One of the most ambitious collecting goals I have ever embarked on is a goal I dubbed simply as “PROJECT 23”. Please allow me to tell my story…


Amidst my picking up cards in August, 2004, I acquired an autographed card of LeBron James that was numbered to his jersey number - a 2004-05 Limited Logos numbered 23/50.


After obtaining this card, I found out that there are actually TWO versions of the Limited Logos for LeBron James. That meant there was another Limited Logos numbered 23/50. And wouldn’t you know it, it surfaced. But, it was eventually bought by another Exquisite collector.


Over the ensuing months, several other LeBron James cards numbered 23 popped up on Ebay. The question then was whether I needed anymore cards numbered 23. Even though there was some interest in obtaining them, the attempt at doing so wasn’t really serious. I won some and lost some.


After getting all the cards I had bought in hand, I realized I already had 5 cards from 2004-05 Exquisite that were numbered to LeBron’s jersey. That was when I decided to sit down and find out exactly how many cards there are. I was able to list 10 of them. Base card 023/225, base parallel gold 23/25, base parallel jersey 23/25, Extra Exquisite 1 and 2 23/25, , Exquisite Enshrinements 1 and 2 23/25, Auto Patch 23/100 and 2 Limited Logos 23/50.


Without really thinking it would be possible, I started to keep an eye out for the cards. The cards eventually all popped up on Ebay and I won all of them. Backtracking, I was able to get in touch with the people who had won the cards that have previously sold. And after explaining to them the scope of my project, being the true collectors that they were, they generously agreed to sell me their cards at what would be considered reasonable prices. In the end, I was able to get all 10 cards! I had completed my project!... or so I thought.


In the process of discussing my achievement with a friend, I challenged him to list all the LeBron James cards he knows of from 2004-05 Exquisite that are numbered 23. And wouldn’t you know it, instead of 10, he came up with 11!! I had neglected to include one of the biggest cards… the Number Pieces 23/23. I couldn’t believe it!


After some thought, I assumed it would be impossible to locate that ONE card. Searching the whole world over for that card seemed harder than looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. In my efforts, the farthest I got was able to confirm through friends that the card had been pulled in Japan but has since not been seen.


At that point I more or less considered my project complete since I had gotten the 10 cards I set out to. But in the back of my mind, the true spirit of the project wasn’t REALLY complete. That kinda left the project half-full/half-empty.


Several months later however, out of the blue, a seller that I had bought a lot from before got in touch with me saying he had found the card. I couldn’t believe it! After some negotiations, an agreement was reached and the card was mine!


I HAD DONE IT! I had obtained ALL the LeBron James cards in 2004-05 Exquisite Basketball that is numbered 23! Here on this page are the 11 cards. No one else in the collecting world can say that he or she has a 2004-05 Exquisite LeBron James jersey numbered card! Thinking about it, the odds really seemed against the completion of this project. For one thing, all the cards had to have been pulled from cases. Then, the person who pulled it would have to be someone who would be willing to sell it. If I were the one who pulled something like that, I would not sell it at all! J In any case, I hope you all enjoyed the long read. And I do truly hope you all enjoy the cards!


CARD #1: Base card #023/225!


CARD #2: Base Parallel Gold #23/25!


CARD #3: Base Parallel Jersey #23/25!


CARD #4: Extra Exquisite Jersey Version 1 #23/25!


CARD #5: Extra Exquisite Jersey Version 2 #23/25!


CARD #6: Exquisite Auto Patches #23/100!


CARD #7: Exquisite Enshrinements Version 1 #23/25!


CARD #8: Exquisite Enshrinements Version 2 #23/25!


CARD #9: Limited Logos Version 1 #23/50!


CARD #10: Limited Logos Version 2 #23/50!


CARD #11: Exquisite Number Pieces #23/23!




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