Archive for Stadium Sports

Thrift Treasures 117: Michael Jeffrey Jordan x 700-ish

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , on May 1, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Remember that time Michael Jordan retired at the peak of his basketball career and decided to play baseball?

If you were alive and a sports fan in the 1990s you surely remember this. The Jordan-baseball connection actually started a few years before his “retirement” and it and it was famously chronicled on the 1991 Upper Deck Special card showing the basketball legend taking hacks at a White Sox game.

Jordan of course retired from basketball about three years later, opting to take his talents to Birmingham (to play baseball with the Barons, the White Sox minor league affiliate) with hopes of eventually wearing the pinstripes of the Major League White Sox.

Upper Deck pounced in this, creating a few Jordan baseball rookie cards in 1994 flagship Upper Deck, as well as in Collector’s Choice. A year later UD would again produce more Jordan baseball cards.

Topps? They never did create any. Hell, no other companies created any Jordan baseball cards … at least not legally.

And so enter the unlicensed market, which would include this 1993-94 Stadium Sports Michael Jordan card, comically numbered 69 as if there was actually a large set and not just this card, or different versions thereof.

It was not uncommon to see cards just like this during the early 1990s. Donruss has created legit Elite Series inserts using prism foil, and other companies were piggybacking on that with unlicensed cards of their own — often nothing more than a stale image of a player drowning in a sea of shiny goodness.

These type of cards weren’t really the type of thing I bought for my collection, but I saw plenty of people who did.

And so yesterday, while on my way to get my kids from school, I stopped at a Goodwill and they had a handful of 1990 Topps bricks (stacks of 25/50 of the identical card) of Nolan Ryan special cards on the shelf, and three boxes of cards in the showcase. I took a look through two of the boxes and passed as they were ProSet golf cards from like 1991.

And the third box? All Jordan. Michael Jeffrey Jordan. And all the same card.

You’re not going to find this card in your Beckett, and probably won’t see them on any official checklist, but there was no way I could pass on an 800-count box of Michael Jordan cards, even ones as kitschy as these, which show him as a baseball player with a proclamation of “Rookie of the Year.”

Total cost of this Thrift Treasure: $4.99

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