Friday, June 29, 2018

Sports Card Tour 2018 - Portland

Calling all basketball fans! Four of the next five stops on The Collector's Sports Card Tour are NBA-only cities. Today we're in Portland.

Portland is home to two pro sports teams - the Blazers and the Timbers. I don't have any MLS cards, nor have I been discussing soccer on these posts. I just thought they deserved a mention because they're in Portland, they're popular, and they have a legit team name that doesn't include "FC" or "United".

The Trail Blazers were NBA champions in 1976-77 - which happened to be their first playoff appearance. They were Western Conference champions in 1989-90 and 1991-92. 

You may have noticed a new Basketball Stars Master List page at the top of my blog. This list will help me keep track of all the star cards in my NBA collection. I don't have any Bill Walton cards, but I have been meaning to read The Breaks Of The Game  - which chronicles the Trail Blazers' 1979-80 season.

Has anyone read this? If so, do you recommend it? I'm just about done with the final season of The West Wing (four episodes left to watch) so I'm going to look for this book when I return the DVDs the library.

The greatest player in Trail Blazers history is Clyde "The Glide" Drexler. Clyde was the catalyst of the two-time NBA finalists but had to return to Houston (where he played high school and college ball) to earn a ring.

I still haven't committed to completing the 1988-89 Fleer basketball set. My plan is to complete a couple more projects before starting new ones. I almost purchased a Drexler Starting Lineup figure from The Kenner Kid on eBay..but I passed at the $40 price tag. Probably wasn't a smart pass considering he's asking $150 for a mint figure.

That's quite a big discount just for one crease

Portland's deep playoff runs coincided with my basketball watching and collecting peak years. Nearly half of my Blazers base cards are players from the early '90s - including Terry Porter and Jerome Kersey:

It looks like Skybox stole the photo Hoops used for their Kersey card a year earlier.

Not sure how I ended up with four Rick Adelman cards but I wish coach cards were more common in recent sets. Then again, if you're paying $5 for an 8-card pack, do you really want a non-player to be one of those eight?

Danny Ainge played for four NBA teams (and one MLB team) Otis Thorpe was part of the trade that sent Clyde Drexler to Houston. Gary Trent's son Gary Jr. was acquired by the Blazers after he was drafted by the next team on our itinerary - Sacramento.

I wasn't following basketball around the turn of the new millennium so I missed the "Jail Blazers" era. That's one reason why I stayed away from the sport for so long.

Greg Oden was the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft, ahead of Kevin Durant. He only played one season's worth of games for Portland due to chronic knee and foot injuries. The UD Starquest card is an un-common, for what that's worth.

Brandon Roy was the Blazers' star scorer for a few years - until his career was also lost to a knee injury.

Repack Blazers. I initially thought the C.J. McCollum card was a bronze parallel or something. McCollum was one of the last cuts from my NBA Superstars master list.

These two former Blazers are in my star box. Scottie Pippen beat Portland in the '92 NBA Finals as a member of the Bulls. LaMarcus Aldridge was a 'franchise favorite' before signing with San Antonio. The Prestige insert is one of two Blazers cards I've bought from COMC.

This Totally Certified red parallel is the other. I took it home with the rest of the COMC 500 for just 95 cents. It's serial numbered to 199 and quite possibly my best Blazers card.

I have two other Damian Lillard cards. The Donruss card is part of my set build so I only have one Dame in my base card box. I should try to add a few more to my collection - he's the biggest Rip City star since Drexler.

Favorite Trail Blazers player (all-time): Clyde Drexler 
Favorite Trail Blazers player (all-time): Damian Lillard

Next tour stop: Sacramento

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!



  1. Skybox and Hoops were published by the same company in 1990-91, and through mergers, up through 2004-05.

    1. I did not know that. I may have known that at the time, but I didn't know that now. Until now! :)

  2. I always forget about Pippin playing for them.

    I like Lillard. Wished the Knicks had his talents

  3. Nice. I've lived in Portland for several years now, but have yet to develop much allegiance to any local teams. I know they're on the list for possible expansion MLB teams. That'd be cool.

  4. When I think of Portland and badketball, I think of when the Blazers went down to the Bulls in the NBA finals. I do not really have a favorite player from the Blazers, past or present. I trade all Blazers cards I get to a friend/blogger who is a fan. Keep up this awesome series. I am really enjoying it.

    1. I'd ask you to let him know about this post..but if he's a Blazers fan he probably wont be impressed.

    2. I also think of the Blazers vs. Bulls video game.

  5. Portland has more card bloggers than sports teams.

  6. For many years, there was a minor league baseball team.. They ended up moving..

  7. This is a great post!

    Drexler was my all-time fave growing up, and I'm currently living the ups and downs of the Lillard era. I need to track down some of those newer Blazers cards that you posted.

  8. The Breaks of the Game was practically required reading for a kid growing up in Portland, well at least when I was young, it's probably not on most of the current generation's to read list. I can still remember when my mom found my copy (1st edition hardback)at a garage sale for 25 cents back in 1992.

  9. $40 might be a great price for that Drexler, but I understand why you passed. It's hard to imagine dropping that much money on a Kenner SLU. Although if I ever found a 1988 Greg Maddux at that price, I'd be all over it.

    Favorite Trail Blazers player (all-time): Drexler