1997 marked the year of the first game used card. There were three of them total and they were very hard to pull. Today, game used card are everywhere, sometimes several per pack. It is no wonder that collectors have fallen out of love with these swatch cards.
Along the way the card companies have tried to up the ante with what is game used. Today there are game used uniform cards, game used bat cards, game used hats and gloves, just about anything a ball player would get rid of has been on a card.
The excitment around pulling a game used card has been gone for a while. It is now common to throw to the side the game used pulled in a box. They are after all a dime a dozen...right?
Hold the phones though, topps has stuck a great balance with what they use in topps heritage. Sure there are plenty of game used cards, but there are also some very rare offerings. Usually the past stars have short printed game used cards. These cards always remain hot, as master set builders scramble to put their set together. In many products a jersey card of a guy like Bob Gibson might not be that great but in topps heritage you have just paid for several boxes! I have seen many times where a game used jersey card from heritage has outsold its autograph!
There are also the dual game used cards. These usually feature a retired star with a current player. There have been some amazing combinations over the years- Mays and Bonds, Eddie Mathews and Chipper Jones, Mantle and Arod and of course two fan favorites, Musial and Pujols. These cards have always been numbered low. They will be numbered to 60 this year and will feature some interesting pairings. Also look for dual autograph relics, those will be very hot this spring.
So don't be disappointed when your box of heritage only yields a game used card, you never know it might be worth a bunch!