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Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Allen & Ginter Design Origins

The 2011 design for A&G is out. The first place I saw it was at Drew's Cards. Many others may have posted it first, but as far as I'm concerned Drew scooped 'em. If you are slighted or offended by this assertion, post your superior link in the comments.

I am fond of checking out the Allen & Ginter designs and trying to see the inspiration for the set. This was easy from 2006-2008, but recently it's gotten complicated. Here's my 2009 design review featuring the N16 and N22 sets. In 2010 I thought A&G mashed up N22 with N2 and N3. Here's the 2011 design:

Yeah. There is not a single card from the 19th century that even remotely looks like this. There are bits and snippets though. Obviously the picture with the pastel smudge in the background fits in with the A&G ethos. The Allen & Ginter logo doesn't really match any of the original fonts used but if Ol' Mr. Ginter had seen it back in 1888 it probably would have been used somewhere. The name in all caps have been seen several times before including...

N2 Famous Indian Chiefs. Topps used a Serif font in 2011 but no biggie. The name moves from underneath the player photo to the top of the card. It looks pretty good so no complaints here. Now as for the background behing the Topps A&G logo, that reminds me of...

the background to N34 The World's Sovereigns. Most of the subjects rulers in this set appear to be posed before some really ornate wallpaper. The curlicue pattern on the bottom reminded me of those backgrounds. I know, I'm really stretching here, but you really have to stretch with this design.

Now as for the border, gold borders are not all that uncommon in the original tobacco series (just look at the card above), but rounded corners just aren't seen. These borders remind me mostly of...

2002 Fleer Greats of the Game Autographs. I'm not saying they're bad looking, I'm just saying they're from the wrong century. Slap O'NEIL on top, replace the irreplaceable autograph with a couple of logos and hey, you've got 2011 A&G. Unfortunately the very first thing I thought of when I saw the new design was none of these three cards. I had a different set in mind. A set I really didn't want to be thinking about when I saw my beloved Allen & Ginter. When I saw the new design I instantly thought of this set:

2006 Fleer. The Fleer is a little more bright and modern looking. Allen & Ginter manages the faux antiquing of the card well. They're not really carbon copies of each other either, no border on Fleer, the logo is on the wrong side... but they still remind me a lot of each other. Actually as I think about it a little more, 2011 A&G kind of looks like the illegitimate love child of 2006 Fleer and...

2005 Cracker Jack. If I knew what those cards were getting up to in my doubles box I would have separated the retro from the base cards.


But yeah, you can quote me as saying
"2011 Allen & Ginter looks like the illegitimate love child of 2005 Cracker Jack and 2006 Fleer " 
You can kiss my f#%$in ass right downtown AND PRINT IT!

So yeah, there's the design. It looks pretty ok. It don't look authentic. But ok nonetheless. You know I'll buy my box just for the blue framed autrorelics. And you will too, don't lie.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Card of the Year: 2010

This was going to be part of a larger, Oscar-themed post with my favorites from 2010. However, I never got around to writing it and the Oscars are going on now so it's post it now or bust. If you're really interested, here's what I thought about 2010:

Best Product: Obak
Best Rookie: Chrome Jason Heyward
Best Base card: I don't have a clue. I told you the post wasn't finished.
Best Insert card: A&G UK Bulldog
Best thing to happen to the hobby: Yo Momma Transmogrifier (shaky implementation, but it's still fun)
Worst thing to happen to the hobby: Exclusive license (WHERE THE FUCK IS MY 2010 GOUDEY???)
Schadenfreude of the Year: Topps putting their all their eggs in Steven "Glass Elbow" Strasburg's basket
Lifetime Achievement Award: Thorzul for the innovation of Bipping
Best Actor: Colin Firth (I haven't seen The King's Speech, but he was fantastic in Fever Pitch)
Best Actress: Betty White
Best Picture: The only two movies I saw in the theater in 2010 were Harry Potter Wanders Around In The Woods Acting Really Pissed Off For Two Hours While Horrible, Terrible Things Happen All Around Him and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Someone pick up that goddamn cheese already! These movies were respectively extremely depressing and bloody awful so fuck it. THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Best Album: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (I didn't even like Arcade Fire before that album)
Best Song: Antione Dodson - Bed Intruder Song (No, I'm not kidding)

No, I'm not going to make a lot of funny comments on each of those choices, the days of me writing like a madman because I'm wired out of my mind on 3 hours of sleep and enough caffeine to kill a horse are over. I will take the time to show off this card, which I think sums up the year 2010 perfectly.

