Food, Cars, and Underwear – In 1998 $26,000 Could’ve Gotten You One Of These MJ Cards

Walmart, Target, and Kohl’s have seen an increase in foot traffic recently.  Underwear can be thanked for that.  Michael Jordan has been a key spokesman for Hanes for 30 years.  To celebrate, Hanes teamed-up with Upper Deck who created a special set of cards.  These exclusive cards can only be found in specially marked Hanes products.  Upper Deck went with the 1988-89 Fleer Basketball design.  (10) Michael Jordan autographs have been thrown in.  They fall 1:108,625 packs.  A complete base set consists of (50) cards with Red and Blue Foil parallels.  All-Star inserts which have Gold Foil parallels are also possible to pull.

Over the years we’ve seen some incredible sales of Michael Jordan cards.  His 1986-87 Fleer rookie is a hobby icon.  Recently a 1997 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Green #’ed/10 parallel of his sold for $350,100.  Collectors go crazy for his stuff.  I can’t wait to see what one of those Hanes autographs sells for.  My guess is $500-$1,000.

In 1998, one of the more interesting Michael Jordan cards was created.  A Chevy dealership in Chicago worked with Upper Deck and produced a small 2-card set.  How were you suppose to obtain one of these cards?  That’s simple.  All you needed to do was purchase a new 1998 Chevy Blazer for $26,000.  Along with the keys to your new purchase, you’ed be handed one of the two cards.  It doesn’t end there folks.  Those cards came with a nice little perk.  You could exchange them for a dinner in a glassed-in room at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant.

Either not many people purchased Chevy Blazers from that dealership, or they did and decided to cash-in on the dinner offer.  Very few of these cards exist today.  Restaurant staff most likely threw them away.

Condition can be a big issue.  They were handled a lot.  Gem mint examples can sell for $600 per card.

Reprints also are a problem.  Based on the reprints I’ve seen, ones of Michael Jordan in the “looking down” pose have a black border around the edge on both the front and back.  Reprints of the “smiling” pose seem to just have this border on the reverse.

Michael Jordan’s Restaurant is still open.  According to the cards, you’re suppose to call 312-644-DUNK (3865) ext. 227 to make reservations.  I called the number, but its been disconnected.  Their new number is (630) 828-2932.

I’d love to see someone pull up to his restaurant today in their 1998 Chevy Blazer, whip out one of these cards, and ask for their meal.

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Fruit = Free Little League Pin

Today I received an inside tip from a friend that Wegmans, a local grocery store, was giving out free little league pins with a purchase.  To keep a long story short,  I have some fruit I can use in the future as trade bait.  I wish that Little League made a master list of when, where, and how collectors can obtain these pins during the Little League World Series.  A lot of it is just a guessing game, but I guess that makes it more fun.  I was told that Wegmans only gives out 200 of these pins a day.

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The Twenty Year Redemption

How long would you say that the average card manufacturer gives you to redeem a card?  One, two, maybe three years would be the normal response.  That sure wasn’t the case for the Red Heart Dog Food Company.  Back in 1954, Red Heart created a baseball card set in which collectors would have to send in a redemption to obtain a card from the set.  The funny thing is that Red Heart allowed collectors to do this for twenty years, something unheard of in today’s hobby.  Today its more like having to wait twenty years to receive the card you redeemed.  

I would like to see today’s food manufacturers include more sports cards within their products.  Many years ago I remember receiving baseball cards in Tombstone pizza and packets of cheese.  In fact, I think I still have a Yogi Berra popup card from a frozen pizza.  The last food product I remember containing cards were Twizzlers a few years back.  Can you imagine those videos on the internet?  Who wouldn’t want to see a video box break of a packet of hot dogs to see what card they pulled?

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