Upper Deck Carolina Basketball Cards

Upper Deck Carolina Basketball Cards

Basketball season is here! Basketball season is here! To celebrate, we’re giving stuff away!!!
 
The Story Behind the Object

I grew up collecting trading cards. It's funny that they are still called trading cards. I'm sure at some point in history they truly were traded, but do you think that ever happens in this day and age? Are there kids that open packs of cards with their friends and then swap a few of them with one another? Seems doubtful. In fact, just opening cards with their friends seems unlikely for today's youth. Heck, with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and whatnot, just being in the same room as their friends is a rarity. I blame the internet.

Mostly I collected baseball cards. I had a 1990 Topps football complete set, and some random basketball cards here and there - oh, and a ton of Sports Illustrated for Kids tear out cards (back when they put a sheet of 9 cards per month in the magazine - I don't know, maybe they still do). But mostly it was baseball cards. I think I had complete sets of 10 or 12 years from the 80s and 90s. Still have them, in fact. Just dug them out of the garage this weekend. I kept them because I just knew they'd be going up and up in value and one day I'd be rich.

I was probably 12 years old when I saved up $85, if memory serves, to purchase the 1982 set (featuring a Cal Ripken rookie card) from one of my dad's cousins, who was also a collector. That's $85 in let's just call them 1995 dollars, which is approximately $135 in 2017 dollars. Unfortunately, dollars and baseball cards have had an inverse relationship over time. Because $85 in 1995 baseball cards is more like $55 in 2017 baseball cards, according to Beckett's valuation of the 1982 set. It's so easy to find the exact card or set of cards you're looking for these days online that there is no scarcity anymore, which has sent card values plummeting. I blame the internet.

Somewhere around middle school I started to catalog all of my cards. I was doing it in a program called Quattro Pro. This was essentially Microsoft Excel before Microsoft Excel, but should probably have been my parents' first clue that I was destined for a career in accounting. I mean, really? Typing in player name, card company name, year, card number, and the number of them that I owned into a giant spreadsheet for easy reference? Sounds...exactly like something I'd do now if I had more time in my life. And then I'd publish the list on this site and let people buy any of them they were interested in.

I don't do much collecting anymore. Or at least, I don't do much adding to my collection. As I said, I still have basically every card I've ever owned in my garage, so technically I’m still “collecting.” Turns out, once you start collecting something, you can’t technically say you’ve stopped collecting them until you’ve gotten rid of all of that thing. Boom, mind blown. This has been deep thoughts from David.

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Anyway, despite not adding to my collection much anymore, in 2011 when Upper Deck released a Carolina Basketball set featuring star players from way back in the early 1900s all the way through the present day, I was pretty sure I wanted to get in on that action. I didn't buy the complete set, though. I would just buy a pack or two here or there. Or a small box of eight packs, I believe it was. Then for my birthday in 2012, my parents gave me a box that contained 24 packs of cards. I remember which year they gave them to me because I was at their house on my actual birthday opening these packs of cards while the gridiron Heels placed a 66-0 beatdown on the Idaho Vandals. Oh, the glory days of winning football games.

If you buy a box of 24 packs, Upper Deck guarantees you'll receive at least one autographed card in that box. I actually received two. Pete Chilcutt, and another that I'll save for another post all to its own. But it was on that day, opening those 24 packs of cards, that I finally completed my set. In fact,  I completed a couple of sets, meaning I have a spare, which I'm giving to one of you lucky individuals!

How do you enter? Simply follow @ArgyleReport and @HeelsboroDave on Twitter and mention us in a tweet this week telling us about your favorite trading card (use the hashtag #carolinacollectibles). Winner will be announced in this column next Monday. Best of luck! I'll be rooting for one of you (but I'm not saying which one).

And seriously, if you want to buy a random hodgepodge of baseball cards, I have four 5,000 card boxes full of miscellaneous cards. I doubt any of the 20,000 cards are worth more than $5, but there's always the chance that you are missing a single card from that 1989 Fleer set that I may have to complete your collection. I'll cut you a great deal.

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Carolina Collectibles Description
This set is divided into two sections, the base set and five special 20-card subsets. The base set consists of 83 cards featuring some of the greatest Carolina players and coaches of the last 100 years, starting with Nathaniel Cartmell way back in 1910 (#1) and going all the way to Ed Davis (#81) and Dean Smith (#83). The five subsets are:

Rivalries: includes the 102-100 victory over Duke in 1995 that 97 percent of America thinks was a game won by Duke on a midcourt buzzer beater.
All-Americans: like Jerry Stackhouse and Ty Lawson, to name but two.
The Carolina Basketball Museum: featuring Eric Montross' shoes which are showcased in the museum.
Timelines: walks you through some of the history of Tar Heel basketball, including the oft-ignored 1971 NIT title.
The Jordan Years: literally just 20 different pictures of Michael Jordan.

I should note here that the giveaway is only for the 83-card base set, and not the 100 additional cards in the five subsets. My apologies.

Carolina Collectibles Comparison: Lennie Rosenbluth
Not only is Lennie actually on one (maybe a couple, actually) of these cards, but he also has a lot of parallels to a trading card. He was really popular way back in the day and continues to hang around and bring a smile to the face of some of the more knowledgeable fans, despite not being incredibly popular with today's youth.

Carolina Collectibles Rating: 5 Stars
These cards are pretty stinking awesome. I'm not sure any other school has had anything like this made for their basketball program. I'm not saying they haven't, but I haven't seen it. And if they have, does that school have six NCAA titles? Highly unlikely.