Tuesday, March 31, 2009

1969-70 Topps #75 Elvin Hayes

After almost two years of blogging about University of Houston collectibles, primarily just learning about Cougar history and the card industry, I've come to a decision. I've decided to focus on collecting Elvin Hayes.

There are several reasons for this:
1) Elvin was the most successful team sport athlete to ever play at UH. I don't think there is any doubt about this. He holds almost ever scoring and rebounding record at UH. He was the only Cougar basketball three time All American, was a two time consensus All American, and was the National Player of the Year. He was the first Cougar to have his number retired. Imagine if he could have played for the varsity as a freshman. That's not even considering his impact as one of the first African Americans recruited to UH along with Don Chaney and Warren McVea.

After his incredible college career, he also had an amazing pro career. He was the 1st pick in the NBA draft and was the last rookie to lead the league in scoring. Twice he led the league in rebounding. He was a 12 time All Star, won an NBA title in 1978, and was named one of the Top 50 All Time NBA players. He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
2) I love the collecting options for Hayes. Vintage cards are available back to 1968, but I can also collect modern cards still being released including autographs and relic cards. Cards are available in both pro & UH uniforms. Plus the number of cards available for Hayes is enough to keep me interested for a lifetime, but not so many to be ridiculous. Elvin currently has 236 cards to collect that I know of. That's an achievable goal except for the 1 of 1 cards and maybe some of the super low print runs. Compare that to someone like Olajuwon who has 2148 cards. That's just a crazy amount.

So to start my Elvin Hayes collection, I bought his rookie card, the 1969-70 Topps #75. While this is not his first card (that would be the 1968 Jack In the Box card), it is considered his rookie card because it is the first mainstream release.

This is an oversized card featuring Hayes in his San Diego Rockets uniform. The layout on front is classic with a clean design that really focuses on the player even with the black and white illustrations of basketball players surrounding the photo.

The back features rookie stats and comments on his first season. It also features a graphic noting that he had 40 schools offering him a scholarship and he chose Houston.

I look forward to obtaining more Hayes cards although I'm also picking up other players on occasion. My blog will continue to focus on on UH athletes, but whenever I acquire a new Hayes card, you can bet it will be featured here.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Elvin Hayes or the Big E is a great player to collect. I remember watching him in the playoffs and I fell in love with his playing.