Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Starting Lineup Stories: The Great Christmas Haul of 97

As all kids, Christmas was the holiday I looked forward to the most. What kid doesn't love getting dozens and dozens of presents? During my Starting Lineup frenzy though, one Christmas really stood out. I nicknamed it "The Great Christmas Haul of 97" because it was probably the biggest and best haul I ever received. I had gotten lineups for Christmas before, but this year, it wasn't just a couple of lineups oh no it was a TON of SLU's! It was SLU heaven!! Apparently my parents were at our local Wal Mart at the right time because they were able to score some major basketball SLU's. If you're lucky you'd come across a couple of nice SLU's at our local Wal Mart, but this day, the SLU gods were smiling on my parents. I remember getting Nick Van Exel, Grant Hill, Damon Stoudemire, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shereef Abdur Rahim (Yep, the Rookie Piece!) Antoine Walker (Another HUGE rookie piece), and Kerry Kittles. All of those were GREAT and excellent additions to my SLU Collection, but it was this one that to me was the greatest find ever.

 I wasn't a huge hockey fan but I even I knew what a big deal "The Great One"'s first SLU was and I wanted it soooooooooo bad. Imagine my shock and amazement when this bad boy was one of my presents. I couldn't believe they were able to find it at our Wal Mart! Big time Score. This was definitely one of my favorite Christmas memories of all time!

The rest of the "Great Christmas Haul of 97"


  1. Ah yes. 1993-1995 were my big years. No kidding, one time I found a $20 in a Target parking lot, went in and snagged 2 Brett Farve rookies and a Drew Bledsoe rookie. Sold those Favres several years later for bank. Still have a few baseball left but most now are long gone.

  2. See, this is why I try not to pay attention to 'book value' ; so what if SLUs aren't worth half of what we (or our parents) paid for them? The memories of collecting them, playing with them, receiving them as gifts will last a lifetime. I have so many memories of sitting on the floor at Bradless/K-Mart/Child World/Toys R Us and picking through all the SLU's to find the rare out of town pieces (and this was when I was a kid) My two fave Xmas hauls would have to be 1992, when I got both Barry Sanders *and* Emmitt Smith SLU's, and the first year of McFarlane Sportspicks (2000?), when I got a bunch of NHL 1 pieces.

    Which reminds me...why didn't Kenner make a Gretzky figure in 1993? And why did they wait until then to make hockey in the first place?

  3. I received those sanders and emmitt pieces in 92 as well, but I was kid and I opened and displayed them. I agree too, SLU's were such a big part of my childhood that book value will never mean much to me because the stories are priceless. I'm not sure what was behind the Gretzky deal, I'd imagine it's similar to why Kenner stopped making MJ pieces, might have had to do with a licensing thing.