Your Turn (BSCM): What’s your favorite type of game-used memorabilia card?


By Chris  Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It seems like everything has been made into a memorabilia card through the years — though some items moreso than others.

Now, we want to know which ones stand out to you … which types of cards you’d want to see in future card sets?

We’re not wanting a dream list or a who’s who of sports legends. We simply want to know …

What types of game-used memorabilia cards would you like to see more of (in any sport)?

Maybe you’re a fan of the simple jersey swatch — jumbo-sized? Maybe you’re a fan of the few game-used dirt or artificial turf cards that have been made?

Maybe you’d like to see a pair of gane-used Air Jordans become memorabilia cards — or maybe a pair of football pads?

Maybe a batting helmet? Batting gloves? Or are you fans of baseballs, footballs and basketballs? Maybe you like stadium seats?

We want to know what you think should be made into a memorabilia card.

Are there any obvious items that just haven’t been done yet?

Tell us in the comments field below. A selection of the best answers just might appear in next month’s Beckett Sports Card Monthly — which will focus on game-used memorabilia and more.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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  1. Bryon Pratt 21 December, 2011 at 12:20

    I like the three color patches that are thick enough to stick up out of the cards or any larger multi-color cuts. My favorite memorabilia card is out of Topps American Pie, part of the Berlin Wall. Though I have to admit, a piece of game used Air Jordans would be sweet!

    I think that part of the basketball rim and/or net from NBA finals games would be cool. Or, if they could get coaches to actually give them up, a cut from the play cards coaches use during games, maybe from playoff games or the Super Bowl. Also, if the players don’t keep them, maybe an insert set of cuts from baseballs that were used for milestones like 2000 career hits, 1000 career RBIs, 2000 career strikeouts, or season milestones like 200 hits, 100 rbi’s, etc

  2. Richard 21 December, 2011 at 13:50

    What I want to see has more to do with the authenticity process.
    A few years back there was at least one product that showed a picture of the
    original Jersey the swatch came from along with a statement of what game it
    was used in. Better yet, show a picture of the player turning it over to the
    company rather than some “agent”. This lack of providence and chain of possession
    is troubling.

    Today’s COA seem to guarantee nothing.
    You get a Babe Ruth piece now and it turns out to be from a seat or something.
    Meaning the peanut vendor was closer to it than the Babe ever was, assuming the
    seat was even in existence when he was playing.

    Also, what happens when it turns out the item is shown to be fake?
    A COA is supposed to mean that you are guaranteed the item is real or that they
    will then get it for you and replace it or that you will be given the $$$ value.
    This BS of sending someone a replacement item because its supposed value is
    the same is garbage. I got sent an auto picture of Penny Hardaway by upper deck
    after the John Stock Auto Card redemption could not be filled? Sorry, not the same at all.
    Either give me what is mine or give me the money!

  3. Jim 21 December, 2011 at 14:07

    My favorites are the sweet spot baseball cover autos. Any word on whether those are still going to be done?

  4. Ryan Gluesing 21 December, 2011 at 14:20

    I like variety in my memorabilia cards, which is why 2005 Absolute Memorabilia’s Tools of the Trade set was so great – up to six different materials from one player on one card. They had batting gloves, catching gear, wristbands, shoes, gloves… anything you can think of was probably used in one of those cards. Really, I like to see color and variety in my memorabilia, which can be tough to do when most baseball uniforms are plain white or grey.

  5. David Johnson 21 December, 2011 at 14:48

    I think that adding a picture of the full jersey/ball/bat/etc. on the back of the card prior to it being cut up is definitely a good idea that has been done before and I wish was done more often. It would also be nice if the company added more information about which game(s) the item was used in, which has also been done before.

  6. chrisolds 21 December, 2011 at 14:52

    Jim: They have been done by a few companies — though none are technically game-used mem cards.

  7. robert 21 December, 2011 at 15:31

    In baseball, what I don’t think that’s been done that I would like to see is game-used dugout lineup card jumbo paper “swatch”, autos and swatches of umpire clothing (umpires rarely get the love in baseball trading cards when they are an integral part of the game), relics from actual MLB foul poles, foundation chips from MLB baseball stadiums being torn down, and belt pieces from the belts from the uniforms of MLB players since that is about the only thing from a player that hasn’t made it to a trading card relic.

  8. sconnienation3 21 December, 2011 at 15:55

    I’ve always been a big fan of the Hardwear helmet set from Limited football. Just really cool. And I have one that’s busting out of the card, so that helps.

  9. Adam Hirniak 21 December, 2011 at 16:32

    Definitely Goalie mask cards with pieces of the mask in them. With all of the Awesome custom airbrushed goalie masks in the NHL, imagine the card possibilities.

  10. Johnny Hodge 21 December, 2011 at 17:10

    I know everybody has a wide range of opinions on this but my favorite memorabilia cards are:
    historical relics (example Goodwin Museum)
    Hair DNA relics (GINTER like stuff) and I love the ones with cut signatures.
    Larger relics like Topps Marquee Titantic relics
    The absolute line with larger pieces and prime pieces are a hit too.
    More true 1/1 letterman cards opposed to manufactured ones.
    More LOGOman cards!

  11. Kevin 21 December, 2011 at 17:11

    Why even ask this? The card companies don’t care. We are ok spending big time money on packs that have one color jerseys, why would they change? It was playoff that showed the actual item on the back of the card and that was long time ago. Topps only recently started putting patches in their products, 90% of their production are one color jersey cards and 90% of their football stuff are from the rookie photo shoot, which means a player wore it for 5 mintues and then took it off. And as far as where the actual jerseys came from, that is even a bigger question. Topps doesn’t know, beckett doesn’t know, we all just pretend they are real. Do we really want to know if they are not? I don’t have one jersey card in my personal collection. In the long run these are horrible investments.

