Category Archives: basketball cards

A “Mystery Box” from SportsCards.com

I received an e-mail from Michael at SportsCards.com a couple of weeks ago offering a complimentary “Mystery Box” for review on the blog. In addition to the “Mystery Box,” Michael also wanted to inform me (and for me to inform you) about a pricing tool available at SportsCards.com. Here is the info:

Additionally, we wanted to let you know about our newly launched pricing tool for collectors that features a massive database of current and completed eBay auction data. It’s a great option for pricing out your sports cards, autographs and memorabilia using real eBay sales data. It’s also helpful for finding great deals. We were originally charging fees for our service, but decided to open it up to all in the hobby for free. We’d greatly appreciate any feedback that you or your readers have on it as we are constantly trying to improve it to make it of maximum use to collectors.

I signed up for an account, and it looks like a great tool for those who use eBay frequently. I encourage you to sign up and check it out as well.

The “Mystery Box” arrived in my mailbox today, and I’d like to share what came inside. Full disclosure: this was a complimentary box, meaning it came at no charge to me. Further, this is an introductory package; there are several different subscriptions available to purchase on SportsCards.com.

Mystery Box

There was a mixture of different sports inside the box, so I’ll start with a the ones I don’t generally collect. First, basketball:

Wiggins

A nice—nay—spectacular jersey swatch from Andrew Wiggins of the Timberwolves. I honestly know zilch about modern basketball, so I don’t know if this is a great card or not. Several of these items will be offered up as giveaways either here or on Twitter, so keep an eye out to see how you can snag this memorabilia card for your collection if you’re interested.

Leaf

Next is a pack of 2019 Leaf Draft football cards. This five-card pack contained Anthony Johnson, Darrell Henderson, Marquise Brown, Rodney Anderson, and Hall of Famer Barry Sanders. I generally don’t collect football cards, but Barry Sanders played when I did, so I’m probably going to hang on to that card. The others I will offer up soon as a giveaway.

Rose

Moving on to baseball, which is definitely my wheelhouse, we start with a “Verified Vintage” 1976 Topps Pete Rose. A quick check of my wantlists revealed that I did not already have this card, so this box is an automatic winner in my book. Well, it was already a winner since it was free, but including a card that I want? Double winner. I will leave this card in its case for now, but will move it to a binder when I get my basement cleaned up (which I’ve been meaning to do for over a year now).

Cobb

Next up is a Ty Cobb card, produced by SportsCards.com. These are “authentic handwriting” cards. Mine is a sample, so does not include the handwriting, but the back of the card reveals that these relics are meant to include snippets of handwritten letters from one of the greatest hitters in the history of baseball. An interesting piece to be sure.

Leonard

The final card in the box is a jaw-dropper. A Beckett authenticated autograph of late Negro Leaguer Buck Leonard. Leonard was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972, one of the biggest stars in the Negro Leagues. This card is from the 1978 Grand Slam set. I don’t have an official collection of Negro League cards, but it takes quite a bit to pry one away from me. You add a legend’s signature, and there is no way this is leaving my collection.

This was a great “Mystery Box” from SportsCards.com. While the subscriptions do not fit my collecting budget, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase one in the future if that budget was readjusted.

Stay tuned for giveaways of some of the above cards here and on Twitter!

The Moeller Show

Twice a year, a card show is hosted in the Moeller High School gymnasium. Moeller is the alma mater of two Baseball Hall of Famers, Barry Larkin and Ken Griffey Jr. I attended this show for the first time in November, 2008, and got my first Dave Parker autograph. I’m not sure why it took me a decade to go back, but last weekend my youngest son and I hit the show. No autographs this time around, just cards on the cheap, such as these Reds legends for a quarter each…

1985 Circle K baseball cards

Rose

Junior

Seaver no-hitter

Groh

Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Junior Griffey, Tom Seaver, and Heinie Groh, thank you very much.

I also got a quartet of Gypsies for a quarter each as well…

2018 GQ

If I had more wall space, I would love to add some Heroes of Yesterday artwork by Steve Douglas to my collection. But I’m not going to buy something and let it collect dust in my closet, when it could be enjoyed by someone else hanging on their wall. But Mr. Douglas was giving out business cards which featured artwork as well, and I took one featuring Chris Sabo

Heroes of Yesterday

If you have a mancave and want to add a little originality to the walls, check out Heroes of Yesterday for some pretty cool pieces.

Of course, I grabbed a handful of non-Reds cards also. From Gypsy Queen, I scored Zack Cozart and Chris Archer for ten cents each…

2018 GQ

And Magic Johnson for a quarter…

Magic

And the entire 1989 Pro Set Football Final Update series…21 cards…for a quarter…

1989 Pro Set

I really miss Pro Set. I miss the fun NFL. I hope the XFL lives up to the hype and restores my interest in football.

