Muriad cigarettes issued the first true basketball trading cards in 1911. In 1933 Goudey issued the first basketball cards found in gum packs. The era of modern hoop basketball trading cards dates from 1948 when Bowman created the first set devoted exclusively to the sport. By the 1950s Topps, Exhibit Supply Company, Kellogg’s, Wheaties, and other food manufacturers joined with Bowman in creating basketball trading cards. Collectors regard the 1957–58 Topps set as the second true modern basketball set.
Today basketball trading card sets are issued by a wide variety of manufacturers. Collectors also must contend with draft card series, special rookie cards, insert or chase cards and super premium card sets. Keeping up with contemporary issues is time consuming and expensive. As a result, many collectors focus only on pre- 1990 issued cards.
References: James Beckett, “The Official 2000 Price Guide to Basketball Cards, 9th Edition,” House of Collectibles, 1999; “Sports Collectors Digest,” “1999 Standard Catalog of Basketball Cards, 2nd Edition,” Krause Publications, 1998; Tuff Stuff (eds.), “Tuff Stuff’s Complete Basketball Card Price Guide & Checklist,” Antique Trader Books, 1998.
— Harry L. Rinker
“Official Price Guide to Collectibles”