Saturday, March 14, 2015

From Topps Vault to Me. NBA One Hit Wonder #2: Charlie Yelverton

I have not done a One Hit Wonder in a while, but with something I received in the mail yesterday, it seemed as good a time as any.

What I got in the mail is something totally new for my collection- which, after almost 30 years and over 100,000 different cards, is something of a rarity these days!

Topps put up some original Color Negatives on ebay via their Topps Vault. Each started at $9.95 and there were several pages worth of them, all from the early 1970s. I knew I could not afford to go after them all, so I picked one that I wanted and made sure I would win. As it turns out, I was the only bidder...and now I'm kind of wishing I had placed a few more bids on others. I though they would go a lot higher.

I chose the one I did because it was the only one posted for a One Hit Wonder, and even better- it's a photo that was Not used on a card! To make it even more important to me, it is the first player I ever realized and researched that was a One Hit Wonder, back in the 1990s sometime. The issued card was one of my earliest vintage card additions to my collection.

But first, here is my somewhat poor photo of the Topps Negative. It's rather small, and it's also rather dark- the white backing it floats over is standard card sized. It's in one of the sealed cases Topps debuted back in 2001-02 in Pristene. (I hate those cases, and usually remove the cards from them for my own collection, but I will keep this in there) My scanner has no depth perception so a photo, however poor it may be, will have to do.
Here is his one and only issued card, from 1972-73 Topps.

Note that like most cards back then, he is wearing his jersey backwards in the photo. I don't remember the exact details, but I believe I read that Topps did that because they thought it would confuse kids to see a team name that was not the player's name on the jersey, or some such stupidity like that.

1972-73 Topps is actually the least represented Topps set in my collection until 2006-07, when I took a break from collecting the NBA. I only have 76 of them, or 28.8% according to the Database.
Yelverton played only one season in the NBA, after being selected in the second round of the 1971 NBA draft. But that was far from the end of his career. After he was cut by the Blazers, he traveled to Europe, where he played until 1987! He won a Euroleague and Italian League championship during his time there, and was nominated as one of the 50 Greatest Euroleage players although apparently did not make the cut. I have long wished that the Euroleage got cards.
Here are his NBA stats: Career Stats
Here is his Wikipedia page, where I learned of his European career: Wikipedia
Here is his listing on the Database, although his only card is clearly shown above. Card of Charlie Yelverton
Thanks for reading! 


  1. The NBA players wore their shirts inside out so not to show the team name or team logo. They could show the front if it just showed the city. Like New York, Boston or Buffalo they were afraid the team would get the money instead of themselves.. Something screwed up how their contracts were written.. The same thing didn't apply to the ABA teams.

    1. Thanks Mark, it's been a long time since I read about this and it seems I just didn't remember correctly.