30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

They're Just Babies, Man

When I'm working in the office... sorting and scanning cards... I like to have something playing in the background.  Sometimes it's Bob's Burgers reruns.  Other times it's music.  Just depends on my mood.

One day back in January or February... I was listening to videos on YouTube discussing Kobe Bryant's legacy.  I honestly never get tired of watching his highlights and listening people talk about his determination and passion for the sport of basketball.

On one of these videos, a 1978-79 Philadelphia 76ers Pictorial Yearbook was mentioned... that pictured Joseph "Jellybean" Bryant and his family:

Sitting in his father's lap is a very young Kobe "Bean" Bryant.  Since he was born in August of 1978, he can't be more than a few months old.

Now I'm not normally into collecting images of babies, but I thought this was a pretty cool collectible for my Kobe Bryant PC.

I immediately headed over to eBay and added it to my daily searches.  Fast forward to this summer and a BIN listing popped up for $10 (+ $5 shipping & 94¢ tax).  A few clicks of the mouse and a week of waiting to see if the picture actually existed... and voila it arrived.

In addition to the Bryant family photo, there was another future NBA player pictured as a baby:

Anyone recognize the infant sitting in his mom's lap?

Brownie points if you guessed this guy:

1998-99 Topps #196

Mike's father, Henry Bibby was Joe Bryant's teammate in Philadelphia for three seasons from 1976-77 to 1978-79.  They played together again in San Diego during the 1980-81 season.

And for those who care... here's the back cover of the yearbook:

Bibby and Bryant's 76ers reached the Eastern Conference Semifinals that season... which isn't too surprising considering they had guys like Julius Erving, Doug Collins, Maurice Cheeks, and Darryl Dawkins on the court with them.

Since basketball posts don't garner a lot of attention, I figured I'd show off a really cool card I pulled from a pack right around the time I purchased the yearbook:

2022-23 Prizm Monopoly Black Gold #73 (#'d 4/5)

I can't remember the last time I received a box of trading cards as an "end of the year" present, but one of my 7th graders hooked me up with this:

It's a box of basketball cards that doubles as playing cards for the Monopoly Prizm board game.  Normally this isn't something I'd go gaga over, but my buddy offered me a stack of singles for $5... which led me to this set build:

After placing a Sportlots order to fill in most of the blanks, I'm down to needing only these two cards to complete the base and Prizm Skills insert set.

Now I should clarify things for anyone new to this blog.  I was a big Los Angeles Lakers fan for most of my life, but after they joined other franchises in building "super teams" back in the late 2000's, my interest in them and the sport has waned.

That being said... I still love collecting Lakers and Golden State Warriors cardsReader X is my primary source of their cards these days.

Here are some basketball card highlights from his two most recent care packages:

1997-98 Collector's Choice #64

Holy moly... this card is awesome.  I wonder if Kobe made this shot... or if Marcus Camby ended up blocking it.  In the spirit of Kobe's birthday, I'm gonna choose to believe he made it.

Next up are a pair of shiny Prizms:

2022-23 Prizm Silver #276
2021-22 Prizm Red, White, & Blue #154

I will gladly inherit any unwanted Prizm and Mosaic parallels from any sport.  They are absolutely gorgeous.

And I'll wrap things ups with some 9-pocket pages of Lebron James, Steph Curry, and other big named Lakers and Warriors:

And I'll round things out with the musical inspiration for the title of this post...

Thank you TN for the box of Prizm cards.  And thank you Reader X for the stacks of Warriors and Lakers cards.

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


Johnnys Trading Spot said...

There are some of those Prizm Monopoly cards in those boxes sitting on my couch (I do supposedly have someone coming next week to trade for them, we'll see. I think adding vintage vintage Kobe is cool!

The Snorting Bull said...

Cool finds with those baby pictures of Kobe and Bibby. I enjoyed looking at the Curry cards too. I saw Curry play a few times while he was in college, both against NC State and two other NCAA tournament games that Davidson played in Raleigh. Special player and he scored so many points with seemingly little effort. I should have started collecting him back then. Easily one of my biggest regrets as a collector.

Elliptical Man said...

Sucks that they got really good at the same time as the Celtics with Bird, McHale, etc. But I suppose one ring is better than none.

SumoMenkoMan said...

Oh that yearbook is super awesome as well as all the other cards. I don't mind the basketball posts! Didn't realize that Kobe's dad also played....way cool!

The Lost Collector said...

Mike Bibby was a heck of a player!

Steve at 1975BaseballCards.com said...

Nice pickup, this kind of collecting approach is right up my alley. Also great you wrote this, I didn't know you collected basketball or I would've sent you some cards in the past. I have a small collection from the 70's.

Xavier Higgins said...

Dame Dollar Gold Nickel and Digable Planets 🌎 plus Kobe Bryant's First Appearance!?!? You've outdone yourself Professor Fuji, you Magnificent B@sterd!
God Bless your student for bestowing upon you a spectacular Master Blaster box 📦 ✨️
Silver/Color Prizm are the Standard for Modern Basketball card greatness 🐐 🏀

Jon said...

Kobe never did much for me as a player, or a person, but this is a fun collectible for those who were/are fans.

Jafronius said...

Nice pickups! I didn't consider the Monopoly cards to be actual trading cards. I wish basketball cards would have full stats on the back again.

Fuji said...

johnnys trading spot - hope you were able to unload those boxes and get some cool stuff for your own collection

the snorting bull - i started collecting him back in the early 2010's, but living in the bay area... collectors were paying top dollar and i'm a budget collector at heart. the result is i only have a few of his rookies, a pair of relics, and a single auto.

elliptical man - yeah... that 76ers team was pretty special.

sumomenkoman - i'm sure i'll have another basketball post sooner than later. they just doesn't receive a lot of views, but i've gotta document the collection either way

the lost collector - yeah he was. i followed his career pretty closely while he was in sac.

steve at 1975baseballcards.com - i mostly collect baseball these days, but i've gone on several hard core basketball runs in my collecting history. i still like adding warriors and lakers to my pcs when the price is right

xavier higgins - good to know there's another collector out there who appreciates digable planets. and that dame is insane. love that shine. i was hoping to tell the student what i pulled, but he transferred schools :(

jon - yeah... i feel like you either like kobe or you don't. kinda like lebron. what about bibby? he was fun to watch too.

jafronius - i wasn't really familiar with these monopoly cards until now. i guess they're more like collectible card game than actual trading cards.