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Sylvester Gray for the win! Completes my 1989 Hoops set.
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

As many of you who have been reading the SCN blog may have seen I have been collecting the signed 1989 Hoops set. That Hoops set was released with 2 series (total 353 cards) and had marked beginning of a huge explosion in popularity of basketball cards. It has a very distinctive look with huge white borders and the player's name in black block letters (although some of the pictures are dark).

The set is loaded with lots of great HOF players, 8 coaches in the HOF (Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Rick Adelman, Pat Riley, Chuck Daly, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Sloan, Phil Jackson), and so many other great players from my childhood in the 1980's. The only card that I believe is impossible to get is Ricky Berry, who passed away in August 1989 (before the set was released).

Collecting in the early 90's was different than it is today. I was able to get some bigger stars TTM who stopped signing long ago - like Kevin McHale, Karl Malone, Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, Reggie Miller, Kiki Vandeweghe, Xavier McDaniel, Tom Chambers, Dennis Johnson, Willis Reed, Wes Unseld, Pat Riley, Alex English, Akeem Olajuwon, Sidney Moncrief, Don Nelson and Wayman Tisdale.

That one card I needed

I have been one card away from finishing my signed set for probably 8 years. The last card I needed is the elusive Sylvester Gray, who played half of a season with the expansion Miami Heat in 1988 and then had a long career overseas. I had never seen an authentic copy of the card signed (bad forgeries pop up on ebay from time to time).

So imagine my surprise + excitement when I got an unexpected envelope from a SCN member with this beauty:

1989 Hopps Sylvester Gray

I love so many things about running SCN, but this has to be one of the most awesome things I have seen over the years. For another member to generously help me out with finding it and then sending it to me as a surprise so I could finish my set is just amazing. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Tougher guys to get

Sylvester Gray Bill Jones John Stockton Allen Leavell Walter Berry Dwayne 'Pearl' Washington Reggie Lewis Michael Jordan Roy Tarpley

Rookies from the 1988 Draft

I was really excited about the 1988 draft after Danny Manning led Kansas to an incredible NCAA tournament run (beating Oklahoma with Harvey Grant, Stacy King, and Mookie Blaylock). The Clippers were awful and had 3 lottery picks, I saw Rik Smits play live at Marist and he was HUGE at 7'4, Rex Chapman and Derrick Chievous were my two favorite gunners, and I was excited about Brian Shaw coming to my Celtics. Some of these guys played on the 1988 US Olympic team (Willie Anderson, Hersey Hawkins, Dan Majerle, Danny Manning, Mitch Richmond, Charles Smith), which won a Bronze medal and it was the last time the US sent a team without pros.

I thought it would be fun to show the players drafted in the first round in draft order (Bucks pick #14 Jeff Grayer was not in the set, Kings #18 pick Ricky Berry could not be gotten):

Danny Manning Rik Smits Charles Smith Chris Morris Mitch Richmond Hersey Hawkins Tim Perry Rex Chapman Rony Seikaly Willie Anderson Will Perdue Harvey Grant Dan Majerle Gary Grant Derrick Chievous Eric Leckner Rod Strickland Kevin Edwards Mark Bryant Randolph Keys Jerome Lane Brian Shaw David Rivers

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HIGHLIGHTED FEATURE: Signing Habits of Active Players
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 0

A little bit of SCN History

Way back in 2009, I introduced the Players and Teams functionality on SCN in a blog post. I was really excited when SCN was the first (and still only) site to offer collectors the ability to easily see signing habits of players on specific teams for the 4 major sports going back to 1948.

I personally have enjoyed using this feature to help me figure out who to write to next with an All Time Red Sox project.

People collect Active Players!!!

While today's NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB players do not sign nearly as much as they did even 5-10 years ago (especially with the effects of COVID-19 on our society), there are still plenty of collectors who want to try to send newer cards to today's players. I don't blame them.

Over the past few days, I have had 2 collectors reach out to me asking for the ability to filter for only active players who sign TTM. I showed them a feature that they didn't know about to get this info (and now have hopefully made it easier for you all to find it too).

Seeing the latest signers by Sport and Year

As part of that 2009 launch of Players and Teams functionality, I added a pretty cool feature that returns the latest signers for all players who played in a game for that year. If you choose the most recent season, you should see active players sorted by who has most recently had successes reported. Below is a screenshot:

Latest Successes by Year

Making it easier to find Active Players who Recently Sign

On the Players and Teams main page, you should now see blue links for each sport labeled "Show Active Players".

In the screenshot below, you can see these links designated with the red arrows next to them:

Players and Teams screen



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UPGRADE: Payments for subscriptions on SCN
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Posted by jaygross
Comments: 1

The Problem

I first wrote the integration allowing members to pay for their subscriptions and renewals back in 2002, when we launched subscriptions. I chose Paypal as our payment processor because of their market position at the time, considering how prevalent it was for collectors to have Paypal accounts. I made a few enhancements in 2005 when I moved the site to its current platform, but it was fragile and confusing:
  • We experienced delays in notifications for payments - resulting in customers not getting immediate access after they paid.

  • There was a SUPER confusing process where Paypal would create a subscription, bill the customer, and then cancel the subscription.

The Solution

In March of 2021, I rebuilt the entire process from the ground up and we have been testing it out since then. Below you will see the new (better integrated) options

subscribe_options

Now you have the following options:
  1. Pay for 1 year of SCN with Paypal (without the confusing messaging around subscription profile creation and cancellation)
  2. Use Paypal's "Pay Later" feature.
  3. Pay using a Credit Card
  4. Send us a Check or Money Order
After nearly 3 months of testing this out, it has been a big success for our members. We have seen significantly fewer issues and just about all members have been able to get access to the features after paying.

We just want to reiterate that we will continue to NOT automatically rebill you when your subscription ends. I do not personally like it when sites do that. The site will continue to provide a banner prompting you to re-subscribe with 30 days or less left in your subscription.

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Recent Topics

SYLVESTER GRAY FOR THE WIN! COMPLETES MY 1989 HOOPS SET.

HIGHLIGHTED FEATURE: SIGNING HABITS OF ACTIVE PLAYERS

UPGRADE: PAYMENTS FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS ON SCN

MY 21 FAVORITE AUTOGRAPHED ITEMS FROM THE PAST 21 YEARS

HAPPY 21ST BIRTHDAY FOR SCN

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