The Holy Grail for the basketball autograph collector

For the basketball card collector there are plenty of very desirable cards that one might want to have in their collection.

Some are just looking for autographs of the best players while other collectors are looking for sick patches, patch autographs, rookie cards and one of ones of their favorite players.

With all the products out there today there are plenty of options no matter what kind of collector you are.

For me, I have the goal of getting an autograph of every basketball player who has made a difference in the game.  Included in that goal is getting the signature of every Hall of Famer out there.

I have had this goal for years and have made a small dent in it as time has gone on.

Larry Bird's photo at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indi...
Larry Bird’s photo at Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the beginning, my goal was nearly impossible, but thanks to companies like Panini, Upper Deck, And Leaf just about every player is available on a signed card today.

Most of the older players and those who have passed have become available through cut autographed cards.  I good chunk of my collection is cuts thanks to products like sports icons.  Through products like that I have been able to procure signatures of some of the most obscure Hall of Famers and legendary players from the games early days.  I never though most of those autographs would ever be attainable.

One of the autographs that I am talking about is what I consider to be the holy grail of autographs for a basketball collector.

I’m sure there are plenty of collectors that won’t agree with me on what the Holy Grail of basketball autograph collecting is because we all have different favorites and we all have different priorities.  Some think that a Jordan patch autograph or a LeBron gold rookie Autographed patch from Exquisite are the top of the mark, but they aren’t in my mind.  They are unbelievable cards that are highly desirable just like thousands of others but not the most important.

Most of my favorite players of all-time have played the game today or in the recent past so getting their signatures has been simple and relatively inexpensive.  Some of those include players like Dan Majerle, Steve Nash, Larry Bird and Paul Pierce.  I did have some others on my list that were a little more difficult but by no means impossible.  Those were guys like Reggie Lewis and Drazen Petrovic.  The turned out to be a little more expensive but not that hard to find thanks to the world-wide card shop known as Ebay.

While I was on this journey to track down an impossible check list of players’ signatures I came across something that I thought I would never see and didn’t even know it existed. There was a slabbed, graded and authenticated Dr. James Naismith card sized autograph that was graded a nine.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was definitely a sight to behold for this Canadian basketball fan.  To be able to get the autograph of the inventor of the game nearly blew my mind, especially when you consider that Dr. Naismith has been gone for nearly 75 years.

Like most married collectors, I had to run even attempting to win the auction by my wife.  She clearly saw how much it meant to me and gave me the go ahead rather quickly.  I was thrilled at my good fortune.  The only obstacle left in my way of having this basketball collector’s Holy Grail was only winning the auction.  As I’m sure most of you know, that is easier said than done, especially if there are a ton of bidders.

Thankfully that part went quite smoothly for me.  I was able to win it without a hitch and am now the proud owner of one of the coolest autographs in the market today.  Even though my goal all getting all the meaningful basketball players signature is a long way from finished I am content with the fact that the final piece of the puzzle is already in place.


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