Closer Look at WNBA Trading Cards
by Paul Angilly
June 7, 2005
More details have now been announced regarding the upcoming WNBA trading card release from
Rittenhouse Archives - the first sports card set from the well-known maker of science fiction
related entertainment cards.
The set, expected out on July 27, will include 110 base cards, plus assorted inserts: nine 2004
WNBA Playoffs highlights (1 per 7 packs), 13 team leaders (1:8 packs), eight league leaders (1:20
packs), 20 2005 draft picks (1:40 packs), 10 relic/jersey cards (1:80 packs) and 26 autographed
cards (1:20 packs).
There will be 12 cards per pack and 40 packs per box. Boxes can be ordered now from the company's
website (www.wnbatradingcards.com) for $84, plus shipping. Specially-designed collector's albums
(including 15 plastic pages, an exclusive promotional card and an exclusive jersey/relic card
featuring materials worn by New York Liberty All-Star Becky Hammon) are also available for $39.96.
The Connecticut Sun are well-represented in the set, with Margo Dydek, Lindsay Whalen, Taj
McWilliams-Franklin, Asjha Jones, Lindsay Whalen, Katie Douglas, Brooke Wyckoff, Nykesha Sales
and a team card all included.
UConn loyalists won't be disappointed, either, with 10 former Huskies making appearances - including
rookies Jessica Moore and Ashley Battle as part of the draft picks insert set. Along with Sales,
Jones and the rookies, other UConn grads in the set are: Sue Bird, Kelly Schumacher, Tamika Williams,
Svetlana Abrosimova, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi.
Sales, Taurasi, Bird and Cash are among the players featured on relic/jersey cards, found just one
per two boxes. All four are also among those featured on personally-autographed cards found two per
The autograph set includes 11 members of the 2004 WNBA champion Seattle Storm, along with members of
the 2004 All-WNBA First and Second Teams and a few other star players.
Other tough cards to chase: Bird is featured with Lauren Jackson on a special case-topper dual
relic/jersey card and Taurasi is featured on a multi-case incentive signed relic/jersey card, available
only to people purchasing six cases of the product (offered on-line from the company for $960 per case).
WNBA cards have been issued since the league first started play in 1997, with Pinnacle releasing the
first two sets.
In 1997, the company made Pinnacle Inside, a concept that had the cards released inside metal cans, which
could only be opened with a can opener. The 1998 Pinnacle WNBA issue came in traditional pack form. Before
this season, Fleer produced WNBA cards for six consecutive years, with the Ultra brand produced in each of
those years. Also, from 1999 to 2002, Fleer issued a second set each season, with the brand changing
from year to year. In 1999 it was Skybox WNBA Hoops, in 2000 it was Dominion, then came 2001 Tradition and
Here's a look back at previous major WNBA card releases:
1997 Pinnacle Inside: number of base-set cards - 81; rookie from UConn - Rebecca Lobo; key insert set - My
Town (player pictured in front of cityscape background).
1998 Pinnacle: number of base-set cards - 85; rookie from UConn - Rita Williams; key insert set - Arena
Collection (scarce holographic-foil parallel).
1999 Fleer/Skybox WNBA Hoops: number of base-set cards - 110; rookie from UConn - Nykesha Sales; key
insert set - Autographics (autographed cards).
1999 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 125 (inc. 25 short-printed rookies); rookies from UConn -
Nykesha Sales, Kara Wolters; key insert set - Fresh Ink (autographed cards).
2000 Fleer/Skybox Dominion: number of base-set cards - 156; rookie from UConn - Jennifer Rizzotti; key
insert set - The Cooper Collection (eight cards highlighting the career of Cynthia Cooper).
2000 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 150 (inc. 25 short-printed rookies); rookies from UConn -
Jennifer Rizzotti, Paige Sauer; key insert set - Feel the Game (cards featuring pieces of game-worn
2001 Fleer Tradition: number of base-set cards - 165, plus additional 39 rookie cards (#166-204) available
only via redemption offer; rookies from UConn (via redemption) - Svetlana Abrosimova, Shea Ralph, Kelly
Schumacher; key insert set - Rookie Redemption (16 cards, one for each team, redeemable for all the rookies
on that team's opening night roster).
2001 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 150 (inc. 25 short-printed rookies); rookies from UConn -
Svetlana Abrosimova, Shea Ralph, Kelly Schumacher; key insert set - Mark of a Champion (one Cynthia Cooper
card, serially numbered to 350).
2002 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 100, plus additional 20 rookie cards (#101-120) available only
via redemption offer; rookies from UConn (via redemption) - Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, Tamika
Williams; key insert set - House of Stiles Memorabilia Autograph (card featuring jersey piece and autograph
from 2001 Rookie of the Year Jackie Stiles).
2002 Fleer Authentix: number of base-set cards - 120 (inc. 20 rookies, serial numbered to 2,002 copies);
rookies from UConn - Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, Tamika Williams; key insert set - Memorabilia
Authentix Unripped (memorabilia cards limited to 50 copies).
2003 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 120 (inc. 15 short-printed rookies); rookies from UConn -
none; key insert set - Nameplates (memorabilia cards limited to 50 copies).
2004 Fleer Ultra: number of base-set cards - 110 (inc. 20 short-printed rookies); rookie from UConn -
Diana Taurasi; key insert set - Season Crowns Letters (including a complete letter from a jersey nameplate,
with the total number of cards limited to the number of letters in that player's last name).
About the author
Paul Angilly is a sports reporter for The Bristol Press in Connecticut, and
has been collecting sports cards and memorabilia for 30 years. He is not a
dealer, nor does he make a profit from buying and selling cards. His weekly
sports card and memorabilia collecting column appears each week in The
Bristol Press and several other
daily newspapers in
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