Pickups of the Week: Three Card Mailday

I saw a Duncan insert on ebay a few weeks back for a reasonable price so I of course had to look at other items from the same seller. I added a two more cards to my lot and checked out. Outside of Pacers I am collecting Tim Duncan and Grant Hill, mainly interested in 90s inserts at this point. Let’s get to the cards!

2000-01 Fleer Triple Crown Heir Force 01 Tim Duncan #14

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The first is the least exciting of the three, and it also scanned the worst. You can just barely see Duncan’s face in the background of this one. The HF01 repeated on the left side just seems to be there to fill up space. I remember opening packs of Triple Crown that came in those boxes with a variety of hobby and retail packs. Tried to find the odds on this insert set online but couldn’t find it. I’m thinking the odds were not too tough on these.

1998-99 Skybox Thunder Boss Grant Hill #6

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This one is much more exciting. The Boss insert was 1:16 hobby packs, so an average of 2 per box. It’s no Noyz Boyz at 1:300, but it’s an attractive insert set with a unique design. I’m a fan.

2000-01 Hoops Hot Prospects Hoops Originals Tim Duncan #2

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This is the card I was searching for originally. Beautiful design and a die-cut too. These were inserted 1 per 24 pack box, the same rarity as a rookie jersey, and with the rookie class that year I think I’d prefer pulling one of these.


Retired Pacers and a Contest

Baseball card land is going crazy over 2017 Topps Series 1 release. And while I’ll probably pick up a blaster or loose packs myself, I am just as excited over a lot of former Pacers I picked up in the last week.

I recently came across my favorite type of ebay seller: One that offers free shipping and discounts with a certain number of auctions won, and one that has thousands and thousands of listings. I could browse those listings all day. I settled on an initial batch and in a few days they arrived! And here you have it, my first lot of basketball cards purchased in five years. I’m so excited about this lot of cards that I’m going to give some cards away. See the contest at the bottom of the post.

2015-16 Absolute Memorabilia #112 Rik Smits 
2007-08 Hoops Top of the World #TW10 Austin Croshere

I’m pleased that Panini is releasing new cards of the Dunking Dutchman, Rik Smits. Anytime I see new Pacer cards of players from the 90s teams that had so many deep playoff runs, I get excited. While I still find new 90s cards of these guys, I’ve seen most of them, so it’s great to see new-to-me cards. This Smits fits the bill, and it’s #’d out of 199.

The Croshere is one of those new-to-me 90s cards. Is there an insert set that screams 90s more than this one? Some awesome insert sets were in NBA Hoops packs at the time at an affordable price point. I’m going to look to pick up the Duncan from this set for sure.

Croshere landed a nice contract after his great playoff performances in Indiana’s run to the NBA finals in 2000. That season and the following one were his best statistically for his career. He spent most of his career with the Pacers, finishing his career after 12 seasons. He now does radio for the Pacers, mainly road games when the legendary Slick Leonard is not available.

1999-00 Bowman’s Best Refractor #121 Jeff Foster /400
2009-10 Topps Gold #112 Jeff Foster

Foster is one of my top 5 favorite Pacers ever (Reggie Miller, Danny Granger, Rik Smits and Jermaine O’Neal are the others). He was the ultimate professional, doing whatever he was asked, even though he never had any plays run for him. That wasn’t his game. He was relentless in pursuing rebounds. Whether he started (which he did quite a bit) or came off the bench, you always knew what you were getting when Jeff came in the game. I also appreciate that he spent his entire career with the Pacers. One fun fact about Foster’s career: He is 4th all-time in career offensive rebounding percentage. He led the lead in this stat category twice during his career.

On the cards…can’t beat a cheap rookie refractor. These are the only cards that I may already have in my collection. Unfortunately I don’t have my inventory documented like I should, especially after a 4+ year break.

2015-16 Panini Prizm Prizms Silver #294 Mark Jackson
2014-15 Panini Prizm Prizms #204 Mark Jackson

Two Prizm Prizms, whatever that means. I guess it means shiny. Jackson’s signature floater in the card on the left, and against the Knicks makes this card even better. Love the flo-jo jersey in the 2014-15 card. Can’t beat these two. I do like how the 2014-15 cards have game photos. That seems to have been taken away in more recent Prizm releases.

At one point Mark Jackson was 2nd all-time in NBA history in assists. He’s dropped to 4th, passed by Steve Nash and Jason Kidd. Still impressive and somebody you might not think of when you think of all-time NBA assist leaders.

1995-96 Topps World Class #WC4 Reggie Miller

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Again, a new card for my collection, hopefully. The insert set looks familiar so I am not liking my odds, but I couldn’t pass up the potential for a new Miller insert on the cheap. Reggie was a world class shooter, that’s for sure.

1995-96 Topps Power Boosters #281 Mark Jackson

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To me this is the gem of this group, which is why I have it last. Power Boosters were inserted 1 in 36 packs, which makes this a semi-rare pick up. This one is from series 2. Sadly this is the only Pacer player with a Power Booster parallel. Maybe I’m easy to please but for a dollar I was thrilled to get this one. It scanned great too which I was worried about.

Contest

So the contest! There are 8 players in the background of cards in this blog post. Name one in the comments to be entered for a chance to win. Must name a player not already named in a previous comment. Correct entries will be randomized and a winner chosen. The winner gets…

1516hoopsholmes

This Richaun Holmes autograph from 2015-16 NBA Hoops.  I will also try to send a handful of cards of your favorite team. Enter by end of the day, Saturday February 11th, 11:59 pm eastern. So there it is, the first contest since Hoops Hobby’s return to the blogosphere.


Pickup of the Week: Herb Williams Autograph

I’ve picked up where I left off, with the first pickup in my return to basketball card collecting being an addition to my Indiana Pacers autograph collection. The goal here is to get an autograph of every player to appear in a regular season game for the Pacers, preferably on a card in a Pacers uniform, if possible.

I’m going to be sharing my progress so far over a series of posts, but my most recent pickup is an autograph card from 2013-14 Panini Totally Certified Basketball of Herb Williams. This is player number 79 I’ve added to the Pacers autograph collection.

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Herb recorded his best statistical seasons as a Pacer, averaging a career best 19.9 points per game in the 1985-86 season. The team finished 26-56 that year, though. Herb got his first taste of the playoffs with the Pacers in 1987, starting four games as the Pacers lost to the Atlanta Hawks 3-1. He played 57 career playoff games, most with the Knicks, and many of those in key series against the Pacers. He played until he was 41 years old, retiring after an impressive 18 year NBA career.

He served as an assistant coach with the Knicks and served as head coach for 39 games during the 2004-05 season after Lenny Wilkins resigned.

Glad to add this auto of Herb Williams to my Pacers autograph collection. The card looks better in person than in the scan. It is a sticker auto and I may look to add an on-card auto down the line. I’m not aware of a certified autograph with Herb in a Pacers uniform that isn’t a sticker, though.


Are the Spurs Done?

After losing in six games to the Thunder in what may have been the most entertaining series of the playoffs, the question comes up- are the Spurs, as they are currently assembled, done as a serious title-threat going forward? Tim Duncan becomes a free-agent, although both sides have basically accepted Duncan is a Spur-for-life. The core continues to age while the Thunder grow into their collective prime. Durant is amazingly only 23.

The Spurs have always been a favorite of mine to watch- they can seemingly plug in young unknowns (Gary Neal, James Anderson, Danny Green, etc…) and disposed-of veterans not producing on former teams (Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson), and these guys will step in and produce. It is the San Antonio way. It is the Greg Popovich way. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the Spurs in contention. In a shortened season where the older teams were supposed to struggle, the Spurs posted the league’s best record. Who says they can’t contend again next year, using the same formula? The key pieces will be back, along with emerging young star Kawhi Leonard.

Who knows if the Spurs can stop the emerging Thunder (and potential defending champ?) in the next few years. The fan in me isn’t ready for the breakup of the Spurs, or the end of Duncan’s career. I also wouldn’t bet against Duncan or Popovich.

 


Recent Pickups: Pacers Autographs


Excited about adding these three cards to the Pacers autograph collection, which now includes autographs of 76 different Pacer players.

David West’s SP Authentic rookie autograph can be had at a reasonable price.  He is still capable of a double-double on any given night.

Lou Amundson is becoming a fan favorite in Indiana with his high energy and constant hustle.  He scored a career-high 21 points last week  to lead the Pacers over the Portland Trailblazers.

And of course Rik Smits is an all-time Pacer great who is fairly short on different autograph cards, only included in a few sets, Skybox Autographics from the mid-late 90s, as well as the 2005-06 Topps Style set.


Pickup of the Week, 1999-00 Fleer Focus Feel the Game

The 1999-00 Fleer Feel the Game sets were some of the earliest basketball game used card sets released. The Fleer Focus versions inserted at just 1 in 288 packs.  At those odds, I am surprised that the Grant Hill card pictured above has a high book value of only $20.  These can be had at an affordable price, they just don’t show up that often.

Question – Today, most products guarantee at least one memorabilia card per box, most more than that.  How has your enjoyment of the hobby been impacted by the decreased rarity of memorabilia cards?


Holiday Pickups, Part 3

Welcome to the last portion of the cards I added to my collection during the 2011 holiday season. Today I show off some non-Pacer additions. One is of a player I used to despise, but I have since come to appreciate his greatness and place as an elite scorer and likely future hall-of-famer. I am talking about Celtic star Paul Pierce.  Incredibly difficult to defend, Paul can jab-step into a jumper from just about anywhere on the floor, as well as drive to the  basket with relative ease. Paul has a nice signature, which you can see in the on-card autographed 1999-00 Topps card below.

Second is an autograph from a set that I was intrigued by after reading an article on Cardboard Connection. It’s a multi-sport set, 1994 Signature Rookies Gold Standard Hall of Fame Autographs. I wasn’t aware that this set existed but the on-card signatures and an opportunity to pick up autographs of hall-of-famers (Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald, Rick Barry, Bob Cousy, and Bill Walton, among others) on the cheap had me browsing ebay within minutes. Elvin Hayes is the first I’ve picked up. Thanks to Cardboard Connection for the article, as there’s no doubt this set is undervalued, and probably unknown to many.