CHOICE Marketing SportsCards
I am fairly certain that most lacrosse card collectors are extremely pleased that Topps joined the lax community with their 2021 PLL and Athletes Unlimited card issues. Prior to that it was Parkside who revolutionized lacrosse card collecting with their 2019 MLL set and subsequent 2020 smaller issue. I clearly remember my excitement back in 2010 when Upper Deck signed what was to be a long-term deal to produce cards for the MLL. Unfortunately that relationship ended in 2012.
Perhaps the most underrated producer of lacrosse cards has been CHOICE Marketing SportsCards, based in Aston, Pennsylvania. CHOICE has been around for well over twenty years and made their first splash with lacrosse when they produced the 1999 NLL All-Star set that was loaded with the top box players of the day (the Gaits, Tavares, Casey Powell, Marechek, etc.). CHOICE did four consecutive wonderful panel card sets for the Boston Cannons from 2007-2010. These sets feature the only two cards of Mikey Powell in an actual MLL uniform, Paul Rabil's first four professional cards (not counting his SI For Kids Hopkins card & prior to the 2010 UD set), and many MLL players who had their only card in one of these sets (Ryan Danehy, Conor Gill, Kevin Cassese, etc.).
CHOICE also produced an elusive panel set in 2007 for the San Jose Stealth that included cards of Colin Doyle, Anthony Cosmo and the first (and only to date) card of Callum Crawford. Also in 2007, CHOICE issued a four card set for the Rochester Knighthawks that were distributed one-by-one at home games. All four players in the set - John Grant, Jr., Pat O'Toole, Regy Thorpe and Shawn Williams - were eventually named to the NLL Hall of Fame.
From 2013 on, CHOICE only produced sets for NLL teams. They did a set for the 2013 Edmonton Rush that featured the first cards of Mark Matthews and Kyle Rubisch. CHOICE did consecutive beautiful issues for the Buffalo Bandits in 2015 (John Tavares' last card and the first cards for Dhane Smith, Ryan Benesch and Joe Resetarits) and 2016 (check these images out on this site). The Vancouver Stealth also contracted with CHOICE to produce sets for 2016, 2017 and 2018. These sets featured many great indoor players like Rhys Duch, Corey Small, Matt Beers, and Garrett Billings.
Scott R. Smith of CHOICE has been a tremendous asset to the Lacrosse Card Archive, providing information, details and even images on these sets. CHOICE continues to be a major producer of cards for minor league baseball and hockey, but also basketball, soccer and even water polo. They have done a wide array of non-sports issues as well. CHOICE does cards for various police and fire departments too. Their photography and designs are top shelf.
It is my hope that CHOICE returns to producing cards for the NLL this coming season. I know collectors are hoping that Topps, Parkside, or Upper Deck might do so. I believe CHOICE would do a fabulous job, whether it be for a few teams or even a league-wide issue. We shall see what develops in 2021/2022. removed link
Good info, Jim. Your relationships in lax cards are much older and more developed than mine. I've only got a few CHOICE sets, but like you say, they are excellent. The 1999 NLL All-Star set might be my all-time favorite.