SCD

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Sports Collectors Digest (SCD): An weekly Hobby periodical published from Iola, Wisconsin. Started in 1973 by the Stommen family, it was purchased by Krause Publications in 1981. Krause was acquired by F+W Media, its current publisher, in 2002.

SCD has long billed itself as "The Voice of the Hobby" and mixes Hobby news with features, collecting stories, athlete profiles and opinion. It's accompanying website offers content similar to the magazine, with a handy "Auction Prices Realized" database that is the only one of its kind in The Hobby. The site also offers videos, blogs, features and a forum.

Classified ads remain a staple of the magazine, although it is rare when classifieds fill a full page. Many collectors have relied on the SCD classifieds over the years to build and maintain their collections. Before the Internet, it was a major source for buyers and sellers in the hobby to network.

Recently, political pundit and cable TV lightning rod Keith Olbermann penned an exclusive series of stories for SCD about Topps proofs cards. Olbermann is one of the country's leading authorities on tobacco era baseball cards and rare Topps proof cards.

The thickness of the magazine has varied throughout the years, and could arguably be seen as a reflection of The Hobby as a whole. For example, the July 13, 1990 issue contained 332 pages; however, the January 22, 2010 issue was only 36 pages long.

Although, SCD has been hit hard by the trend toward selling collectibles on the Internet, it does maintain a loyal, albeit shrinking, subscriber base. Issues have shrunk, and the publication rarely features fresh editorial product. In recent issues, editors have recycled decade-old, previously-published interviews. Correspondents who provided columns and features were dropped for budgetary reasons and most of the limited editorial content is produced in-house.

SCD Grading

In the mid-2000s, SCD offered a professional card grading service. Unlike Beckett's BGS, SCD Grading was not as successful as F+W had hoped, and was closed after a few years. As a way to separate themselves from their many competitors, SCD graded cards on an eleven-point scale. Cards graded "SCD 1" to "SCD 10" were comparable to PSA and BGS's ten-point scale. In order for a card to qualify for an "SCD 11" grade, a collector must have submitted an unopened pack directly to SCD Grading. An SCD representative would open the pack with a pair of rubber gloves, then immediately submit the cards for grading. Any card from that pack deemed to be in Pristine condition (i.e. a card that would ordinarily grade "SCD 10") would be given the coveted "Untouched" grade. Cards graded by SCD contained a label, or flip, with a red SCD logo.

After closing their grading operation, F+W sold the SCD Grading name to a third-party. This new company, which did business under the name "Sports Cards Direct Authentic" used a label (flip) similar to the old SCD Grading but with a blue logo. However, Sports Cards Direct Authentic is not considered to be a reputable grading service and is no longer in the card grading business.

SCD-graded cards with a red flip tend to be more desirable than blue-flip cards as it appeared SCD was more strict than SCDA in their grading.

SportsFest

SportsFest was a series of cardshows promoted by Krause/F+W from 1998-2008. Considered as a potential competitor to The National, SportsFest took place each June in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont. In addition, a SportsFest show was promoted in Anaheim, California in 1999; and shows in Philadelphia commenced in both '98 and '99.

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