3 Cool Jordan Cards With No Number 23

3 Cool Jordan Cards With No Number 23

Hi everyone, here is a second awesome article from card community member Al "CheshBreaks" Caynes with an interesting Jordan card niche 🤔 

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It's true, the GOAT himself didn't always wear his signature 23 numbered jersey throughout his whole career. This made for some interesting cards that you can still find in the wild and make a great addition to your personal collection!


The story of Unamed 12


Not everyone is as honourable as we would like them to be, and on a harrowing day back on February 14th 1990 in Orlando, some cretin snuck past security and into the Chicago Bulls locker room and snatched the iconic jersey - the 23 was nowhere to be found after hours of frantic searching. Jordan was forced to use a nameless spare jersey, numbered 12 for the entire game. The 23 that was stolen has never been recovered, and I imagine you would want to keep that a secret, lest you want to become the most hated person on the planet.

Speaking of the number 12 jersey, it did get a replica reproduction by the NBA at one point, but more importantly, it showed up on cards.

Sam Vincent 1990-91 hoops #223

Sam Vincent 1990-91 hoops #223

Who is Johnny Kilroy?

Back in 1993, after Jordan had retired, a mysterious player popped up in 1993-94 Upper Deck SP who was rumoured to be joining backwater teams and utterly destroying the competition. Well, that's what Nike wanted you to believe, as the mysterious Johnny Kilroy was none other than Michael Jordan himself!

You may know this story, you may have even been tricked by the Steve Martin Nike commercial, but what you didn't pick up on what the card number on the back, JK1 as this refers to the one card in the set for the player, and his initials stand for JOKE.

JOHNNY KILROY 1993-94 Upper Deck SE Insert SP #JK1

JOHNNY KILROY 1993-94 Upper Deck SE Insert SP #JK1

45 wasn't a great number; it was disastrous

When MJ returned from his first retirement, the iconic 23 jersey had already been retired so he needed to pick up a new number. This would end up being extremely short-lived and it wouldn't take long for the GOAT to get back to his roots and after 23 games wearing the 45, he returned to the iconic 23.

The Bulls retired and raised his iconic No. 23 to the United Centre rafters in November 1994, which coincided with the unveiling of his statue outside of the arena as well. In March 1995, Michael Jordan returned to the NBA and took the number 45 due to his time in high school playing with the Double-A Birmingham Barons and his number when he transitioned to baseball back in 1993, but this wasn't the only reason for the change. Jordan didn't want to play in the last number his Father had seen him play in stating "Because he wasn't around, I thought of my return as a new beginning". But after he lost a bunch of games he switched back and went on a new point spree!

Jordan Cards featuring the 45 jersey:
MICHAEL JORDAN ROOKIE CARD Upper Deck BASEBALL #661
1994 FINEST MICHAEL JORDAN Card #331
1994 Upper Deck SP RED FOIL MJ1 He's Back
1994-95 Fleer Flair Michael Jordan Rare Premium Card #326
94-95 TOPPS EMBOSSED #121
1994-95 Upper Deck SP Championship Series He's Back #41
1995 MICHAEL JORDAN SKYBOX EMOTION AIR JORDAN CARD #100
MICHAEL JORDAN 1995 SP E UPPER DECK DIE CUT CARD #4
1995 GRANT HILL MICHAEL JORDAN COLLECTORS CHOICE PLAYERS CLUB 
1998 UPPER DECK MJx TIMELINE 4th Qr 121
1998 UPPER DECK TIMEFRAME CARD 71
1998 UPPER DECK TIMEFRAME CARD 75
1998 UPPER DECK TIMEFRAME CARD 76
1999-00 UPPER DECK MICHAEL JORDAN MVP MJ EXCLUSIVE #180
1999-00 UPPER DECK MICHAEL JORDAN THE EARLY YEARS #51
2001 UPPER DECK LIMITED MICHAEL JORDAN MJ'S BACK #MJ-54
2001-02 UPPER DECK LIMITED MICHAEL JORDAN MJ'S BACK MJ-61 CARD
2006 07 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN MJ'S GREATEST MOMENTS #MJ8
2007 08 FLEER MICHAEL JORDAN SEASON ACHIEVEMENTS #SH5
2009-10 UPPER DECK MICHAEL JORDAN LEGACY BOX SET CARD #38

There are a lot of Jordan 45 jersey cards out there to collect, my favourite is the Red Foil Upper Deck SP “He's Back”. The color on the card makes for a great aesthetic, the design is really cool and simple, and it's the first card I remember seeing of the GOAT being back in the game!

1994 Upper Deck SP RED FOIL MJ1 He's Back
1994 Upper Deck SP RED FOIL MJ1 "He's Back"


What's your favourite?
-Chesh

-Al “CheshBreaks” Caynes

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