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Dmitri Young puts collection on auction block

Update: The auction brought in more than $2.4 million.

By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

If you ripped wax in the early 1990s, you probably know Dmitri Young as a once up-and-coming prospect for the St. Louis Cardinals — a Rated Rookie back in 1993. Younger collectors might know him as a recently retired journeyman and the older brother of former No. 1 pick Delmon Young.

But what you might not know is that he’s been a serious baseball card collector for some time — a collector of only PSA 10 grade Gem Mint Rookie Cards.

Young’s stash ranges from Stan Musial, Roy Campanella and Ernie Banks to modern-day cards of Derek Jeter, Prince Fielder,  Ryan Braun and even his little brother. Now, through Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based SCP Auctions, he’s decided to part with his collection and some game-used memorabilia in a 497-lot auction that ends on May 18. (Need a Young checklist or OPG? Click here.)

“I love the hobby and what it has meant to my life,” Young told SCP before the auction opened. “I hope the legacy of this collection lives on for many years to come.”

The leader so far is his 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente RC at $139,015, while his 1963 Topps Pete Rose RC is at $89,568 — each with plenty of time remaining. His 1969 Topps Reggie Jackson RC is $87,304, while his Hank Aaron 1954 Topps RC is at $86,316 and his Banks RC from the same year is at $67,188. According to the PSA Population Report, the top three are the only cards to receive grades that high, while the Aaron and Banks are both one of only two cards in that grade.

But the collection also isn’t just about the rarest of the rare, but it’s also a who’s who of baseball history with Hall of Famers alongside memorable — and perhaps not-as-memorable — players. Flipping through the 112-page auction catalog is a time capsule — Al Kaline, Moose Skowron, Harmon Killebrew, Luis Aparicio, Whitey Herzog, Rocky Colavito, Brooks Robinson … the names just come page after page — all in PSA 10 condition.

Fast-forward to the early 1980s and you’ll find guys like Dan Petry, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Raines, Harold Baines and, of course, Fernando Valenzuela. Later, you’ll find Canadian O-Pee-Chee and Leaf counterparts for many of the biggest stars of that decade before you’ll even find Young himself in lot No. 447 — his 1991 Upper Deck Final Edition card, which is up to $28 after two bids.

Cards from famous collections can carry a premium at times — whether they are Hall of Famers or commons. Nearly all of the PSA slips are marked with “Dmitri Young Collection” — so even lesser cards could command more than one might expect before the auction closes.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

15 Comments

Matt Gilman

Wow! Thats awesome. Would have been an extra bonus if he had signed all of the backs of the graded cards.

Makes you wonder how you would grade a graded card if he did so???

Posted May 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
Richard

I’ve seen some of the cards.
While I very much appreciate the generosity of his donation, frankly, some of those
cards are very over graded. Cards with chipped edged should not get 10’s
It may be that no 10’s exist, so bet it, without consistent standards of grading you
are not getting what you think you are paying for.

Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
Dave Elkjar

You’re kidding, right Matt? They wouldn’t grade a PSA 10 if he had autographed each card. Now, if you meant the outside of the slab itself, well that’s another issue entirely. I’m not sure if PSA offers re-slabbing (I think BGS does though).

Dave.

Posted May 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink
Ben

Sickest baseball card collection I’ve ever seen. I hate to see him selling those, I could never part with the Hall of Famer rcs personally.

Posted May 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

lol, he had a basketball card of himself… can you imagine the guy he bought it from, when he received the address details to send the card to, he’s like… what? Dmitri Young? Dude’s bidding on his own cards, lol

Posted May 9, 2012 at 5:10 am | Permalink

I wonder how much it cost to get a “Gem Mt 10″ grade from PSA?

Almost every card he has for sale has a “Paid” upgrade on it, if you look at the larger scans provided by the Auction house, there are very few that are even close to a 9, let alone a 10.

Miscut’s, frayed edges, soft corners, printing errors, off center, etc…..If a regular person like any of the members here, would send in any one of those cards, they would be lucky to get an 8 let alone a 9

Posted May 9, 2012 at 6:51 am | Permalink
steve

what gets me about PSA’s gem mint-10 graded cards is all the 10’s that aren’t centered. How can a card be a “10” and be off centered? Then a centered card of the same player should be an “11′ right?

Posted May 9, 2012 at 9:41 am | Permalink
Mark

That’s because PSA grading is a scam. I have spoken to card dealers who have told me stories that show inconsistencies all of the time. People have tested this theory and proven it. Best to just let the seller/buyer discuss what condition the card is in and negotiate from there.

Posted May 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink
Cincyscott

Some of the cards look like they have rattled around in their cases. Some look off centered and the edges are rough no wonder he is dumping his vintage collection

Posted May 9, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Permalink
JeffB

For those that are wondering about all of the Gem Mint 10’s in the Dmitri Young Collection, here is an article from Yahoo:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/former-major-leaguer-dmitri-young-is-unlikely-owner-of-huge-rookie-baseball-card-collection-.html

In the article, it mentions his submissions (and re-submissons) to try to achieve Gem Mint 10 grades:

“In 2009 he nabbed his favorite besides Aaron, and this one was personal. Willie Horton, former Tigers star outfielder and longtime special assistant to the team’s owner, had taken Young under his wing. So when Horton’s PSA 9 card popped up on eBay for $400, buying it was a no-brainer. Young sent it to PSA three times, asking that they bump it up to a 10. The third time they did.”

Don’t quite know what to think about that, since I have NO experience with submitting to PSA.

My personal thought is that a 10 is a 10 (although a bump from a 9 all the way to a 10 is questionable….)

I just don’t see anyone purchasing some of these and resubmitting them, demanding that they be downgraded.

Posted May 10, 2012 at 6:26 am | Permalink
Walt

Personally, I prefer Beckett Grading they are very detailed with subgrades. I do recommend buying grading only even though it is more expensive. It protects your investment if you may want to part away with some of your collection in the future having a respectable 3rd party grading your card. He has nice collection, but it does make you wonder about the condition of those PSA 10’s maybe they should do like Beckett explain the grading criteria for grading their vintage cards like how Beckett has the BVG for vintage cards. I remember when Dimitri Young first came in the league. The first time I saw him play was in the playoff game with Cardinals when he pinch hit and got a triple. He was a big man moving around them bases for a triple looked like a big fullback. Back to the grading of the cards I don’t like the way the cards sit and move around rattle in the PSA card holders.

Posted May 10, 2012 at 8:01 am | Permalink
coors71

he must need money? why else would he be selling such a cherished collection? what is it with dmitri and his bro delmon? they can’t seem to stay clean or out of trouble. sad really

Posted May 11, 2012 at 4:52 am | Permalink
Bobby Currier

Graded cards are overrated. A very cool collection though and great article.

Posted May 11, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink
XstreamINsanity

@coors71 – In the article he mentions how he plans to use the profits from selling these cards to start a baseball school in his hometown. He’s even selling his house in Florida.

Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink
steve-o

by “cant stay clean”……you mean he/they dont use the shower at their 10+ homes on a regular basis ??

Posted May 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

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