Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ten in the Morning: My favorite sports cards

The arrival of the late Hal Lebovitz's awesome sports book collection started my mind racing.

Where is my sports card collection? It took me a while, but I found it. Some of my favorite cards are valuable, but that's not the point. I don't plan to sell my favorites.

It's the memories I savor every time I finger through the collection. Presenting to you my favorite Ten in the Morning list: My favorite sports cards after 30 years of collecting, the last 20 which have been pretty quiet.

1. 1980-81 Topps Larry Bird, Magic Johnson rookie card: I used to have three of these bad boys. These cards were rare for one reason: Kids, like me, couldn't resist tearing them apart. That's what I did with one. I kept the other two, then traded another for the card No. 2 on my list.

2. 1975 Topps George Brett rookie card: It took a while, but I finally got my hands on a Brett rookie at a card show in 1990 in Columbus. The asking price was one of my Bird-Magic rookie cards. For that reason, I will never separate these two cards. My son, Samson, will inherit them. Hopefully, he will cherish them as I do.

3. 1987 Topps Bo Jackson Future Stars card: I'm not sure if this was the true Bo rookie card, but I love the design, and vividly remember unfolding the wrapper to this treasure. It's not worth much, but if you watched Bo dominate in the late 1980s, you understand why his cards are cherished.

4. 1991 Upper Deck Michael Jordan baseball card: Everyone was in search of the rare Fleer Jordan rookie basketball card, but I was always hunting for this unique baseball card showing Jordan taking batting practice with the White Sox. In its early years, Upper Deck definitely had the sharpest looking cards and this one was one of rhe sharpest.

5. 1986 Topps Jerry Rice rookie card: Another card I was in hot pursuit of during the 80s. A decent looking card, and one that has cooled off in value over the years, like so many other rookie cards.

6. 1984 Topps Steve Yzerman rookie card: The Canadian version (O-Pee-Chee) of this card is worth a lot more than the U.S. version, but it doesn't matter to me. Yzerman is my all-time favorite hockey player and getting my hands on this card for a manageable amount back in the day was worth it.

7. 1980 Topps Reggie Jackson card: Just had to get one of Mr. October's cards on this list. The 1980s Topps baseball set is great looking. Plus, who doesn't love that trademark Reggie pose?

8. 1979 Topps Bernard King card: Who is Bernard King? Arguably the greatest pure scorer in NBA history fans don't know about. This is my only King card, when he was with the New Jersey Nets. I remember him as a New York Knick in the 1980s as an unstoppable offensive force. His first two years in the league was with the Nets, he averaged 22.8 points and only got better.

9. 1976 Topps Fred Biletnikoff card: Simply love this card. Old Freddie looks a little ragged in this photo. Maybe a little bit too much partying the Saturday before a game day?

10. 1991 Upper Deck Joe Montana card: The coolest looking football card I've ever seen.

There you have it. I have countless others scattered throughout my house, but these 10 are my favorites. Sometimes, I really miss collecting sports cards.

- Mark Podolski


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top ten cards from my perspective and collection:
Mickey Mantle - the original 'Natural'- last icon of Baseball's Golden Age
Sandy Koufax - a six year dominance never surpassed
Roberta Clemente- baseball should retire his number permanently
Bob Gibson - none more competitive
Dick Butkus - when pride still mattered
Alan Page - NFL MVP, marathoner, Mn Supreme Court Justice
Oscar Robertson - a double-double for an entire season
Larry Bird - driven
Bobby Orr - his impact transcended the NHL's original six
Derek Jeter - what is still right and possible in MLB today

February 5, 2011 at 9:20 AM 

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