2010 Card of the Year:

1989 Topps Traded Bip Roberts

You didn't know Bip got traded to the Braves for about a week and a half in the 1988-89 offseason did you?  He was returned to the Padres for violating Russ Nixon's strict "no sombrero" policy. This more than anything else resulted in Russ' eventual firing. Hey look, here's the back.

This looks totally legit! It even mentions the first person who was Bipped with this particular card 21 years later. Yes, I was Bipped with Bip.

A Brave Bip at that. Ok, so the card isn't strictly real in the generally accepted sense. Reality is for fascists. This is the work of Steve over at White Sox Cards. He sent me a massive bipping package and I ended up screwing up the best post on the event. Frankly, I don't understand why people keep reading with how badly I've sucked at everything card-related lately. Steve has his revenge at least.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Card Show Top 20 - #13 Sertoma Rico

Back to the Top 20 countdown. This one is a real oddball in every sense of the word. I got it in the Mystical Insane Dollar Box From Dimension X. Finding this card resulted in one of the half dozen or so "What the sweet merciful Christ is this???" moments I had going through that box. If I could go through that box every day, I would buy something from it every day. I only had one day though so I bought this:

Hrm. A very plain sepia toned card of Rico Carty. Printed in black & white. On somewhat thin textured stock, not unlike a cheap business card. What on Earth is this thing? It's a Brave at least, let's flip it over.

Sertoma Stars! And - well, I'll be - and actual business card. Of a real business! Watson Construction, Rex Watson (owner). A construction company in Franklin Indiana is sponsoring a baseball card set. I've heard of regional oddball items used for advertising, but this is ridiculous. Let's break it down. What is Sertoma?

Sertoma is a charity organization (SERvice TO MAnkind) that focuses on hearing health issues. The collection of service clubs was founded in 1912 and apparently the Indiana Chapter released a trading card sets ometime in the late '60s. There are team logos on the card, but who knows if the thing was ever licensed. Who even knows what year, the thing was issued? No fear! The SCD Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards is here! Lemme just take a look and........ Nothing. The hell? There's a 1977 Sertoma Stars set in there but they look nothing like this. The Catalog failed me, but my Google-fu is strong. Off to the internet I went.

The more I dug around online for Sertoma Stars, the murkier things got. I quickly found my exact card on the eBay. Normally that is a perfect place to go to find out about obscure issues, but the seller lists it only as a '60s era card. An eBay search for Sertoma Stars shows most of the items listed as being from 1977. This makes absolutely no sense as Rico played for Cleveland in 1977. Let's get away from eBay. This auction says they are from the '60s. This site says 1977. Argh!

My initial thought on the set was late '60s. Rico Carty was with the Braves then and the picture looks like a young Rico. This guy here with a lot of obscure oddball stuff on the page lists it as a set from 1967. Perfect! That's just what I thought. Hey look, this guy has a checklist! And lists them as being from 1978... Gaaaah! What the hell is this damn set??!?!!?

Wait I know... Graded cards. Some fool had to have graded one of these things. Grading companies know what they're doing, right? Right?? I found a couple of graded examples scrounging online. All subsequent photos have been brazenly ganked off the interwebs without permission for educational purposes only. No, not to educate you, to educate ME! I gotta know what the hell this card is!

Check out this old as dirt graded card from SCG! A screw down with an Avery label, now that's class. Whoever typed SCG-10 GEM MINT seems to think this card is from 1967. I always liked SCG! Let's see what that other grading joint says.

1977 Sertoma Stars! NOOOOOOOOOOOO

I finally found an archived baseball card forum thread from 2006. The guy who runs TwinsCards.com (which appears to be dead right now or else I'd link it) didn't know what these things were either and tried to get some info. A user named flyingdutchdude asserts that it is in fact a second set offered by Sertoma in 1977 for the Indiana Sports Collectors Convention. He quotes the 2007 edition of the SCD Catalog. Basically I spent probably an hour and a half scrounging for information on a set that I could have found in two minutes had I gotten around to upgrading my SCD. Oops. This still does not explain why the hell a set from 1977 contains players and photos from a decade earlier. With construction advertisements on the back.

