Tag Archives: Basketball cards

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George Mikan was the NBA’s first big man. Standing 6’ 10” tall, the late Basketball Hall of Famer helped redefine the center position during his glory years playing for the Minneapolis Lakers. Mikan broke the mold, so to speak, and along with his emergence as the NBA’s top draw during the league’s early days, regional distributions of the man’s likeness were being distributed for the team’s growing legion of fans. One such offering came in the early ‘50s by way of Scott’s Potato Chips of Minneapolis.

4 of 13 - SGC Graded

George Mikan was the NBA’s first big man. Standing 6’ 10” tall, the late Basketball Hall of Famer helped redefine the center position during his glory years playing for the Minneapolis Lakers. Mikan broke the mold, so to speak, and along with his emergence as the NBA’s top draw during the league’s early days, regional distributions of the man’s likeness were being distributed for the team’s growing legion of fans. One such offering came in the early ‘50s by way of Scott’s Potato Chips of Minneapolis.

4 of 13 Card Backs - SGC GradedSince May 24th, an incredibly rare complete set of all 13 cards from the seldom seen 1950-51 Scott’s Potato Chip regional issue featuring players from the defending NBA World Champion Minneapolis Lakers has been up for bid at SCP Auctions. The card fronts feature a black-and-white drawing of each player set against a light blue background with a facsimile autograph below. A prominent Scott’s logo is also placed on the front of each card. The card backs boast detailed biographies along with an ad for obtaining game tickets and possibly even a signed team photo of the Lakers. It was an early example of a basketball redemption card operation but not a program true card collectors would ever embrace. Nevertheless many youngsters at that time turned their cards in for some of these prizes thus making the population of cards that may have survived even smaller. All cards within the offered set have been graded by SGC including the only card of Bobby Doll that’s ever been analyzed by the company. It’s the highest graded set on the SGC Registry.

“This set is the definition of rare,” said SCP Auctions President David Kohler. “These cards were only distributed in Minneapolis some 70 years ago and only through potato chip bags, so you can imagine there’s just not that many around.”

Mikan 1In the case of the sought-after Mikan #9 card, the front shows a drawing of Mikan in the same pose that was used for his coveted 1948 Bowman card where he is running and leaning a bit to the right as he dribbles a basketball. The back of the card includes this informational nugget about Mikan: “The key to his success is sleep. He gets 12 hours a night.”

The set is currently nearing $8,000 with less than a week to go in the bidding. A single of just the Mikan card, graded EX 5.5 by PSA, is also being offered as a separate lot and is currently at $3,897. Online bidding closes on June 10 at www.scpauctions.com.   –Terry Melia

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If you were a kid growing up in the 1950s, chances are you had never seen a basketball card before.  With interest in the NBA lagging behind baseball, football and even hockey for many, the market was limited.  Bowman had produced a one and done set in 1948 but for the next eight years, the hoop landscape was totally barren. That drought came to an end in 1957 when Topps produced its first set of NBA trading cards.  Now, the original file copy sets stored by the company 58 seasons ago are on the auction block.

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The lone PSA 10 graded example of George Mikan’s 1948 Bowman rookie card sold for $403,664  in SCP Auctions’ 2015 Fall Premier online auction, which concluded early Sunday morning. The card previously sold in 2009 when SCP purchased it for a client, but this auction nearly doubled its previous world record price. The entire auction of more than 1,000 sports memorabilia lots brought in more than $4 million.

Mikan 1948 Rookie Card

George Mikan’s 1948 rookie card sold for $403,664 in SCP Auctions’ Fall Premier online auction, a record for a basketball card. SCP Auctions said Sunday that the buyer wished to remain anonymous. The card of the Minneapolis Lakers’ Hall of Fame center is from the lone Bowman basketball card set ever produced and is the only one of its kind to receive a grade of ”Gem Mint 10” from third-party authenticator PSA Cards. The card previously sold in 2009 for $225,000.

Mikan 1948 Rookie Card

Michael Jordan might still be the king of cardboard when it comes to basketball, but even he can’t stop a vintage gem from breaking records. A PSA 10 1948 Bowman George Mikan rookie card sits at more than $150,000 with several days remaining at SCP’s Fall Premier Auction. And while that’s a big number, expect to see some big jumps. The same card sold for $225,000 in 2009. Pre-auction estimates suggest it could double this time around.

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I must admit that I barely ever heard of George Mikan, dubbed “Mr. Basketball” for his pioneering play and dominance, until his card came up for auction. But now I’ll have a hard time forgetting him. His 1948 Bowman rookie card— the only specimen ever graded a PSA 10 gem mint— will probably reach $.5 million in an auction that closes on December 5th. “This particular card sold for $218,500 in 2009 and we certainly anticipate that will double that price this time out,” says Terry Melia of SCP Auctions, in Laguna Niguel, California. “It’s basketball’s equivalent of the Honus Wagner T206 baseball card.” As of this posting, the card is up to $129,690 at www.scpauctions.com.