Friday, August 15, 2008

Sounding Off On Jersey Cards

So far this year, Topps has not used the term "event used" on their cards, but instead changed it to "Player Worn" to fill the gap (see below). This is plain deception in my mind, as new collectors have no idea that the rookie premiere is a sham when it comes to "relics." In fact, when it comes to the big three companies in the big three sports, I trust topps the least with their jersey cards. They never refer to them as jerseys, but rather as "relics" because they don’t know if the swatches are actually jersey stuff in some sports. It could be pants, it could be warm ups, it could be a fucking coat they wore on the bench.

Personally, I think event used jerseys suck. The players wear them for literally two seconds, if that, and then throw them into a basket. All of this is done in a tent, where the public cant see, and then they are labeled as "event worn." Some of the time, they aren't even their own jerseys. Sidney Rice threw on at least two different Tarvaris Jackson jerseys at the 07 premiere. You can guarantee it happened again this year. Also, you know that picture on the card? Those jerseys from that picture are never cut up, according to my source at the rookie premiere. They are given to the players to do as they please, many of whom have never worn or seen the official team issues yet.

Topps has been known to use jerseys from non-official games, that’s why they are called "relics." You know those stark white jersey pieces from a guy who played in the 50's? Yeah, those aren't game used. Topps buys numerous jerseys from old timer games and public appearances to insert into their cards. As said before, older jerseys are becoming more expensive and more scarce, so rather than conserving what they have, they find other ways to do it. They have cut up Mickey Mantle's suits, ties and pants, among other stupid excuses for swatches, and for this reason I don’t buy Topps jersey cards. Right now, every single Topps Triple Threads card is labeled, "This relic was not used in any specific event, game or season." What the fuck is that? Seriously! I just paid 170 bucks for this box, and you cant even guarantee that this shit is game used? Give me a fucking break.

I have stated before that there is a possibility that the jerseys on the cards are not real. There is no promise other than the word of the manufacturers that the jersey came from the player on the card, and there is no reason to believe that they are being 100% honest with us. As recent as a few months ago, a Michael Jordan UNC warm up jersey was sold by Mastro Auctions for 11,000 dollars. The problem was that authenticators believe that the real nameplate was ripped off and Jordan's was put on. What does that say about the companies that buy from these places?

Lets face it people, this industry is more scam ridden than most of the idiots believe. The reason I first mentioned the (now retired) Joe Collector was because he was the person who refused to believe that nothing was going on behind the curtain with Beckett, UD, Topps or anybody. I can guarantee that is not the case, as any time there is money involved, douchebags migrate to that place like its a fucking pilgrimage.

The funny thing is that no one seems to care that they are being scammed. Instead, they live their existence believing that the Event Worn card they have in their hand is from an actual game, or that the auto they have hanging on the wall is actually real, or that the graded BGS card they own is actually the low 8.5 it says on the tag. Bullshit, that’s what it is. Those people make the hobby a shitty place because they help to blur the line when it comes the things you don’t do to people. Because they keep buying, the companies will keep finding ways to screw people, spend less money doing it, and will eventually ruin the things we love for good.


  1. I don't understand why someone would buy a jersey/game used/relic of a rookie before they've played a game. Obviously it would at best be some piece of clothing that they wore in some june practice. Who wants that?

    I also don't get why it's seems to be so hard for these companies to get game used jerseys. It seems to me that with the size of the patches you could probably get a couple hundred or a thousand out of one jersey. Why is it so hard to guarantee that it's from a game?

    And while I'm thinking about it, why doesn't some company (I don't know. Maybe they already do) put out a set in october featuring jersey cards telling you exactly which game it was used in. You could give the stats and info of that specific game on the back. If they already have a basic design for the cards and a deal set up for the teams to send them the jerseys from the game on monday morning. I don't know, maybe it would take too long. But that would be the card I want.

    Imagine getting a guaranteed game worn jersey card from a game that AD went for 200 yards and 2 TDs. We put a dude on the moon 40 years ago. I think we could get this done in 2008.

  2. I completely agree there. We should definitely be able to know which game it came from.

  3. Agreed, though the reason so many jerseys make it into cards is because of all these shenanigans. Let's say Topps purchased a Vikings jersey of Purple Jesus after he ran for 200 yards:

    A) Super-expensive even if available because the Vikings control its access--and maybe they want to keep it or auction it for their own purposes. "Card events" are at least under the company's control.

    B) Super-freaking rare, because you can cut it into, say, 300 quality pieces. That's such a small "print run" for inserting in typical sets.

    Ultimately, you can have both kinds of cards, as long as they label them differently. Real "game-used" stuff should be dated. Other cards can be simply a picture of the player...and some purple and white jersey fabric. Not as desirable, but maybe some people will be interested. Obviously, the former is vastly rarer! The latter is, IMHO, lame...but I don't like parallels or inserts much, either.

  4. I agree 100%. Last year, I started collecting again after a 10 year hiatus. These days, I only buy singles... no packs or boxes. Anyways, I bought around 50 memorabilia cards online through When I received my packages, I was shocked. More than half of them were garbage. Some were known as "relics". Others were straight up labeled as worn in practice. There were even a couple of "shorts" and "pants" cards. I accept full responsibility, because I didn't do my research. But, I've learned my lesson. Now I mostly stick to on-card autographs and gimmick things like mini-jerseys. Let's just hope there's no autograph scandals lingering around. Keep up the great site.

  5. I'll admit I buy them. However, i buy themed cards like Pro Bowl Jersey, All Star Jersey, Finals and so on. Although I usually pay a few bucks at most. I figure that 10 packs of cards will cost me at least 20 buck, so if I am going to throw my money away on junk, it might as well be cool junk.

  6. I would like to mention UD in this matter. The card in question is the popular 2006 UPPER DECK WBC GAME JERSEY found in UPPER DECK SERIES 2. The player in question is Daisuke Matsuzaka who has 3 versions of this card, a white swatch version, blue swatch version and finally a patch version.

    For those of you who followed the 06 WBC you would notice that Japan wore 2 types of jersey 1. White jersey with navy blue shoulder (which UD used) 2. Blue-purple jersey with red panels on the side.

    During the games, daisuke pitched against 1. Chinese Taipei 2. Mexico 3. Cuba.

    Dice-K wore the alternate jerey in all those where did he use the white jersey? exhibition game maybe?


  7. After reading this post, I was looking at some of my GU cards the other day and noticed something. They say on the back "You have received a [insert player name here] game jersey card. The piece of memorabilia on the front of this card is certified to have been used in an official MLB/NFL game"

    Notice it doesn't say that the piece of stuff is specifically from that particular player. It was just used in an official game and then put on the front of this card that depicts this player. I think I have others that do say the [swatch] was used "by [player] in an official game". But could it be that if it doesn't say so specifically, that they are matching up swatches and bats to player photos and saying "that looks like it could have come from him".

    Things that make you go Hmmm...