UPDATE: FleerFan knows where these old pictures come from!

Here's the checklist. I spent a half hour deducing this from eBay auctions before I found the checklist link above.

Joe Morgan - Astros
Jim Wynn - Astros
Rusty Staub - Astros

Hank Aaron - Braves
Rico Carty - Braves
Joe Torre - Braves
Clete Boyer - Braves
Phil Niekro - Braves

Jim Ray Hart - Giants
Juan Marichal - Giants
Gaylord Perry - Giants

Frank Robinson - Orioles
Brooks Robinson - Orioles
Boog Powell - Orioles
Don Buford  - Orioles
Davey Johnson - Orioles

Roberto Clemente - Pirates
Bill Mazeroski - Pirates

Harmon Killebrew - Twins
Tony Oliva - Twins
Rod Carew - Twins
Bob Allison - Twins
John Rosboro - Twins

Mickey Mantle - Yankees

Another mystery: Who the heck decided on this checklist?? Twenty-five cards featuring only seven different teams. No Indians or Reds or Cubs or White Sox in the set even though Indiana is surrounded by Illinois and Ohio. Not even a Tiger in the set! Plenty of Braves, Orioles and Twins though. PLENTY of Braves. I got four more to chase now.

Another oddity: The set was not sponsored only by Watson Construction. There are a bunch of other ads on the back. Perhaps a different one for each card, but I'm not sure. Here are all the ad backs I could find online.  Why? WHY NOT. Behold! Ad backs! FOR SCIENCE

Allen's Electric Service, Inc. Bob M. Allen, President - Gaylord Perry

D.A. Jones Plumbing - Roberto Clemente

dm Sales & Engineering, Inc.  - Don Buford

Carl Ernsting Construction Company, Inc. - Cletis Leroy Boyer

Federal Sign, Division Federal Signal Corporation - Harmon Killebrew

Eddie Hurm, Painting Snow Removal, Residential Commercial Industrial - Rusty Staub

The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Len Johnson, Ben W Roush & Associates, Inc. - Joe Torre

Ray-Mac Foods, South Meridian IGA Foodliner - Phil Niekro

Schuster's Block, Inc. Eugene Brown, Commercial-Residential Sales - James Ray Hart
"A Square Block Makes A Square Building"

Thomas Williamson Construction - Jim Wynn

and finally....

Contract Hardware & Specialties, Inc. Yale Locks, Ceco Doors & Frames - Bob Allison

What is a picture of Rico Carty from the late '60s doing in a 1977 set? Why did a hearing disabilities charity create a card set for a baseball card show back when baseball cards weren't cool? How the heck did this post go so out of control? So many questions................

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dime Box Kryptonite #3 - Showdown Shinies

My Top 20 Card Show finds post #13 has gotten ridiculous, so here's some more filler for you all while I finish it up. I'll try to have it done by tomorrow so you can waste a portion of your Friday morning on it.

For now, here's another thing that I absolutely cannot pass up when perusing a cheapo box. My first two posts on my utter weakness in the face of cards probably rang true to many of you. There are lots of collectors out there who like the Retro. Many people love the minis. Hardly ANYONE will identify with this post. For I am completely incapable of passing up...


Over/Under on readers who know what the hell this stuff is is around 30%. I'll take the under. In 2000, Wizards of the Coast tried to take their wildly successful CCG concept and leap into the baseball card market. This had been done a couple of times before with the most spectacular flop coming from 1995 Donruss Top of the Order. At that time WotC was the CCG King and they thought they could storm into the market with a collectable baseball card game. Nope. They promoted the hell out of it and probably sold a lot in 2000, but each year the sales dwindled and it was dead pretty quick.

This Cal Ripken Jr. foil shiny card (and it is shiny, the scan doesn't do justice) if from the first set in 2000. Note the Edition 1 stamp at the bottom corner. This is to show that this is a card from the initial printing and thus, will eventually be rare when they have to reprint zillions of Unlimited editions of this card due to popular demand. This was a common trick in CCG sets to get you do buy cards as quickly as possible at the beginning of the release instead of waiting 6 months when the packs were all in the clearance bin because the new series (Limited Edition!) came out. While Limited Edition is always music to collectors' ears, this sucker is a holographic foil short print card inserted something like 1:27 cards. That's right, the odds were listed by the card, not by the pack. When I snagged this card from the dime box, I showed it to Chris Harris. "Hey! A foil Showdown card of Cal Ripken Jr.!" His response: "That and 50 cents gets you a cup of coffee." That's preposterous! I dare you to find a cup of coffee under a buck nowadays. Double DOG dare you.

