Sunday, August 31, 2008

2008 Donruss Threads Rookie Collection Materials #32 and 2008 Press Pass Legends Saturday Swatches Premium #SSWDA Donnie Avery

Today's post is a piece of card collecting advice to my fellow University of Houston fans who are new to collecting or returning to collecting. It is about jersey cards.

When I first returned to collecting, I was very surprised and excited by autograph and jersey cards. I even posted previously about how cool jersey cards are. But now I'm here to let you new collectors know, not all jersey cards are created equally.

First let's look at the 2008 Press Pass Legends Saturday Swatches Premium #SSWDA featuring Donnie Avery.

This is a very sharp looking card. First of all, I love that Avery is pictured in his UH uniform. Second, that is a great looking piece of jersey. Most jersey cards are single color swatches. Multi color pieces usually are considered more collectible and demand a higher price. This is so true that some fraudulent dealers have replaced single color fabric pieces with attractive pieces from store bought jerseys to command higher prices. So keep your eyes open for that. The nicer pieces of jersey are frequently in higher end products or have a serial numbered very limited print run in a specific subset.

But the point of this card for this post is the words "Game Used Jersey." This swatch comes from a jersey that Avery wore in a game. Another warning "Game Used" may mean a pre-season game or All-Star game like the Senior Bowl, but you can be fairly sure that the jersey was worn by the player while playing a game.

Now let's look at the 2008 Donruss Threads Rookie Collection Materials #32 featuring Donnie Avery in his St. Louis Rams jersey.

This jersey was not worn by Donnie Avery in any game. How do you know? First of all, this card came out before even the first pre-season NFL game, so it's impossible that Donnie wore this Rams jersey in a game. But what if a player has been in the NFL previously? The key words to look for are "Event Worn." Sorry about the poor scan of the back of the card since it doesn't show the entire card. I don't own this one. But you'll notice it say that this jersey was worn on 5/17 at some NFL Players event. You'll also note the words "the authentic Event-Worn Jersey."

What does "Event Worn" mean? It means the jersey was worn at some event like a press conference, autograph session, meet & greet, or other "event."

What does that mean to you the collector? Know what you're buying. If you want to dream about your favorite player possibly wearing the jersey while scoring a touchdown or sacking the quarterback, make sure the jersey is game used. If it's enough to you that the jersey was worn by your guy, either event worn or game used will be sufficient for you. You may not even care if the jersey was ever worn. A card may just have a great design with a jersey swatch and autograph that looks great to you.

I'm not going to tell you what to collect because we all have our preferences. I just want you to be informed especially since some of these cards can be very scarce and expensive. Buy what you like, but know what you buy, and you'll be a happy collector.

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