Somehow on Twitter, it recently came to my attention that the card above was selling for what I deemed to be rather obscene amounts on ebay, amounts north of $200. I assumed it had be some rare chrome, refractor, microwave oven, gold variation or something, but I checked into it anyway. Modern Topps base set cards don't sell for that kind of money, least of all basketball with it's tiny set size. Sure enough this card is selling for obscene amounts on ebay.
I had bought a ton of this set from Target back in 2009, chasing the ever elusive rookie card of legendary Syracuse Orangeman, Jonny Flynn, he of 6 OT fame, and superhuman ability to propel himself into the air. I never did pull a Flynn, but apparently I pulled a Curry. I found it right where I left it in a white cardboard box, stacked in my garage, not even in so much as a penny sleeve. Guess I didn't think much of the Davidson star, even if he did do me a solid by knocking Georgetown out of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
I also was excited to find three James Harden rookie cards. I don't really watch much NBA, given how incredibly boring it is, and that by the time the NCAA Tournament is over, I'm coming off a stretch of having watched several hours of college basketball a night since mid-November. So I'm pretty much ready for baseball and not interested in the inferior brand of basketball that is the NBA (mix in a zone, full court press, or at least bring back Kermit Washington or NHL style fighting you cowards!). That said, I'm aware enough of the NBA to know James Harden is an A-List star these days. His cards must be in the same ball park as Curry's card, right? Not so much. A quick look shows one having just sold for $1.04.
Too bad I didn't pull three Curry's instead, even poor Jonny Flynn (whose promising start to his career was knee capped by incompetent doctors in Minnesota) still demands a buck. I don't quite understand the phenomenon of one card in a set selling at ridiculously higher prices than other cards in a set. It just seems like a bad investment to me. If the Harden can be had for a buck, then it can't be that scarce. Which is why I'm very tempted to list the Curry on ebay. $200 buys a lot of Wallach cards.
This isn't a unique situation. It's similar to the 1986 Fleer set, and dozens of others across all-sports I'm not going to bother mentioning (you over paid for card #1 in '89 UD). The 1986 Fleer basketball set has been one of my collecting goals for about twenty years now. I don't work very hard at it, but I'm always on the lookout. One of my glaring needs is the Michael Jordan. That card still demands about a grand. There's no universe that I'm willing to admit exists, where a Jordan card should be selling for 20x to 100x more than the Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Akeem Olajuwon, or Karl Malone from the same set. If I can pick up the Dominque Wilkins card for $10, than the Jordan isn't worth a grand. At some point I will likely pull the trigger on a PSA 1, or "PSA Altered or Authentic" copy (damn counterfeiters forcing me to go graded) just to kill off the set, but I'm not going to like it when I do. Unless something goofy happens. Had I found three Curry's instead of three Hardens, I'd be attempting to make that swap as we speak. I need to go check if there are any O-Pee-Chee Hockey gems to be found from 2007-10
For now though, this has triggered an itch to go ahead on complete the set sans Jordan. If anyone is interested is in trading, I have a decent number of doubles including doubles of a few key rookies like Olajuwon, Ewing and Barkley to name a few. They're lower grade, but that's all I'm looking for in return. My need list is at the bottom of this page. But first a few more pictures of what is really a classic card set.
1986 Fleer Basketball need list:
1, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 21, 26, 30, 31, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 53, 56, 57, 69, 71, 72, 74, 92, 99, 112, 122, 130, 132