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5) 1986-87 Fleer - although mass produced, considered to many to be the best rookie class of all time. Since there weren't any main stream sets after the 1981-82 Topps set, when this 86 set finally came along, collectors had a large set to collect, of some of the greatest to ever play the game. Many HOF, and members of the 50 greatest players of all time in this list. before this set you had the Star company cards, but for many years people didn't trust those cards with all the counterfeits out there. So this 86 Fleer set took all the shine for players like Jordan, and Stockton, Ewing, etc. I remember going to card shows back in 1992 and gazing out this set, and could only dream about owning a set of this. Still very exciting cards as getting Gem Mint, and possibly even Pristine cards are very difficult to obtain. Hard to fin nicely centered copies with everything else checking out, like corners, edges and the surface damage from the gum inside the packs.


4) 1999-00 Spx - no huge names you say? You may be right... although you have players like Ron Artest, Shawm Marion, Baron Davis, and yes, we all remember the great Steve Francis Big Grin How can we forget the hype, and excitement of collecting back then. All that said, this is the FIRST EVER set to feature AUTOGRAPHED rookie cards! How amazing was that? Not only that, but also having five of the rookies to have a SUPER limited autographed RC to just 500 copies! Back then it was absolutely unheard of to have a rookie card that was serial numbered that low. After all, RC's were only serial numbered just one year prior to these. So to have them both serial numbered, AND autographed was just epic. Then of course you had the /2500 auto versions, and the /3500 non autographed versions, which were just as awesome as the 1998-99 SP Authentic rookie cards which were also numbered to /3500. So this set marked the history books for first ever autographed rookie cards, and that's a pretty prestigeous title.


3) 1998-99 SP Authentic - what can I say... FIRST EVER serial numbered rookie cards. What was the world coming to! That was unheard of! Sure serial numbered inserts existed before this... but for RC's?! That was as epic as our hobby as ever seen for the time. Maybe even more epic than memorabilia cards. Not to mention the rookie class was a very good one. We all remember Vinsanity Smile what a time it was to collect back then. The excitement for us collectors of back then is unmatched still to this day. That feeling of pulling such a card is something of dreams. We knew back then how important certain sets were to the hobby. Sets like 86 Fleer, 48 Bowman, 57 Topps, 61 Fleer, 80 Topps with Bird/Magic RC. So when we saw the amazing rookie class, and the fact that these were SUPER limited to just 3500? That left plenty of room in our minds to imagine the possibilities. Just think of it... if sets from years prior were so popular, and massively overproduced, what can these limited cards be worth down the line? So that excitement was just amazing back then. Collecting in that era will always be the best for me personally, and I'm sure for many other collectors today. At $650 a box(huge bucks for me back then), I tried my luck... Ralph Lafrenz silver autograph Big Grin and an Antwan Jamison RC!!!!!!!! Card #94 if my memory serves me right. It was just so exciting back then. I remember the store owner so excited talking to a guy on the phone who had a PSA 10 Vince Carter RC for him(the store owner) for ONLY $3,000!!!! The guy was like a little baby on christmas. He told me how that card was going straight into his very personal collection, along with Jordan 86 Fleer RC PSA 10, and other major cards. He also went on to telling me how he doesn't really collect these days(2000), but this was one card he just had to have. Good ole days Smile


2) 2003-04 Exquisite - although not the first ever autographed cards, or jersey/patch cards, nor the first serial numbered cards, it was the most expensive product of that time, with one of the greatest rookie classes of all time. LEBRON JAMES........ Nuff said? (as the boxes of cards back in 2000 read on all products at the card shop for 1998-99 Big Grin just thought I'd share that). Chris Bosh, Duane Wade, etc. They were beautifully designed cards, with a jersey/patch and numbered to an unbelievable 99 copies for the good players, while the others were numbered to 225. Some players in the /225 list later proved to be great players too. All base cards were serial numbered also. Most expensive product for the time, presented in a beautiful wooden box. A thing of beauty... museum quality presentation, and beautifully designed cards. But most of all, because of Lebron James! Sure he had many other rookie cards, but this is his very best. One of the greatest rookie classes, and truly historic set, sure to stand the test of time. Just when we thought /3500 was short printed for RC's..... HA! Try /99!!!!!!!!!! With an auto, AND jersey/patch!


