30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Set Showcase #6: 1989 Converse Basketball

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)

Reggie Theus
Larry Bird
Kevin McHale
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues

Rex Chapman
Mark Price
Mark Aguirre
Rolando Blackman

Bill Laimbeer
Bernard King
Jack Sikma
Karl Malone

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?

Bonus question:

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!


  1. I have this set but I can't remember how I got it. I don't think I bought it at a card show. I think it was given to me in 1990 or 1991 by someone. Maybe it was given away through a shoe chain. I liked the set but wish the cards wew a tad thicker.

    Sikma, King, Laimbeer and Aguirre are all about even but since it is the basketball hall of fame, I think Aguirre may have the best chance. He was a college star and he did win one(or two?) championship with the Pistons

  2. I've been wondering about these cards too. I recently picked up just the Aguirre and didn't even know about the rest. I didn't even think to look for a set. I need to get the Blackman at the very least.

  3. John Bateman - When I was younger... I thought for sure that King would make it into the HOF. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

    BigD - COMC has a Blackman: