The first time I saw a game-used card, I was awestruck, as if I were a kid seeing a card for the first time. Being the sort who likes to take things apart and put them back together again, I understood the "how" of the game-used card. What got me was the fact that someone had even thought to include a piece of the actual bat used by one of the players I enjoyed watching! I am a H-U-G-E Jim Thome fan, and my first game-used card was the "Moments and Milestones" Bat card (shown). This was all of just a few years ago. I remember showing to my Dad, as if I were twelve years old.
Since that first card, I have added many game-used cards to my collection - jerseys, bats, even pants. The "problem" I have with game-used cards nowadays is that the novelty has worn off. Card companies started producing so many of them that, for me anyway, they have lost some of the luster, the awe, that they first generated in me.
Don't get wrong, some game-used cards still give me that same "12-year-old" feeling... Cards that have multiple items on them, maybe from different players. Or cards that have a multi-colored patch from a jersey. There is something cool about having part of the logo on the card for some reason... :-)
Regardless of what one may think or feel about the card companies putting clothing and other materials in (or on) cards, for me, it is like being one step closer to the game, to the players. I (and some serial-numbered of other folks) own a piece of this player's jersey (or bat, pants, glove, etc)!!
I will say that I am not a big fan of "dirt" cards and/or "base" cards. I guess if I had some connection (say, since I am originally from Pittsburgh, a card with Three-Rivers Stadium dirt), perhaps I would wax nostalgia and want a piece of the stadium, but for the life of me, I just can't find that place within myself. A piece of home plate? First base?? Or a stadium seat even? Nah, I guess I am missing that particular collector's gene that says, "collect anything and everything!"
Well, to a certain extent... After all, if someone offered me a Cleveland Municipal Stadium card with dirt, a base, or a seat in it, I'd happily accept it.... :-)