CGC Cards Certifies High-grade 1986 Michael Jordan Rookie Card

Posted on 8/23/2023

One of the holy grails of all sports collectibles, the card is unsurpassed in the CGC Cards Population Report.

Collectors continue to trust their most valuable cards to the industry-leading services of CGC Cards™, as exemplified by a recently certified high-grade example of the highly coveted 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan rookie card. One of the most popular cards in the entire hobby, the famous card is arguably the most important modern collectible in all of sports.

This example of the 1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan earned a grade of CGC 9, one of only five cards to earn this grade in the CGC Cards Population Report. Out of 85 CGC-graded examples of the Fleer #57, none sit higher than those five cards.

1986-87 Fleer #57 Michael Jordan graded CGC 9
Click images to enlarge.

In the early 1980s, collectors were not focused on basketball cards. However, Fleer's return to the market years after the company's first released set in 1961 changed that. The 1986-87 Fleer series (only the second basketball set in the card company's history) immediately became popular with collectors. Its vibrant design of red, white, blue and yellow borders along with great in-game action shots helped the series stand out among other cards of the decade.

Technically, the Fleer #57 is not a true rookie card from Jordan's debut 1984-85 season. Instead, it is the first widely accepted rookie card since it was the first of his career to be produced by a major card company. Released during his third season with the Chicago Bulls, when the shooting guard averaged 37.1 points per game, the 1986-87 Fleer cards were an instant hit, especially the Fleer #57. With an in-game action shot of Jordan flying through the air about to dunk the ball while wearing the 1980s Bulls jersey with the cursive Chicago logo, the Jordan rookie card became one of the most recognizable basketball cards to ever be made.

Due to his astounding NBA career and popular Air Jordan signature sneaker line, Jordan is one of the most recognizable figures in the world of sports to this day. Undeniably among the most important athletes of all time, No. 23 is widely regarded by NBA fans and analysts as the greatest to ever play the game. From his game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA title game while playing for the University of North Carolina to his six NBA championships in Chicago during the 1990s, few can match Jordan's legendary basketball resume.

The Bulls selected Jordan with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. He adapted to the NBA game overnight, immediately becoming one of the most dominant offensive forces in the league on his way to earning the Rookie of the Year award. Jordan would lead Chicago to six NBA championships, while he earned six Finals MVPs, five league MVPs, 14 All-Star selections and three All-Star Game MVPs. He won 10 scoring titles and is a two-time Slam Dunk Contest champion. Among numerous post-retirement honors, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

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