Sunday, November 13, 2016

The State of Sports in Kansas

As any regular reader of my blog know, I made a move from Southern California to Kansas over the summer.  My first observations from a sport fan perspective is that this population is pretty crazy for the Royals.  Seems more people than not are wearing Royals hat or t shirts around town. The Chiefs are talked about a bit but don't seem to be has beloved as their Royals counterparts.

Over the last couple weeks, I have started to recognize where the true passion of this area lies - College Hoops.  I have witnessed passionate debate, arguments and just tons of discussion about college hoops.  There are huge fan bases of Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri in my office and throughout the community.

Personally I have fallen out of love with college hoops.  During my time at USC our team was real good, making the tournament two years in a row and earning 1 #2 seed one season.  During college and for a few years after I was a college hoops junkie attending a couple tournament sites and hitting Las Vegas for the opening weekend of the tournament a few times to immerse myself in March Madness.  As life progressed however, certain sports things have had to be sacrificed - college hoops has been the biggest sport I have left behind.  With little passion around the college variety of hoops in So Cal and my team not having consistent success it was a natural outcome.

With my new area being so passionate, it is time for me to reconnect with college hoops.  I have yet to pick a local team, will I go with the perennial title contender in KU or one of the other solid programs in K State and UM?  Not sure yet but one certain way to reconnect is to pick up and share some cards for my Harold Miner/Baby Jordan collection.

The former USC star and Slam Dunk Champion has seen a few new releases over the past 3-4 years and I am happy to pick up these newer cards as I track them down.  There are quite a few cards I am showing and I know that basketball isn't the most popular sport on the blogs.  I would challenge you to at least scan through the cards and let me know if the quality of these cards and their design makes you yearn for Upper Deck as a player in the baseball card market as much as it does me.

This trio comes from an Upper Deck set titled March Madness Collection that was put out in 2014-15.  Miner has 2 base cards in the set, the one in the upper left is a short print, the regular base is a colorized version of the card in the top right.  Both of those cards have Sepia parallels and I now have both.  There are two Miner autographs, basically stickers on the design of each of the regular cards. I had picked up the regular version quite some time ago and with this gold foil version of the SP I now have all 6 Harold Miner cards for the set.

These two cards come from another 2014-15 Upper Deck release, Letterman.   With these two I now have 3 of the 6 cards, the base, the blue parallel card on the left and the silver Autograph on the right.  Note the serial number 2/3!  Left to track down are a unnumbered autograph, a gold parallel of the base /5 and a silver parallel to the base /15. I would usually say those last two aren't probably going to happen but since I picked up the auto /3, I guess anything's possible.

 Speaking of cards numbered /3, I was able to pick up 2 of the 3 red parallels of this SP Authentic set.  After picking up one of these the second popped up and I decided to put a pretty low bid in on the auction and was shocked I won the auction.  I guess I will keep my eyes open for the 1/3 to complete the trifecta.

This card is a super thick shadowbox card from 2012-13 Exquisite.  Despite the thickness, it doesn't feel all that heavy.  I am guessing the three dimensional nature led to the set being call Dimensions.  The card isn't numbered but does have a nice on-card autograph.  Beckett says it was limited to 70 copies.  I will not be able to fit this into a binder page, it is just too thick.

Next up is this card from 2013-14 Upper Deck Black called Chalk Signatures.  The card itself is a unique texture, not quite like a chalkboard but it looks like it.  With the white signature it does look like it was written in chalk. As you can probably see, the card is numbered 35/40.  There is also a Logo Signatures card out of this release I am trying to track down.  I don't think I have seen one yet but if it is anywhere close to as nice as this one, it will be welcome into my collection.

 Another UD Black card is this sweet logo patch auto.  Also numbered /40, I really like the big Trojans logo in the center.  The gold ink matches perfectly with the gold lettering of the card - one of my favorites. 

Here are a couple versions of Miner's Exquisite card.  The top one is the base and is numbered /75. It is almost impossible for me to see the numbers, it is on the left side of the seal behind Harold kind of even with his jersey numbering.  I embarrassed myself a bit by contacting the seller arguing that he send me an unnumbered version.  He pointed out that a) there is no unnumbered base card in Exquisite and b) while he didn't know where it was he was certain the number was there.  I looked and looked and finally saw it.  The bottom card is the black autographed version of the card.  This one truly isn't numbered.  Kind of an odd card being so dark and the back is just the same, hard to read the text and super dark.  But the card has grown on me.

This card, like the Dimensions card, is also out of 2012-13 Exquisite.  This is the Impressions card and in addition to a nice on-card signature, Miner inscribed it with his nickname, Baby Jordan. Despite the sloppy nature of the "d" in Jordan, I think this is a heck of a card.  After he didn't live up fully to the hype in the pros, Harold shied away from his nickname and I am glad to see he has started to re-embrace it.  I actually found a guy selling 2 or 3 of the only 20 copies as a lot on eBay.  I reached out to him and made a deal to get this one, while I really like the card, I didn't see why I would need more than one copy.

Shortly after picking up the Exquisite card with Baby Jordan on it, this card came up on eBay.  I had to jump on it.  This card isn't numbered but I have never seen another on eBay so I have to assume it is fairly short printed.  I am glad to have it in my collection.

 This dual signature eluded me for quite a while but I finally picked it up.  I am a Spud Webb fan from his Slam Dunk championship and his time with my Sacramento Kings.  I am assuming they are paired as former college stars, Slam Dunk Champions and guys that were a little shorter that many of their peers.  I think it is a solid match.

My last modern card to share is the Year of the Horse booklet card.  I can't say I understand the premise of this card but it is pulled off nicely.  I am sure I have mentioned this before but my only beef with booklet cards is that I don't have a nice way to display them.  I typically keep them in plastic cases and have to open them up and dump them out to enjoy the.

Finally a card you may wonder why I would even scan and share it.  This is the First Day parallel from 1995-96 Stadium Club.  Despite all the awesome cards above, I may have been equally or even more excited to get this card versus all the others.  I started collecting Miner cards in the mid 90s and this card had eluded me for years.  To add it to my collection and knock it off the want list felt great.  My Miner want list is pretty small with mostly oddballs so to know this card off the list was a big accomplishment.

There you have it, my newest Harold Miner additions.  Need to keep my eyes open for those rare cards missing from my collection and figure out which local team to support.


  1. Those first day issues from Stadium Club have always been tough to hunt down. I think I only managed to hunt down three of them. None were ones I pulled although I did try.

  2. Ha, I just showed some basketball cards the other day. College basketball is probably my second favorite sport behind baseball. For several years I would follow the Mountaineers wherever they played in the tournament.

  3. Any chance you would sell one of the Miner Red Parallels of the SP Authentic ?

    1. I would never say never, shoot me an offer to consider.

    2. Nice - i have emailed you.
      A Sharp

  4. Hey mate sent you another email... if you are keen to sell a Miner.