When is an ironclad game-used NFL ball even cooler? When you can photo-match it to a big play …

I’ve collected for decades — both cardboard and beyond with plenty of autographs and game-used memorabilia in my stash — but my biggest Black Friday find this year was one that I couldn’t have topped if I had tried.

(Well, at least on my budget.)

It’s my first full game-used NFL item and it comes with a pretty strong story but without my having to pay a premium price to go with it. How? It all came down to doing some research.

For a few months now I had been obsessing about finding a game-used NFL football for the heck of it — a whim, really — simply finding any ball on the cheap yet with some semblance of ironclad authentication. Better than that would be a ball with those attributes and also with some type of tie to what I collect, which really isn’t any one particular NFL team or player but instead my school and many of its recent stars, the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Thanks to Fanatics‘ business deal with its hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, the ball you see above is a reality in my collection and it came on the cheap for what it really is. That’s thanks in part to the Getty Images app that anyone can download on their phone — it’s a free tool that any game-used memorabilia collector must have.

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Second pair of Michael Jordan Converse shoes from 1984 Olympics sells for big money via SCP Auctions

What’s rarer than the rarified air of a pair of Michael Jordan game-used shoes?

A pair of Michael Jordan game-used Converse shoes — and the latest pair of shoes from the 1984 Olympics to sell via SCP Auctions went for nearly six-figures at auction following a record-setting sale earlier this year.  Continue reading

Newest Lelands auction includes some serious baseball history

A number of high-end and truly historic baseball items are leading the way in the latest Lelands Masters Auction.

What you see above? A 1962 Topps first series cello box.

It includes 36 packs that originally cost buyers $3.60 if they cleared out the box. It’s been inspected, authenticated and documented by Baseball Card Exchange and includes a number of packs with stars showing, including four showing Stan Musial and then appearances by Sandy Koufax, Ernie Banks, Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson and a number of leaders cards.

Bidding currently sits at $48,717 after just eight bids — and it’s not even close to the biggest item in the sale.

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‘Mean’ Joe Greene & Coca-Cola kid to sign for collectors in Pittsburgh

If there’s a “Butterfly Effect” in hobby history  — you know, a small thing that can go on to have a large impact — it just might be an iconic 1979 Coca-Cola commercial.

It features Pittsburgh Steelers star “Mean” Joe Greene and a kid who offers him his bottle after a tough game. After Greene accepts, he throws his jersey to the kid and millions who watched — it aired during Super Bowl XIV, which was the third most-watched game ever at the time — just might have been suddenly interested in collecting game-used jerseys. Maybe.

But why are we talking about them today? The dynamic duo will be reunited at an upcoming signing in Pittsburgh.

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First Buzz: 2017 Onyx Baseball Clubhouse Lumber Edition

What: 2017 Onyx Baseball Clubhouse Lumber Edition
Arrives: Late September/early October
Box basics: One autographed or game-used bat per box

What’s buzz-worthy: This MLBPA-approved product arrives once again from Onyx Authenticated and includes bats from top young names as well as some established veterans — a lineup that includes Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Rafael Devers and Miguel Sano to name a few.

Keep reading for more info, including a full checklist.

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Aaron Judge’s first grand slam jersey hits auction block via Steiner

Update: The jersey sold for $45,578.40 after eight bids.

How priceless are the pinstripes of the hottest New York Yankee?

We’ll find out soon as the game-used jersey worn during Aaron Judge‘s first career grand slam from May 28 is on the auction block.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (May 24)

The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are a few threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Pondering game-used vs. player-worn and other hobby questions.

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Panini acknowledges error on three National Treasures patch cards

Three legendary cards in 2016 Panini National Treasures have a mistake — and Panini America will fix them for a collector who finds one.

One is a NFL Gear Quads Laundry Tag of four legendary quarterbacks — Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Tom Brady and John Elway. The mistake occurred during production as the card’s labeling should indicate that some of the players’ tags are from player-used and not game-worn jerseys.

“We are disappointed the error occurred, but it was truly an honest mistake with no intention of trying to mislead our customers,” reads a statement from the company. “All other parallel levels of these cards do contain game-worn material, and this mistake occurred because the laundry tag reservations from the player-worn jerseys were missed when routing the cards for approval. Obviously, this is something that we will be more diligent about in the future.”

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All 2016 Flawless Emmitt Smith jersey cards include PROVA tracking

Emmitt Smith‘s memorabilia cards found in boxes of 2016 Panini Flawless football cards arriving today will include an added piece of authentication and information unique to his cards thanks to a new partnership between Panini and his company, PROVA Group.

