Tonight is the Oscars and Walking Dead, so when you read this on Monday know that I’m trying my damnedest to finish up the countdown by the end of the week. I’m leaving town on a work trip for about a week and I’d rather not have this dangling over my head.
I don’t fully know what my schedule will be while I’m away (told to expect 12 hour days), but I’ll be loading up some scans for post drafts just in case.
What an intro, eh? Let’s catch some air.
1990-91 Hoops #382 M.Jordan Playground – I don’t know how well the Michael Jordan’s Playground video sold, but I know I have a copy. I’m pretty sure most of the kids in Chicago had one, too. This card shows the power of Michael Jordan. He gets a basketball card of a video he shot. How many players even get videos these days? Even then, would they get enough attention to warrant a card? I doubt it.
The other reason I chose this card is because it reminded me of elementary school. I remember that at least on one occasion we were brought inside from the cold before school officially started. For whatever reason they wouldn’t let us go to our classrooms, so we went to the assembly hall and huddled around a 27″ TV to watch Michael Jordan’s Playground. Before the assistant principal figured out how to set it all up, we would argue about who was winning the battle of the static: black or white.
1992-93 Upper Deck McDonald’s #CH4 Michael Jordan – You probably remember that McDonald’s and Upper Deck teamed up to release packs of cards with your value meals. What you may not have realized is that some teams had special regional issue packs. I know that Orlando, Boston and Chicago had them. Possibly New York. I’m not 100% on that. There’s no way of telling them apart from the pack. My hometown of Rockford, which isn’t a suburb of Chicago as it’s about 90 minutes away, was lucky enough to be part of the Chicago regional promotion.
My dad was a fast food toy/promotion collector, so needless to say we were there a lot. This, if you haven’t guessed already, is the Chicago exclusive Jordan. I felt like I hit the lottery. Although, I’m pretty sure I hit that same lottery a few times with all the packs I opened.
We’re not done with this set.
1992-93 Upper Deck #506 Michael Jordan FAN – I’m including this “Agent 23″ card (tough to see the foil in the upper left) mostly as a proxy for the Pro-Stars cartoon. If there was a Jordan comic book, I’m sure I would have bought it. Comic nerds may notice the name Jim Lee on the right side there. Yeah, he’s a pretty big name in the industry, but I think he made a mistake. MJ shouldn’t have a rocket on his back, it should be on his shoes. It’s gotta be the shoes!
1992-93 Topps Archives #52 Michael Jordan – The Topps Archives set was a way for us to see what star players’ rookie cards would have looked like if Topps had an NBA license at that time. There was no 1984 Topps NBA set, but it may be the closest I’m likely to come to an actual rookie card. This would have made a damn fine one, and I love the old jersey.
1996-97 Stadium Club #101 Michael Jordan – Seeing all of these incredible and dynamic action shots makes me wonder why contemporary basketball cards are so boring in comparison. I have a love-hate relationship with 96/97 Stadium Club. The nameplate area is raised significantly. That’s cool and all, but sometimes I find it annoying. Right now, I’m in the cool mode, so here it is.
1996-97 SP Holoviews #PC5 Michael Jordan – This probably would be ranked lower if I had bought it at a card show. I don’t have the best memory about what cards came from where, but based on the year, I can virtually guarantee this was pack pulled. That’s a Jordan insert coming from a pack of cards that likely cost $5-7 for 3 cards or so. Big money in those days. Still big money. Add the etched foil and the hologram into the mix and you got yourself a winner.
1994-95 Collector’s Choice Silver Signature #402 Michael Jordan TRIV – If this wasn’t a subset featuring a pretend cartoon doctor, and if the picture wasn’t so blurry and washed out, this may rank higher. I love the pure emotion and power exhibited here. Plus it’s the silver signature parallel, which shows of Jordan’s famous “M” that looks like a “23.” Maybe someday I’ll add some real ink to my collection.
1993-94 Upper Deck #201 Michael Jordan FIN – I’m not a big fan of the playoff subset design, but I had to put this in the better half of the 50. Out of all my cards, this is the closest any of them come to capturing a memorable TV moment on cardboard. You won’t find a card of “The Shot” on Ehlo. Jordan shrugging after hitting 6 3-pointers? Nope. Maybe there are cards of him pushing off in the ’98 Finals, but I don’t have any cards from that time. But I remember BJ Armstrong trying to catch up with and congratulate Jordan. This is a moment I remember captured in my binders.
1993-94 Upper Deck Locker Talk #LT1 Michael Jordan – Did you think retail exclusives were something new? No way! These Locker Talk inserts were only available in special Locker shaped blasters at your local retail space. The plastic lockers would open up their door and you’d find your packs inside. I bought far too many of them. They weren’t $20 each back then, and I definitely didn’t know the term blaster, but I knew I was going to keep trying until I got MJ.
1995-96 Upper Deck Electric Court #23 Michael Jordan – My first thought looking at this card is “In a league all by himself.” I love the 1995-96 design. It lets the picture speak for itself, but that little bit of shading UD put at the bottom gives this shot an extra cinematic feel. Almost everyone in the crowd is watching in awe or disappointment that their Magic just got whupped. One guy must have given up completely, because at the bottom right, above the Magic players’ shoulder is one dude who turned his back on the greatest player in the history of the game. Sucker.