He’s a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame as a writer and broadcaster — the “preeminent and foremost authority on tennis in the world” according to the Hall — and a legend in his own field as a winner of the Associated Press Sports Editors’ Red Smith Award and a member of the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame.
He’s Bud Collins — the voice of tennis for more than 50 years — and he died Friday at age 86.
“No media figure in history in my mind has ever been as important to one sport as Bud Collins was to the sport of tennis,” said Mike Lupica, a New York Daily News columnist, to The Boston Globe, where Collins was a long-time writer. “You can’t minimize it. He became the de facto ambassador to that sport as it was exploding in this country. He educated. He entertained.”
And he had tennis cards, too.
Former tennis card-maker Ace Authentic first included Collins in one of its releases in 2006, mostly featuring him on autographed cards — more than 50 different ones, actually. In fact nearly all of his cards came signed, though he also has two memorabilia cards made by the company in 2006. His last cards appeared in releases from the company in 2013.
Collins appeared on NBC’s tennis broadcasts for more than 30 years before moving to ESPN and The Tennis Channel in recent years where his colorful clothing and bow ties often got as much attention as his work.
His availability on trading cards is a bit unique, though cards for announcers might arguably be more common for the sports that aren’t the traditionally collected ones. His cards aren’t expensive, either, making them an easy way to pick up a relatively iconic piece of tennis and TV/pop culture.
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