Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Integrity of Relics

One of my favorite aspects of collecting cards are the relics.  I'll probably never buy a full game-used jersey or other item as the prices are more than I want to spend.  Even if the relic pieces are small, it's still cool to own a piece of memorabilia connected to the players.

Lately, I've been enjoying bat/wood relics more so than jersey relics.  Part of my fatigue with jersey relics is that white jerseys are far too common.  Don't get me wrong, I still like the jersey but something different would be nice every now and then.  Arguably, bat relics are just as boring as white jerseys because the bats are just a plain piece of wood.

Sometimes cards companies like to add a personal touch to the wood piece.

2001 SP Game Bat Milestone - Piece of Action Bound for the Hall #B-KG(M)

Here we see a baseball and #24 etched into the bat piece of Ken Griffey Jr.  Upper Deck still indicates on that back of the card that this is an authentic piece of a bat used by Griffey.  Although it's not clear on the card, I think it's safe to say that Griffey does not have small etchings of his number throughout his bat.

The modification makes me wonder if this relic piece is now less authentic because it's not presented in its original state.  Personally, so long as the card company is still guaranteeing the authenticity of the game-used piece, I'm okay with tasteful modifications.  I'm also okay with them so long as they are used in moderation.  For Griffey's card, I think the inclusion of the number is done in a pleasing manner.  

2000-01 SP Game Floor - Authentic Floor #RL

This card has an even greater justification for etching the logo into the floor piece.  The game floor is not from the Key Arena, home of the Seattle Supersonics, but from a "basketball floor in which Rashard Lewis played on during an NBA game."  That tells me nothing.  Who knows where this floor came from.  At least with the Sonics logo, the floor piece feels more authentic to the player.  

2016 Panini Diamond Kings - DK Framed Materials #DKM-NC

Since I'm on the topic of bat relics, I wanted to include a card that is the best of both worlds.  The jersey piece is not white but a cream color.  These are the Sunday alternates that the Mariners wear only for Sunday home games.  I really like the look of the cream alternates and I bought my first ever baseball jersey in this style.

Cruz modeling the Sunday uniform
The bat piece is from Nelson Cruz's "boomstick." That's the nickname that has been given to his baseball bats.  I just like the idea of having a piece of the boomstick.  No modification was needed here for the bat relic and if there was it would have severely diminished the look of the card.  

What are your thoughts on modified relics? Love, hate, don't even like relics?


  1. I generally enjoy Relic cards, even if some say they are overdone at this point. That said, I prefer them unaltered as that means to me they are in the same condition as when last worn or used.

  2. I prefer them unaltered as I always question authenticity, but I still own some

    1. Good point. Nowadays relic cards contain so little information about where the memorabilia card even came from so authenticity is certainly always questionable

  3. I am one of the few people that prefers base cards to hits, but I love getting relics all the same. I don't like when UD modified them- they did it for several years but seem to have stopped after 2002-03.

    The floor pieces in 2000-01 SP Game Floor I believe came from the Washington Wizards floor. I know that Upper Deck acquired a lot of that floor and put it onto cards for several years. They also got some of the floor from Utah but I think that they saved that solely for "Michael Jordan's Last Game" inserts...which they did before he came back and played with the very same Wizards in 2001-02 and 2002-03.

    1. Great info. It's nice to know where the floor came from.

      That's a pretty funny tidbit about Jordan.