The WNBA is in its 20th season and one of the best all-around players in the history of the league, Swin Cash, announced on Tuesday that this will be the final campaign of her 15-year career.
“This game I love saved my life after a cancer scare. It’s provided for me and my family. It’s given me championships in college and the pros,” she wrote in a piece for The Players Tribune. “And it’s asked me whether or not I had the tenacity and perseverance to compete with and against the greatest athletes in the world, and take home the prize of prizes: an Olympic gold medal. Twice.”
She’s one of the top players statistically — yet she’s got very little cardboard for fans to chase. Her story is not a unique one as WNBA cardboard has been largely limited to a small boxed set each year since 2009.
She has 27 games to go, but right now she ranks 14th on the league’s career scoring list and could push as high as 11th. She ranks sixth in games played, seventh in minutes, seventh in free throws made, 10th in total rebounds, 15th in assists and in the top 20 in plenty of other areas.
Cash was the No. 2 pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft, drafted behind UConn teammate Sue Bird, who was taken by Seattle. In her second season, Cash led the Detroit Shock to a WNBA title — one of three in her career, which also has included stops in Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.
She has fewer than 60 card appearances — and that’s a number bolstered by a Topps Allen & Ginter appearance in 2012. Her lone Rookie Card can be found in the 2002 Fleer Authentix WNBA set — a card limited to 2,002 serial-numbered copies — and she has just eight certified autographs. Three of those are Ginter cards, while the rest are from 2004-07 from Fleer and then Rittenhouse Archives.
Her certified autographs aren’t expensive ones for the most part, but in terms of importance for women’s basketball in the United States, she’s among the greats of the game.
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