The Entirety Of My Basketball Collection… In One Post!

I’ve got a very small basketball collection… not only is it confined to one binder, but it’s confined to two sheets… and there’s room for expansion.

Let me start off that I don’t like basketball, but not from lack of trying. When I was a kid, I made an attempt to get into every major and semi-major team sport. Heck, I even knew a bunch of players and every team from the old North American Soccer League, and I don’t even remember seeing a game on TV (I certainly didn’t see any games in person).

…But basketball just never “clicked” for me. I bought cards here and there, but it was usually along the lines of “I want to buy a pack of SOMETHING, and I don’t care what it is”.

I purged most of my basketball accumulation a few months ago, but the cards that remain are what I consider to be my basketball collection.

Spud Webb is my favorite all-time basketball player… for what that’s worth coming from a guy who doesn’t like basketball.
1989-90 NBA Hoops Spud Webb

So, given that I don’t like basketball, why do I like Spud Webb? Because Spud Webb is officially listed as 5’7″ – about my height – and won the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Competition. So, ever since that fateful day, Spud Webb has been my guy… Relatively speaking. I own two entire cards of his! Here’s the other one:
1991-92 NBA Hoops Spud Webb

I like these cards… they remind me of the posters they used to sell in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Muggsy Bogues is another favorite, for a similar reason… He’s shorter than I am, and played 889 NBA games.
1989-90 NBA Hoops Muggsy Bogues

I picked up this Mark Hendrickson autograph last year on COMC. Hendrickson didn’t have much of an NBA career, but that’s not why I picked up his card.
1996 Score Board BK Autos Mark Hendrickson

The reason I got that autograph (which was cheap, I’ll admit) is because Mark Hendrickson would go on to have more of a career in baseball.
2009 O-Pee-Chee Mark Hendrickson

The next three items are all related to a pack of cards I bought in 1981. Topps was trying out some gimmicks that winter; the hockey cards had the player’s name covered in a “scratch-off” coating, and the basketball cards were perforated in thirds so that each card could be broken down into three smaller cards.
1980-81 Topps Basketball Monroe Silas Tyler
Back then, it was called a “stupid-ass idea”. Today, they’d be “MINIS!!!!!!”

Speaking of “minis”, out those teeny, tiny, little shorts they’re wearing! I swear, it seemed normal at the time…

When I purged most of the 100 or so basketball cards I’d accumulated over 40 years, I decided I needed to keep at least one card from this gimmicky set.

I would guess that many of you haven’t seen these cards up close and personal, so here’s the back.
1980-81 Topps Basketball Back

I kept the team poster that came in my one pack.  When you expand the design to something that isn’t ludicrously small, you can see that it’s actually a pretty decent design… sort of a variation on 1978 Topps Baseball.
1980-81 Topps Basketball Bullets Pin Up
“Hey, Laughing Boy! No more buwwets.”

…And I also hung on to the wrapper. I’m not sure why I did at the time, but I’m glad that 15-year-old Joe did.
1980-81 Topps Basketball Wrapper
“24 cards”.  Yup.  Uh-huh.

The remainder of my collection is made up of two cards that I’ve already featured a year or so ago… As I’d mentioned at the time, I have no idea where these two cards came from, but I’ve had them “forever”.

1973-74 Topps Basketball Earl Monroe
Since Earl “The Pearl” is also on one of my stupid-ass minis, he’s tied with Spud for the most cards in my collection… except that Earl was largely by chance.

1974-75 Topps Basketball Garfield Heard

So that’s 7 cards in a 9-pocket sheet, and the poster and wrapper occupy the same one-pocket sheet.  I wouldn’t mind picking up another Spud or two, or maybe something vintage, but at this point it would probably be something I’d stumble across rather than seek out.

Does anybody else have a similarly “exclusive” collection?

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