Through the years basketball has transformed from just a sport to an obsession amongst fans that collect basketball memorabilia and cards as a hobby. Some people collect jerseys, shoes or headbands, while others collect posters, basketballs and cards. This is going to be a bi-weekly column that gives you a feel of what is happening in the hobby of collecting basketball cards and the ongoing passion of fans who quite simply just love the game. Some devote their lives to collecting and do it just for fun, while others use it as a business venture and are in it for the money. There is nothing wrong with either kind of collector; I would even argue you could be both.
Cards are a very big part of the basketball culture nowadays. Just imagine you are a kid and you see a player do an amazing reverse dunk. Instantly, no matter what team you follow or what city you live in, that player has the ability to capture your attention and become idolized by yourself and the thousand other kids watching the game. Sure, it may not have seemed so sensational to an adult, but kids are easily mesmerized. So, you walk into the convenience store the next morning still in awe of the dunk you saw last night and see a few basketball packs on the counter. You want one just because there is a chance you could pull the player that you saw pull off the ‘dunk of the decade.’ You open the pack and there is a card of your new idol. It doesn’t just stop at one, now you want two of his cards, than three and so forth. As you grow older, you have more money to spend and thus your dreams of collecting all of his cards seem more realistic. That’s all it takes to get into a hobby, one five second highlight.
Of course, collecting has changed in a big way since the mid to late ‘80’s. In those days, fans would try to collect all the base cards, a lot of the packs also came with bubble gum, which as most of you know wasn’t really edible. Oh yeah, packs weren’t nearly as expensive as they are now. As the hobby progressed into the early and late 90s, and Upper Deck continually came out with more and more products, there become new variations of cards. Some cards had pieces of an NBA jersey on them and if you were real lucky you would get one that had more than one-colour. However, getting the jersey card itself was very rare. Other cards would have autographs on them and would be equally as rare to find. As more companies came out with more products these items soon became not as hard to find and their value was not what it once was. Now, you can find at least one jersey card in every box of cards typically, some even include two, and for the real expensive products you can even get one jersey card per pack.
You can find products now that cost up to $400 for a box. However here’s the catch – that one box only comes with one pack of cards. In each pack you would be able to pull an autograph, a game-used jersey card and a rookie card along with a base card. It is basically like playing the lottery, except you have a better chance of winning but not a chance of winning as much as well the ticket costs $400. The people that afford it buy it. There are still packs that cost three or four dollars, which is good for the youngsters growing up who are trying to get started in the hobby for the first time. You just rarely get anything very high-end in those packs, but then again, to a kid that wouldn’t really matter.
In the ‘90’s it was often hard to make a full set of a product because if you were just missing one or two cards it would be quite card to find it if it was a rare card. This is why I am thankful for eBay because it has changed the hobby of collecting cards forever. Now, even if you are missing one of the rarest cards, chances are you can find it on eBay, either it’s been sold, it is being sold now or someone will pull the card out of a pack and will probably put it on the site for sale. If you are someone in the 30-40 age group you might even have a couple Michael Jordan rookie cards lying around the house, those are still one of the best sellers around the net. So check your closets and the condition the card is in.
Here are a couple of the features that will be in all the articles for Hoops Hobby:
Definition: In this section I will be giving the definition of a term in the hobby not many non-hobbyists would understand.
Pull of the Week: In this section I will be showing off what I feel is the best card someone has pulled from a pack or box.
This was more of an introduction article to the hobby of collecting basketball cards, in the next few articles I will have some box breaks of basketball products, which is when you buy the whole box of a certain product and then open up all the packs inside, with the results posted here in my articles. As well as cool trends as to some of the better cards in the recent months, a look at this year’s rookie crop; what it means to the hobby and chats with some of the biggest collectors on the internet. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have something you want me to see, read or post something you pulled, comments are always appreciated.