Collector Profile
Nothing But Air

By Joe Orlando

Ervin Boone

Ervin Boone

Food Manufacturing

He has a room devoted to, arguably, the best basketball player in history. There's a group of 8x10 photos, framed posters that cover his walls, Wheaties boxes on the shelf and even a trash can on the floor. Ervin Boone, Michael Jordan collector extraordinaire, has been at it since the late-1980's. This room, filled with everything Michael, is a result of years of hard work and patience. Ervin was kind enough to share his collecting story with SMR recently.

Michael Jordan
The Jordan rookie, Boone's next goal

SMR: When did you start collecting?

EB: I started seriously collecting back in 1986. It was the 1986 Donruss Jose Canseco rookie card that got me interested in collecting once again. I started with baseball cards because I really enjoyed watching the top players and that seemed like the popular choice at the time. Of course, I did collect cards as a kid but, like most people, I didn't take care of them and they were eventually thrown away (laughs). In 1986, a friend of mine brought collecting to my attention once again. He started with coins and then switched to cards. I followed the same path and have enjoyed collecting cards every since.

Michael Jordan
Jordan stickers are often
tougher than Jordan cards

SMR: When did you start collecting Michael Jordan cards and why?

EB: I watched Jordan in college at North Carolina and then his move to Chicago really sparked me. I thought he would be a good player but not that good (laughs). I waited a couple of years until he was established as a star player before I became really focused on his cards. I got rid of all my baseball cards and traded them in for Jordans. As Jordan's career progressed, I just kept picking up different cards. The funny thing was that it was always just Jordan. The other basketball cards I found in packs were just traded away to get more Jordans.

Michael Jordan uniform
Boone has an entire room
dedicated to the Chicago legend

SMR: What are some of your favorite Jordan cards?

EB: I have 242 Jordan cards and counting so that's a tough one. I would have to say that my first pick would be all the different refractors. They always have a great design and I probably enjoy them the most. There are other cards I like as well like Jordan's first baseball card where he is pictured with the Chicago White Sox. In some cases, I will buy more than one of the same card if I really like it. For instance, I have 4 or 5 1990 Fleer Jordans just because I really like that card. All of my cards are either PSA 9's or 10's. I really want the best.

Michael Jordan
The 1988 Fleer Jordan, one of
Boone's prized possessions

SMR: What triggered your interest with PSA grading?

EB: I jumped on board pretty early with PSA grading. The first time I saw a PSA graded card was at a show and I really liked the holder and the concept. I figured that, if I have a card graded PSA 9 Mint today, it will be mint 10 years from now. It was basically like an insurance policy. A few years later, I was talking to one of my friends about choosing a grading service. I told him to forget about any gimmicks used by others services and that he should go with the best. I have been fortunate enough to own a nice Cadillac. If I have a choice between an old Volkswagen and my Caddy, which one do you think I am going to choose? I am on the Internet all the time and, when I see cards graded by a service other than PSA, I just zoom right by. I have spent thousands of dollars on graded cards and I only want PSA to grade them. I really did my homework before I started to get involved with grading and this is the best choice for the long run.

SMR: At this point, what are your collecting goals?

EB: The two main cards I need for my collection are the 1986-87 Jordan rookie and his second year card in PSA 9's. My goal is to acquire about 500 Jordan cards before I am done. I have a lot of Jordan cards but I am always looking for new ones.


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If you are a collector of sports memorabilia or cards and would like to be featured in our monthly column entitled "Collector Profile," please fill out the form below and a member of our staff will personally contact you. We feature collectors with all types of interests and collections of all different sizes. It doesn't matter if your collection is worth $2 or $2,000,000; we would like to talk to you. You can mail this form to P.O. Box 6180, Newport Beach, CA 92658 or email me at [email protected] The staff at Sportscard Market Report would like to thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you.

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Joe Orlando has been an advanced collector of sportscards and memorabilia for over 25 years. Orlando attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California where he studied communications and was the starting catcher for the baseball team. After a brief stint in the minor leagues, Orlando obtained a Juris Doctor from Whittier Law School in Southern California in the spring of 1999. During the last fourteen years, Orlando has authored several collecting guides and dozens of articles for Collectors Universe, Inc. Orlando has also authored two books for Collectors Universe. Orlando's first book, The Top 200 Sportscards in the Hobby, was released in the summer of 2002. His second book, Collecting Sports Legends, was released in the summer of 2008. Orlando has appeared on several radio and television programs as a hobby expert including ESPN's award-winning program Outside the Lines and HBO's Real Sports, as the featured guest. Currently, Orlando is the President of PSA and PSA/DNA, the largest trading card and sports memorabilia authentication services in the hobby. He is also Editor of the company's nationally distributed Sports Market Report, which under Orlando's direction has developed into a leading resource in the market. Orlando also contributed the foreword and last chapter to The T206 Collection: The Players and Their Stories, a 2010 release, and to The Cracker Jack Collection: Baseball's Prized Players, a 2013 release.