Are These Patches Legit?

Naturally, I am talking about the jumbo patches found in the new “2009” Upper Deck Ultimate. No one can deny that these things are amazing looking, and the majority of the patches are 3-4 color. A lot of them I’ve seen also include a bit of the logo, or sleeve patch. My question is, are these things legit?

I won’t come out and say that they are fake patches, because they certainly look real to me. What I will however question is whether or not these patches come from jerseys that are actually “game-used”. Has anyone out there seen a patch posted on eBay or one of the forums that actually has a stain or imperfection on it? I haven’t. They all look as fresh as the day they were stitched.

Most of you I’m sure are already familiar with the Ted Williams and Tom Seaver patches that don’t even match the era in which both guys were playing, if not, then click HERE for some background info.

In my opinion, these are either manufactured, or from “event-worn” jerseys, and not an actual game. Based on the language used on the back of the cards, that would make Upper Deck a big fat liar. Wouldn’t be the first time….

Let’s examine this language for a second, shall we? I would assume that it says this memorabilia was used in an “official BASEBALL game” simply because Upper Deck is not allowed to mention whether or not it was an MLB game, based on their lack of a license. Does this give them free reign to do whatever they want? What makes a baseball game “official”? Is a company softball game considered an “official” softball game? What about a backyard pickup game? If you’re following the rules as set by Major League Baseball, is that game considered “official” even if it’s just you and your friends playing in the yard?

The main reason why I pose this question is that Ultimate has taken the baseball card world by storm over the past couple of weeks, and perhaps the biggest reason for the product’s success, to use the parlance of our times, are the “sick” jumbo patches that are popping up on about every board and blog.

Despite all the controversy, I can tell you that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’d still LOVE to own either of the cards pictured below.

Does that make me part of the problem? Definitely. Does that also touch on another issue? Absolutely. Are we, as collectors, willing to suspend our disbelief about the authenticity of these patches simply because they are so beautiful? It sure seems that way, based on the current eBay sales. Take a gander at the “Buy It Now” prices for some of these cards. $150 for Roy Oswalt? Seriously? If the news breaks that these patches aren’t what they claim to be, will it change the way the collective community views manufactured and event worn memorabilia, simply because these cards look so damned good?

Discuss amongst yourselves.



10 responses to “Are These Patches Legit?

  1. Unfortunately, with the way that Upper Deck has been acting lately, I’m not quick to trust that these are real patches. These cards are way out of my price range anyway, but even if they weren’t, I think I’d steer clear of them.

  2. I don’t get very excited about relic cards for one reason. Once you chop up the jersey, bat or stadium seat to make your relic cards, you’ve destroyed whatever made it special in the first place.

    If you do your research, you can come to a reasonable conclusion about whether a bat or jersey was game-issued or game-used. But a wood chip? A fabric square? A piece of a patch? There’s no context and no real way to tell most of the time.

  3. Beardy..

    First off I just want to let you how fortunate I am to have you as a blogging partner, and this post is a good example of why/

    You have a very good case, and we talked on the phone about this, but I am going to keep tight lipped until I can get this product in hand. Not to say a few of the scans aren’t “shocking”
    enough (referring to the Seaver card in general) I just want to physically examine them first.

    Excellent post!


  4. Paul

    We live in a world of advanced technology if a professional can a trace a drop of blood back to a human being Im sure there’s a legit way to find out if these are real, or fake patches.

  5. I have to agree with Paul, in that I’d rather have the jersey/bat/etc. Cutting them up (much like cut autographs, which is a huge peeve of mine) seems like they are destroying a piece of history or a collectible of unique value.

  6. I’m just going to believe the patches real because it’s one of my few chances to get a Griffey Mariners patch, though not at a palatable price.

    I remember the concept of reification from communication studies which basically said that if we treat something as “real” it is real for all intents and purposes. That’s what we’ve (collectors) done as a whole with game-used cards.

    If it was discovered that these patches were in fact fake, people would have to drastically change the way they value game-used cards which would no longer be “real”.

  7. WaxWombat

    A always thought it would be awesome if The big two would seed a redemption for the actual jersey.

    Heres the kicker..

    Have the players sign it 1/1.


  8. I call McWilliam up and tell him I have a Roberto Clemente Jersey and CERTIFY that it was game used. (I wore it during an official beer soft ball league) and Next thing I know it shows up on a card.

    Ceritified means absolutly nothing – Let me see a signed affidavit and I might consider the patch card

  9. What if it turns out that the jerseys were worn, but in an “unofficial” MLB game that was called due to rain? Upper Deck better provide date(s) of use!

    Official or not, I agree with Beardy that these cards still look amazing. I’m hoping that the market drops out on them so they become attainable.

  10. Mojo – I’m with ya there! Give us the real stuff as a redemption. Something really worth plugging the numbers in for, hehe.

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