Each card will have a SmarTag that will tell the owner what jersey the piece came from as part of a database linked to a smartphone app.

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Steiner Sports brings game-used ties to world (No, seriously)


We can hear it now across the office cafeteria …

“Hey, Lumbergh, you’ve got something on your tie.”

“That’s Yankee Stadium dirt, Peter.”

It could become a reality soon thanks to Steiner Sports, which has taken game-used to a new area with material from the stadium world to the office space.

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Even MLB game-used memorabilia novelty pieces can go high-end

Sometimes there pieces of game-used baseball memorabilia that don’t get stashed away as museum-caliber items in private collections or chopped up to make memorabilia cards for our packs of cards.

Poke around online and you can find plaques and other unusual — but usable — items that include game-used. Wallets and coasters, for example, have been made with gamer material as part of the mix, but just like cards those novelties that have recently gone high-end and the bat knob you see here is proof.

What is it?

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (Dec. 4)


The Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Big pulls and breaks, White Sox garage sale and college football bowl chatter.

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Gallery: 2016 Leaf Lumber Kings hockey cards


Leaf Trading Cards‘ next high-end hockey brand arrives later this month and it includes memorabilia from some of the biggest names in the history of the game.

It’s 2016 Leaf Lumber Kings and it is set to arrive on Dec. 23 and to hold hockey fans over the company teased a number of its high-end inclusions online on Thursday.

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First Buzz: 2016 Onyx Baseball Premiere Gear Collection


What: 2016 Onyx Baseball Premiere Gear Collection
Arrives: Dec. 6
Box basics: One autographed or game-used premium item per box

What’s buzz-worthy: Only 100 sealed boxes will be made for this one, which includes game-used or autographed memorabilia pieces from some of the top names in the game — and promising prospects, too.

Keep reading for more info, including a checklist.

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Steiner Sports gets into boxed niche with Ultimate Yankee Fan Box


Steiner Sports is jumping on a trend of the last few years with one of its newest promotion.

It’s the Ultimate Yankee Fan Box, and, while it’s not a subscription-based boxed memorabilia offering like LootCrate, it’s an interesting one to consider for fans of the New York Yankees or game-used and autographed memorabilia in general.

So, what’s guaranteed inside the 10-item box for $299.99?

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Gallery: 2016-17 Leaf Ultimate hockey one-timer patches


There’s still plenty of time on the clock before the Nov. 11 arrival of 2016-17 Leaf Ultimate hockey, but that’s just more time to appreciate some of its inclusions.

Some pretty timeless inclusions.

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First Buzz: 2015-16 Panini Immaculate Collection basketball cards

2015-16-Panini-Immaculate-basketball-KATWhat: 2015-16 Panini Immaculate Collection basketball cards
Arrives: Aug. 24
Box basics:  Five autographs or memorabilia cards per six-card box (five boxes per case)

What’s buzz-worthy: Immaculate returns for another season with many of the features collectors have come to expect and some new takes on game-used memorabilia cards we’ve seen in the line before.

Keep reading for more info and a full gallery of images released so far.

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Jim Craig “Miracle on Ice” auction heating up as close nears

ImageThe auction for Jim Craig‘s memorabilia from the epic 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game is winding down, but the prices are definitely on the rise before the sale closes on Friday evening.

How hot? Three items from the Lelands.com sale have topped the $190,000 mark so far with his Olympic gold medal leading the way at $259,374.25 after 11 bids.

It’s also quite possible that other items from the 17-piece collection could reach into six-figures.

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Game-used dirt watches? Why not …

Game-used-dirt-watch-MLB-4It seems dirt is everywhere you look if you’re a baseball collector shopping the game-used sections of websites and MLB Auctions.

You can buy game-used baseballs that were a pitch in the dirt. You can buy dirt holiday ornaments and dirt keychains. You can buy simple vials of dirt with labels noting the stadium. You can buy dirt coasters. You can buy framed game-used displays that include a dirt capsule along with other pieces. You can buy simpler (and cheaper) no-frills items that showcase dirt. The best pieces, of course, are dirt-covered game-used uniforms.

But that’s not all — at least if you’re a fan of two teams. It’s time for something really different there.

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Board Buzz: Must-read threads on the Blowout Forums (May 30)

Jorge-Posada-bat-barrellThe Blowout Cards Forums are where thousands of collectors converge daily to discuss, well, a little bit of everything. Here are five threads about collecting and more that you should check out right now.

What’s Buzzing Today: Showing off barrels, big pulls, best & worst designs and NSCC tips.

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Fight game-used Bryce Harper jersey up for auction via Lelands


Update: Lelands has updated its posting to say the jersey is from that game, but likely worn before the fight.

