Hobby Musings: PSA’s Steve Grad Ready for New Chapter – The news that PSA’s lead autograph authenticator Steve Grad, had made a decision to leave the company, made some waves in the hobby world this week. Grad had been with the firm for 15 years, as PSA’s principal authenticator and had also become known for his appearances on the hit TV show, Pawn Stars. I had the chance to catch up with him about his decision to leave PSA. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: Why make the decision to leave PSA?
SG: I think it was time I had a chance to explore my other options before I got too old. Being 46 I’m still pretty young and I want to see what else is out there.
KS: Looking back on your time with the company, how much do you think the autograph authentication industry has changed from the start of your career with PSA to now?
SG: The evolution is amazing. When I started, we were not doing the small certs on items, we were more focused on vintage product and didn’t pay much attention to the new product. That quickly changed and it helped shape how we did business. The industry has changed considerably, I can remember a time when people didn’t care about having a third party authentication company look at their items. They now demand it!!
KS: Where you do see the authentication industry heading in the future?
SG: I still think it’s going to continue to grow. I think there is room for growth and competition and besides I don’t plan on leaving just yet!
KS: You’ve had the chance to authenticate some high-end pieces over the years. What are your favorite memories of your time with PSA?
SG: I think the work we’ve done to assist collectors who have been wronged and also to make people smile. There are so many people that submitted items to us that had no idea what they had on their hands. It’s amazing how ink on paper can make a huge difference in someone’s life.
KS: Besides your work with them, you’ve also become very well-known for your appearances on Pawn Stars. Will you still be appearing on the show?
SG: I will. Filming has begun recently and I’ll be partaking at some point and time. This will be my fourth year with the show and I think 8th season in TV years. Very much like dog years compared to humans!
KS: I’ll get you out of here on this. What are your plans for the future?
SG: To be involved in this industry! I’ll have news soon to share, I am not quite ready to head off into the sunset just yet!
Below is the official statement Steve Grad released to the media on October 4th, 2016.
After spending approximately fifteen (15) years at PSA/DNA, originally as senior authenticator and then as the principal authenticator at the firm, I’ve made a tough decision to part ways with PSA/DNA, effective October 1, 2016 to explore new career challenges to expand my growth potential.
I’ve been incredibly blessed to have worked with some of the most talented and incredibly gifted people in the authentication industry while thoroughly enjoying my time at PSA/DNA.
It’s also been an honor and privilege to authenticate some of the finest pieces in the Hobby including; the Law of Baseball, the highest graded Babe Ruth single signed baseball, the only known Joe Jackson signed photograph and numerous other high end pieces of American sports history.
I want to thank management and everyone at Collectors Universe (parent company of PSA and PSA/DNA) for the opportunity to work for and be associated with such a great company. I look forward to my next life challenge and will break the news concerning my new career path in the near future.
In the meantime, I can be reached at email@example.com.
Hobby Musings: PSA’s Steve Grad Ready for New Chapter
Kelsey’s ability to bring hobby coverage to the mainstream sports fan has been a true asset. GTS is happy to feature his thoughts on collecting in Hobby Musings. The opinions expressed are his and do not necessarily reflect those of GTS Distribution.
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