August 20, 2010

From the Collection: Basketball & Other edition

Every now and again I like to slip on my smoking jacket, my fuzzy slippers, and my oil-free archival gloves, pad into my study, take down my oversized oil painting of forgotten uncle Griggs Wigwam Henry, spin open the combination lock on my in-no-way-over-the-top super-secret safe, and go through my collection of cardboard rarities. I'm surprised I've even shared this much with you. Oh well. Behold! Here are a few of my most prized treasures...

Stojko Vrankovic, 1991-92 NBA Hoops
Stojko was a terrible player, even by 12th-man standards. Thus, there are three highlights to this card:
1. Larry Bird is featured.
2. The basketball and the light next to it have a weird yin and yang thing going on.
3. Larry Bird is featured.

Adolphus W. Greely, 1911 Hassan World's Greatest Explorers
There's something wonderful about collecting cards of restless men.

Chef Girl-ar-dee Feminist Spaghetti, 1974 Topps Wacky Packages
Oh Topps, you old chauvinistic, pun-errific coot!

Larry Johnson, 1991-92 Skybox
I loved Skybox basketball cards and their defiant use of Photoshop. 
For about five years there the ball glowed. Also of note: Larry Johnson's shirt is
absolutely horrendous. 

Ralph Simpson, 1971-72 Topps
I also love the 1972-73 Topps set – the color backgrounds,
the crazy ABA ball, the horrible jerseys...
Not to mention
whatever printing errors they happened to let out. 

George Low (Golfer), 1911 Hassan/Mecca Champions of Sport (T218)
If you're in the market for pre-war non-baseball cards, I would recommend this set.
The cards are super-cheap and have a nice collection of aviators, bowlers, olympians, and others.  

Harold Miner Draft Pick, 1992-93 Skybox
Ah, Baby Jordan. We meet again. 
And remind me... why did we call you "Baby Jordan"?
Did it have something to do with your haircut? 

John Morningstar (Billiards), 1911 Hassan/Mecca Champions of Sport (T218)
Another thing to highlight about this set is the artwork. The color detail is especially rich, considering the source materials were most likely black and white photographs.

Gary Payton Authentic Arenas: Boston Garden, 2001-02(?) Topps Heritage Basketball
There are two funny things about this card: 
1. Why isn't the seat from Key Arena? Topps should've used a photo of Payton on the Celtics.
2. I don't remember the seats in the old Garden being repainted from red to green. I remember the seats being a hard yellow plastic.
Don Bradman, 1930 Player's Cigarettes Cricket
Q: How do you spell "Babe Ruth" in Australian?
A: "D-O-N  B-R-A-D-M-A-N"

William Shakespeare (unscratched), 1967 Topps Who Am I?
This series of unscratched cards is one of my absolute favorite non-sport sets.
It's the buckteeth and late-Sixties cartoon styles, mostly. 

Joe Gans, 1911 Hassan/Mecca Champions of Sport (T218)
What is so interesting about this card of Gans, one of the greatest boxers of all time, is that it was created and released posthumously (like many others from the set). 


Offy said...

Stojko was definitely terrible. The main thing that I recall from his playing career was that Tommy Heinsohn seemed to overuse the phrase "Stojko is coming in to give Parish a blow on the bench." I, of course, found that to be hilarious at the time. There wasn't much else to be said about Vrankovic so I guess Tommy had to settle for that.

Ryan said...

I have that same Gary Payton card. The piece of seat on my card is orange-red. Cool card.