Meet Westin Reeves, CSG Modern Sports Card Grader

Posted on 1/5/2021

A professional sports card grader since 2014, Reeves has been hooked on sports cards since he was a child.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) is pleased to introduce Westin Reeves, who will lead our team of modern sports card graders. Read on for a Q&A with Reeves, and find out how he got started, what inspires him and how he sees the future of sports card collecting and grading.

Westin Reeves

How did you become interested in sports cards?

I became interested in sports cards when I was around 8 years old. My dad would take me to my local sports card shop on the weekends, or he would bring home a couple of card packs for us to open together. Since then, I have been hooked.

How did you become a professional in the sports card industry?

Since I was a kid, I have always focused my attention on the finer details that make up a sports card. From the condition to the design to the colors, I always found myself over-examining the specifics that create a great card. After years of my own research, I reached out to a third-party grading company and took the test to become a sports card grader. I was hired, and now I have been a professional in the industry for about seven years.

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1989 Score #270 Troy Aikman Rookie

This is the very first card that my dad ever bought me. It started my love for sports cards.


 

What is your area of expertise?

My area of expertise is modern sports cards — those 1980 and newer. While I do have a lot of knowledge in areas of vintage sports cards, gaming cards and other collectible cards, I am strongest in the modern realm.

What is your favorite card?

My favorite is the 1998 Topps Chrome Dirk Nowitzki Rookie card. I also love the 2001 All-Millennium Materials set. The cards have great designs and are very detailed.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspirations in life are my parents.

What is your biggest achievement since you have been involved with sports card collecting and grading?

My biggest achievement as a sports card professional has been the relationships that I have gained in this great hobby. Some of my best friends have come from within the sports card collecting world. I have also been able to build relationships with some of the biggest names in the hobby, who continue to help me reach my professional goals.

Why should sports card collectors be interested in third-party certification?

Sports card collectors should be interested in third-party certification for many reasons. In addition to determining the legitimacy of a card, professional card graders are able to accurately assess alterations, the condition, and even errors that may be present on a card. But the most important reason why collectors should be interested in third-party certification services is to preserve and protect valuable collectibles.

How is the launch of CSG going to serve and benefit the hobby?

CSG will give collectors and dealers another choice for sports card certification services, and with current demand, collectors and dealers want another option to get their cards expertly assessed. In addition, the backing of the Certified Collectibles Group name means that collectors and dealers can rest assured knowing that the CSG team is comprised of leading experts in the sports card grading industry.

CSG is also committed to investing in the newest technology to assist graders in determining centering, alterations and other details that determine a card’s grade. This is a huge leap in the right direction. Once it is known across the collecting industry that machine learning is going to continue to help the process of grading, more collectors and dealers will flock to CSG based on our accuracy and efficiency.

What advice do you have to someone who may be starting to collect sports cards?

My best advice for someone who is starting to collect sports cards is COLLECT WHO YOU LIKE. A lot of people get caught up in the hype of certain players, especially from a money standpoint. But if you are starting to collect for the love of a game, pick your favorite players and teams — you truly can’t go wrong there.

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1998 Topps Chrome Refractors #154 Dirk Nowitzki Rookie

Dirk is my all-time favorite player across all sports. This is my favorite of his rookie cards.


 

How would you describe the sports card collecting culture?

The sports card industry is booming at a feverish pace. We are seeing cards that were $500 six months ago now reaching several thousands of dollars. With the hype surrounding players like Zion Williamson, Luka Doncic, Mike Trout and many more, collectors have gravitated from the traditional gambling on games to now gambling on individual players.

There is also crosspollination from markets like sneaker collecting and memorabilia collecting into the sports card collecting because of these spikes in value. With more products coming out each year, cool designs and low print runs on some of these cards, the world of sports card collecting — and those interested in it — continues to grow exponentially.

How do you see the future of sports card collecting?

I think sports card collecting will continue to grow in popularity. Not only are we watching our favorite sports teams on TV, but as social media continues to grow, we see our favorite athletes come across our screens every day, and their influence carries a lot of weight.

Sports card collecting provides a fun outlet for the everyday sports fan, and with new and exciting products, like autographs and jersey cards inserted into packs, it makes collecting your favorite player or team that much more fun.


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