Kevin McHale Rookie Cards and Best Cards

Let’s dive into the world of Kevin McHale rookie cards and discover what makes them so special! Kevin McHale, a former NBA player and Hall of Famer, has been making waves in the world of sports memorabilia with his highly sought-after rookie cards. As a card collector with 20 years of experience, I can assure you that these cards are worth adding to your collection. With their rarity and significance in basketball history, Kevin McHale rookie cards are sure to be an investment you won’t regret.

In recent news, Kevin McHale has been busy making appearances at sports memorabilia conventions and autograph signings, further increasing the demand for his rookie cards. Collectors have been buzzing about the opportunity to meet the basketball legend in person and get their cards signed. Additionally, there have been reports of a surge in prices for Kevin McHale rookie cards, as more and more collectors recognize their value. It’s clear that these cards are becoming highly sought-after in the market.

Kevin McHale 2024

As for updates about Kevin McHale himself, he has been actively involved in coaching after his playing career ended. He served as an assistant coach for various NBA teams, including the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Houston Rockets. McHale also had a brief stint as the head coach of the Rockets, leading them to the Western Conference Finals in 2015. Although he is no longer coaching, McHale remains a respected figure in the basketball community.

Best Kevin McHale Rookie Cards

1981 Topps Kevin McHale (East) #75

The best Kevin McHale Rookie Card is hands down the 1981 Topps Kevin McHale (East) #75. The card numbering is also spelled #E75 or sometimes #EAST-75.

It’s McHale’s first card ever — and his official rookie card. The card was released by Topps the next year after McHale was drafted to the NBA, and was included in the 1981 Topps basketball set.

Designed as a full-color quality photo image with the Celtics green frame and the white border around it, the card features Kevin McHale in beautiful action: taking a signature hook shot over Elvin Hayes. McHale’s playing position (abbreviated to FWD-CTR) is placed in the partial starburst in the lower left corner, together with his name and the team name in bold yellow.

The 1981 Topps basketball set had 66 cards in total (the so-called “National” set), but Kevin McHale RC #75 was part of the regional subset called “East” which had 44 cards in it. Similarly, the “West” and “Midwest” subsets were also issued by Topps and distributed in the respective regions. Each subset had 44 cards, so the grand total amount for the entire 1981 Topps basketball set is 198 cards.

The set is somewhat significant because of the fact it was the last set released by Topps before they pulled out of the basketball card game — until getting back to it in 1992. The 1981 Topps basketball set is also unique because of the aforementioned National + regional distribution strategy. Additionally, the “East” regional subset, which this Kevin McHale RC is part of, is harder to obtain than the main, “National” set.

Kevin McHale clearly dominates the set too — being the only Hall of Famer rookie on it.

Other players in the set and the subsets include Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, George Gervin, Bill Laimbeer (RC) and others.

Other Notable Kevin McHale Cards

2000 Upper Deck Legends Legendary Jerseys Kevin McHale #MC-J

This Kevin McHale Upper Deck Legends card is the first relic card ever released for the legendary big man.

This 2000 Upper Deck Kevin McHale relic card was dropped during the 2000-01 season as part of the Upper Deck Legends basketball set, and was included in the subset called Legendary Jerseys. Inserted one in 23 packs, this type of card is deemed somewhat rare, and the subset boasts such NBA legends as Bill Russell, Julius Erving, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan.

The design is black, white and silver, with McHale’s photograph on the right, and the box with his game-worn jersey on the left, just underneath the Legendary Jerseys logo in silver, sparkling letters.

The card is considered a notable one, because in the 1980’s there were no cards that contained a piece of game used material such as a jersey, and card companies did not introduce such an option up until 1997. So the 2000 Upper Deck Legends Kevin McHale #MC-J is his debut memorabilia card and is certainly respected in the hobby.

2004 Fleer SkyBox Premium Proven Performers Kevin McHale #15PR

Similarly to the situation with relic cards mentioned above, there were no official autographed options back in the 80’s when Kevin McHale played, so his first signed card didn’t come out until 2004.

The 2004 SkyBox Premium Proven Performers is Kevin McHale’s first official autographed card, which makes it a truly notable piece of cardboard. Part of the SkyBox Premium “Proven Performers” basketball set released as a collaboration between Fleer and SkyBox International in 2004-2005, the Kevin McHale #15PR definitely stands out — as being McHale’s debut at official sports card signing. The interest for this card from fans and collectors grew even further after the big man committed to doing a series of autographs for Panini in the following years.

1986 Fleer Kevin McHale #73

The 1986 Fleer Kevin McHale #73 is arguably Kevin McHale’s second best notable card — or at least a Top 3 choice for sure, besides his rookie.

This card belongs to the 1986 Fleer Basketball set, which clearly is a high-end set and is widely known to the hobby people and basketball enthusiasts alike. The most popular card from this set is the Michael Jordan rookie, but it doesn’t end there. The star-studded 1986 Fleer Basketball set also holds such prominent rookies and future Hall of Famers as Danny Ainge, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and Dominique Wilkins. Other legends in the set include Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julius Erving, George Gervin, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas and more.

The recognizable and distinctive design of this card adds up to its popularity. You have surely seen the classic red, white and blue border before — and probably on the Michael Jordan RC. For McHale #73, the big man is pictured under the basket, in his dark green Celtics jersey, laying up the ball with power. The photo is placed in a thinner yellow border, with the player’s name, team and position on the bottom of the card.

The 1986 Fleer Kevin McHale is pretty affordable, and being from the legendary set, if you can find it well-centered and in good condition, it’s definitely a must-have.

1983-84 Star Kevin McHale #34

Finally, another second-best — or, as some collectors would argue — the best choice after the official Kevin McHale rookie. Meet the 1983-84 Star Kevin McHale #34.

Part of the meaningful 1983-84 Star Basketball set, this card commands attention already. The set was the first major release for Star Company — the only card brand that was in business after Topps pulled out in 1982. The 1983-84 Star Company Basketball checklist features 275 cards, with 12-13 cards per team. Some notable players in the set include Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.

The design used on this card would remain virtually the same in the later official NBA basketball card products that Star Co. would release over the entire period from 1983-84 to 1985-86. It’s rather simple: the background is done in team color (for McHale it’s Celtics green) with STAR ‘84 in the upper right corner, the team logo in the lower left, and the player’s name and team name on the bottom.

Another reason the 1983-84 Star Kevin McHale #34 gets proper attention from the sports card world, is that it was released as a short print. It is harder to obtain this McHale card than most cards in the set, so it surely makes it a desirable item.

Final Thoughts

All of the Kevin McHale cards we have reviewed are worth taking a look at. Most of them are affordable and can be found for a reasonable price, plus in a good condition.

Try to hunt for a Kevin McHale relic card with his game-worn jersey, or for his first official autographed card. They all are definitely worth it, especially if you’re a fan of the Celtics great.

But the best Kevin McHale card on the market would probably be his rookie — the 1981 Topps Kevin McHale (East) #75. It’s also beautifully designed, features a nice action photo, and is part of an interesting set.

The runners-up would be the 1986 Fleer Kevin McHale #73 (part of an important set, too) and the 1983-84 Star Kevin McHale #34 — both great options if you’re a Kevin McHale card collector.


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