Monday, October 2, 2017

Shaquille O'Neal auto display

Well, damn. Rocktober is off to a rough start. A horrific mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas, and the death of one of my all-time favorite musicians, Tom Petty. Life really sucks right now. It's hard to get motivated writing about cards (and music, as I was aiming for on the blog this month).

I was looking around my card room for something I could bust out a quick post on. Howabout this..

Tom Petty was from Florida, so here's an Orlando Magic card. It's one of my best basketball cards and I've been meaning to feature it on the blog for a long time, just haven't gotten around to it till now. It's a Shaquille O'Neal auto in a pretty legit display. I got the plaque back during my Listia days for what I recall was a relatively tiny amount of Listia credits (considerably less cash value than the postage the seller paid to send it to me). It included a Topps rookie card, I think, which was fine but didn't look too impressive in there. I wanted to "upgrade" the card to an auto, so I kept an eye on eBay for a while. It had to be a card from his Orlando days to jive with the nameplate, which really limited my search since most of the autos that pop up seem to be from his Lakers and Heat days. I eventually landed this 1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Pro Files card for a solid price.

Here's the back of the card. As you can see, it's hand-numbered 136/495. I'm under the impression that this is a pack-inserted certified auto, but I haven't been able to confirm that. Perhaps someone more educated in basketball cardboard history could weigh in on this for me.

I was never like a huge Shaq fan, but always liked him ok. Interesting, funny dude, and pretty dominant on the court in his prime. But yeah, I stumbled upon a decent display piece and was compelled to upgrade it with an autographed card, and here we are. I suppose this also sort of fits in with my musical theme for the month since he's put out a few albums as a rapper, though I never really listed to any of his stuff besides maybe catching a few short clips on TV.

Tom Petty on the other hand.. man, I'm gonna miss him. I think he's 3rd on the list of most songs in my iTunes library, behind only the Beatles and David Bowie. I'll have to work up a post later in the month with some of my favorite songs of his and stuff.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Well, I've heard Tom Petty may not have actually died, so that's a good thing. Not much other good news in the world today.

    That does look like UD's buyback style, but the one buyback autograph I pulled had a sticker on the back with a number code- not a serial number- that matched a certificate of authenticity included in a penny sleeve with the card right out of the pack. But, they did the buyback autographs more than one year so there might be variations. The signature looks good.

    Shaq did not sign any autographs while with the Magic, his first in packs was 1999-00. Luckily, I managed to pull it at the time. Buybacks and IP autos were it until his career ended and Panini started using all kinds of photos on their cards.

    I've heard some of his rapping...there's a reason he's not known for it.

    1. Thanks for the info, Billy! So not totally a solved mystery, but I'm reasonably confident it's a legit buyback auto.

      As for Tom Petty, I like your theory that he faked his death and is still out there somewhere.

  2. When I worked at a card shop, we had a vendor who sold us a lot of these plaques with a name plate and a certified autograph (hand numbered). This was in the 90's when any COA was credible and sold in our store. I bought a Jerry Rice for my dad, but every time I see it in his office I question its authenticity.

    1. Yeah, it's always at least somewhat questionable unless you witness the autograph yourself, but what can you do? As far as this instance, well again, the plaque originally had a non-auto card in it, not packaged together, so don't let that influence you, but yeah, who knows.

  3. I believe this card may have been from QVC or Home Shopping Channel. In the mid 90s they were purchasing massive amounts of cards and having the athletes sign them. It would fit the time period and make sense. Scoreboard generally"oversaw" all the QVC buyback autos.