Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Peekskill Pride

As I may have mentioned in the past, my family is originally from Peekskill, NY. Well, the parts of the family that I know in person, anyway- we've traced the family tree back pretty far and we know where in Europe our family originally came from, but I consider Peekskill to be the home base of the family. My father's family helped found the city in the 1600s in fact. Although I've never lived there myself, all the rest of my family members have, and I have lots of fond memories of going to visit...we still go to Peekskill a few times a year.

Of course, Elton Brand- my all-time favorite NBA player- is from Peekskill. I've been following his career since he was in high school (when I normally only follow pro sports- I have little to no use for college sports) and while I originally began following him because I heard about a guy coming up who was really good, he became my favorite player because of both how he played and the person he is off the court.

Naturally I have been trying to get as many cards of him as I possibly could over the years, and with the latest COMC order, I was finally able to move him into my Top 10 of most cards in my collection! I collect the entire league and I prefer to not know what I'm going to get- be it boxes or mixed boxes my local shop collates. But by doing that it means I get a lot of cards of a lot of people, and not have a lot of focus on any particular person. He knocked Gary Payton out of the Top 10, according to the Database, a player I've never cared for, so bonus!

When I was looking through his listings on COMC, before I had any money to spend, I saw these cards and I had to have them. Luckily they were still available when I did get some money in there.

From 2004-05 Skybox Premium comes three of the 4 versions of the Hometown Shoutouts insert.
Although the font is kind of nasty, it's nice to see Peekskill actually listed- most of Elton's cards list his hometown as Cortland, which is wrong. Cortland is up by Buffalo, Elton was born in Cortlandt Manor, usually just called Cortlandt. The T on the end makes all the difference! Cortlandt is a suburb of Peekskill, and didn't even become it's own place until the 1970s- previously it was just a section of Peekskill.

A little disappointing is that the skyline is not Peekskill's- it's generic, every card in the set has the same skyline. 

There were 4 versions of this card issued, and I was able to get three of them.
Up top is the basic version, middle is the Relic version, which is not serially numbered, and the bottom is the relic Star Ruby version, which is SN 15 of 75. There is a patch version, but I don't have that one..yet. (If COMC had one for sale I probably would have!)

One cool thing about the base version?
Check out that serial number! 914 is Peekskill's area code, and until 2000, was mine as well, but they broke us out because they were running out of numbers. It did not result in any walls being built, new towns being formed or The Who concerts, though. If I could have gotten the 845/914 I would have paid a premium for that, as 845 is our new area code...although I'm not sure almost 17 years can be considered new anymore!

There is an autographed version of this insert as well, but Elton apparently did not sign for it, although he did sign for other Fleer products that season, after previously being a Topps exclusive signer.
(By the way, I've pulled hundreds of autographs over the years, back when I used to buy boxes on a regular basis, but I never pulled Elton's. Now with Panini not bothering to include him for the past several years, I didn't even have the opportunity)

These aren't the only Eltons I got in my latest COMC order. There will be another post shortly.

While we are talking of Peekskill, Elton is not the only Peekskill NBA player. Hilton Armstrong was the 12th pick of the 2006 NBA draft, and played 292 games over six NBA seasons, but not since 2013-14. I didn't know he was from Peekskill until he was no longer in the NBA, but I did see him play with the Warriors in 2013-14, and I probably saw him play with the Hornets back in 2006-07, but I don't remember for sure. While researching where he is now, I discovered he was the first player in NBA history to wear #57, when he wore it with the Warriors. There are no cards to commemorate that though, his last card was in 2009-10. He is currently playing in Japan, for Chiba. As far as I know there has never been a single card for the entire Japanese professional basketball leagues.
I was looking through patches, with them sorted lowest price first, and halfway down the page I saw this one listed. I didn't have to think twice about it, into my order it went. This is my first painted patch, and I'm surprised to see it so late. The painted jerseys pretty much disappeared in the early/mid 1990s, to be replaced with all lettering and graphics sewn on, but I guess they broke them out for the Rookie photo shoot, where this one was worn. I don't care, I'm happy to have it. I'm building a collection of Hilton's cards, but he does not have too many. This is only my 4th NBA card of his, I do have a college card of him as well. Of the 4, it is the second relic card of his I've gotten, I also have his SPx rookie with has two relic pieces and his autograph...but it also has a big old crease which I missed in the photo on the ebay auction where I bought it. It was clearly visible but I was in such a rush to hit that buy it now before somebody else did, I didn't look close enough. At least I have it.

When I showed this card to my mom and told her that he is from Peekskill, she said she knew an Armstrong family when she lived there. Armstrong's a fairly common name so we don't know if it's the SAME Armstrong family, but it might be, which is pretty cool!


  1. Your references to the Simpsons cracked me up. I like Elton too; he seems to be a really nice person.

    1. That episode was on FXX the night I wrote this post actually, lol

  2. Always cool to see one of your own make it big - Elton Brand is a class act and I was happy to see him pass through Chicago. Those Hometown Shoutout inserts make for a cool concept.

    1. That they do...Too bad Fleer cheaped out and used a generic skyline. I wouldn't mind getting the rest though!

  3. Love following/collecting hometown guys. Nice pickups!

  4. that's why you collect Elton Brand! I remember you mentioned that you wont spend over $20 on a single card unless it's him, and I sorta wondered why. Now I get it ;-)