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Frozen Fire

How Memorabilia Cards Should Be Made

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When memorabilia cards first hit the scene around ten years ago they were an instant hit. If you were lucky enough to pull one of the first game-used jersey cards you won the lottery, the cards were extremely tough to pull and collectors paid top dollar to score a swatch of a jersey from their favorite players.

Fast forward to the hobby of today: Memorabilia cards are everywhere, products like Upper Deck SP Game Used have overwhelmingly saturated the market with thousands of jersey cards of common players. Bargain bins are full of cheap cards that dealers can't get rid of and most would be lucky to get $0.99 on eBay. The appeal of the game-used card is nowhere near what it was when the first jersey cards hit in the mid-90's. With these cards flooding on to the market is the concept dying?

Not if ITG has anything to say about it.

Memorabilia cards have always been ITG's specialty, and the controversial decision to cut up the only known pair of George Vezina game-used pads in existence proved just how committed the folks at ITG are to providing the best memorabilia possible for collectors. When Upper Deck is pumping out the same old stuff, ITG is coming up with new concepts to continually improve the role of memorabilia cards in the hobby.

I am primarily an autograph collector, but recently I have found myself hunting memorabilia cards of the goaltender Vladislav Tretiak. For these PC cards I turn to ITG, as they are the only company who creates game-used cards of the legendary Russian. When I saw Tretiak was on the checklist for the Super-Sized Pad insert set in the new 2008/09 Between The Pipes I knew I would have to get my hands on one. Thanks to an exceptional seller on eBay today I did:

This card is absolutely stunning. I adore the look and feel of the worn vintage leather, and the seam near the top is a nice touch as well. This could very well be the nicest memorabilia card I will ever own, ITG has certainly outdone themselves by putting such large swatches of memorabilia into cards for the enjoyment of collectors. This card alone has rekindled my love for memorabilia cards and the sentimental value of this card to me is beyond comprehension.

During a live chat session on another hobby site I personally asked Dr. Brian Price of ITG if it was a tough decision to cut such large pieces of vintage memorabilia, leaving less available for future products. His response was simply: "We have had some of those pads forever, I felt it was time to give the collectors bigger swatches."

He also mentioned that he wanted to include George Vezina in the set, but unfortunately there wasn't enough pad material left to make it happen. This commitment to providing the best memorabilia cards possible has impressed me to no end.

Take notes Upper Deck, this is how memorabilia cards should be done!

Updated 06-08-2009 at 10:15 PM by Inferno

Nice Cards


  1. mikesilvia's Avatar
    I agree that memorabilia cards cold be much better. That ITG card is sweet looking! Instead of four small pieces on a card, why not make half or more of the card memorabilia?
  2. Inferno's Avatar
    Exactly! It's one thing to see a large swatch of jersey on a card, jerseys are easier to come by and are large, but to see a swatch this size of something much more limited like vintage pads is unheard of. I figure this one swatch of pads is equal to about eight UD-sized jersey swatches.
  3. Pheebs888's Avatar
    Nice post Kevin! in the mag it goes lol
  4. Inferno's Avatar
    Karine if you ever see something you like in my blog have at it :)

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