  12. Caleb Wilson, Gilbert AZ 21 December, 2011 at 18:19

    It would be awesome to get a card with a piece of game-used sunglasses from the players! When they say to try to look through the other person’s eyes they really mean it! This memorabilia card would take that very literally!

  13. Big Mike 21 December, 2011 at 19:59

    Nascar – perhaps Autographed firesuits & Autographed sheetmetal would be nice. Maybe even pieces of multicolored race-used helmets.

  14. leslie westbrook 21 December, 2011 at 20:20

    I think it’d be cool to use baseball players’ game worn sunglasses. You’d get a very low run of cards, and if they were made right, you could see through the card!

    Also, I’d love to see big chunks of the manager-written dugout-posted player lineups in baseball cards. You can’t say that wouldn’t be awesome.

  15. Nathan Crandell 22 December, 2011 at 06:39

    I am with Jonny Hodge I like the DNA relics from Ginter, way cool. Aside from that, anything with color, I mean I get tired of looking at a white or grey sock/patch, or a brown piece of bat. How about some green, blue, red, or even some blood stained grey or white sock/patch (seen those before, pretty gnarly).

  16. JayKayZee 22 December, 2011 at 07:34

    My favorites from recent years have been game-used stick and goalie equipment pieces (gloves and blockers) in NHL cards. My first love was the Leaf Limited “HARDWEAR” cards, 2006 edition to be specific, which I own a good collection of.
    I know othere have mentioned the cards that actually showed the item the mem piece was cut from. Those were Donruss products of the early 2000’s, and I miss that too.

  17. David Blyn 22 December, 2011 at 08:25

    All questions about legitimacy aside – I think the next innovation for relic cards should be tying these items to actual events. It’s been done on a small scale before, but every relic card should be tied to a time frame or specific game. A plain white jersey swatch from say a World Series jersey should be more special than a plain white jersey swatch from gane 12 of the season but it would be great to know. That might also help legitimize the card for many people.

    For example, you may not care to have a jersey card from Armando Galarraga but if the jersey swatch was specifically from his Non No-Hitter game, and it said so on the card, it would instantly make that jersey swatch more appealing. Or a jersey from the game a player hits for the cycle. I just think game dating the newer stuff makes the most sense and would set swatches apart from each other. The truly historical stuff couldn’t be dated (some probably could) but then I’d want better quality control on those items as Topps has been screwing them up on a too-regular basis lately.

  18. Chad 22 December, 2011 at 08:25

    in Hockey products I would like to see more pucks being used. Also nets, goal posts, pieces of the penalty box or how about pieces of the glass. Maybe a referee’s jersey. Melted Ice, I know they sell it in larger versions I wonder if you could down size it to be put into a card? Piece of the Zamboni???

  19. Jestin 22 December, 2011 at 09:31

    How about an insert set called “Impressions”? It would be a card that had clay imbedded in the card where the athlete could put a finger print into along with their signature. Kind of like what they do in Hollywood.
    Another insert set that would be cool, would be called “Career Path”. It would have a jersey swatches of a player from all levels they played in. It could have little league, high school, college, usa, minor league and major league jersey swatches. How cool would that be to have of your favorite player?

  20. Nathan Crandell 22 December, 2011 at 12:45

    @jestin, I really like that idea of finger print but I dont think it would work because of Identify thievery, but something similar to that could be done. I would like that.

  21. Jestin 27 December, 2011 at 16:08

    Yeah Nathan, I guess I should have thought of that with all the crime movies and shows I watch. Someone would probably use it for evil!

  22. Brian 1 January, 2012 at 15:30

    I agree with Richard. The whole authenticity process needs to be revamped. It is freaking ridiculous that several articles have came out linking fake memorabilia being sold to the card companies that produce these “game used” cards. Why can’t Topps etc. get the game used memorabilia straight from the players or teams instead of buying them from shady vendors?

    I would also like to see the cards include what date the memorabilia was used on on the back of the card.

    I also HATE when I see game used cards that picture a player in one uniform but the patch or jersey is obviously from another team’s uniform. Start MATCHING the game used jersey to what uniform the player is wearing on the card. Only makes sense right?

    As for what kind of game used cards I like. I like the jumbo jerseys cards from 2011 Marquee Titanic Threads, multi color patch cards from different players on the same team (I would like to see hall of famers or current stars on the same team with multiple pieces of patches on the same card. I’m a Padres fan so I would love to see a Gwynn/Winfield/Hoffman patch card or something similar.), multi color batting glove cards are cool like the ones used in 2001 Upper Deck MVP and the tools of the trade cards are also nice as well with multiple game used items on one card (cleats, jersey, pants, etc.)

    GU and autos on the same card also makes it even sweeter. To me that is like getting the best of both worlds on the same card.

  23. crabtron 4 June, 2012 at 11:51

    I’d like to get a real piece of a pen used by the athlete to sign autographs after a game. Or would that be too meta? Allow me to answer my own question: No, it would not. Or even better, how about an autograph card that also has a piece of the pen that was used to sign it?

    Or this: A card with a piece of a real locker room mirror that the athlete at one point gazed into. When you look at it, you see your own face staring back. But for a moment you wonder if it really is you. . . .

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