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 (Toll Free)

Collecting USA: 50 cards, 50 states … it’s your turn to choose who’s the most-collectable

Bryant

By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

It seemed like a simple idea — pick a sports card that is symbolic for each of the 50 states, a star who is known as the best of the best for that area when it comes to collecting.

It turned out to be a bigger challenge than I thought. Do you choose who is most collectable? Most memorable? Who comes to mind first? You know, it’s pretty hard picking cardboard icons.

Take Alabama, for example. Do you pick a coaching icon who still defines plenty in the football-crazed state — a Paul “Bear” Bryant? Or do you pick his modern-day equivalent in Nick Saban? Or do you pick one of the Crimson Tide’s star players  – a list that includes a who’s who of NFL greats such as Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Ken Stabler, Ozzie Newsome, Don Hutson, John Hannah, Dwight Stephenson, Cornelius Bennett, Derrick Thomas, Shaun Alexander … and that’s just pre-Saban. (And that’s just the Crimson Tide.) Or, do you look at Bo Jackson or Frank Thomas at Auburn? Or maybe Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Satchel Paige and many others who don’t have school ties — but are all-time greats and from the state?

For the next Beckett Sports Card Monthly, The Collecting USA Issue, we’ll present our picks for a card representing every state. But, for now, it’s your turn to choose right here — pick from the greatest (focus on sports with cardboard) athletes with ties to each of the 50 states.

Picking a cool or memorable card after you pick a player? Well, that’s another story.

Make your picks … after the jump. (And be sure to add any comments you may have below, too.)

alabamasaban

Who is Alabama's best?

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Alaska

Who is Alaska's best?

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Arizona

Who is Arizona's best?

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Arkansas

Who is Arkansas' best?

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California

Who is California's best?

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Colorado

Who is Colorado's best?

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Conn

Who is Connecticut's best?

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Delaware

Who is Delaware's best?

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Florida

Who is Florida's best?

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Georgia

Who is Georgia's best?

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Hawaii

Who is Hawaii's best?

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Idaho

Who is Idaho's best?

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Illinois

Who is Illinois' best?

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Indiana

Who is Indiana's best?

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Iowa

Who is Iowa's best?

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Kansas

Who is Kansas' best?

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Kentucky

Who is Kentucky's Best?

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Louisiana

Who is Louisiana's best?

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Maine

Who is Maine's best?

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Maryland

Who is Maryland's best?

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Mass

Who is Massachusetts' best?

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Michigan

Who is Michigan's best?

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Minn

Who is Minnesota's best?

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Miss

Who is Mississippi's best?

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missouri

Who is Missouri's best?

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Montana

Who is Montana's best?

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Nebraska

Who is Nebraska's best?

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Nevada

Who is Nevada's best?

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NewHamp

Who is New Hampshire's best?

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Newjersey

Who is New Jersey's best?

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NewMexico

Who is New Mexico's best?

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NewYork

Who is New York's best?

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NorthCarolina

Who is North Carolina's best?

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NorthDakota

Who is North Dakota's best?

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Ohio

Who is Ohio's best?

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Oklahoma

Who is Oklahoma's best?

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Oregon

Who is Oregon's best?

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Penn

Who is Pennsylvania's best?

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RhodeIsland

Who is Rhode Island's best?

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southCarolina

Who is South Carolina's best?

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SouthDakota

Who is South Dakota's best?

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Tennessee

Who is Tennessee's best?

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Texas

Who is Texas' best?

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Utah

Who is Utah's best?

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Vermont

Who is Vermont's best?

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Virginia

Who is Virginia's best?

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washington

Who is Washington's best?

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westvirginia

Who is West Virginia's best?

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Wisconsin

Who is Wisconsin's best?

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Wyomingh

Who is Wyoming's best?

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Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball and Beckett Sports Card Monthly magazines. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at colds@beckett.com. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.

13 Comments

@BallCard_Blog

I hate to be that guy, but the Royals are in Mizzouri, not Kansas.

Posted November 11, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink
chrisolds

For the most part, they were on both lists. It’s now fixed.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink
Ryan

I think Wisconsin was actually the hardest one for me, pretty cool survey

Posted November 12, 2013 at 12:22 am | Permalink
Mike Pereira

Try thinking of the best anything from California and New York isn’t fair, too many greatest. Should do just the player’s college attended state survey. I’ll like to see best Texas or California college player of all-time. OJ for California and Texas is too tough, too many good football and basketball, and maybe a college baseball player too.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 2:16 am | Permalink

I know it’s impossible to include all the potential candidates on a list like this, but here’s some other thoughts for Connecticut, where I’m from:

Joey Logano
Mo Vaughn
Marcus Camby
Willie Pep (boxer)
Brian Leetch
Walt Dropo
Joan Joyce (softball legend)
Kristine Lilly
Ray Allen
Plus, former Hartford Whalers players: Ron Francis, Gordie Howe & more

Honestly, I don’t think I could pick … but for long-term lasting impact, I’d have to go with Jim Calhoun and his first card, from the 1990 Star Pics draft set, identifying him as the “Coach of the Year” after what is still know in these parts as UConn’s “Dream Season,” when it came out of nowhere to make a dramatic run into the NCAA’s Elite 8. UConn has been a big name in college basketball ever since.
http://i.ebayimg.com/t/JIM-CALHOUN-1990-Star-Pics-40-UCONN-/23/!BkRJVcQ!mk~$%28KGrHqMH-D0Es-TW%29p51BLW3Ivf5c!~~_12.JPG

Posted November 12, 2013 at 2:48 am | Permalink
John

Seriously, some run of the mill basketball player in Carlos Boozer is leading for Alaska versus a Calder Trophy (NHL ROY) and 2 time Stanley Cup Champion Scott Gomez. And I’m saying this as a Buffalo Sabres fan, I hate Gomez for running Ryan Miller a few years back!

Posted November 12, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink
Lucas

Bonds on California and Arizona?

Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Bonds is from California and did big damage in MLB while with the Giants. He went to college in Arizona, playing for Arizona State.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink
chrisolds

Mike: College has little bearing on some sports’ biggest names — particularly baseball.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink
Tyler

For Oklahoma, the top names are probably correct. Even though we don’t have a ton of history, Kevin Durant and maybe even Russell Westbrook should probably be on there as well.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

I’d have put the Big Unit on Arizona not Seattle. 3 Cy Youngs and a World Series title for the D-backs, 1 and none for the Mariners.

Posted November 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink
Bob

Too many players appear in duplicate states. Hank Aaron shows up in three. I know the Braves moved during his career, but it screws things up to have the same guys appear again and again. Also, no Curt Shilling in Alaska?

Posted November 12, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Permalink
Patrick

I would have rather seen players listed only once by the home state, but otherwise cool survey.

Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

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