Card of the Day: 2006 Ultimate Collection Ultimate Tandems Dual Patch Brian Giles / Trevor Hoffman

hoffgilesThere was a time where a card like this would gave been the coolest thing I owned, and for several reasons.

First, It pictures Brian Giles, whom I adored as a player for about three years in the early 2000s. He was an excellent fantasy baseball producer, and that success transferred over to sports cards for me.

Second, it pictures Trevor Hoffman, the man for whom I named my XBOX Live account after. (If you care, it’s HellsBells51). Hoffman was the man, and is my all-time favorite closer. This includes Jonathan Papelbon of my beloved Red Sox.

And third, it’s a patch card numbered 01/35. I still love my patches, even though they are fairly plentiful.

While patch cards have pretty much been discounted to levels that nearly rival single-color swatches, this particular patch card is still rather special in my collection, although nowhere near significant in the grand scheme of things.

hoffswatchLook at the Hoffman patch. It’s a tri-color, tri-level swatch that appears to have some silver ink on it, probably from Hoffman’s signature. Why on earth would anyone cut up a patch that has someone’s signature on it?

For the longest time, I discounted the argument many baseball fans (not necessarily collectors) had about baseball card companies purchasing authentic game-used memorabilia and chopping them up for general consumers.

As a card collector who does not have tons of disposable income, I was all for the idea of inserting even just a piece of Babe Ruth’s bat, Lou Gehrig’s jersey or Joe DiMaggio’s pants into a card. There is no way I would be able to own any of those pieces without having thousands of dollars just sitting around.

But when I look at this Trevor Hoffman/Brian Giles 2006 UD Ultimate Collection card, I suddenly begin to understand what the fuss is about. While Hoffman is not on the level of the aforementioned baseball legends, it took this piece of chopped memorabilia for me to understand that these swatches once made up a beautiful collectible, one more significant that some piece of cardboard stashed in a box.

I’ve always viewed my game-used cards, particularly ones of true baseball legends, as special pieces of my collection. I’ve got a Ruth Bat, Gehrig jersey and a piece of DiMaggio, too. But truth of the matter is that there are so many of these cards on the market these days that they lose value every time a new product hits the market. That truth is further exacerbated when we’re talking about our current stars.

So it is with this notion that I present this idea/challenge to card companies. Instead or purchasing game-used items with the intent to chop them up, why not give them away as one piece. Create a product where there is a redemption card in every other case for an ENTIRE piece of memorabilia. There will be a a demand for it. Why? Because we card maniacs love something new. It will re-energize the game-used collecting aspect of the business, and even draw in more customers,  especially the ones who like memorabilia.

Now every piece of memorabilia does not have to be one worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’d be willing to bet that many collectors would drool over the opportunity to obtain an entire jersey used by any player in the Major Leagues.

Now, a move like this would take balls. After all, once the entire jersey is out there, who is going to want a fairly insignificant swatch mounted to a card. But that market is damn-near dead anyway.

5 Responses to “Card of the Day: 2006 Ultimate Collection Ultimate Tandems Dual Patch Brian Giles / Trevor Hoffman”

  1. You adored Brian Giles?


  2. Yeah, maybe “adored” is the wrong word. I enjoyed watching him play. How about that.

  3. […] the “Rodriguez” part of the the signature. Kind of a neat addition, one similar to this Trevor Hoffman card I wrote about a while back. I’ll add it to the new Cards with Character page, which […]

  4. UD actually did this in 2007 in Elements baseball. There was a one per case redemption for a piece of memorabilia, either autographed or not. It included GU balls, bats, jerseys,gloves, all kinds of stuff. I actually pulled one after they had expired, and UD still sent me 2 GU auto baseballs. Unfortunately, they were both signed by Garret Anderson, but it was still a very cool idea IMO.

  5. That’s a great idea.

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