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Beckett 20 Questions: Collecting game-used

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

The next issue of Beckett Sports Card Monthly is in production, and it’s  going to focus on all things game-used memorabilia.

From game-used cards to the ins and outs of the game-used market, we’re aiming to touch on what matters most to collectors and we want to know what you think beyond your buying habits when it comes to game-used.

Here, we present 20 questions on the topic — some serious, some fun — that we want to know your answers for. We’ll present some of your comments and the voting results in the next issue.

1. Which company made the first sports memorabilia card back in 1996?

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2. Do you consider a preseason, exhibition or coach jersey to be game-used?

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3. In your opinion, what do you think this authentication blurb means?

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4. How many full game-used items do you own?

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5. How many memorabilia cards do you own

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6. Which type of memorabilia card do you like best?

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7. Which type of memorabilia cards do you like least?

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8. Movie prop memorabilia cards are ...

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9. When it comes to MLB Authenticated/stickered items ...

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10. Have you ever bought a game-used item from a league or team auction?

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11. Which of these players have the most memorabilia cards?

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12. Which of these NASCAR items have NOT appeared in a mem card?

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13. The hobby needs more ...

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14. Do you want to see photos of uncut items on the backs of mem cards?

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15. Do photo shoot memorabilia cards appeal to you less than game-used cards?

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16. Which delivers the coolest memorabilia cards?

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17. Which sport needs more memorabilia cards?

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18. The NBA collector needs more ...

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19. In your opinion, is a "kiss card" a memorabilia card?

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20. Do you consider a hair card a memorabilia card?

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24 Comments

Joe

You should never cut up vintage jersey’s for cards. They are too rare. Today’s jersey’s are different, for they are changed regularly through out the season, unlike the past. Also, historical items SHOULD NEVER be cut up so someone can have a signature glued to a card. By doing this, in my opinion, you are destroying American History.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
Michael Pully

Flooding the market repeatedly with game-used cards is killing the hobby. I actually don’t have any excitement anymore pulling game-used cards because thay are darn near worthless these days. Nothing like paying $200 for a box and pulling a plain white over produced jersey card that only sells for 99 cents on eBay. It does not matter if it is numbered to 10 or 25 anymore because there are thousands upon thousands more just like it. Why does there have to be 20 different parallel sets of the same card? The whole game-used concept is tired and way over-used and not even fun anymore, and is the reason I don’t buy too many boxes anymore. There is nothing innovative in cards anymore, just the same old recipe over and over again. Anytime there is a monopoly on the market, like Topps has over baseball, all innovation gets thrown out the window because they don’t care anymore. They are the only licensed MLB manufacturer so who do they have to compete with? Instead of competition to always try to out do the other companies, they just put out the same old same year after year and call it good enough. They get way too comfortable and know that people are going to buy their product based on their iconic name and because there is no other choices. Eliminating competition and the collector’s right to choose is completely killing our beloved hobby. The whole thing has gone stale, and as a collector of 30 years plus, I have lost the passion.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink
Mark

“2. Do you consider a preseason, exhibition or coach jersey to be game-used?”

Preseason or exhibition not really. Coach apparel yes. Coach apparel is hard to find for hall-of-fame memorabilia/auto collections. (Thank you Leaf for the Lombardi set!) You asked too much in that one question.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

I agree with Michael, I can care less about Mem cards. I have never bought one and the only ones I have have come from Hobby boxes. Those of which I never buy anymore if there is a chance of a Mem card and no guarantee of an auto.
As I have said before, it’s only going to get worse. I still can see the day where they cut up a single autograph into pieces so someone can say “hey, I got the ‘W’ from a Willie Mays autograph on my card.”

Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
Kevin

Hair cards are their own catagory, creepy!

Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink
Keith

I think game-used cards are way over done. It was a fun novelty in the beginning. Since none of them even are from a specific event or game anymore, the desire to own them is gone for me. It would be cool if you could say it was worn by X player in this game and be assured that it really is a piece of memorabilia from that game. The problem with all the fraud in the hobby and the mix ups in production, you can’t even be assured it was ever worn by the person on the card. At least with autographed cards, you can compare the signature and have a third party opinion if it is real or not. With a game-used card, your guess is as good as anyones as to the authenticity of the game-used material, and the cop out that manufacturers put on the cards that it’s not from any specific game, event or season, just goes to show you that the manufacturers are getting them from unreliable sources and and are not willing to take liability that they are actually real.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink
David

I agree with Mark. For Hall of Fame collectors, especially in football, I would love to see more Coach’s memorabilia (i.e. Madden, Grant, Al Davis, etc.). It’s also frustrating to see so many memorabilia cards available for HOF baseball players, but so few made for the legendary football players. Cut auto’s are way too expensive, and legend’s mem cards would be a great way for football fans to connect with those historic champs!

Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
Rob Braxton

I used to agree 100% with Joe’s comment, but I now believe, (scratch that) …. I KNOW, EVERYTHING disintegrates over time.
So, I now believe we should get our fun out of these classic items from sports history while they’re still appreciable (by the touch of a hand, or close visual inspection).

There are a lot more of these items around than the general public probably realizes.

Cards are a great way for 10s of thousands of the most appreciative fans to appreciate some of these items.

Of course, we must be careful not to ever destroy any item for which there is no replacement, nor any items of extreme historical significance.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink
bearcatlawjd

Game used really isn’t that exciting any more. I feel if you are a player collector having a least one game used card of your favorite players is almost required.

I find autographs and colored or numbered parallels to be more exciting than game used cards. I would even go as far as saying manufactured relics sometimes are a lot cooler because design of the cards trumps a boring piece of wood or a white jersey.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink
zotster

The coolest memorabilia card I own (for me) is one made by Pacific about a dozen years ago. It wouldn’t be much more than a common for most people, but there’s a story behind it. After my area lost the Hartford Whalers following the 1996-97 NHL season, I needed a new favorite team. I decided to adopt the Nashville Predators, as they were the first new expansion team to enter the league after the Whalers left (in 1998-99), so I wouldn’t be rooting for an old enemy. At the end of their first season, I took a flight to Nashville to watch their season finale in person. Much to everyone’s surprise, the team’s first ever draft pick, David Legwand, made his NHL debut in that game – and he’s still playing for them today (well … at least he will be …). A couple years later, Pacific made a David Legwand jersey card that specified the jersey was from the 1998-99 season, which must have meant the game I went to, since it was his first NHL game and the last game of that season. So I was happy to know that (presumably, at least) I own a card with a piece of jersey he wore in a game I saw in person. That’s kinda cool, and it’s also why I wish companies still specified exactly when the memorabilia was used. I’m sure a lot more people would be interested in memorabilia cards if they knew the material came from a game they attended, or a special game in that player’s career.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink
afff

I enjoy pulling the vintiage mem. more so then the resecnt player mem. The newer mem. are over produced as were the vintage mem. are tuffer to get and a person feels more like they got a piece of sports history or thats how I feel.

Posted October 12, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
Randall

Not a fan of memorabilia/relic cards. I keep some of them if it has a player or team I like because I collect that player or team’s cards. But I’ll make a trade or give away the others except if it has a signature, then I keep it.

Posted October 13, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink
Cory Furlong

I would like to see game used jersey cards tied to a certain game or games. I think it would stir up more interest in the cards as collectors that were at a game on a certain date may aggressively collect them.

Posted October 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink
lambeau legend4

In my opinion, what the hobby needs, is less memorabilia cards but use a better variety (items other than jersey/patch cards), more ON-CARD auto’s/less sticker auto’s, stop flooding the market with parallel’s (we don’t need 20 different color/refractor parallels) and the most importantly, better authentication & clarification of “gameused” cards!

Posted October 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Permalink
joe

I stopped collecting memorabilia cards about 5 years ago. That’s when I noticed the COA on the back of the cards stopped stating that it was ” was used by the the player in an actual game” The COA’s todat only state that you have an memorabilia piece. It doesn’t say when it was used or who it is from. I find it hard to believe that the card companies can not confirm who the jersey or bat piece is from and when it ws used. The problem is THEY ARE LAZY. They are making millions of dollars and they can’t even continue to give us a real meaningful COA. It makes me wonder did they suspect that the balls, jerseys, and other so called gameused piece that they purchased was fake. Did the card companies ever step up and admit that they purchased cards from the guy that just went to prison for selling fake memorabilia to the card companies. I haven’t purchased a pack of cards in over a month. This hobby is dying slowly. Next hit will be autographs. The hobby companies send both sticker sheets as well as a stack of cards for the players to autograph. Don’t think just because it is on card that that makes it full proof. I know Chris “DOOM AND GLOOM” comment is coming. If the card companies step and take responsibilty and start putting meaningful COA’s on the back of the cards maybe I’ll start collecting again. As for now I haven’t decided yet what I am going to do.

Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink
Cincyscott76

If its a jersey card or auto of a player you collect then its cool. When its someone you never heard of and they get cut before the season even starts then its a sucker punch in the gut. Whats even worse is a expired redemption for a auto. The redemption expiration date ought to be in bold letters on top of the box and pack that way I will know to stay clear of the product! I also want to note the production flaws with some companies if the patch dont fit in the card dont try to force it and crease it all to hell.

Posted October 14, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink
Tom Sterk

Some of these questions had excellent answers that I wanted to click all of them (like more for the NBA), but could only click on one for the vote. I would love to see other items for memorabilia such as a golf tee or golf club or the sock that was worn by a player. These would be interesting to see in the pack itself. All that are out now are great relics, don’t get me wrong; but having these things in the packs could intrigue some more people into collecting cards and looking for these items. This was a great questionaire to answer.

Posted October 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink
nyyankeesfan28

Agree with Kevin about the hair cards!

Posted October 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink
Tom Waldron

I also have to say the coolest COA was from Donruss. Like the above picture shown on back said item and
all items were pictired. THe best insert is the TOOLS OF THE TRADE where they incorporated jersey shoe shirt etcc.However none of that is done today and we are left to decide ‘was this taken off the floor and just put in the card. When Topps admitted to the Mistake in the Tribute bat/seat cards and Lou Gehrig card we knew we all might just have junk cards in our collection. One thing that would be better is to use numbering to mean something I’ve gotten plenty of low numbered mem card with a plain white swatch and you know there is nothing signiifant to the card at all. Yet you get a patch nubered to 250 where it should be /10 or 1/1.
Collectors want signifiacane to the card tie the card to an even a monet of time this IS what the use of mem cards used to mean. I for one would rather have a swatch of HOF palyer that a Patch of a current player.
but only if it’s authenticated and game dated .Come on Panini Topps and upper duck and give liscenses back to major card companies we need more innovation.

Posted October 15, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink
Marvin Martian

The only game-used cards I have are the Game-Used Dirt inserts from old Topps Stadium Club baseball, circa 2001(?). I was disappointed because there was no way to confirm that the dirt was actually game-used. And I seriously doubt the dirt was used by the pitcher or player featured on the card. That hurt my enjoyment of the product.

Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink
daryl powell

I happened to find an exception to the generic game used card. I pulled an Alex Rodriguez bat card from 2002 Topps gold label that has the exact date of the game the bat is from. It just so happens that day was my birthday in 2001. I’ve kept it in my collection because I thought it was kinda cool. I wish more of the GU items were dated like this.

Posted October 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink
griffeyfan76

I would like to see redemptions for full game used items. Make the one hit per box or case( depending on the product) worth the price that’s being charged. Like Michael said, it’s frustrating when you shell out a couple hundred dollars for a box and can’t sell the “hits” for more than a couple of dollars. The card companies don’t care about quality when they know collector’s are going to buy their product no matter what.

Posted October 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink
crabtron

Instead of game-used material, they should just make “life-used” material cards. A card could have a piece of a player’s pajamas that they sleep in every night, or a swatch of one of the curtains in their house. Maybe a scrap of cardboard from a box of Fruit Loops that they ate for breakfast one morning.

Other mem cards could feature a piece of a player’s jersey in one square, and then have another blank square for you to insert a swatch of one of your own shirts, so that you can feel closer to that player, swatch-wise. You’d look at the card and think, “Man, that’s a piece of my shirt next to a piece of Kevin Durant’s jersey. It’s like they’re best friends. They’re so close they’re almost touching.” Until somebody makes a mem card like that, I will never fully respect game-used cards.

Posted October 21, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

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