By Joe Orlando
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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