Thursday, March 31, 2022

Basketball Hall of Fame Part 7

 This installment on my series about the my visit to the Basketball Hall of Fame covers the Olympics. As you may know from previous posts, I'm a HUGE Olympic fan, and at the Hall of Fame I saw genuine Olympic gold medals for the first time in my life! This is a smaller post, but I feel the Olympic medals were special enough that they deserved a spotlight of their own.

here are gold medals from the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, won by Yolanda Griffith, and also her 2005 WNBA Championship ring behind them
A better shot of the medals but not as good with the ring

A Gold medal from the Dream Team! Probably the most important basketball team of all time, it's not hyperbole to say that the Dream Team led to way to basketball becoming the second most popular sport in the world. Former NBA Rookie of the Year and Champion Pau Gasol specifically said watching the dream team (he was in the audience) led him to pursue the NBA, and it's the turning point where Europe really stepped up it's game. 
Cheryl Miller's jersey from the 1984 Olympics...I didn't see any of those Olympics, they happened 2 months before I was born. 

But seeing the medal is still pretty darn amazing! Since the photos uploaded in reverse order for some reason, this is actually the first Olympic medal I ever saw in person. 
I'm not sure who this jersey belongs to. 
This design...this is the best USA Basketball design ever in my opinion! It's from 1996, which is both the year I got into basketball and also the year I became an Olympic superfan. While I had watched some in 1988 and 1992, it wasn't until 1996 where it became a stop-everything-to-watch event as it has been ever since. This jersey belongs to Teresa Edwards. 
here's a card showing her wearing it from 1996 Upper Deck USA. 

This is Pat Summitt's jersey from 1976, the first year that the Olympics had women's basketball as a sport.
This jersey was worn by Bob Kurland in the 1948 Olympics! 
This jersey was worn by Francis Johnson at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. While basketball may not have been the big story at the 1936 Olympics, it is the first Games to be filmed in full. Even more important- it was the first Olympic basektball ever! Jaimes Naismith himself presented the gold medals to the US team. Wow. 
This sweatshirt was one of few artifacts that was not labeled.

A basketball signed by all the players from the US Olympic trials at Madison Square Garden in 1936...this is not the current MSG, the one I visited. The trials were held at the third Madison Square Garden, which was in use from 1925-1967. 

While this wasn't a particularly large post, the historical significance and personal significance (of seeing an Olympic medal for the first time in my life) is very high. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

don't eat off THESE plates!

 I love me some printing plates, and I got 8 of them in my latest order from COMC, covering three sports. 

Even though they are 1 of 1 they aren't too expensive and this is the largest grouping I've ever gotten at one time, breaking my old record of...two I think. Maybe three.

This one, a Cyan plate of Norris Cole from 2015-16 Court Kings, is probably the most visually interesting. Since I had sorted them based on price, lowest first, I didn't even realize I got a different card from the Impressionist Ink insert, although a black plate...

but it's not as colorful as the Cyan plate was. This features Tarik Black, and is only my third or fourth card of him. 

This card comes from 2014-15 Flawless's Transitions insert, which was a neat concept...they tracked the different teams the player had been with. With only 2 cards in the set, Tyreke Evans was the smallest part of the checklist and I'm now halfway to completing him.  
The Nets became my first team with multiple plates in my collection when I pulled this out of the box, although the Pelicans and Lakers would follow by time I finished the box (not shown in order of getting). This Markel Brown card, however, is my first from the Brooklyn era. I pulled a Richard Jefferson from 2004-05 Topps Total when the set was new, and interestingly enough, I happened to be in New Jersey when I pulled it, having bought a box to bring and open at the motel the night before the NNL East model show. 
This Magenta plate of Nick Young is pretty colorful...the plates don't actually scan all that well, they are all nicer looking in person. This card is from 2015-16 Court Kings
the final NBA card comes from 2015-16 National Treasures and the Colossal Materials checklist. There's a lot of interesting detail in there which would normally be covered by a jersey piece on the non-plate version. Kind of a shame to cover it actually! This is Ty Lawson. 

Flawless and National Treasures are both stupidly expensive sets, and I will never open a pack from either of them without winning the lottery, so at least I was able to get some cards from them this way. 

I picked up this plate of Cayden Lapcevich from 2018 Victory Lane, which becomes my 4th or 5th NASCAR plate. While I was there, I also picked up the Red parallel and the base card for good measure. 

This set is all etched foil and scans really poorly but they look nice in hand.

