If you collect vintage basketball cards, you likely have select cards from the most iconic sets like 1948 Bowman, 1957 Topps, 1961 Fleer, and 1969 Topps. You might also collect key rookies from the 1970s Topps runs. And based on my definition, post-war cards run from 1945 to the present day, so the 1980s Fleer sets might find their way into your Basketball collection as well. But if you’re ignoring the vintage oddballs, you’re missing out on some cool collecting possibilities.
In case you aren’t aware, “oddball” is a catch-all name for regional card releases, food issues, retail issues, and other test/team/premium/micro card releases, inserts, and sets. Anything that isn’t part of a mainstream set is an oddball card.
Here are ten oddball basketball cards, in chronological order, you should think about adding to your vintage collection:
1952 Wheaties George Mikan Portrait – Hand Cut
1955 Ashland/Aetna Oil Adolph Rupp
1961 Essex Meats Hawks Clyde Lovellette
1961 Kahn’s Wieners Oscar Robertson
1968 Jack in the Box Pat Riley San Diego Rockets
1968 Topps Test Wilt Chamberlain
1969 NBAP Member Len Wilkens Hand-Cut
1972 Comspec Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
1972 Icee Bear Pete Maravich
1976 Buckmans Discs Bill Bradley
And a bonus oddball unopened product to target: