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“Player used" vs. "game used"

Zan

New member
Aug 12, 2008
3,067
NY, NY
I think there needs to be a distinction, once and for all about the definition of these two terms within our hobby when it comes to claiming the “use" of an item.

To me, player used sounds more like an item that someone used for a photo shoot charity event, something of that nature. Game used is simply an item that was used by the player in a major league game.

But what happens when “player used" appears on a card featuring an old timer? How is that distinction made for a bat that is player used?
 

psj

Active member
Jul 24, 2015
2,058
Long Island
I agree. When u know a player had/has played in major league games, and has game used items, does the term "player-used" still mean game used?? For instance, Rob Refsnyder. He has game used cards in both panini and topps. But in the same set (national treasures) he has cards that say "game used" and "player used." There definitely needs to be some distinction between the 2. Do it like topps did, when it would say "photo shoot worn" or "shoot worn" on the card. The best would be if they did it like Donruss did in the early days, when they would have a picture of the actual game used item on the back of the card.
 

mouschi

Featured Contributor, Bridging the Gap, Senior Mem
May 18, 2012
3,029
Card companies are well aware that "game used" is more desirable than player worn. The problem is, that "game used" is VERY murky (at least to me - perhaps not to others?) From what I understand, game used could potentially be:

- Worn in a game, though the player didn't play in the specific game
- Worn in an old timers game
- Worn in a game of tee ball ... or monopoly?

The Topps wording on the back doesn't help any - I think it is similar to: "The relic contained in this card isn't from any specific game, event or season."

Collectors have become acclimated to this though somewhat, which is why you will see jumbo "player worn" relic cards of Kris Bryant going for hundreds of dollars. That's right - KB could have (and imo probably did) slipped on the batting glove for 5 seconds, only to be cut up and put in a card.

Still, collectors like the novelty of it, aesthetics and the fact that their player did in fact actually wear the item. While the batting glove may have not been used when KB hit a home run in the world series, it was still worn at a time by the same KB who did hit a hr in the ws. :)
 

psj

Active member
Jul 24, 2015
2,058
Long Island
Yea, that really annoys me to no end that an old-timers game is considered as game used. Only an official MLB game should have that designation. Anything else should be listed as player worn
 
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bstanwood

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2016
3,164
Mystic, CT
I agree there must be some industry wide regulation over this debate. For me personally I don't really care, the novelty is gone for me because it's overdone. For the most part I only want a memorbilia card if it looks really cool, if it's autographed that helps a lot too. Like Topps Dynasty, I love the look of those cards, the patches look awesome so in that case if the guy wore it while he signed a set of cards and took it off for it to be cut up it doesn't matter to me.
 

Onions

Member
Dec 8, 2014
54
North Dakota
Yep. WAY overdone. Event worn, shoot worn, player used, etc. Just means the guy probably touched it. Means nothing to me. How cool would it be if they tied jerseys, batting gloves, hats, or bats to specific games or dates? Picture of the full item on the back, description of the game, stat line, whatever. I don't pursue many cards made today, but the slice of jersey they tuck in the card is virtually meaningless now. Just there to make the card interesting. I guess its all they can do since they don't have any imagination or creativity anymore.
 

psj

Active member
Jul 24, 2015
2,058
Long Island
Yep. WAY overdone. Event worn, shoot worn, player used, etc. Just means the guy probably touched it. Means nothing to me. How cool would it be if they tied jerseys, batting gloves, hats, or bats to specific games or dates? Picture of the full item on the back, description of the game, stat line, whatever. I don't pursue many cards made today, but the slice of jersey they tuck in the card is virtually meaningless now. Just there to make the card interesting. I guess its all they can do since they don't have any imagination or creativity anymore.
In this years National Treasures, they do have game dated memorabilia cards, with the jersey/patch/bat piece from that specific date/game
 

smapdi

Well-known member
Aug 7, 2008
4,227
Unless it says,"Game Worn/Used" I assume it was not used in a real, official, counts-in-the-standings Major League game. And even then, card companies seem free to come up with their own definition of what an "official" game is. When they came out with a Mantle jersey back in 2001 that had a polyester swatch on it, UD actually owned up to the fact that it was used in an Old-Timer's Game, which they counted as "official" because it was an exhibition in a Major League park before an actual Yankees game. Obviously, lots of collectors begged to differ. Or when cards have these MLB holograms and you look it up and it's for a date where the player might have been present but didn't actually play. That's kind of iffy, but I'd probably say close enough.

So, if it has a notation like event-worn/used, player-worn/used, photoshoot-worn, or anything else, I assume it was just something the player touched, maybe, for a second. At that point, the relic becomes a design element like foil stamping or the typeface. This still allows for some neat cards, but not as neat as they might be with a real GU piece in it.
 

predatorkj

New member
Aug 7, 2008
11,865
Yep. WAY overdone. Event worn, shoot worn, player used, etc. Just means the guy probably touched it. Means nothing to me. How cool would it be if they tied jerseys, batting gloves, hats, or bats to specific games or dates? Picture of the full item on the back, description of the game, stat line, whatever. I don't pursue many cards made today, but the slice of jersey they tuck in the card is virtually meaningless now. Just there to make the card interesting. I guess its all they can do since they don't have any imagination or creativity anymore.
I'd challenge that they probably don't have anything else to create. I mean, what else are we expecting? Not much else to be done really. I think guys like Tanner have basically opened the door for the next frontier which is either create your own card or have someone else do it for you. But while I agree Tanner has and continues to make some of the best customs known to man, even what he does is basically taking parts of what already exists and putting a new spin on it or adding something to it from something else that already exists. But it's mixing and matching. Nothing more(not to undermine what he does though!:D).


As for the OP, to me, player used= player at one time wore this item but it is not in any way game used. I do think the companies are getting better about differentiating items that are actually game used And honestly, I think with them crossing gu stuff over various products makes it harder for them to list an actual game date it was used in. Also, they may not even know. Like all this new material for retired players, I don't know where they're coming from. I wouldn't doubt if some of it is from spring training as I know some older players are consults for their respective former teams or at times do help out with minor league teams. All I know is in the next ten years, if they keep going at the rate they are, they should run out of Bagwell items or I'm gonna really start to wonder. Especially the older mid 90's and early 2000's style jerseys they are putting in some of these cards. I would imagine it will be the same for a lot of other players.
 

sierra79

Member
Feb 15, 2016
215
Deland, Florida
While relic cards compose a portion of my collection, if push comes to shove I would much rather have a rare 90's parallel, insert, test issue, or something of that nature. Relic cards IMO (if done right) can look amazingly beautiful and I think they will always have a place in the hobby. That said, the issue I have is most of them lack any provenance and without that I'm not throwing down a ton of cash unless it's a 1/1, and then it becomes more about the card than the material. The whole "event/player worn" is totally manufactured memorabilia. What's worse is the whole "The relic contained in this card isn't from any specific game, event or season." A disclaimer like that sounds like they could have just bought anything to cut up.

I think it would be really nice if the one of the companies (or product) would go through MLB after each game and buy all of the specific jerseys, bats, etc. - kind of in the same manner that Steiner does. Although it would push the prices of the products up or there much less GU material inserted into them, each card could have the exact game's date on the back with the certification number of the item that the relic came from. It would also help to the companies from buying off of the secondary market - at least the new stuff anyways.
 

predatorkj

New member
Aug 7, 2008
11,865
Does anyone know where all these "gu" items come from? Does topps or Panini have a contract with MLB for this stuff? You'd think MLB would want to police this stuff or at least have some transparency with this.
 

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