(image from someone else's card listed on eBay)
A lot of press has resurfaced regarding the 2000 Pacific Invincible Manny Ramirez "corked" bat card. I say resurfaced because there was a TON of press the first time the cards started showing up. Was it corked? Was it Manny's? Was it a publicity stunt? What's the deal?
Well, according to recent happenings on "The Cardboard Connection" blog and radio program, it was something that should have never made it to production. Frankly, that's not what I am interested in here.
My problem is one of, well, semantics, I suppose. Now, I realize this was back in 2000. That's BEFORE companies started using terms like "USED" versus "GAME USED" and "WORN" versus "GAME WORN" in their descriptors. And, maybe it is because of this card, the industry changed some of its ways. I don't know.
According to Scott Mahlum of Mill Creek Sportscards, “That was the only Ramirez model in the bunch. It showed a ton of use, and a ton of handle wear. It’s definitely a bat that had been used, whether it was in a game, batting practice, winter league, whatever.”
"...whether it was in a game, batting practice, winter league, whatever!?" Shouldn't this be a bigger concern that "whatever" would indicate?
I look at today's "memorabilia" cards and wonder why anyone even bothers to collect the stuff anymore. Companies have resorted to manufacturing patches and sticking them on cards, using terms like "authentic clothing," and have avoided terms like "game-used" altogether.
As a collector, it DOES matter to me where and how the said swatch was obtained. Well, sort of. What matters to me is that the card discloses what kind of swatch - I don't want "authentic piece of clothing" on the card. Seriously. Are they pants, jersey, jock strap, or what? Cause if it is the latter, I'd like to make sure I wear gloves before opening a pack. If the bat was used in practice, then just say so. Of course, the problem continues when you have equipment that is "used" in the sense that player once held it during a game. Or maybe they just touched it as they walked by.
As I said, though, I'm surprised folks are even bothering to collect the stuff any more anyway. Well, yeah, I know why... Because we COLLECT. It's what we do. I'll keep collecting whatever junk is out there as long as it Indians-related. I can't help it. I'm a cardboard slut. What can I say? At least I have a limit - I'm not paying 5 grand for the card pictured above!