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Beckett Game Notes: Hoops Breakdown, Mikan Cards, Huskers Gordon and Esposito Jersey

by Beckett Media
June 2, 2005

2004-05 Hoops Breakdown

With the 2004-05 NBA season coming to a close, here's a look at this season's top five players in terms of average trading card value:

1. LeBron James
Number of cards produced: 572
Value of all cards: $19,637.50
Average card value: $34.33

2. Kobe Bryant
Number of cards produced: 353
Value of all cards: $9,636.50
Average card value: $27.30

3. Dwyane Wade
Number of cards produced: 452
Value of all cards: $6,673
Average card value: $14.76

4. Carmelo Anthony
Number of cards produced: 627
Value of all cards: $8,045.50
Average card value: $12.83

5. Shaquille O'Neal
Number of cards produced: 407
Value of all cards: $4,686.50
Average card value: $11.51

Here are comprehensive statistics for all NBA trading cards produced for the 2004-05 NBA Season:

Number of Products: 52 (includes special edition sets -- Denver All-Star Game, National Collector's Convention, etc.)
Number of Individual Sets: 848
Number of cards Produced: 28,777
Value of All Cards: $143,008.80*
Average Card Value: $4.97*

*Beckett Basketball does not price cards that are sequentially numbered to 25 or less.

Key Mikan Cards

Lakers' legend George Mikan, who passed away Wednesday, was not only one of the sport's greats but one of the most collected NBA players ever. Here are the five most sought-after Mikan cards:

1950-51 Lakers Scott's #9 $12,000
1950-51 Bread For Energy #4 $6,000
1950-51 Bread For Health #21 $3,000
1952 Royal Deserts #6 $3,000
1948 Bowman #69 Rookie Card $2,500

Baseball Draft: Huskers Gordon Already Collectible

University of Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon will likely be among the top three picks in the MLB first year player draft next week, meaning a hefty payday in the near future for the left-handed-hitting junior.

But even before the draft, a baseball card picturing Gordon in the red, white and blue of Team USA, is attracting big money.

The card - a 2005 Upper Deck USA Baseball Signatures Jersey Red - features Gordon's autograph in red ink along with a swatch of jersey from one of the USA Baseball uniforms he wore during international competition. Just 50 of the cards were produced, and each is individually numbered.

One of the cards recently closed for $230 in auction.

"Collectors are astute judges of talent, and it's something they take pride in," says Mike Payne, Managing Editor of Beckett Baseball. "They see Gordon as the real deal, and thus are willing to spend significant money on his best card so far even before being selected in the draft."

Esposito Jersey Nets $49K

More than 30 years later, it still ranks as one of the truly unforgettable moments in Canadian sports history.

Phil Esposito, dejected by a 4-1 loss to the Soviets in the fourth game of the 1972 Summit Series, stood at center ice listening to the boos of the fans in Vancouver. Stunned and disgusted by the response, Espo unloaded both barrels on Canadians during a post-game interview with CTV's Johnny Esau. The rant shook up the country, unified the team, and propelled them to a remarkable last-minute win in Game Eight of this legendary series.

The red jersey worn by Espo during the first four games of the Summit Series - and during that rant - was auctioned this week by Classic Auctions of St-Constant, Quebec. The final price: $49,215 US, including a 15-percent buyer's premium.

"We expected it to go for somewhere around $40,000, so we're very happy with the final bid," says Classic Auctions president Marc Juteau.

The bidding, which was supposed to close at 9 p.m. on May 31, was extended by the heavy demand and went long into the night. The final and winning bid was placed at 6 a.m. by an unidentified buyer.

The demand for the jersey came as no surprise to industry experts.

"This jersey is more than just a piece of sports memorabilia," says Beckett Hockey editor Al Muir. "It's Canadian, capturing a moment in our history that still resonates with people who experienced the series first-hand and remember the impact it had on our country."

The auction featured 65 items from the personal collection of Hall of Famer Johnny Bucyk, who captained the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972. The highlight from this collection was the miniature Cup he was awarded for that first championship. It drew a winning bid of $15,000.

Other highlights included the mini Cup awarded to Oilers owner Peter Pocklington in 1988 ($11,092), an original 1924-25 Montreal Canadiens team photo ($10,719), a Bobby Orr game-used stick ($5,965), a Wayne Gretzky stick used in his rookie season to score his second NHL hat trick ($7,130) and a jersey worn by a member of Team Canada's 1955 World Championship team ($5,954).

Juteau pegged the total value of the 600-plus lot auction at about $1 million CDN. The auction continued a strong run on vintage hockey memorabilia that has, if anything, benefited from the hockey lockout.

About Beckett Media
Based in Dallas, Beckett Media LP, an Apprise Media company, is the leading publisher of sports and specialty market collectible products in the U.S. Beckett operates (, the leading online destination for sports collectible enthusiasts, and is the premier publisher of monthly sports collectibles magazines. Beckett, considered the world's most trusted source in collecting, currently publishes 14 magazines. Its flagship title is the popular Beckett Baseball magazine. The company also operates Beckett Grading Services, the award-winning third-party professional sports card grading service. The company was founded in 1984 by Dr. James Beckett.

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