For a true baseball fan, there is nothing like a piece of game-used baseball equipment. More than a baseball card or other forms of printed memorabilia, a game-used item offers collectors a direct connection to a favorite player or that famous, one-for-the-ages game. Unlike the card, it was there.
Some objects are collectible categories in their own right, such as game-used gloves, bats, baseballs, and jerseys. But other game-used collectibles are more modest, such as a wrist band from the dugout, with the player’s number scrawled on it with a Sharpie, or a pair of batting gloves, with their residues of dirt, pine tar, and sweat. This stuff has seen serious action—it’s as close to being in the game as a fan can get.
There are several approaches to collecting game-used baseball equipment. You can focus on a team, trying to acquire items for each player in a starting lineup—the Florida Marlins...
Because game-used items are used, they will not be in pristine shape. In fact, signs of wear can be indications of authenticity. A game-used bat, for example, will often have rack marks on it, indicating the mild wear that comes with a bat’s storage. Cleat marks in a bat—caused when a player knocks a bat against his shoes to dislodge mud or dirt from between his cleats—are another potential sign that a bat’s claimed pedigree is credible.
Interviews & Articles
Like most people my age, when I was growing up, baseball memorabilia meant baseball cards. The great thing about baseball cards at… [more]
I played baseball, basketball, and ran track from the time I was eight years old all the way through high school. Like the other k… [more]
I started collecting in 1986. If you’re in Boston and you’re a baseball fan, the Red Sox may take over your life. They take over y… [more]
The Baseball Hall of Fame officially opened in 1939, so we’re coming up on our 70th anniversary. If you include baseball cards, we… [more]