While a product that combines baseball cards and a collectible card game is a good idea in theory, in practice it will almost always fail. This is why: People who collect baseball cards usually don't care a whit about playing games with the cards. People who play CCGs generally don't give a crap about sports. Now, there is a very small sliver on the Venn diagram of those two groups of people who like both, but it's not enough to support a product. And even the ones who get into it ultimately end up disappointed. The card collectors are frustrated because all the really good players in the set are short printed foils like this one. Old School Strat-o-Matic and APBA gamers are peeved because it's impossible to put together teams and leagues when a quarter of the cards are still missing after ripping two boxes. Hardcore CCGers just want to be able to have Pedro Martinez shoot a Fire Blast at Barry Bonds. Actually, I want that too.

Failed product or not, if I see one of these forgotten and unloved Showdown cards alone in the wild I feel compelled to take it home and have it join its friends in an official 2000 Showdown collector box with Chipper Jones on the front. And how can you pass up a shiny Cal! It's not possible. You have to buy the shiny Cal. It's the right thing to do.

The shiny Freddy Garcia... I ... I can't rationalize that.

Oh, if you want to actually play the bloody came it goes something like this:

Take the batter's On base number and add it to the pitcher's Control number.
Roll a 20 sited die.
If the result it lower than or equal to the sum, use the pitcher's card. If it's higher, use the batter's card.
Roll a 20 sited die again.
Look at the chart on the card to determine the result.
First roll is an 8. That means you look at the pitcher's card.
Second roll is a 16. That means Cal flew out.
Cal demands a rematch.
This time he rolls an 18, so you look at Cal's card this time.
Second roll is 16 again. Double for Cal!

Then there are defensive bonuses, and speed ratings and innings pitched counts and team building points and a bunch of Strategy cards which make things really really complicated. Just play Strat-o-Matic.

Oh, look. Speak of the Devil...

Top 20 Intermission - Checkin' Lists T206

One of the lists I scribbled out by hand before heading out to the card show was my Topps206 wantlist. Not the newfangled one, the one from 2002-3. I had a list printed out already, but I'll just be honest about it, it's ridiculous. Basically I printed a checklist I found online and marked out all the cards I already had with a highlighter. Not a normal yellow highlighter, but pink and green and orange highlighters. That wantlist looks like a day-glo rainbow nightmare. I found a stack of 2002 commons in a 20 for a buck box. Sadly I could only scrounge six cards that I needed. Here's the haul:

Ortiz of Anaheim. Is this Ramon? Heck, I don't know. Let's just say it is and be done with it.

Chan Ho Park in a Rangers uni fills another hole in the set. Did you know Park played for the Rangers? I sure didn't. I looked it up and found out he was with the Pirates last year! Chan Ho is in the league no longer, he'll be pitching in Japan in 2011.

Scott Rolen had eluded my grasp as well. This card, not the other 15 Rolen variations in the Topps206 set. You think the new Topps206 set has variations? HOO DOGGIE. This set was lousy with variations. Short printed ones too. Blecch. No wonder I'm still not close to completing it.

Aww yeah. We have just entered the "HAWT Rookies what I didn't pull out of packs and which were stupidly overpriced in 2002" zone. Corey Patterson may have had five tools, but the Cubs wrecked them worse than your neighbor Bill wrecked your socket set after borrowing it to install his new satellite dish. Who uses a ratchet wrench as a friggin hammer?? Speaking of things the Cubs ruined...

It's still overpriced.

Last one - Austin Kearns. Austin is still bouncing around the league. Last year he signed with the Indians in the offseason, got off to a good start, was traded to the Yankees, and promptly sucked. The Yankees released him in the offseason and he signed right back with the Indians. Good job, Austin! Screw those Yankees!

I managed to take a small bite out of that set. Always bring your lists, kiddos! You never know what you'll find.

Dime Box Kryptonite #2 - ZOMG MINIS

There's a lot of stuff I can't resist when I'm scrounging through dime boxes but the thing that makes me sweat, shake and hyperventilate the most is mini cards. Unless I have a list in front of me and I know for a fact I already have three of these cards I am incapable of passing up a mini card in a dime box. I found a lucky 7 minis in the dime box where I scrounged a pile of 2006 A&G cards. Let's see if I need any of them for my FrankenSet!

2006 Mike Jacobs Black Border

Did it make the set?


The black border booted out a 2008 Michael Young mini. The Rangers don't want him and neither do I.

2007 Vernon Wells SP

Did it make the set?


Already got it. What are the odds?

2007 JJ Putz

Did it make the set?


Got this one too! Aargh!

2007 Jim Thome A&G back

Did it make the set?


This one was tough, but I already had a 2010 Rick Ankiel A&G back in the binder. Rick stays on the strength of his playoff home run. 

2006 Matt Holliday A&G back

Did it make the set?


While I would normally try to get a 2006 card into the binder, there was a 2010 black border of (former) Brave pitcher Michael Dunn. I can't bump a black border. 

2006 Vladimir Guerrero

Did it make the set?


Leaving out Vladdy kills me, but I'm not taking out Alexander Graham Bell. Why didn't I bring my list???

2007 Jose Vidro A&G back

Did it make the set?


AAAAAAARGGGGHH. Got this one too! How many '07 minis do I have???

Well, out of seven minis, I only actually needed one. The kryptonite strikes again....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Card Show Top 20 - #14 V103 Tree

Back to the countdown. Number 14 is more a set than a card, but I got one picked out of the set for the 'official' top 20 card. This will be a critically important record 5000 years from now when historians debate the 2011 Freedom Cardboard Atlanta show.

This was the last thing I bought at the card show. Part of the reason I bought it was because I had one dollar left in my pocket and it would be cool to say I didn't leave the show with any money left in my pocket at all. It's not quite as cool now seeing how I have not had a single dollar in my pocket since the show, but it made sense at the time. I got this at the table with all the signed Bobby Cox lineup cards. I didn't have the cash for a  lineup card at this point (why didn't I hit the ATM before the show?? (oh yeah, because I had a mortgage payment due)) but there were cheapo memorabilia boxes there. There was a ten dollar box that had a couple of autographs of people I didn't recognize, some old programs and something I very nearly bought - an old Empire Strikes Back jumbo Topps set. These were the size of the 1980 Supers and were probably from the same year. I should probably be regretting passing on that more than I do, but they were shrink wrapped so I would be hesitant to open it and if I did open it it would be a bitch to store. I'll let you all regret it for me.

There was a five dollar box with more goodies. I bought something out of that box that I'll show off later. I did have a decision between getting that and a Dale Murphy autograph card. Some of you may ask... How could I pass up an autographed Dale Murphy card??!? Well, it wan't a baseball card, it was an ad for some kind of plasma TV. It was vaguely card shaped and signed I suppose. I'm happy with my choice. The dollar box had mostly junk but there were a couple of these sets in there and I ultimately was compelled to snag one:

This lovely artist's rendition of the best basketball analyst around is from a 1979 Coca-Cola/Majik Market/V103 Atlanta Hawks team set. Majik Market was a southern version of 7-11 back in the day. V-103 is Atlanta's biggest radio station and was playing Disco when this set came out. Everyone knows what Coke is. This set is almost identical to a Braves set released at the same time. That one was sponsored by Coke and WPLO, an AM country station.

My 1985 Sport Americana Football-Hockey-Basketball and Boxing Price guide (there weren't a heck of a lot of sets back then, not enough to warrant a separate price guide for hoops) states rather bluntly that "The set is considered quite homely and poorly produced by most collectors". Back then though, I looked upon the Braves set with wonderment as I had no concept of oddball regional issues. That set had Bob Horner's first card! I was also amazed when I learned there was a Hawks version of the set in the mid '80s through that same price guide. While the Braves sets were plentiful at local card shops, I never found any of the Hawks sets. Finding one in the dollar box was a nice nostalgic surprise.

