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USA Baseball isn’t messing around with its Nine Innings of Summer promotion — game-used items up for grabs

By Chris Olds | Baseball Editor | Commentary

Perhaps it’s just a personal bias toward the Red, White and Blue uniforms worn by some of the best baseball players in the country long before they become pros, but the Nine Innings of Summer promotion currently under way from the USA Baseball organization is one that should get plenty of notice.

It sure got mine.

Why?

They’re giving away actual game-used memorabilia worn by some of USA Baseball’s biggest names from the recent past — guys who are presently in the big leagues or on their way and are very, very well known among collecting circles.

How? Via Twitter. For example, Monday’s challenge to win a Clayton Kershaw game-used cap was to be the 22nd person to re-tweet the message about the contest.

That’s it … to own a game-used cap.

And the contests will happen daily for the next 86 business days — with prizes including a pair of Bryce Harper‘s game-used pants (above) as well as countless autographed and game-used batting gloves, bats, jerseys and more from many young names in the game. The promotion ends on Oct. 25, the final day of this year’s Pan Am Games.

How did this all come about?

“We have collected game-used, authenticated and autographed memorabilia from alums from all of our National Team programs over the years for use not only in trading cards, but also for auctions, donation items and other uses,” said Jake Fehling, USA Baseball’s director of media and public relations. “As we look ahead to our future events, specifically the 2013 World Baseball Classic, we want to make sure we are reaching as many of our fans as possible through social networking channels.”

See a full list of prizes and read more after the jump.

A Troy Tulowitzki game-used cap.

“We felt like taking some of the autographed and game-used items we’ve collected from our alums and [giving them] to our followers through Twitter would be an effective way to not only build our online social networking presence, but to also continue to get the USA Baseball brand into our fans’ hands,” Fehling said. “So far, the response has been extremely positive, and we look forward to [giving away] the remaining 86 items.”

The promotion launched last week with three prizes already awarded as part of the “first inning.”

– June 22: Bryce Harper bat to @KevinGelfand
– June 23: Jon Jay batting gloves to @ElMookador
– June 24: Julio Borbon Bat: @cisrow

Each “inning” is 10 days with prize batches announced at USABaseball.com between 10 a.m. and noon Eastern every other Wednesday. Each individual day, that day’s prize and task will be tweeted between 2-4 p.m. Eastern with specific instructions on how to win. (The official rules are here.)

The prize list? (Here it is with the approximate value of the original item. Clearly the game-used items could fetch more on the secondary market.)

Signed 1996 Collegiate National Team USA Baseball Magazine, $40
Signed 1996 USA Baseball Salute to Excellence, $25
Signed 1998 Collegiate National Team USA Baseball Yearbook, $25
2000 Collegiate National Team Signed Cap, $50
2000 Golden Spikes Award Finalists Signed Bat, $25
Signed 2002 Collegiate National Team USA Baseball Magazine, $50
2004 Collegiate National Team Signed Bat, $50
Signed 2004 Collegiate National Team Program, $50
2005 Collegiate National Team Signed Bat, $50
2006 Collegiate National Team Signed Bat, $50
Signed 2006 Collegiate National Team USA Baseball Magazine, $50
Signed 2006 Collegiate National Team Poster, $50
2007 Collegiate National Team Signed Jersey, $50
2007 Collegiate National Team Signed Baseball, $50
2007 Collegiate National Team Signed Bat, $50
Signed 2007 Collegiate National Team USA Baseball Magazine, $50
2008 Olympic Team Signed Bat, $50
Signed 2009 Golden Spikes Award Show Program, $40
2010 Pan American Qualifying Team Signed Baseball, $50
Alex Gordon 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $25
Brett Anderson 2005 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Bryce Brentz 2009 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Bryce Harper 2009 18U National Team Game-Used Pants, $50
Bryce Harper Signed 2010 14U/16U Championships Magazine, $50
Bryce Harper Signed 2010 Golden Spikes Award Show Program, $50
Bryce Harper Signed Bat, $150
Chris Perez 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Christian Colon 2005 16U National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Christian Colon 2005 16U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Christian Colon 2006 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Clayton Kershaw 2005 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $40
Daniel Bard 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Darwin Barney 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Darwin Barney 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $20
Drew Stubbs 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Drew Stubbs 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Helmet, $20
Drew Stubbs 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $20
Drew Stubbs 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Freddie Freeman 2005 16U National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $25
Freddie Freeman 2005 16U National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Freddie Freeman 2006 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Freddie Freeman 2006 18U National Team Signed Jersey, $25
Grant Green 2005 18U National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Grant Green 2005 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Ian Kennedy 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
J.P. Arencibia 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $25
J.P. Arencibia 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $25
J.P. Arencibia 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
J.P. Arencibia 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $25
Jaff Decker 2006 16U National Team game used Cap, $20
Jaff Decker 2006 16U National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Jarrod Parker 2006 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Jed Lowrie 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Helmet, $20
Jed Lowrie 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $20
Jon Jay 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Jon Jay 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $20
Jon Jay 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Juilo Borbon 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $20
Kevin Slowey 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Luke Hochevar 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Mark Prior Signed Jersey, $25
Mark Reynolds 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Mark Teixeira Signed 2000 USA Baseball Salute to Excellence, $25
Matt Wieters 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Matt Dominguez 2006 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Matt Dominguez 2006 18U National Team Signed Jersey, $25
Matt LaPorta 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $25
Matt LaPorta 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $25
Matt LaPorta 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Matt Wieters 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $25
Matt Wieters 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $25
Max Scherzer 2005 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Michael Bourn 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Michael Choice 2009 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Mike Moustakas 2006 18U National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Mike Trout Signed 2010 Baseball America, $25
Pat Borders 2000 Olympic Team Game-Used Spikes, $40
Paul Janish 2003 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Jersey, $20
Pedro Alvarez 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20
Pedro Alvarez 2006 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $50
Rickie Weeks Signed 2003 USA Baseball National Team Program, $20
Rickie Weeks Signed Bat, $25
Rickie Weeks Signed Jersey, $40
Ricky Romero 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $25
Ryan Zimmerman 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $50
Skip Schumaker 2006 Olympic Qualifying Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Taylor Teagarden 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $20
Troy Tulowitzki 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Broken Bat, $50
Troy Tulowitzki 2004 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Cap, $50
Yasmani Grandal 2009 Collegiate National Team Game-Used Batting Gloves, $20

It’s an impressive collection of memorabilia from a perhaps under-appreciated segment of the hobby. Add in the fact that these items are often from very early on in a players’ career and they should be perhaps even more alluring for collectors who really appreciate collecting — perhaps moreso than the dollar signs attached to the items.

That’s sure what got me hooked a few years ago.

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

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