Reassembling a baseball bat from relic cards

Baseball card manufacturers like Topps (and formerly Upper Deck) slice apart game-used baseball bats and embed them into cards. What if you bought a stockpile of one player’s relic cards and reassembled the bat? It would look rather like a LEGO bat, I’d imagine. Or if you sanded off the rectangular edges, you’d end up with a plywood bat.

Gary Sheffield has 27 relic baseball bat cards currently on sale at comc.com–all from the “2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game” edition.

Gary Sheffield: 27 2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game

Taking just the wood chips from each of the 27 relic cards, here’s how they look together:

Gary Sheffield game-used bat relic baseball card

These 27 chips would total approximately a 3.6-inch wide by 3.8 inch high card. To purchase all 27 cards on comc.com, it would cost you $92.48 before shipping and handling fees. So for about $100, you can assemble your own 3.5 x 3.5-inch square of Gary Sheffield’s bat.

But Gary Sheffield? How about a real American hero? Like Jose Canseco. He has 20 cards for sale from the “2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game” series.

Jose Canseco Game-used bat relic baseball card

His 20 cards in total runs up to $95.18. The wood grain of his bat runs a tad darker than Sheffield’s bat. But there’s a little more interesting wood grain. My favorite of the twenty is the chip that has a slight knot in the grain.

Jose Canseco: 2001 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition Piece of the Game

This knot must have caused the wood to splinter off making an irregular cut on the top of the chip. That imperfection makes this bat relic a little bit more unusual–much like the man Jose Canseco.

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3 Comments on "Reassembling a baseball bat from relic cards"

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Matt Maldre
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Don’t bother trying to buy the featured Jose Canseco relic card, because I already did. Oh yeah.

Erik Maldre
Member

That’s really cool that there’s so many relic cards from one edition available online that you can assemble a full card. The industry is always looking for ways to make crazy limited edition cards. They should slice up a bat 27 times glue them together. Of course the full card will be standard 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Then heat stamp the players name on one of the slices, heat stamp 1/1 on another slice and maybe a logo or emblem of some sort to represent this series on another slice. And that’s it.

Matt Maldre
Guest

That’s a great idea. I’ve thought about buying a Luis Salazar game-used bat from ebay and slicing it up into 2.5×3.5 inch slices. A standard baseball bat’s diameter is 2.6 inches, so I would be able to get just enough cards from the center core of the bat. It would be quite impressive to get an entire card made of the exact wood from a player’s bat. But would the bat splinter?–only if it was Sammy Sosa’s.

Also, i did the exercise of assembling all the chips together into one collage to compare the similarities of the wood. I’ve read that Topps doesn’t guarantee that the player used the bat in a game–nor do they even guarantee that the bat actually belonged to the player! These particular cards from Canseco and Sheffield are from Upper Deck. The back of the cards reads:

You have received a Jose Canseco Game-Used Bat trading card from The Upper Deck Company, LLC. On the front of this card is an authentic piece of a bat used by Jose Canseco in an official MLB™ game. We hope you enjoy this piece of MLB™ history as we at The Upper Deck Company, LLC continue to keep you as close as you can get.

That language from Upper Deck pretty much guarantees that this a game-used bat from Jose Canseco. They go so far to even include trademarks on ever mention of MLB, and the LLC in the Upper Deck name. The language is very contractual. But do the wood chips look like they are all from the same bat? I think they kinda do. I’d have to slice up a bat myself to see how the wood grain varies.

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