The landscape in basketball card collecting looks quite different then it did when I started this blog 11 years ago, but in many ways it’s still the same for me. The card market, and basketball cards leading the way, exploded during the pandemic, to the point where it was tough to find packs of cards on shelves. This was unprecedented during my time in the hobby.
Despite all the change in the hobby, I’m writing the same type of articles as when I started, sharing the same type of cards, mostly insert sets I like and other hobby themes I find myself focusing on in my collecting day to day. I’m picking up cards from my favorite eras, mostly from the mid-90s up to early Panini. And my goal is the same, to connect with other basketball card collectors and share insights on basketball cards and the NBA.
And how do I want to commemorate the 11 year milestone? Showing a few cards that sit in a sweet spot of collecting for me, new(er) cards with retro designs. I’ll finish out by giving a statline of sorts for the blog.
The top of my Fanatics wishlist is a return of the Topps Heritage brand. I might even prefer it over Chrome (heresy, I know). It had such a short run in the early 2000s, and it deserves to return. I saw a great deal on a Tony Parker rookie from the 2001-02 set, a set with a design replicating 1974-75 Topps.
Fitting the theme of cards with retro designs, big kudos to Upper Deck with the 2007-08 Fleer 61-62 Retro set. First of all, it’s a giant 66 card set. It’s a great number because you get all the relevant players in the league at the time, and many players got two cards. About half of the cards look like the Parker above with just the name and position, and the other half show action shots with a caption. Parker’s second card in the set mentions him winning the 2007 NBA Finals MVP award, becoming the first European player to win the award.
My last card I picked up off of sportlots. If you’re OK with picking up a card without seeing a picture, while probably getting it for an excellent price, sportlots is the place for you. Statliners is a die-cut insert set from 1998-99 Stadium Club, with the odds of pulling in one in eight series one packs. This one appealed to me especially because it’s a matchup of the top two picks from the 1997 NBA Draft.
The real gem of this card is the photo on the back. Look at the intensity, the intimidation. And look at that efficient statline. 32 points, going 15-20 from the floor, adding 11 rebounds. A nice line for sure. Only wish for this card is that either photo would match up with the statline performance. Sure looks like the photo on the back is from a game against the Hornets.
Here’s a statline for Hoops Hobby. I’ll give a little breakdown on the categories of posts over the years. Leading the way is a category that’s on its way to getting passed for #1, and that’s pack and box breaks (30). I enjoy opening packs as much as anyone else, but fewer products are as accessible for me these days as they used to be, and even less so are hobby boxes. Coming in #2 is my favorite type of post, the Insert Set Flashback. I’ve posted 26 of these over the years and that will easily slide into the top spot soon. General Hobby Talk comes in third, with 24 posts. Most recently I’ve talked about film elements on cards, short printed rookies from 2001-02 Topps, and more. Sometimes I’ll feature a certain player here, too. Next up is Pickups of the Week, with 21 posts, a place for me to show off cards I’ve added to my personal collection. Recently that’s a lot of Duncan, but historically it’s been Pacers from the 90s and 2000s. The other notable categories are Around the NBA (18), Through the Mail autographs (10), and an early series that I haven’t gone back to in years, Friday Frivolity (8).
The reason this blog is still active today is because card collecting brings back great memories from my childhood, it helps me enjoy and connect with the NBA more, and because I’ve interacted with so many great collectors over the years. It’s a great hobby, it’s stronger than ever, and I’m excited for what’s to come. Thanks for reading!