Jon Teitel attended the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore last summer. This is the 10th installment in his photo essay about the dealers he interviewed and the stories of the college basketball memorabilia that they were offering for sale or auction. We will be presenting this in installments over the next several months.
Sports card and memorabilia collecting has made a huge 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 valuable treasures in a “look but don’t touch” philosophy as the friendly pastime has evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry.
I got to talk to Greg Rudd of www.outstandingcollectibles.com, who had a bunch of Sporting News covers autographed by a variety of college basketball stars who ended up in the NBA. Greg purchased these at an auction from a guy in Indiana who got all the autographs in person. The 1st item was a 3/24/03 TJ Ford autographed Sporting News cover that was on sale for $15. Ford was the 1st freshman in NCAA history to lead the nation in assists, then the 2003 national POY as a PG at Texas, and spent almost a decade in the NBA despite suffering many injuries.
The second item was a 7/9/07 Greg Oden/Mike Conley Jr. autographed Sporting News cover that was on sale for $20. Oden and Conley were high school teammates at Lawrence North, then led Ohio State to the NCAA title game in 2007, and were picked 1st and 4th overall in the 2007 NBA draft.
The third item was a 4/14/08 Mario Chalmers autographed Sporting News cover that was on sale for $25. Chalmers made a miraculous shot at the end of regulation in the 2008 NCAA title game en route to being named tourney MOP for Kansas, and has won an NBA title in each of the past two years as a member of the Miami Heat.