When it comes to the NBA, I am not a fanatic. I may not be a big NBA fan but I love basketball. I follow UCONN hoops religiously and while I am going to a division 1 basketball right now, I go to as many of their games as possible. Unfortunately California State University Northridge doesn’t have many household names and our biggest tie to the NBA is a point guard named Landon Drew, who’s father Larry Drew is a coach you might’ve heard of-note I may be a little biased about Landon’s ability because he shares the same major as myself, but he has a good chance to star in Europe. I also love coaching basketball.
Anyway, off the tangent, basketball cards are my favorite to collect. I may not be a fan of teams but I am a fan of the players. I do collect current Memphis Grizzlies because they are my team, just not diehard; and old school Lakers like Eddie Jones, Kurt Rambis, and Michael Cooper because I grew up watching them. I also like how the NBA has only 2 rounds in their draft. This means that you don’t have to deal with too much junk. No offense to players like Joe Adams and Stefan Lefors but I have way too many of your cards to justify your NFL career. That is not to say that the market isn’t as flooded as other sports but some 2nd round picks do stick. One of my all time favorite pulls was a Paul Milsap autograph; a 2nd rounder who has carved a great career for himself. Realistically we are talking about 35 players who are worthless to collectors, whereas sports like baseball and football have double that amount. You have to love 15 man rosters.
Also, I like collecting foreign players. As I said, I am a basketball fan. I seek out cards of the guys who are tearing up Europe, even if they already flamed out in the NBA. This is why I have a few Fran Vazquez and Juan Carlos Navarro autographs in my collection. I want to know who the good players are on the powerhouse teams like Maccabi Tel Aviv and Olympiacos.
(My current kick is Prestige from 2013/14. As a lot of people know, I have been buying autograph cards from that set left and right.)
One of my all time favorite baseball players is Larry Walker. I am a die-hard Dodgers fan and he has been a rival player but never was Dodger, despite my disappointment. So how did a guy that made his name as a player for a division rival become one of my favorite players. Well the Youtube clip below is the exact moment he became my favorite player.
The clip shows him forgetting the outs and giving the ball to a fan when it was in play. The cherry on top is when he ask for the ball back. This happened at Dodger Stadium. I was in grade school at the time and wished that kid was me. What the clip doesn’t show is that he came back before the next inning and gave the kid a ball. It feels like just yesterday when that game was on. I have to be honest, before Larry Walker may have been a division rival but I liked him before that when he was with the Expos. I mean how can any fan hate any Expo?
When I got back into collecting and discovered that game used cards existed, I spent a lot of money accumulating his cards. My personal collection is only 10 to 20 deep but as a small time collector, that is a lot. To put that in perspective, there is only one former Dodger who I even have half as many cards of. It was awfully tough to track down his autograph at a price that I could afford, but I finally did. It is a dual autograph with Andres Galarraga-another former Expo turned Rockie.
I am like most of you that read my posts. I am the only person who collects sports in my group of friends-with the exception of the owner Valley Sports Cards who I consider a friend. Usually that means breaking their hearts on questions related to the value of the cards they have sitting in storage. Occasionally that means that I become the dumping ground for cards when they are cleaning stuff up. I am not complaining because it means that I am in their thoughts. My buddy did just that recently.
2007 Heritage. The Anderson and Hermida are numbered to 1958. I am going to offer the Anderson back to my buddy because he is a diehard Angels fan. I liked getting a Luis Gonzalez card from his forgotten year with the Dodgers. Also got a Tulo rookie card in the haul.
Opening Day 2007. I thought that Heritage would be my favorite from him but these cards were my favorite of the two series that were in this haul. While there were no game used, numbered, autographs, or even any good rookies; there was a lot to love here. Mike Piazza in an Athletics jersey, Diamond Stars inserts, mascot cards, and cards that were part of a puzzle.
Overall not a bad haul. Considering, I was initially just happy to get the Ultra Pro binder pages for other cards, I was pretty happy. I was expecting to just be another cog in the ownership cycle for these cards but I am actually going to keep a lot of these.