Placing It In Context: These cards were a preview of Action Packed’s initial design. In addition to the typical small photograph, short bio, and stats, the backs are distinguished by the outline of the word “Sample” and a very light outline of “Not For Sale” below that. There is a crease where the card was folded in on itself. There is also a blank white box with a star to the right of it, seemingly extraneous on these promotional cards. Distinguishing characteristics of the front include the cards’ rounded corners and gold-foil stamped border. Ironically, it is this border that keeps this set interesting. It is common knowledge that the “white border” Patrick Ewing exists. Less common is the fact that a Michael Jordan with a white border was once for sale. BGS has also graded a Michael Jordan that they labeled as “Silver Border.” Keep your eyes open and expect the unexpected in this set! It is traditionally considered to be made up of four components, excluding variations: Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Sugar Ray Leonard.
The Card: A raised image of Patrick Ewing in a powerful posture about to ascend towards the hoop makes for a memorable card. Trent Tucker looks on in the lower-left corner. This particular “White Border” variation is rare! PSA has three registered examples, two PSA 7 (22680080 and 22680081) and one PSA 5. The white variations of these cards were test cards produced by Action Packed. They then began printing the gold cards, but the NBA wouldn’t grant rights. After this, the “Sample” was affixed to the back. The white versions are very rare! The 2001 Standard Catalog of Basketball Cards gave a price of $50. This might remain accurate. The difficulty is not in affording it, the difficulty is finding one.
In Short: Good luck finding this card! Once located, it is a special addition to a collection, revealing a lot of history about the basketball card production process.