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.
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.
Panini Hoops has 8 cards per pack, 36 packs per hobby box. Each box typically contains two autographed cards per box, a glossy parallel card or two, an Artist’s proof parallel card or two, and a myriad of insert cards. Here is what Hoops Hobby pulled.
Some of these insert sets I like and may even try to complete myself. I find I enjoy the simple set designs like ‘Hoop Dreams’ and ‘Courtside’. The Slam Dunk set and ‘A Night to Remember’ have too much going on in one card.
The autographs are underwhelming, with this box providing Hasheem Thabeet (not afraid to go ahead and label Hasheem a big bust), and bench player Randy Foye. It’s a shame these autographs aren’t on-card, but again, for a sub-$50 product, can’t complain.
Hoops appeals to the crowd that likes opening a ton of cards, pulling a ton of inserts, and loves pulling multiple cards of their favorite players. Many of the stars have multiple base cards in this release. The base cards could be used for TTM autograph collectors and in-person autographs. While the value is good for the price, the potential for this release is so high, though, and it comes as a slight disappointment to me just because of some of the insert sets being underwhelming in design. I would like to see future releases such as these modeled after the 2010-11 Donruss product, which had a similar starting price point and received more praise from collectors.
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.
Panini’s second basketball product of the season, Preferred, is out and its singles are appearing on ebay. Each box contains three autographs and a fold-out booklet with jersey swatches from up to 8 current and former players. I have to say, these booklets are awesome, particularly the patch versions.
I’m impressed with the product. At the $200/box price, I’ll be looking to pick up singles. At first glance, I wasn’t thrilled with the triangular Crown Royale autographs, but they are growing on me. It helps that these are on-card signatures.
While the Sixers have played one of the league’s easiest schedules so far in the early season, their 12-5 record cannot be discounted. Even in a loss to the Wade-less Heat Saturday night, I was struck by the quality depth of this Sixers squad. In Louis Williams, Thaddeus Young, and Evan Turner, they’ve got three guys who would start for some teams and heck, they should probably be starting for their own team. Team balance is a result of their quality depth. Going into their game Monday against the Wizards, the Sixers had seven players averaging double figure scoring, led by Louis Williams (coming off the bench) at 15.5 ppg. Sidenote: Louis is currently shooting better from outside the 3-point arc than inside it.
With a young core that is locked up for the next several years, this team should be a contender in the East for years. They’ve already got some playoff experience and will get more this season.
Will this recent success and bright outlook for the Sixers have any kind of hobby impact? While Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday have more recent and probably more readily available rookie cards and autographs, some other Sixers might be flying under the radar a bit. Andre Iguodala’s rookie cards and autographs have some room to grow in value. Louis Williams autographs can be had for less than $10 easily. A few of the cards below might be worth a pickup if you can find them on the cheap:
2004-05 Topps Chrome #174 Andre Iguodala RC
2004-05 SP Authentic #179 Andre Iguodala AU RC
2005-06 SPx #126 Louis Williams JSY AU RC
and other rookie autographs.
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.
A few more Pacer autographs came in over the past few days to add to the collection. The O’Neal Pristine autograph is an instant favorite for me. Always wanted to add an autograph from this set to my collection. Absolutely beautiful set.
Cards above are as follows:
2001-02 Topps Pristine Autographs #AJO Jermaine O’Neal
2000-01 Upper Deck Encore Star Signatures #JO Jermaine O’Neal
2010-11 Limited Monikers Gold #31 Tyler Hansbrough /99