Beckett operates Beckett.com, the leading online destination for sports collectible enthusiasts, and is the premier publisher of monthly sports collectibles magazines. The privately held company, considered the world’s most trusted source in collecting, currently publishes nine magazines. Its flagship title is the popular Beckett Baseball Card Monthly. The company also operates Beckett Grading Services, a leading third-party professional sports card grading service.
Dr. James Beckett founded the company as Beckett Publications in 1984. In the mid-1970s, while a professor at Bowling Green State University, he published his first baseball card price guides as “free-upon-request” pamphlets to, in his words, “bring order out of the chaos that existed” in the baseball card industry. These pamphlets led to annually published price guides and were the forerunners of Beckett’s monthly collectibles magazines.
Beckett Grading Services launched in February 1999. BGS was the first grading company to provide a Report Card on the label, a money-back guarantee for turnaround times at every level of service, a soft internal sleeve within the holder, a free online population report and color-coded labels.
BGS debuted on-site card grading at shows in January of 2000 and by May of 2001 had already graded its one-millionth card. The card was a 1987 Donruss Kevin Brown Rookie Card (#627) featuring L.A. Dodgers ace Kevin Brown in the uniform of his first team, the Texas Rangers. The card, which earned a 9.5 Gem Mint grade, features a gold BGS label. It earned subgrades of 9.5 on centering, 9 on corners, 9.5 on edges and 9.5 on surface. It also features the milestone BGS serial number - 0001000000.
BGS Graded Card Review Service was established in the summer of 2001. Beckett Vintage Grading debuted in September 2001.
Among the features unique to Beckett Grading Services is a Report Card providing specific grade details and leaving no confusion as to why your card received its grade. Cards will be graded on four key categories: centering, corners, edges and surface. Beckett Grading Services is the first to use this unique system, which assures accuracy in grading. Grades from each of these key categories will be considered in determining your card’s final overall grade. These key category grades will appear on the back of the Beckett Grading Services cardholder.