Sunday, March 16, 2014

1991-1992 Upper Deck Basketball Cards

I'm pretty sure Larry Bird kicked Chuck Person's butt on this day...
This is the final box I have to open from card show I attended earlier this month.  If you read my last post you know I'm a fan of the early Upper Deck offerings.  This was their initial entry into the basketball card arena and they didn't disappoint.  As with the other sports Upper Deck kept the design simple, had good photography, and provided a better card stock than what we were used to.  I became a fan of the NBA in the late 70's early eighties and the NBA was the #1 sport for me during this timeframe.  Chicago was the dominant team of the era but there were so many others during this timeframe, some on the rise, some on the decline - Boston, Detroit, Portland, Utah, Houston, Los Angeles, and Phoenix to just name a few.  Many of my favorite players were in their prime or still very relevant - Dominique, Buck Williams, Eddie Johnson, David Robinson, Larry Smith, Trent Tucker - I could go on and on.  Again I was a huge NBA fan and this box of cards brought back so many great memories. 

This was a standard Upper Deck box - 36 packs with 12 cards per pack for a total of 432.  The fronts had a white border.  Inside that border to the right was basketball hardwood strip going from top to bottom.  Another hardwood strip ran across the bottom of the card.  Where those two intersected you'd have the team logo against a silver background.  The Upper Deck logo is in the upper right of the card while the player name is at the bottom left with their position to the right next to the team logo.  The team names runs vertically on the right of the card.  Again a simple design with plenty of room for photos.  And the photos were great.  Lots of action shots that caught players in action.  Many I've included here are perfect examples. 

The back of the cards have a hardwood
strip to the left of the card with the players name and position.  The card number is at the top left inside the outline of a basketball backboard.  An Upper Deck hologram triangle is next to that. I can't read it but I think legal stuff is under that. Below that is the player's height, weight, birthdate and college.  I would have liked to have seen hometown and where the player was drafted.  Maybe even hometown.  The player's stats from the last six years are under the hardwood strip.  I prefer the player's stats from their entire career but I'll give them a pass since they have the large photos.  The stats include yr, club, games played, fg%, ft%, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, points and points per game average.  Three point percentage is missing but you didn't start to see this on cards till later years.  And again with the totals.  The NBA hasn't looked at stats in terms of totals since the 60's?  Why were we still seeing totals as opposed to per game averages on cards in the 90's?  Ugh.  More of an overall gripe as opposed to a knock against this set.  A large picture on the runs from top to bottom on the right of the card.  Again some great photos here.  Many are as good as those on the front.  The NBA logo is in the bottom right of the photo.  I like the backs.  Again a few complaints about the stats but the great photos more than make up for it. 

Kevin McHale in all his gangly greatness.
The only insert I received were two Michael Jordan holograms though there were the same card (AW4).  Subsets within the base set include "Vs" cards with the likes of Bird vs Person and Magic vs Jordan among others.  The first 14 cards were rookies from the draft.  All-star cards had actual pictures of players from the all-star game with a write-up filling the back of the card.  I really like having photos from the game itself.  The checklists for each team has art from one of the team's key players on the front.  I always enjoy the art on these cards.  There was a good amount of the big stars but I will say if you are trying to build a set there could be issue.  Anyone looking for Robert Parrish contact me.  I have five.  A checklist of the set can be found here.  A video blogger also posted a video of him breaking open a box.
Ron Harper thought this was a shoot for GQ.
This box cost me only $6 but it was worth much more to me.  I have no clue what I'll do with all these cards but I'd do it all over again.  Looking back I probably would have purchased every box the dealer had.  I'll definitely plan on attending the next show in the hopes of finding the same dealer there.  Opening these boxes were great.  I haven't had this much fun in quite some time. 

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