This is the first Sunday Edition "Mail Day" that I've done. The reason for it, is that the package sent was comprised primarily of cards related to a previous "Sunday Edition" post. I received these cards from KO Rob in New Jersey nearly two months ago. I knew I wanted to do them on a Sunday, I just haven't had a chance until now. Which is a little embarrassing given how wildly generous KO Rob was with the cards that he sent. On a side note, I don't know which blog is KO Rob's (or if he has one), though I found his name listed on a lot of other ones, so if someone does, please fill me in so I can link to it and scour his need list.
Rob started off with some Wallach's, shown above, which are always appreciated. Then he went a little crazy. Crazy to the tune of twenty two (22!) 1986 Fleer Basketball cards off of my need list. Nearly all of them in pristine condition. That may not seem like that big of a deal to those of you under thirty or so who don't dabble in basketball cards, but go ahead and try to find some commons from that set on your go to online sites. They're hard to find, harder to find in decent shape, and demand a premium usually reserved for cards from 1950 Topps sets.
The twenty two cards included some names to, such as Adrian Dantley, Alex English, Moses Malone, and an Xavier McDaniel RC. This huge haul trimmed down my need list to a very "manageable" ten cards. I say "manageable" because one of them is the Jordan, a card that defies all common logic and the basic rules of economics. Low grade copies demand nearly the same premium as copies in much better shape. Case in point, take a look at this "PSA 1" that just sold on ebay:
In contrast, a search of sold PSA 6 copies go in the $800-$1100 range. That's a tiny degree of difference compared to pretty much every other card in existence. Normally I'd have no problem picking up a raw copy, but unfortunately due to the sheer number of fakes floating around, I dare not buy anything but a slabbed card. This is a pain on a couple of levels. For one, it costs more, and two, those cases are a pain in the ass to crack open. At this price though (a '52 Topps Willie Mays can be had for less and in better shape) it's a problem I won't be dealing with for awhile.
No, I fear I missed my chance to own a Jordan Rookie card. I was one of the few children in Phoenix, or apparently anywhere, who bought packs of these cards in 1986. I didn't buy a lot, but a handful. There was a card I desperately wanted. After opening a pack in my LCS (The Batter's Box next to Thunderbird High School), and voicing my disappointment, the dealer pulled some singles from behind the counter (this old school shop still had a wooden counter, no glass displays).
The shop keeper suggested I go for a $2 rookie card of a kid named Jordan, it was a "pretty good investment" (or something along those lines). As a seven year old in the mid-80's I was certainly very aware of the "importance" of good card "investments." Even at that age I a strong portfolio of multiple '86 Fleer Cory Snyder's. The dunking photo of Jordan also presented a strong temptation, but I instead opted for the $3 card, the most expensive card in the set, the coolest card in the set, and the one that was obviously the better "investment." Even my mother, who rarely sprung for individual cards that cost more than a pack of 15 (the math didn't make sense to her) could see the appeal of this very special card laid out before us. So I passed on the Jordan, picked up the Holy Grail of basketball cards to 1980's kids who cared about basketball cards and went home happy.
With the acquisition of this card, I stopped buying packs, after all, what was the point? Basketball cards would never be worth what baseball cards were, and I already had the "good one." It wasn't this well worn when I bought it, but it was subjected to a lot of handling, as everyone was interested in the Spud Webb dunking card. And while the penny sleeve protected it to a degree on trips to school, and baseball practice, a card of this significance had to be handled in person, not in a sleeve. I felt pretty good about it for a few years, until Mike S. bought the Jordan I had seen (or at least a Jordan) from the same card shop. His father paid $200.
As ridiculous as that number was at the time, it's going to take a lot more than that to knock off the last nine on;
My need list for 1986-87 Fleer Basketball: 1, 4, 9, 26, 31, 53, 57, 99, 109, 130
In fairness, that Spud is still an epic looking card.
Updated Totals for the Wallach Cards sent: