June 2019 Summer Premium Auction - Rare & High-Grade Cards You Won't Find Anywhere Else
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 6/30/2019

Win a Free Copy of This Michael Jordan RC at PSACard.com!

Small Traditions, LLC is a proud sponsor of PSA and its Monthly Madness Sweepstakes. This month, we're giving away a red-back version of the offered Michael Jordan Merchante Sticker rookie card. Enter at PSA simply by registering your email address. By entering, you will be added to the PSA email database, which you can opt out of any time. We invite you to please share the sweepstakes with your friends and family. Good luck, and thanks for your support!

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Although no card will ever replace Michael Jordan's 1986-87 Fleer #57 card in terms of hobby royalty, the classic red, white, and blue first-year Fleer card is not the basketball legend's true rookie card. In fact, the 1986-87 Fleer card is not even technically a Michael Jordan rookie card at all! The Chicago Bulls' first-round pick in the 1984 NBA Draft played in all 82 of Chicago's games in the 1984-85 NBA season, which would therefore qualify any card produced the following season of 1985-86 as a Michael Jordan rookie card. While the iconic 1986-87 Fleer #57 card would not enter circulation until two years after his rookie season, there were a handful of lesser-known issues produced in 1985 and 1986.

Foremost among MJ's true rookie cards is the increasingly iconic 1984-85 Star #101 issue. While this card fetches as much as $40,000 in BGS 9 Mint condition and may be worth as much as $100,000 to even $200,000 in BGS 9.5 Gem Mint condition, PSA does not grade the card due to additional rounds of printing of the 1984-85 Star set that occurred in the 1990s after its printing plates were acquired by another party. In addition to the infamous #101 card, Jordan can also be found in a number of other Star sets throughout 1985 and 1986, and he can also be found on an oversized regional issue distributed in the Chicagoland area by Interlake Batteries. With only a few hundred copies on record at the combined grading firms, top tier examples of the Interlake cards typically fetch between $12,000 and $15,000.

To be completely thorough in our expose of Michel Jordan's true rookie cards, his Airness can also be found on an arcade-style sticker card called 1985 Jewel Prism, the only PSA 10 of which fetched $25,600 in a 2016 PWCC auction, as well as on a few different Nike issues produced in 1985. These Nike productions include a postcard sized Promo card showing the now world famous "Air Jordan" image against a sunset-illuminated Chicago skyline as well as a series of larger Nike Poster Cards, which were essentially 5x7 renditions of the many larger Jordan posters Nike would eventually print throughout the later 1980s and 1990s. Although there were two distinct issues, and although they are totally awesome, these poster cards were grouped with images of other athletes that Nike had been printing as early as 1983 and as late as 1991. They served as salesman's samples of the larger posters, and they were not intended for resale, which brings into question their legitimacy as true Michael Jordan rookie cards.

Last but not least, and unquestionably the rarest of them all, Michael Jordan can also be found on a number of stickers printed and distributed in Spain in 1985 and 1986. Three different versions of these Merchante Campeonato Baloncesto Liga cards exist, the largest of which was printed in 1986 and features a small portrait or Jordan alongside the NBA logo and placed above a larger in-action image of the rookie hoopster in mid-finger-roll form. To date, PSA has graded 51 copies of this card, the single highest of which ranks in the NM-MT 8 grade. The same action image from the 1986 issue, however, appears on two smaller versions of the Merchante stickers produced the previous year in 1985, one with red text on back and another with blue text on back. PSA has graded 64 copies of the more common red back, awarding four copies with its Mint 9 grade and six copies graded NM-MT 8. By far the rarest of all Michael Jordan rookie cards, however, the "Blue Back" has only surfaced for grading at PSA 17 times, with a lone PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ specimen rating as the single highest-graded copy on record, followed by four contenders in the NM-MT 8 grade.

So rare that many collectors don't even know it exists, proudly offered in this lot is one of the above-mentioned four copies of Michael Jordan's rarest rookie card that have been graded PSA 8 NM-MT. Unlike so many examples from both years of the Merchante Campeonato Baloncesta Liga issue, the offered copy shows full, plump borders that extend significantly past the blue stars that comprise the design around its perimeter. If not for a subtle, self-evident centering preference for its left edge, the offered rarity might have realized the highest-ever grade for the issue from PSA. As it is, this copy should still be considered one of the finest few in existence, now and forever, and we offer it with our strongest and sincerest of recommendations.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $2,500
Final prices include buyers premium: $5,401
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
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