Saturday, July 5, 2008

1991-92 Upper Deck #254 Hakeem Olajuwon

This week's Olajuwon card is the 1991-92 Upper Deck #254. This was Upper Deck's first basketball product. This product was highly anticipated when it came out as an improvement on Fleer and Hoops. Unfortunately this product was overproduced like almost all of the products during this timeframe.

This is a great looking card. First of all, I love the basketball floor border. Sure it's a little cliche now, but when used properly, it can look great. With the player name, team name, team logo, and Upper Deck logo integrated on the floor, I think this is a great design, especially considering it wasn't frequently used prior to this product.

The photo on the front is great: Hakeem throwing it down with Cassell, Thorpe, and Divac watching from below. This kind of photo raised the bar for the basketball card market.

The back is also solid. The white card stock looks pristine. The Upper Deck hologram was an innovation to verify the card was authentic, although I'm not sure how much value that adds. Six years of pro statistics are provided. Also there is another very nice picture on the back. I'm not sure what Hakeem's doing, possibly catching a pass on the break, but it's a very solid action photo.

I loved this card when it came out, and I still think it looks great.

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