Michael Jordan and Baseball

As everyone my age, and even those younger, probably know Jordan dabbled in baseball back in the 90s after establishing a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. If you were alive and collecting you don’t need to be reminded of the phenomenon of athletes dabbling in more than one sport. Jordan did it. Brian Jordan and Deon Sanders did it. Probably the most famous for this type of behaviour was Bo Jackson. But I digress. If you look below you probably need no one to tell you what this card is and where it came from…

1991 Upper Deck SP1 Michael Jordan

1991 Upper Deck SP1 Michael Jordan

Along with, although not in the same caliber, Griffey Jr.’s ’89 Upper Deck card, and Frank Thomas’ ’90 Leaf card, this Jordan card was one of the most famous cards of the late ’80s, early ’90s. When this card began being pulled out of packs it created a feeding frenzy. Everyone wanted this card.

Now, 25 years later, with Jordan resting comfortably in the NBA’s Hall of Fame, this card is all but forgotten. I was perusing Kijiji the other day and came upon a listing for three of these cards. They were offered along with Jordan’s 1995 Upper Deck #200 card, a 1994 Ultra Pro card of Mike Piazza, and a factory set of 1989 Upper Deck including a real nice mint or better ungraded Griffey Jr. rookie card. I bought the cards all together for $50.00.

When I was buying the cards, I looked through them to make sure they were all there and one of the ’91 UD Jordan cards was in a toploader and had a price of $18.00. Can you imagine? It made me write this post. The other cards were also priced and by that evidence I assumed he had bought these cards all at the same time from the same dealer way back in 1991 when the baseball craze was in full tilt. The seller confirmed it. He had bought them from a dealer at a card show back in late ’91, if his memory served him correctly.

But it was the $18.00 Jordan card that I had my focus. Back in ’91 the $18.00 was a bit of a steal. Some shop owners were selling the card in the $40.00 range in my area of the world. But even at $18.00 I would have avoided buying this card at the time. In fact I had many opportunities to buy this card but I never did until quite recently. The Jordan card represented to be, a perfect example of the stupidity of the era. A card that was easily pulled from the 1991 boxes, was chased after crazily. Dealers were breaking cases of ’91 Upper Deck to get copies to sell. And people were buying them hand over fist. It took about a year, but people realized how much ’91 Upper Deck product was out there, and how easily the Jordan card was being found (every dealer in my area had at least a few copies of the card). The price fell and fell. When I came back to the hobby last year I picked up seven copies of this card for 99 cents plus 3.00 shipping off ebay. I was completing my ’91 Upper deck set.

If you were wondering what prices were on the other cards, the Piazza card had 8.00 on it and the 1989 Upper Deck factory set had $75.00 on it.

a Jordan rookie baseball card, once worth at least $18.00 is now just a common. That my friends is the culture of the junk card era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *