Jon Teitel attended the 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore last August. This is the 5th installment in his photo essay about the dealers he interviewed and the stories of the college basketball memorabilia that they were offering for sale/auction. We will be presenting this in installments over the next several months.
Sports card and memorabilia collecting has made a great evolution over time, for better or worse. Many adults have fond childhood memories of buying packs of cards that had bubble gum inside and then placing the cards into the spokes of their bicycles. However, in the 21st century collectors have locked up their treasures in a “look but don’t touch” philosophy as the friendly pastime has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
I got to speak with Hank Reizes, who runs a company called 99% Basketball & More. He had a pair of autographed Sports Illustrated issues featuring some college basketball legends. Both of these issues have been authenticated and graded by PSA. The 1st item was a 1977 Larry Bird autographed SI magazine that does not have a mailing label. Hank got it from an anonymous friend who worked for the Pacers. Hank would send his friend a pair of duplicate items: 1 for the friend to keep and 1 to get signed and sent back in return. This item was on sale for $300.
The 2nd item was a 1978 Magic Johnson autographed SI magazine. Hank used to donate some memorabilia to Magic’s Midsummer’s Night Charity Game in Los Angeles. He later mentioned this to Magic and his wife Cookie at a book signing in Phoenix and got Magic to sign this issue. This item was on sale for $250.