It seems like every man in his fifties has a similar story of having a collection of mint condition Mickey Mantel rookie cards that his mom threw away. Knowing that, I made sure that my mom never did anything of the sort to my valued card collection. The only problem was 12 year old me was dumb. I had the plan that my card collection would one day make me rich. My pre-teen financial planning seems to somehow be worse than my mid 20s financial planning.
I was recently at my parents house and decided to open the vault to my childhood card collection. I sifted through my 1990 PGA Tour cards, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cards, baseball cards of guys I've never heard of before to get to the real prize: the worst basketball card collection of all time.
Apparently I had an affinity for gumpy big white guys. Much to my surprise, those cards aren't worth anything. It's taken me a long time to stop crying. What did Michael Doleac do to be worth nothing!? I blame Jimmer Fredette for most of this. Shawn Bradley is the only Mormon I will ever root for in the NBA.
The crown jewel of this page would be the Adam Keefe card. It's not bad enough that Keefe only averaged 5 points for his career. He is being blocked by Christian Laettner on his basketball card. I don't know how you can further embarrass a man. Gheorghe Muresan almost became too good for this collection with his Snickers and Sportscenter commercials. But "My Giant" put him right back on the worthless list.
It pains me to put a Spartan in this, but there is a reason that they made a college draft pick card for Matt Steigenga- he only played in 2 games in the NBA. At least the Bulls didn't think he would be the centerpiece of their franchise like the Vancouver Grizzlies did with Bryant "Big Country" Reeves when they drafted him 6th overall in 1995. You'll notice Will Perdue makes it twice here. He is "defending" Reeves on his card. Man the mid 90s was chock full of well...chalk.
Who would coach this All-Star lineup? Who else besides two of the greatest coaches of all time, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley. I loved this Fleer card design. I have far too many Mugsy Bogues and Larry Johnson Charlotte Hornets cards simply because I liked the purple and teal column on the right hand side. I was the cool kid who had the Charlotte Hornets Starter jacket when I was kid. Man do I miss that thing.
I knew back then that the way to get rich in the future was to have a mint condition rookie card. So I put all my rookie cards in a three-ring binder card holder. What I did not know back then was that the rookie cards should actually be of good players. Here are the highlights of my rookie cards: Jamal Crawford, Keyon Dooling, Khalid El-Amin, Marcus Fizer, Dermarr Johnson, Eddie Jones, Kerry Kittles, Chris Mihm, Darius Miles, TWO Joel Pryzbilla cards, Malik Sealy and John Wallace. I don't even think those guys kept their own rookie cards.
I can't help but think that I wasted all those years pouring over my cards dreaming of how much money they would bring me in the future. I can still hold out hope that Brian Cardinal will take over the league and win a couple MVPs before he finally stops stealing money from the end of the bench.
As much as this pains me to say it, Mom, you can go ahead and throw my cards away.
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