19 September 2013

Pack of the Day 23 / What eBay Hath Wrought 15: 2012-2013 Panini Crusade Basketball

So I heard about this premium basketball product by Panini called Crusade, and I thought I'd try a pack of it if I could find a decent price on eBay. Each pack contains 5 cards, which include 3 base cards, 1 Crusade card (a very shiny card with various parallel levels), and 1 autograph or relic. From what I hear, the Crusade cards are the main draw in the product, with rare superstar versions fetching large sums on eBay.

The base cards are attractive, with the Panini shield in team colors and a fairly clean design that isn't overly cluttered with flash and foil that takes some premium sets over the top from good-looking and into various levels of tackiness. None of these guys really excite me, but there they are.

Now this is a guy I remember. I believe the blue/yellow Crusade cards are the lowest level of parallel in the set, but LJ aka Grandmama was a big deal back in the 90s with his commercials and his gold tooth. His popularity probably exceeded his achievements on the court, as his career went downhill fairly early with back problems. He stuck around for a while, but his first couple of seasons were his best. Nevertheless, the Hornets were a very trendy team in the early 90s, and Larry Johnson was one of the big reasons for that. I like the card design and the super-shininess of it.

And finally, here is the promised 'hit' of the pack, a Quest Autograph of Kevin Jones. Who? Well, the back of the cards proclaims that he showed a flash of potential by scoring six points and netting two steals in a game once, so that really tells you all you need to know. His Wikipedia entry says that he went undrafted, got signed by the Cavs, got assigned to the D-League, got waived, got resigned by the Cavs and immediately assigned to the D-League, and then was waived again. The LJ card is cool, but for the going price of three packs of this product I could have an autographed Hakeem Olajuwon insert. Buying the packs is basically rolling the dice that you will pull a serial-numbered Crusade superstar or one of the big-name autographs.

You can kind of see it in the scan, but the autograph is a sticker auto, not hard-signed on the card. Overall I like the gambler's aspect of purchasing unopened packs, but the checklist contains enough scrubs like Kevin Jones to make me wary of trying for anything too spectacular. I am pretty happy with the Larry Johnson card, and it will probably make it into my personal collection. The rest of the cards I don't have any real affinity for.

No comments:

Post a Comment