If you loved basketball cards, there was a huge void in your collecting life once the 1981-82 season came to a close. Topps couldn’t sell enough of them to justify renewing its partnership with the league and no traditional trading card maker stepped in until Fleer snapped up rights in time for the 1986-87 season.
An opportunity had arisen, though, and a new outfit called “Star Company” stepped into the void, offering its product through mail order. After dropping a few different sets between 1983 and early 1984, Star kicked off 1985 with a set released in three series over the first five months of the year. The 288-card issue includes the “pre-Fleer” rookie cards of Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton and Charles Barkley, among others. The depth of the set gave fans a comprehensive look at the NBA as it was during that season. Production was estimated to be no more than 5,000 sets.
By itself, the 1984-85 Star set is valuable but Heritage Auctions is now offering one that includes 276 autographed cards pieced together by a dedicated collector.
The set includes every card, autographed, except for 83, 87, 133, 166, 206, 233, 245, 252, 259, 265, 275 and 284. All three Jordan cards that were produced—including the key #101—are included. Forty-five of the cards have been encapsulated by Beckett Grading Services while others have been authenticated but not encapsulated.
It’s expected the set will sell for at least $30,000 during Heritage’s Platinum Night Auction, slated for August 17-18. Bidding is slated to open late next week.