Man, what the heck was I thinking? Did I ever really like “game-used” relics or did I just get swept-up in the excitement of collecting baseball cards again? Nevertheless, I am over it. Who cares if the guy pictured on the card wore the thing during some exhibition game in Spring Training? Is it really that much more valuable than a base or parallel card? Maybe if it’s a faded, pinstriped Babe Ruth or Mickey Mantle but 99.9% of the time I’d rather have a Certified Autograph over some cut-up piece of Robinson Cano’s bench-stained tights.
Bats are another matter. I have only pulled one bat (Kirby Puckett) and while it did look somewhat appealing, ultimately it went in a trade as soon as I could unload it. What’s to say it was ever game-used or not? Besides, if the player ever did anything meaningful with the wood more than likely it’s going in his personal collection, Cooperstown, or Mark Ecko’s closet, along with many of his skeletons.
Give me this thing over this any day of the year. At least one is guaranteed to have the hand prints of whoever was facing Joey’s wrath that particular day. The other is just a splinter from one of his pop-ups and/or one of his successful bunts, but only if you’re lucky. Trust me, you won’t be.