Tuesday, June 9, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge #4

Time to tackle Challenge #4 - my favorite basketball card in my collection.

As a reminder, Tim over at Cardpocalypse put together this 7 Day Trading Card Challenge and here is the whole list:


My basketball card collection is not as robust as my football card collection and is a small fraction of my baseball card collection.  I started collecting basketball cards in college, the height of the Shaq era and have quite a few sets from the early to mid 90s.  I picked up a couple vintage sets from the late 70s - early 80s and have a pipe dream to collect the 1980-81 Topps set (that is the one with the triple perforated cards and Magic Johnson RC/Dr. J/Larry Bird RC).

From a player collection standpoint I collect Charles Barkley & Patrick Ewing (stars from my peak hoops fandom), Chris Webber (my favorite Sacramento King), Harold Minor (my neighbor for a year while at USC) and Tiny Archibald (a relatively new PC after reading some NBA books on the 70s and knowing he played on the pre-Sac Kings).

From a team collection standpoint, I have a modest collection of former Trojans and I pick up Kings cards that tickle my fancy.

When embarking on this challenge, I thought through my collection and was tempted to pick a Harold Miner card due to the personal connection and he has some sweet cards in a USC uniform.   I have more Chris Webber cards than any other player collection and had no more fun as a fan than the Kings peak when they threatened for the title for a couple years.

Ultimately I went another direction and decided to pick a card that made me the most excited when I picked it up and is still a favorite today, a 1986-87 Fleer Charles Barkley rookie.

This set is famous for the Michael Jordan rookie but is stacked with amazing rookie cards.  There was a gap in mainstream basketball card production with the 1981-82 Topps set being the last one prior to this set.  That set, following up the Bird/Magic rookie year was highlighted by a Kevin McHale rookie card.  The 1986-87 set features rookies on 60 of its 132 cards and in addition to Jordan and Barkley showcases HOFers Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Joe Dumars, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Hakeem Olajuwon, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy and other notable rookies like Manute Bol, Larry Nance  and Spud Webb.  What a set!

I bought a pack of this for a few dollars years and years ago that in hindsight was probably searched, my top card was a Tom Chambers rookie card.

So why this card as my favorite.  First, when I started collecting Sir Charles, I seriously thought this card was out of reach.  I really like the design of these cards with the red, white an blue borders and in Barkley's case an awesome action shot right after a slam dunk.  The backs are pretty simple and looks similar to Fleer baseball cards of the 80s.  Today this definitely fits the bill as my favorite hoops card.


  1. Iconic set. That's a great photograph of Barkley. Reading about Harold Minor being your neighbor was cool. I was buying his cards up back in the day. Kind of a bummer he didn't live up to the nickname.

  2. Great choice. This is probably the one basketball set I'd actually consider collecting someday, though it would be a damn expensive pursuit. Beautiful Sir Charles!

  3. Love the choice! I had a copy of this a few years ago. Now when I look through my cards, it's no longer there. Can't imagine what happened, since no other cards seem to be missing.

  4. Excellent choice! I don't own any cards from that iconic set. Very cool to learn that Harold Minor was your neighbor for a bit. I have kept one of his UD cards that highlighted his Dunk Contest performance since I pulled it from a pack way back then.

  5. I don't know if it's true or not, but I once read that more searched packs of 1986-87 Fleer have been sold than any other set.

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