I’m not going to wait another ten years to go back to the Moeller Show, but I don’t think I’ll wait until the last day to go, either. A lot of dealers had already packed up and left, and I’m sure those who remained were picked through pretty thoroughly before I got there. It was still fun, though, and I was happy with the cards I added to my collection.

Congratulations, Thomas More Saints women’s basketball team

Thomas More

The Thomas More Saints women’s basketball team has been undefeated for two seasons, repeating as NCAA Division III Champions! TWJ contributor Patrick is an alumnus of Thomas More College, and delivered with a great original “fun card” to commemorate the girls’ wire-to-wire season.

Goodbye, Meadowlark Lemon

(April 25, 1932 – December 27, 2015)

MEADOWLARK TOPPS

The “Clown Prince” of the Harlem Globetrotters, Meadlowlark Lemon passed away on December 27. TWJ contributor Patrick created a couple of “fun cards” to commemorate the hoops legend’s life. The Fleer card includes his uniform number and life span in the PSA information, which I thought was an especially nice touch.

MEADOWLARK LEMON FLEER

Fun Cards Submission: 1978 Fleer Lauren Hill with Pat Summit

Lauren Hill and Pat Summit

TWJ contributor also sent over this “fun card” of Lauren Hill and the legendary Pat Summit, who presented Hill with the “Most Courageous Award” at halftime during Sunday’s game. Hill scored the first and last points of her first and last basketball game.

Fun Cards: 2014 TWJ Lauren Hill

2014 TWJ Lauren Hill

In addition to his fine submissions today, TWJ contributor Patrick encouraged me to make a 2014 TWJ card for Lauren Hill. A great idea, and a deserving athlete if there ever was one.

Fun Cards Submission: 1961 Nu-Card Basketball Scoops Lauren Hill

1961 Nu-Card Basketball Scoops Lauren Hill

Another great submission from TWJ contributor Patrick, starring Mount St. Joseph basketball player Lauren Hill.

Fun Cards Submission: 1990 Topps Debut Lauren Hill

1990 Topps Lauren Hill

TWJ contributor Patrick scored big with three awesome “fun cards” of Lauren Hill. Here is the first, in the style of the 1990 Topps MLB Debut set. If you’re not familiar with Hill’s story, then you haven’t turned on a television or logged onto Facebook in the past couple of days. Click here for the story.

Garage sale goodies

My father-in-law likes to go to garage sales, and at a recent one he “negotiated” for a free box of sports cards to be thrown in with something he wanted to buy. When my wife told me about the box, I didn’t have very high hopes…I’ve gotten garage sale boxes before, and they are full of junk wax. This one was also full of junk wax, but there were a few gems hidden inside.

Most of the box was basketball cards, but there were a few keepers even among them. Rex Chapman, B.J. Armstrong, Dee Brown, Muggsy Bogues, and Patrick Ewing were a few of the basketball cards I pulled out for myself.

And then the baseball cards, including a Frank Robinson manager card, Scott Rolen cereal card, and Chris Sabo playing card.

There were also a few Topps Stars cards from 1998…

There was also what appeared to be a retail blaster of 2005 Topps. All the packs were opened, but there were some pretty cool cards inside…

But the best card in the box, hands-down, was a 1971 Fergie Jenkins. Not. A. Reprint.

If it weren’t for a small pinhole just below his left sleeve, this would be a very good condition 1971 card. The corners are nice, no creases, just a small pinhole.

In any case, this was a pretty good box…especially for free!

Childhood heroes: basketball edition

I always hated University of Kentucky basketball. Perhaps it was just an act of rebellion, of non-conformity, because everyone I knew adored the Wildcats. When you live in Kentucky, you are expected to bleed blue. But I could not stand them. I latched onto Bobby Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers, and I would always root for IU when they played UK.

However, there was one UK player that I looked up to: Rex Chapman.

Recently I uncovered a stash of cards featuring King Rex tucked away in a box in my closet. No, they won’t pay for my kids’ college tuitions, but they brought back some fun memories of the 1988 first round pick for the Charlotte Hornets.

The rookie card:

The second-year, not-quite-as-cool-as-the-rookie-card, card:

The cooler-than-any-other-Rex-card-in-my-collection card (because I love art cards!):

Skybox was probably the coolest set in the world back in the day:

Check out the high-school-senior-pose and the sweater on the back:

Chapman’s most valuable base card in 1991 Fleer, even more than his rookie. You can buy it pretty cheap on eBay…only $20 with FREE shipping!

This was a cool little subset:

And the only non-Hornets card I own of King Rex:

There are only a handful of basketball players that I followed back in the day, and Rex Chapman is among them. Top five favorite? Absolutely. Probably top three even. If I had the cash, I would probably pick up a few more Rex Chapman cards from COMC.

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