It has been years since Michael Jordan played in the league, but his cards continue to be as popular as ever. Regardless of where you land on the Greatest Of All Time debate, there is no doubt that his cardboard is in demand. There is almost a guaranteed market for the full range of his cards, from junk wax era low end to high end inserts and autographs.
As I grew up, my walls were covered with posters of Jordan and the Bulls, and in Central Illinois his cards were all we were after when busting open packs. His local popularity means that when I purchase a Facebook or Craigslist collection, more often than not there is a nice stack or binder of Jordans which has allowed me to bolster my own PC.
These collections also allowed me to discover a whole host of great Jordan cards that you can find for less than $5.
Here are a few of my favorites!
1989-90 NBA Hoops
NBA Hoops bounced onto the card scene at the start of the 1989-90 season, and while the David Robinson rookie was probably the most sought after card in the set, the Michael Jordan was a close second. I love the look of this card. The photo features Jordan directing traffic mid-dribble, wearing his classic red 23. Collectors can pick up the first ever Hoops Jordan card for about $2-$5 delivered.
1993-94 Upper Deck 1993 Finals Highlights
Upon the successful completion of the first of two three-peats, this iconic photo was taken. It found it’s way into Sports Illustrated, many other publications, and of course this 1993-94 Upper Deck card. The picture of Jordan with the ball in his lap, the championship hat on his head, and flashing the three brings back all the feels for Bulls fans everywhere.
1997-98 Stadium Club
The 1997-98 Stadium Club card captures Jordan in mid-air on his way to another spectacular dunk. The fact that he is facing away from the camera in this shot adds a unique twist from many of the other cards which do more to highlight his facial expressions. The interesting fact on the back of this card informed collectors that Jordan was the scoring champ in every full season he played since 1986-87.
1994-95 Topps Embossed
As the premium card market continued to grow in the mid-90s, Topps released a new basketball product for collectors to snag. Topps Embossed was a 121 card set that was found in 6 card packs which retailed for around $3 per pack. The thing I love about this card is the textured feel of the card combined with the shot of Jordan wearing the short lived #45!
1991 Upper Deck SP1
The 1991 Upper Deck set may not have had the hype as 1989, but there was still a ton of it sold to collectors. Many of them were chasing the Michael Jordan SP1 card showing him taking batting practice. It ultimately foreshadowed the flurry of Jordan baseball cards which would come to the market when he began his minor league career a few years later. While the cards value is well below its peak in the early 90’s, it is still one of the most valuable pack issued cards from the set. It routinely sells on eBay for $5-10 dollars.
1992-93 Upper Deck #23
While Upper Deck came on the basketball scene in 1991, it was the 1992-93 set that was my favorite. The #23 MJ card stands out as a classic. The team name is across the top of the card and his name across the bottom frame the shot of him soaring towards the hoop.
1991-92 Fleer Pro-Vision
As I wrote about in my 7 Awesome Nolan Ryan Cards post, Pro-Vision is one of my favorite insert sets from the 90s. I could see the Terry Smith drawing used for this Jordan card being the inspiration for the Fleer Metal Universe releases which would come several years later. If you are a Jordan fan, and you love inserts from the more simple days, this Pro Vision card is one you should own. It is my favorite from this list!
There are so many great cards of so many great players that you can find for low prices. Focusing on building my collections of these bargain treasures helps keep me connected to the hobby side of collecting, and I treasure these binders of the cards from my youth more than most any modern auto or relic!