Friday, July 6, 2018

Sports Card Tour 2018 - Salt Lake City

The next two stops on The Collector's Sports Card Tour are the last two NBA-only cities. Today we're in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is home to an MLS franchise, a minor league baseball team, and a wonderful girl whom I crushed on for many years. It was also the host city of the 2002 Winter Olympics. But we're not going to discuss any of that...

Next season will be the 40th for the Jazz in Utah. They were Western Conference champions in 1997 and 1998. I was so mad when they lost both NBA Finals to Michael Jordan and the Bulls-especially after The, I mean The Shot.

Karl Malone and John Stockton were one of the greatest tandems in NBA history. They were teammates in Utah for 18 seasons - and on the 1992 U.S. Olympic "Dream Team."

I asked my mom to buy me a Karl Malone Fleer RC for Christmas one year, and sure enough she wrapped it in a small package and stuffed it in my stocking. Sadly, it's long gone from my collection.

True Colors is one of my favorite insert sets. I hunted for these on COMC before I truly got back to collecting NBA cards. Perhaps cards like these contributed to that commitment.

More Mailman. The middle two cards were acquired in a trade with Bo (Baseball Cards Come To Life). The bottom two cards - and all of the Panini Prizm singles you see in these posts - were sent to me by Jon (A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts). 

Until two weeks ago I had twelve cards of #12 - six base cards...

...and six inserts. However there was a single John Stockton card in the box from Brad, so now I have a baker's dozen. 

I only have one Jeff Hornacek Jazz card. Hornacek used to wipe the side of his face at the free throw line, as a way of acknowledging his kids. He also used to coach the Knicks (there's a joke about children in there somewhere but I'll let it slide.)

Shot blocker extraordinaire Mark Eaton was a Jazz star in the 80's. Darrell Griffith was one of the greatest players in Jazz history - at least according to his 1989-90 NBA Hoops card.

Early 90s Jazz, including a pair of Jerry Sloan. The Skybox Benoit was a repack pull. And speaking of repacks...

This Derrick Favors Prizm was the face card of a repack I picked out at Target a couple months ago. It was more appealing to me than the star player base cards that were showing on the other packs.

Favors also appears in my Jazz binder page, along with Ronnie Brewer and Alec Burks among others. I just saw an E:60 story about Carlos Boozer renting out his L.A. home to Prince while he was playing for the Jazz. Aside from the Hornacek Prizm, these are my most recent base cards - one page covers ten years. 

Back when Andrei Kirilenko was playing, ESPN did a story on basketball WAGs (long before VH1 tackled that subject) and I remember his supermodel-looking wife saying she expected him to mess around on the she gave him a Hall Pass on the air! He declined it of course. I'm not a firearms aficionado at all, but AK-47 is a badass nickname.

Since I don't have a lot of Jazz cards to discuss I pulled out some singles from my 2015-16 Donruss set build.While scanning them I noticed something very interesting on the back... do you see it? Isn't that odd?

I don't have any (other) Rudy Gobert cards in my collection, and I don't have any Gordon Hayward base cards - unless you count this super thick Immaculate single.

I don't, btw. Thick base cards go in my relics box, waiting for me to buy thicker top loaders (The comic book store near my work only has standard size.) These were all part of the COMC 500; the Excalibur relic ($1.22) cost slightly more than the Immaculate ($1)

This Tom Chambers autograph was another COMC purchase. When I saw these Shadowbox Signatures cards I had to have one. Missed out on a David Thompson Sonics card (sold for $5) and at $3.97 this was the cheapest card of a player I recognized. Chambers was the only eligible member of the 20,000-point club not in the Hall of Fame-until Antawn Jamison joined him.

When Hayward left the Jazz I was worried that they would slip back into mediocrity and miss the playoffs. Despite the natural beauty of Utah, Salt Lake City is not exactly a choice free agent destination (the night life is kind of a joke.) Then Donovan Mitchell arrived and now the future looks even brighter for the team. 

I don't have any Mitchell rookie cards - something that must be addressed soon since he's a rising star, the NBA's true Rookie of the Year, and a Connecticut native.

Favorite Jazz player (current): Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio

Favorite Jazz player (all-time): John Coltrane

Just's Malone and Stockton, of course.

Next tour stop: San Antonio

Thanks for reading. Enjoy your weekend!



  1. I'd still pick Coltrane over Malone and Stockton!

    1. Is that because you're a Coltrane fan, or because you didn't like Malone/Stockton?

  2. Great post about a one sport city! One of lesser collections is of John Stockton. Decided to do a collection of his cards after reading his autobiography. Plus I have gotten many Stockton cards in the dime boxes at a flea market.

  3. Karl Malone also had the distinction of being part of a match in WCW along with DDP against Hulk Hogan and Dennis Rodman

  4. As a kid growing up in Portland, I could not openly root for the Jazz, but I was a big fan of both Malone and Stockton, albeit secretly. That famous Jordan push-off still annoys me, especially since it was literally right in front of a referee.

    On a somewhat related note, I used to know a girl who's cousin was Tom Chambers, not terribly interesting, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

    1. The Jordan Rules..smh. It is interesting that you knew Tom Chambers' cousin! Did she get you his autograph?

    2. No, she didn't! She was kind of a... well, let's just say that she wasn't the most pleasant person.

  5. I was a huge Jazz fan in the Stockton-Malone era. Not as much in the Deron Williams era or the Rudy Gobert era. But the Jazz was my #1 Western Conference team for many years.

    I do like the new gradient jerseys they debuted this season.

    1. With the Donruss cards, you could be referring to the cards all being 1 numbers, or the fact that Panini can't get the color to match...

    2. I was referring to the numbering, but now that you mentioned it the card colors do have different shades.

      Utah seems to get a lot of crap for those jerseys, like they're copying off the Suns. But I like them, and they reflect the geography of the area.

  6. Jazz were my second favorite team from the 90s to the knicks. Just once I wanted them to beat the bulls and get a ring for the mail man. Just once!

    1. Me too. So many great players never got to win a title because MJ hogged 'em all.

  7. Without looking it up, I believe that team was from another city (New Orleans?) where the Jazz name actually made sense. Probably no American city less jazzy than Salt Lake City.

    1. You're right, it's New Orleans. There was a joke about it in the movie BASEketball i think it was: "The New Orleans Jazz moved to Utah, where they don't allow music."

  8. Favorite Jazz player (all-time): Stockton and Malone

    I actually don't really like these guys... but I really admire the combination these two formed. Sad that Malone left Utah to join the Lakers.

  9. Marvin Williams sighting! Loved him at UNC.