SI Vault
 
RARE JORDAN
July 11, 2005
When you reign for a decade as the world's greatest basketball player--not to mention retire three times and unretire twice--you tend to generate a ton of memorabilia. Here are some of the more elusive pieces in what figures to be the increasingly valuable Michael Jordan collection.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
July 11, 2005

Rare Jordan

View CoverRead All Articles

When you reign for a decade as the world's greatest basketball player--not to mention retire three times and unretire twice--you tend to generate a ton of memorabilia. Here are some of the more elusive pieces in what figures to be the increasingly valuable Michael Jordan collection.

STEAK DINNER COUPON

In 1998 a Chicago Chevrolet dealership offered a promotion: Buy a Blazer for $26,000 and receive a limited edition Michael Jordan trading card. On the front of the card was a portrait of His Airness; on the back, a coupon for dinner in an exclusive, glassed-in room at Jordan's steakhouse. No one knows how many cards were given out; Oscar Gracia, author of Collecting Michael Jordan Memorabilia, has seen only two of them in seven years. He has one of those. "People turned in their cards, and the restaurant hosts trashed them," he says. "That's why they're so hard to find." ESTIMATED VALUE: $2,000.

DOUBLE A BASEBALL CARD

In 1994, after Michael Jordan first retired from the Bulls to join the Birmingham Barons, a White Sox Double A farm team, Fleer made his baseball card. But the company wasn't happy with his photo, so it destroyed the 90,000 cards it had printed--except for the dozen or so kept by Fleer employees. Only three have surfaced in the past decade. Says Gracia, "They are so limited that most collectors don't even know they exist." ESTIMATED VALUE: $1,200.

YUGOSLAVIAN STICKER

Items bearing Jordan's image were produced all over the world. By far the hardest to find is a sticker made in 1989 by CAO, a Yugoslavian publication. "They disappeared because of the war," says Gracia, who knows of only a half dozen. "I have friends who have traveled to Yugoslavia three times trying to find them." ESTIMATED VALUE: $3,000.

1