Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Game-used memorabilia cards

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I have a weakness for Carbonneau game-used stuff.  I've been able to obtain a few pieces of my own, but before then I thought that the game-used hockey card market afforded an excellent opportunity for those who might not otherwise be able to own a piece of game-used memorabilia, even if such memorabilia had to be destroyed to do so.  There's nothing quite like owning something that your favorite player actually used on the ice, is there?

I did have a feeling of uneasiness when thinking about the memorabilia being destroyed.  Until this year when I finally obtained one, a game-worn Carbo jersey was my white whale of collecting and it made me a little queasy to think of these jerseys being cut up to make cards.  I had managed to convince myself that most of these were "one-game wonders," or photo shoot jerseys.

Then, the other day, I saw this:


(photo source:  eBay)

It's not a jersey, but it is most definitely a piece of one of Carbo's vintage Artis sticks, with the stick tape still attached.  Seeing this did make me queasy.  In regards to Carbo game-used memorabilia cards, he really falls in the category of "vintage" players, and the school of thought in the game-used hobby is that cutting up vintage memorabilia is blasphemy.  The thing is, there just isn't that much Carbo game-used stuff available anymore.  Yes, he played for 18 years, but there really wasn't much of a market for those collectibles when he was playing, and heaven only knows where most of the stuff is now.  That's why it's really a crime to destroy the vintage stuff for purposes of making cards, many say.

But...it's either OK to cut up memorabilia or it isn't.  Vintage or not.  I saw an argument that the Hockey Hall of Fame doesn't display jersey cards and that's very true.  You can make a million cards, but the actual memorabilia is in limited supply and when it's gone, it's gone.  This, I think, holds true for today's game-used memorabilia as well.  Yes, multiple sets of jerseys are supplied to players nowadays for the purpose of marketing them as collectibles later, and while this isn't a post about value, those jerseys are going to mean something to someone somewhere.  I know how I felt when I finally got my Carbo gamer in my hands.  Name anyone who's playing today, and there's someone out there who loves and respects them just as much as I do with Guy Carbonneau.

That's why I'm not okay with memorabilia cards anymore.

/rant over

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