I also picked up my second NHL plate, and from one of my favorite sets, 2019-20 MVP. This is one of the short printed cards from the end of the set, and it actually turned out to be my first card of him, making that the first time ever my first card of someone was a printing plate, or a 1 of 1 of any sort. It was just pure luck because I also grabbed the base card in the same shipment. 
He is wearing the alternate, throwback inspired design here as well, which is cool. 

Although this is only barely grazing the surface of the COMC order, there are no more cards that are 1 of 1 coming up but there's still a lot of great stuff. Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Scan #10000

 I hit a little milestone last new scanner hit 10, 000 scans. I'm not sure I can really call it a new scanner anymore, I've had it since 2019 so it's now 4 years old...but it's still the new scanner to me.  

Granted, that number does include the times where the scan was unusable so I deleted it and redid it, so usable scans is a considerably lower number. Just earlier that night it took 4 scans of one page before I got a usable one so it's less, but even if I didn't use them, the scanner still scanned. 

Scan #10,000 happened to be a full page of 1995 Maxx Crown Chrome, an-all clear plastic card set that gets very sticky, which is why they are all in penny sleeves. I got about 3/4ths of this set as a PIF in the previous week and I'm working on scanning them. They aren't the most fun cards to scan because the sleeves attract dust but they are too sticky to put on the scanner directly. 

My favorite card here is the Talledega card in the middle, even though it's horizontal. 

By time you read this, I may have gotten these cards cropped down and properly edited/rotated, who can tell since I'm scheduling it? 

One thing about this set that makes it very difficult...Maxx forgot to put the card numbers on the cards! So labeling them requires the checklists (I now have all 4) or the Database. Once I finish cropping these, I will start scanning the new arrivals from COMC. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

I can (COM)C clearly now, the wait is gone

 For the first time since 2019, I have received a COMC order! 

When they disabled the Shipping bonus, I decided to wait until it was restored before I ordered...and then they got to where it was taking them six months to ship unless you paid them extra to ship it sooner. I refused to do I waited it out. I decided it was unlikely that they would restore the shipping bonus, and I had seen reports of them actually shipping normally again, so I shipped my order and waited patiently. 

Some of these cards had been sitting, waiting to ship for so long, that I didn't even remember what was in there. So much so that two copies showed up because I had forgotten I purchased them and purchased a second of those cards is SN to 25. One card I had purchased on there and then got a copy of some time last summer, making it a duplicate. One card I bought even though I already had it...I don't know if I messed up, or if mine was damaged and I was ordering a replacement. Either's possible, I will have to check my "damaged card box" to see if it's in there. 

In total, there were 246 cards in the box, 242 new cards. 

They arrived on March 17th so they obviously beat the estimated shipping date, which is a good thing. 

The little white slips of paper is new. Actually I feel an improvement. It has a bar code which is surely for COMC's internal systems, but it also says what year and set the card comes from, which is very helpful...especially when I am buying some obscure sets I don't know much about. It isn't always correct- at least three of them were wrong, including wrong years and wrong sets - but it gives me a decent starting point. 

Especially for the tobacco era non-sports sets that I buy because of the subject matter, previously I would have to page though my COMC buying history to figure out what year a set was released, now I don't have to. Like I said...definitely an improvement. Sports sets are usually easier to figure out because they usually make some reference to the year, even if it's just the previous year's statistics on the back. Tobacco era cards that are subject based and not season based, no so much. 

Stay tuned because in the coming weeks (and let's be honest, probably months!) I will scan all the cards and write the narrative around why I bought these specific cards...each card has a story, a reason behind it, even if that's just set help. And yes, sets were completed in this order...two base sets, a parallel and a promo. 

In fact, with this order, I've completed more sets in 2022 already than I did in all of 2021 combined! I intend to write a post about that, too, once I get more scanning done. Always so much to do and so little time to do it...

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Basketball Hall of Fame Part 6 Kobe Bryant exhibit

 Today's installment of the Hall of Fame series focuses on the Kobe Bryant exhibit, which is a special put on by Panini. 

My favorite part of the exhibit, even more than the official recognition of cards in the Hall of Fame, was that all 5 of Kobe's Championship rings were on display together. 

World's largest basketball card.

Note the gold NBA logo, which signifies this as a 1996-97 season jersey, Kobe's rookie year.
The rings!

Those dots are reflections of the lights

I had no idea this promo pack existed until I saw it at the Hall on December 19th. Andy aka bbcardz of Stadium Fantasium sent me one of the packs as part of my Secret Santa gift on the Trading Card Database just a week later! 

They also had a small room that was showing the movie he made and won an Oscar for on a loop.