As you can see, the set is fairly minimalistic. Name, artist's rendering, Coke and Hawks logo on the front. Name, position, bio, V-103 and Majik Market logo on the back. The card stock is very thin and glossy on the front. The set straddles a fine line between being elegant and being cheap. This set would look absolutely fantastic if you could get it autographed with a blue or red sharpie though. The set had 15 cards, a full 12-man roster from the 1979-80 Central division champion Hawks along with Hall-of-Fame head coach Hubie Brown and his two assistants. Here's the rest of the set:

Mike Fratello is a pretty big name from the Hawks in his own right. He won 324 games with the Hawks including a Central division championship in '86-87. Not so many playoff wins though. He's another coach turned TV analyst having success calling games.

Brendan Suhr was a longtime scout and assistant coach in the NBA, most recently with the Knicks. This card creeps me out a little bit, the eyes remind me a little of George on this other masterpiece of line art.

5'8" point guard Charlie Criss played parts of 7 season with the Hawks and would later be a color analyst on the local Hawk broadcasts. Man, there's a lot of broadcasters in this set.

Dan Roundfield was the Hawks' high scoring small forward in the early '80s. At least until 'Nique showed up. The Hawks then managed to fleece the Detroit Pistons out of Antione Carr and Cliff Levingston for old and busted Roundfield. You laugh, but that trade may have clinched that Central division championship! Seriously, that's all Hawks fans have to cling to. Don't take that away from us.

Tom's card was the sample card in the price guide for this set. Why? One reason: PORN 'STACHE. Look at that mustachioed smirk on that guy. That's the best 8 points per game mustache you will ever see.

All-Star Eddie! Fast Eddie Johnson from Auburn University! 18 points a game for the Hawks in '80. I don't want to talk about anything else that ever happened in this man's life. Just enjoy the happy smiling face on that card because it went all downhill from here.

One of the neat things about this set is that even the bench players get a card. Jimmy only played 31 games with the Hawks after being traded from Detroit for Ron Lee and scored about 5 points a game. Poor Ron didn't get a card.

Mr. Basketball in Kentucky, NCAA Champion and Final Four MVP with Kentucky in 1978, and the poor guy ends up on the Hawks bench. Jack also had a broadcasting career. Hmm... the Hawks were owned by Ted Turner, who also owned TBS and TNT... I think I've figured out the broadcasting angle here...

Yet another guard. How many guards are on this team? Armond is currently an assistant coach under his former teammate Doc Rivers in Boston.

John was the #10 overall pick for the Hawks in 1973 but I don't recall ever hearing of him before now. John was born in West Germany and this '79-80 season was his last in the league.

Steve tag teamed at center with Tree Rollins for several years. He was a little better scorer, Tree was much better on the boards. His nephew Spencer currently plays for the 76ers. I'll always remember Hawes as the guy getting schooled by Artis Gilmore on an old poster I had when I was a kid that I can't find online anywhere. Man, I wish I could find that poster.

No, not the current coach of the Hawks, that's Larry Drew. John Drew is the guy we traded to Utah to get Dominique Wilkins. John then missed half a season rehabbing from cocaine abuse. What else is there to do in Utah? John became the first player banned for life under NBA Dictator Commissioner David Stern's drug policy. That trade for Utah stunk. About as bad as the Hawks' trade for Danny Manning.

I could have sworn Sam Pellom was a coach or a broadcaster or a reality TV star or a celebrity chef or a United States Senator or something, but the only thing I can find about him online is that he played for the Washington Generals and he's the only player from the University of Buffalo to ever play in the NBA. That's pretty good, though.

And here's the key card to the whole set. Wayne Monte Rollins. Otherwise known as Tree. EVERYBODY in Atlanta knew about Tree. Even people who didn't know what a basketball was. The man's name was Tree, for Pete's sake. This card is from his third year in the league, where he scored a career high 8.9 points a game. He also had 9.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocks a game that year. Now that's a real old-school center right there.I was in absolute awe of this guy when I was a kid. Seven feet tall! Yowzers! One time I asked my uncle if Tree might end up in the Hall of Fame one day. His response: "For what? Lowest points per game for a starter in NBA history?" BASKETBALL IS ALL NOT ABOUT OFFENSE. YA GOTTA PLAY DEFENSE. PUT TREE IN THE HALL.  But let's get Artis Gilmore in there first. Seriously, WTF Basketball Hall of Fame.