Tuesday, April 9, 2024

An act of generosity leads to a trade

I woke up one morning a few months back to find a transaction proposal, of the TCDB variety, in my email. Not currently having anything listed on there for trade, I must admit that my curiosity was piqued. At best, it would be a fellow blogger looking to send me something, official like; and at worst, it would be some rando trying to sell me something. Turns out that it was neither.

The message was from a fellow called, Marc, or as the cool kids call him, iusedtohavethatcard (an odd nickname for sure, but I'm not one to judge), and he had a card that he wanted to send me; with no desire to get anything in return. That was certainly different.

The card in question was a 1994-95 Majeur Magazine Otis Thorpe (it's a French magazine). Marc had an extra copy that he was looking to giveaway, and apparently I was the only one who had it on my wantlist (how is that possible!). He did mention that one of the corners was a bit chewy, but since this one of those sets that I never expected to even own a single card from, I wasn't about to turn it down over a condition issue.

As you can see above, the corner in question isn't that bad, especially considering that these were magazine issued cards. I was expecting much worse.

The magazine sure didn't skimp on the backs. For this sort of thing, you really couldn't ask for a better write-up. 

Having never seen one of these cards in person, I always assumed that they were similar in size to the SI for Kids issues. That assumption was just a tad off...

Here's Otis next to a regular sized 1990-91 Fleer Shawn Kemp, which also came from Marc (more on that in a second though). As you can see, these Majeur cards are rather large. Given their size, I'm even more forgiving of any condition issues than I would've been previously. I can imagine how difficult it would've been to store these for European collector during the mid 90's. 

Before accepting Marc's offer, I took at his want lists, ostensibly to try and find something that I could send in return (despite his assurances that nothing was needed, I was still gonna try). I noticed a few things on them that I had, which then got me to thinking about a possible trade. A quick glance at his trade list made up my mind, and thankfully Marc was open to the idea.

Even though I don't do a lot of trading on the site, this was the card that made me want to try and put something together with Marc. The 1999-00 Metal Emerald parallels were one of three parallel sets that I was actively working on when I walked away from collecting back in 2000. I can't tell you why exactly, but in the last couple of months, for reasons unknown to me, trying to go back and finish those three sets has felt like something that I have to do. In the case of the Emerald's, I only had a few from my original attempt, so for the most part I've had to start from scratch. Vince Carter is card #1 in the set, which, given the hype around him the year before, wasn't that much of a surprise. 

My scanner completely washes out the green on these, hence the photo; which still didn't capture this particular shade of green very well.

I'm now sort of working on the 1997-98 Ultra Gold Medallion set as well. A couple of decent names here. I always liked the photo that Fleer used for Rodman's card. 

I'm sort of working on the '98-99 Gold Medallions too. 

I forgot to scan my copy of this blue Starquest that came in the trade, so I had to "borrow" this image from the TCDB. If I remember correctly, one of the teams that Marc is a fan of is the Rockets (or possibly just the 90's Houston teams), so he had a number Hakeem duplicates. 

I've mentioned before that during my early years of collecting I was pretty much only interested in building base sets. Inserts and parallels meant very little to me, and when pulled from a pack, were just stuck in the back of the sets binder. Often times I wouldn't even give them a second glance. One of the few exceptions to that was the Pan for Gold inserts that came from the 1995-96 Topps set. For whatever reason, these really caught my attention at the time. Not enough to try and complete the set mind you, but I did spend a bit more time looking at them than usual. I don't know if I'm even trying to complete the set now, but I have been picking up a few cheap copies (thankfully no one cares about this set anymore) here and there, even if I already have a copy of said cheap copy. This was my second Rodman.

These were all freebies from my want list that Marc was kind enough to surprise me with. Much like the Pan for Gold's, the '92-93 Upper Deck Team MVP insert set was another rare one that stuck out to me way back when. I can remember trading one of the MJ's from the set (the one where he's holding the trophy) to fly by night card shop (in Gresham, OR) for five packs of 1998-99 Topps basketball series 2 in 1999. I can't remember if the packs yielded anything of note, but it felt like a good trade at the time. And even though I never collected it, I've always like the 1997-98 Hoops design. I noticed last year that I had a few of the "key" cards from it, and decided what the heck, I might as well give it a go too. I haven't gotten very far with it yet though.

Also included in the trade was the Fleer Shawn Kemp up top. A few of you know how fond I am of that particular card, and that I kind of hoard it. It's been a while since I got a copy, and I've lost count of how many I have, but I think it's somewhere between 150-200 now.

Many thanks to fellow Otis Thorpe fan, Marc, for offering me the awesome Majeur card free of charge. It's been a few months, and I still have it displayed on one of my bookshelves. I'm also very grateful for the trade, as I was able to add some pretty neat cards to multiple set builds.


  1. Nice cards - that Majeur is very cool. Certainly didn't know about French magazine basketball cards.

  2. I have never heard of those metal emeralds before. Beautiful card!
    It's also funny how some things can lead to trades. I have been in those spots before myself

  3. I would not have guessed that there was that much interest in the NBA in France back then.

  4. That French magazine card of Thorpe is really cool. Never seen one of those. Good luck with those Gold Medallion set builds. I have a box of basketball inserts/parallels laying around somewhere. If you email me a list of your set needs, maybe I can help you out.

    1. Thank you for the offer. I'm slowly working on a basketball want list for the blog, it should be done in another week or so. I'll let you know when it's done.