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Rutgers Trea$ure Hunter: Women's Basketball Tournament Edition

After a bit of a hiatus, the Trea$ure Hunter is back. And with the women heading for the NCAA Tournament, we decided to focus on women's hoops.

Old Tickets, signs, and autographs....that's gold to a Trea$ure Hunter
Old Tickets, signs, and autographs....that's gold to a Trea$ure Hunter

Well, Rutgers is No. 8 in your bracket, but clearly last in the minds and hearts of the seeding committee.  Oh, well.  Let's look at memorabilia.

Well, the girls decided that 'Drop the Handkerchief' wasn't as entertaining as basketball, either.  So here we are with...a basketball.  Signed by C. Vivian Stringer and a mid-2000s team with Essence Carson, Matee Ajavon, and Michelle Campbell, among others.

I never tried writing my name with a silver marker...must be incredibly awkward.

Photos are always fun, especially when they're autographed.  This picture of the 2007 Final Four in Cleveland (59-46 loss to Tennessee in championship game) is signed by CVS.

And if you look closely - okay, just look at the photo below - you see that Stringer signed it the way most Hall of Famers do, with the year of her induction.  But the picture is the 2007 title game.  So clearly the picture was obtained some time after 2009.  Gotta keep better records of this stuff.

Rutgers handed out these "800" signs at the game against DePaul in 2008.  When it looked like there was no chance of the team losing, ushers and other staffers went into the stands, handing out the placards.  And as the game came down to its final minutes, fans started to hold them up.  As you can see in the second photo, there's no HOF by the signature, so the placard was signed sometime in the period after the game but before her HOF induction.

Being able to put a ticket stub with the signature creates - at least for me - a bit more of an historical perspective and adds to the quality and excitement of the piece,

I couldn't get a real autograph after CVS hit the 900 win mark.  But Rutgers did put out a nice montage poster highlighting her Rutgers career: cutting down nets, NCAA regional wins (that's Final Four, folks), and her HOF induction.

And who is that young woman holding the basketball...with the old logo behind her?  Yeah, that's Coach Stringer in 1995 as she is introduced as the second full time women's basketball coach "On the Banks".

Now, let's get into something really interesting and quite unique.  Rutgers has online auctions.  It's small, but growing.  And with the new banners at the RAC, guess what's on the auction block?  Yup, you can bid on one of the banners (4'x6') that hung high above the RAC for years.  They point out on the site that they have not been laundered since being removed from the rafters.  Yeah, weird comment but in the spirit of full disclosure.....

There are nine of the banners up for auction.  If you want to start getting into collecting, this is a pretty good spot to start your collection.  And, yes, I'm bidding.  You can see the full collection here.

And, of course, where would any collection be without the requisite bobblehead.  For the record, I do not have the Eddie Jordan or Kyle Flood editions, so if anyone is willing to part with theirs.....