Rare Air

For some reason, when I scrawl my name across random objects, the value of said object does not increase. I don't know why.

The Story Behind the Object
Back in November, I wrote about the Carolina Basketball Upper Deck card set that I have (if you missed it, or you’ve forgotten about it because you don’t find my life so fascinating that you have to memorize every detail of it, you can read the column here). For the purposes of having a base level of knowledge for the remainder of this column, the most important quote in that link reads:

“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.”

It’s time for me to follow through on my promise and provide “another post” dedicated entirely to revealing the mysterious other card. Now let’s continue the story...

My parents gave me that 24-pack box of cards for my birthday. So that they could receive the full joy of giving, I decided to open each and every one of the 24 packs whilst sitting on their couch. Keep in mind, they are N.C. State fans. I’m sure watching this was a riveting experience for them.

So I’m sitting on their couch, watching the gridiron Heels play Idaho. As I watched, I yearned to have an outlet (such as Argyle Report) where I could write a postgame column using nothing but potato jokes. I think I wound up texting them to friends, instead. You know, things like:

• Man, the Idaho D-line looks really fried.
• That Idaho quarterback just got mashed.
• Compared to the Heels, the Vandals look like little tots out there.
• At 66-0, this is just an old school whipping.
• I know - I KNOW - I found a way to make an au gratin joke, but it was over five years ago and I can’t seem to recall how I pulled it off.

That’s the type of hard hitting analysis you can only get these days if you follow me on Twitter. I'm @HeelsboroDave if you’re dying for some jokes about spuds. (Trust me, there was a joke about spuds.)

At any rate, as I watched the game, I opened packs of cards. As I stated earlier, Upper Deck had promised me (by virtue of writing it on the box) that I would receive at least one autographed card from this box. Several packs in, I opened a Pete Chilcutt. Not exactly my top option (no offense, Pete), but cool nonetheless. To my great surprise, though, many packs later, I opened a second autographed card. And it was the autograph of none other than His Airness himself, the GOAT,  Michael Jeffrey Jordan.

Jordan was probably my least expected autograph option in the entire set. Well, that’s not true, I’d have been pretty surprised to get an autographed Frank McGuire card, considering he died back in the 90s. But of all the folks featured on cards who are still living, I’d say I least foresaw snagging a card signed by MJ.

Carolina Collectibles Description

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Now, as I said in the description of the entire set in my original column, this set consists of a “base set” of 83 cards. This signed Jordan card was not from that base set. The complete set had five additional 20-card “subsets.” One of those subsets was “The Jordan Years.” This card was not from that subset, either. Instead, it was from the subset “All Americans.” It’s got a black and white crowd shot in the background with Jordan in the forefront in the proper BEEF position. Balance, Eyes, Elbows, Follow-through. Classic shooting technique.


The card is number 111 in the set and while the front looks just like all of the other number 111 cards (aside from being signed), the back is completely different. It congratulates me on receiving an autographed card, effectively verifying the authenticity of the autograph on the front.

Also, if you look super closely at the far left side of the front of the card, you can see an embossed “2 / 3,” signifying that this is the second of three autographed versions of this particular card in existence. In the world. Only three. The odds of me randomly pulling this card out of a box of cards had to be incredibly slim. Maybe I should have asked for a lottery ticket instead of a box of basketball cards.

Carolina Collectibles Comparison: Michael Jordan
Pretty much no other option here, right? A one of a kind player, a one of a kind collectible. (Technically three of a kind collectible, I guess, but whatever.)

Carolina Collectibles Rating: 5 stars

I took this to a card show several months ago and had a guy offer me, let’s just say “several” Benjamins for it - right on the spot. Now, I’m an accountant, so I enjoy money. And I understand the value of a dollar. And I understand that logically if someone offers you more money for something than you are willing to pay for that something, then you should sell that someone that something. Despite that knowledge, I did the irrational and turned down the money. I’m sure there is an amount of money which I would be unwilling to turn down in exchange for keeping this card. But that guy didn’t hit the number, apparently. All that to say, if I turned down several Benjamins for it, then this is a five star item.

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