I've been a huge fan of basketball shoes since the 80's. And I've always been a fan of Nike. They had almost everyone on their payroll... Kidd, Barkley, Penny, and of course Jordan.
However... they didn't have Bird or Magic... two players with different personalities and styles... two players who hated each other for all of the right reasons... two of the games greatest players... and two players who had contracts with Converse.
In 1989... these two were featured in a fourteen card set produced for Converse. I remember seeing these cards at shows in the mid 90's and always wanted to add the Magic Johnson card to my collection. If I'm not mistaken, I think the Magic single sold for around $5 and sets went for around $15 - $20 at the time.
Fast forward fifteen years and you can pick up these for about half of the price. I purchased the whole set for $4 off of a guy I met on the Sports Card Radio Forum, who has an eBay store (jellyscards).
Unfortunately... I don't know the history behind these cards. It looks like one eBay seller has sets that are still sealed in original packs. So my guess is that sets were either inserted into shoeboxes or handed out as promotions. If anyone out there knows more about this set... please comment and I'll update this post.
Let's check out the set...
Set: 14 cards (13 players + 1 checklist)
Hall of Famers: 29% (Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, & Karl Malone)
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues
and last, but not least... the whole reason I purchased the set... Mr. Earvin "Magic" Johnson:
I love the set because it features a simple card design on the front. The backs feature a brief writeup for each player, along with basketball tip from the player & Converse. The only issue I have with these cards are that they're not numbered and they don't feature statistics. Outside of that... I love these cards.
The small print states that these cards were produced by a company called... Sports Marketing, Inc. These cards also feature the NBA logo, the Converse logo, and the USA National Basketball Team logo. It's too bad, they couldn't put the team logo somewhere on either the front or the back of the card.
No complaints here though... I paid $4 (free shipping) and I received a card I've wanted for the past 15+ years. I just wish I knew a little more about these cards.
Saturday's question of the day:
Does anyone know how these cards were distributed?
Do you think any of the other players in the set will eventually make it into the NBA Hall of Fame?
Happy Saturday everyone... Two weeks off... woo hoo!
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season. Sayonara!