case displays the card's pertinent information and unique certification number.

Johnny630
09-10-2019, 06:52 PM
Stevie Wonder could do just as good as the PSA Experts at determining wether a card has be trimmed or re-colored.

drcy
09-10-2019, 07:10 PM
Stevie Wonder could do just as good as the PSA Experts at determining wether a card has be trimmed or re-colored.

Perhaps better :D

Republicaninmass
09-10-2019, 08:59 PM
Cant help but wonder if he paid for an ad here, what the judgement would be

Leon
09-10-2019, 09:26 PM
Cant help but wonder if he paid for an ad here, what the judgement would be

From me it would be the same. You don't have to wonder. And of course it's a non starter as he wouldn't be allowed to advertise in the first place.

Republicaninmass
09-10-2019, 09:32 PM
From me it would be the same. You don't have to wonder. And of course it's a non starter as he wouldn't be allowed to advertise in the first place.Not that long ago PWCC voluntarily asked to take their ad down. Someone advertising soaking cards off album pages is not what the hobby is about.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

Leon
09-10-2019, 09:40 PM
PWCC did ask and I did it. As things progressed it would have come down anyway. Other than that I am not sure what you are talking about.

Not that long ago PWCC voluntarily asked to take their ad down. Someone advertising soaking cards off album pages is not what the hobby is about.

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Republicaninmass
09-10-2019, 09:54 PM
Transparency

We are all adults. Someone offering to soak cards off album pages is taboo. However someone selling known trimmed recolored cards, shilled and otherwise is defended left and right.

3 pages of drivel.


Leta keep posting to keep his company on page one. Its like a free ad

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Peter_Spaeth
09-10-2019, 10:20 PM
Transparency

We are all adults. Someone offering to soak cards off album pages is taboo. However someone selling known trimmed recolored cards, shilled and otherwise is defended left and right.

3 pages of drivel.


Leta keep posting to keep his company on page one. Its like a free ad

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

I have said repeatedly I have no issue with soaking cards out of albums, especially with water. It's a time-honored and essential part of the hobby given how many cards were put into scrapbooks historically. If that were all Dick did, I would have no issue with his work.

the 'stache
09-12-2019, 11:35 AM
What's our best guess as to how long these changes will maintain their illusion? At some point, chemical alteration to these old cards have to start showing, don't they? I refuse to believe that these now undetectable changes will remain as such in perpetuity.

GasHouseGang
09-12-2019, 12:30 PM
What's our best guess as to how long these changes will maintain their illusion? At some point, chemical alteration to these old cards have to start showing, don't they? I refuse to believe that these now undetectable changes will remain as such in perpetuity.

Good question. I've wondered the same thing. I also wonder if any creases removed will return. Do we have any actual examples of cards that were treated later deteriorating in the holders?

Johnny630
09-12-2019, 12:53 PM
Good question. I've wondered the same thing. I also wonder if any creases removed will return. Do we have any actual examples of cards that were treated later deteriorating in the holders?

It's sad but once said card is in a holder nobody seems to care. I've seen cards in slabs with old PSA grades, with paper loss on front that have tiny specks of paper at bottom of the slab from chemicals/restorations jobs gone band. Maybe one day a card will crumble in a slab. Who knows?

OldOriole
09-12-2019, 02:53 PM
I have said repeatedly I have no issue with soaking cards out of albums, especially with water. It's a time-honored and essential part of the hobby given how many cards were put into scrapbooks historically. If that were all Dick did, I would have no issue with his work.

Agreed. We just had a great post about a wonderful find of 19th century cards, including many Old Judges. They are, unfortunately (but not surprisingly) attached to album pages. These will eventually get soaked off, as they should. In this manner many collectors can enjoy the individual cards as was originally intended. Soaking is hardly taboo and has been going on for longer than any of us has been collecting. I'd venture to say well over half the Old Judges I've seen originally came out of albums. The albums preserved them and now we can enjoy them....individually. This is exactly what collecting and enjoying some of the older card series is about.

Republicaninmass
09-12-2019, 03:10 PM
I'm against computers because people download porn, and order illegal substances. We should ban computers here

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jchcollins
09-12-2019, 03:47 PM
I could be wrong, but I had heard of Dick Towle long before I knew anything about TPG's or bought anything in a slab. It seems to my recollection that I heard his name in the same vein as card "restorers" - which at that time in the 1990's - while budding controversy even then - was kind of a "thing" in some hobby literature. Oh, you can have a card professionally restored just like you can that old Corvette restored. It was generally billed as something that was super expensive to do, but if done right - at least some of the articles I read suggested it was perhaps even noble.

That's kind of a tangent, but I believe it speaks to the time that Towle started and how he's been perceived since, as others have already mentioned - as at least (er, kind of?) transparent about what he does.

GasHouseGang
09-12-2019, 04:52 PM
I could be wrong, but I had heard of Dick Towle long before I knew anything about TPG's or bought anything in a slab. It seems to my recollection that I heard his name in the same vein as card "restorers" - which at that time in the 1990's - while budding controversy even then - was kind of a "thing" in some hobby literature. Oh, you can have a card professionally restored just like you can that old Corvette restored. It was generally billed as something that was super expensive to do, but if done right - at least some of the articles I read suggested it was perhaps even noble.

That's kind of a tangent, but I believe it speaks to the time that Towle started and how he's been perceived since, as others have already mentioned - as at least (er, kind of?) transparent about what he does.

I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but PSA started slabbing cards in 1991, and the article posted above about Dick Towle and his new business is from 1996. So I have to assume that PSA card grading was happening first.

jchcollins
09-12-2019, 07:53 PM
I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but PSA started slabbing cards in 1991, and the article posted above about Dick Towle and his new business is from 1996. So I have to assume that PSA card grading was happening first.


You are probably right, and I had just not yet heard of PSA. I quit collecting probably in 1994 while still in high school, and then didnít get back into it until I was a senior in college in Ď99.


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