1) 1996-97 Topps Refractors - best of the best of the BEST! Many argue that this is the best rookie class of all time. I will not argue if that is true to not. Surely one of the greatest that ever was, and ever will be. With Kobe Bryant as the head seat. This was one of those test products that people didn't even think would be accept by collectors, as they were this chrome type card that wasn't anything like the traditional cards from before that time. Retail only product. Stores like Walmart were selling these for $10 a box! These were the same identical pictures as on the traditional Topps set. Only they were chrome finish. On top of that, there were REFRACTOR versions of the cards that were inserted 1 in 12 packs! Very rare considering that there are 220 cards in the set. Even at $10 a box, you STILL needed $1,100.00 with NO duplicates to hit the Kobe, or Jordan, or Iverson... So when word got out of these rare refractor versions, people scrambled to the big chain stores to try and snatch one, or two... shelves were empty! Many collector/investors bought them all up. Boxes were selling at as as $1,500.00 a box! Back then that was HUGE bucks. Even at todays standard thats still a lot per box. Today if you can find one it'll be around $700-$1,000 depending on day, who sees it, and condition of sealed box. So back then, at $1500 a box, if you received no duplicates, and two refractors per box, it would cost you $165,000.00 to get the one Kobe Smile The price of a HOUSE back then... in NY too! Of course us kids back then could only dream of these cards, or to even see one! I was under the impression back then that these were those Topps silver foil "@50" cards, so i went on a hunt looking for them, because they had that chrome look Big Grin of course I quickly was schooled by the veterans that would hang around the area, and the card shop that was right up there corner where I was in Brooklyn. This guy was in his 30's back then, mingling with us kids who collected cards too. Cards has no age Smile This guy would sort sets at the card shop and get paid in packs of cards. I remember how exited he was to find THREE Grant Hill 1994-95 Hoops RC's while he was sorting Smile Anyway... back to the CHROME! So yeah, these were a thing of legend back then, and for many many years after, and still today! Especially today. These cards will never lose their shine. To complete a set of this(even the "base" set) is just legendary. How much would it cost you today if you ripped boxes? A FORTUNE! My favorite set of all time.


I hope you enjoyed reading this, and revisiting some of the greatest times in our great hobby.
Nice write up GIO, nothing beats nostalgia, it's pretty much what keeps the hobby alive....

The order and what makes the top 5 would be different for most people in the hobby, I doubt we could all agree on, but I don't mind your list at all, you make good points!

For me it's,

1986-87 Fleer Same reasons as you...
1993-94 Finest First Refractor
1996 SPX First MJ auto (I don't count the oversize Collectors Choice Box topper MJ auto)
1997-98 Upper-Deck First Game used and Game used auto
1997-98 Metal Universe PMG RED PMG GREEN





(07-25-2015, 03:14 AM)hegotgame1515 Wrote: [ -> ]Nice write up GIO, nothing beats nostalgia, it's pretty much what keeps the hobby alive....

The order and what makes the top 5 would be different for most people in the hobby, I doubt we could all agree on, but I don't mind your list at all, you make good points!

For me it's,

1986-87 Fleer Same reasons as you...
1993-94 Finest First Refractor
1996 SPX First MJ auto (I don't count the oversize Collectors Choice Box topper MJ auto)
1997-98 Upper-Deck First Game used and Game used auto
1997-98 Metal Universe PMG RED PMG GREEN
Thanks! Yeah, nothing like good ole nostalgia... great memories attached to the cards. One of the main pluses of collecting.

It's personal preference for sure, because many sets can be argued to be better. I had the 93 Finest Refractors in mind, as well as 1980-81 Topps, and so on. Great list you have there, but I wasn't clear with my intensions. I was more talking about full "base" sets(with the exception of the "parallel" chrome refractors), and not insert sets like the 1997-98 US Game Jerseys. If I were talking about ANY possible set, then I would definitely add that set. I'm talking about full complete large sets with RC's in them. Even the base 1996-97 Topps Chrome is pretty epic in my book. But obviously they're no match for the refractor versions, so that's why I listed those. Like if 86 Fleers had parallels...

But nonetheless your list is very solid in my book. I love me some 93 Finest Refractors. One of my favorite sets in this hobby.

Hope to hear all your opinions on your top 5 sets of all time.
Hey Gio I enjoyed the write up. I agree for the most part.
(08-06-2015, 12:19 AM)xarzy Wrote: [ -> ]Hey Gio I enjoyed the write up. I agree for the most part.
Hey my friend! Thank you.

There are plenty of sets that I like, like the 1993 Finest Refractors, the 1980-81 Topps, etc, but these are musts in my opinion. Finest was hobby, while the Chrome was retail experiment by Topps. So many great sets out there, so to only pick 5 is very difficult.
1996-97 Skybox Autographics. *mic drop*

I realize it's an insert set, but if the refractor parallel set can be included, then this should too!
(08-15-2015, 12:42 PM)buckunteer Wrote: [ -> ]1996-97 Skybox Autographics. *mic drop*

I realize it's an insert set, but if the refractor parallel set can be included, then this should too!
Made a little exception on the parallel... but I hear you, Autographics is definitely an epic set in our hobby.
fair enough. If I had unlimited funds, as much as I enjoy my player PCs I would absolutely get every 1st-year autographics. So iconic, and even good looking on top of it.

Tough to argue with most of your list though aside from maybe first year SPx. It was an unbelievably high quality, die-cut, holoview BASE CARD. Simply unheard of!
This is cool. Although it is sad that someone can still fill the internet with so much misinformation. I don't have time to edit all your errors and mistakes, but you should really take the time to know your facts before becoming a "source for information."

(08-17-2015, 06:48 AM)Marinocollector Wrote: [ -> ]This is cool. Although it is sad that someone can still fill the internet with so much misinformation. I don't have time to edit all your errors and mistakes, but you should really take the time to know your facts before becoming a "source for information."
Title says "My"
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