It’s one of the most-memorable — and probably most-forgettable — moments in Washington Nationals history all at once and the game-used jersey of the team’s biggest star can be yours.

The jersey Bryce Harper wore when he was choked by teammate Jonathan Papelbon during a game last Sept. 27 is on the auction block via Lelands.

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Board Buzz Gallery: Just don’t drool over these baseball cards

Ruth bat knobSometimes you just have to let the images speak for themselves.

Check out this gallery of images — new additions to a Blowout forum collection thread that Buzz included in yesterday’s Board Buzz.

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Mike Piazza’s game-used jersey from first game after 9-11 sells for $365K

22289a_lgThree years ago, the New York Mets privately sold a group of game-used jerseys from its first game following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

back-0415-copyThe biggest jersey of them all has been re-sold — so it can be displayed in public.

Two minority owners of the team paid $365,000 for the jersey worn by Mike Piazza during that memorable game so it can be displayed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame or the Mets museum at CitiField.

The jersey had been put up for sale via Goldin Auctions, which entertained offers to end an auction for the jersey early only on the condition it be displayed. The jersey’s story landed it on the back cover of the New York Daily News today.

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Preview Gallery: 2015 Leaf Ultimate hockey cards

Leaf-Ultimate-1When 2015 Leaf Ultimate hockey cards arrive on Wednesday, they’ll show up with nothing but the hits in play as the high-end brand packs some of the biggest and baddest pieces of memorabilia in any sport.

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Auction Gallery: Hunt’s Super Bowl 50 event packs serious history

watt395One of the biggest football auctions of the year is set for Friday and Saturday as Hunt Auctions continues its traditional Super Bowl sale.

The Super Bowl 50 Live Auction will be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco with more than 900 lots including modern-day game-dated memorabilia like the J.J. Watt Houston Texans gamer above — a jersey with a hefty price already in early bidding — and pieces from football’s early years. too.

Because of its high profile as part of the NFL Experience show, prices can be pretty strong once the auctions close.

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Gallery: Don Drysdale collection coming to market via SCP Auctions

jpegMore than 20 years after his death, the memorabilia of Hall of Famer and Los Angeles Dodgers pitching great Don Drysdale is coming to auction.

The sale will be handled by Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based SCP Auctions and will open on April 6 with more than 1,000 lots as part of the overall event.

“We feel honored to have been chosen by the Drysdale family to bring this extraordinary collection to auction,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler. “Don was among the most accomplished and revered pitchers in Major League Baseball history and his impressive assemblage of awards and accolades speaks volumes as to his winning ways out on the mound.”

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First Buzz: 2016 Super Break Game-used Edition (memorabilia)

 2016 Super Break Game-used Edition (memorabilia)
Arrives: Jan. 15
Box basics: One game-used memorabilia piece per box with some boxes including a bonus autographed model item.

What’s buzz-worthy: Super Break’s first release of the new year is all about game-used with a piece of memorabilia from top names in baseball, football, basketball and hockey to be found in this limited release.

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Full game-used memorabilia may not be as expensive as you think

RymerLiriano299Game-used collecting has changed immensely in the last 20 years or so with the memorabilia card — you know, those little swatches embedded into cards that can still get us going if it’s the right player or an impressively designed piece of cardboard.

Relics may not always be expensive these days, but they can add some definite variety and surprise into packs of cards — and partly because of the need for game-used items for cards it seems memorabilia has become more available than ever.

It’s not always expensive. In fact, it can be downright enticing to chase jerseys of players who you might not see all that often on cardboard (or even like!) simply because there are game-used bargains to be found.

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Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor gets his first game-used football cards

TyrodTaylorPanini America took a few minutes to examine and snap the images of a game-used Tyrod Taylor gamer that arrived in its door on Thursday because it’s going to make a little history after it goes through some de-construction.

Despite its 2014 tagging, the jersey is from Sunday’s 30-21 win over the Houston Texans – a game where the Buffalo Bills quarterback threw three touchdowns and rushed for one more.

Why is this a big deal? He’s never had a memorabilia card despite playing time in each of the last five seasons.

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MLB Auctions & Topps already offering 2015 World Series items (updated)


Update (Nov. 8): Alcides Escobar’s home run ball sold for $19,200.

If you’re a collector of the Kansas City Royals or New York Mets, there are already a number of options for collecting the 2015 World Series just two games into the showdown.

That’s thanks to Topps and MLB Auctions.

From Topps there are already commemorative prints showcasing plays from the first two games as part of its ongoing Postseason Moments wall art line. From MLB Auctions, there are game-used items already on the auction block.

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