HOF Spotlight: Bert Bell

Name: Bert Bell
Position: League Administrator; Owner
Pro Career: 1933 – 1959
Team Affiliation(s): Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, National Football League
College: Pennsylvania
Induction Class: 1963 – Charter Member, posthumously

Brief Bio: In an era before professional football was big business, Bell founded and bankrolled the Philadelphia Eagles in the midst the of Great Depression from 1933-1940 and co-owned the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1941-1946. As NFL Commissioner from 1946-1959, Bell was a pioneer. He established far-sighted television policies that protected much needed gate revenues for home teams while allowing fans of away teams access to previously unavailable games. Bell recognized the NFL Players’ Association despite heavy opposition from league owners. He also established strong anti-gambling rules which proved to be the beginning of strict NFL conduct codes. Bell viciously fought and eventually saw the merger with the rival AAFC league. Bell suffered a fatal heart attack while attending a game between “his two teams,” the Eagles and Steelers.

Featured Card: 2006 Playoff National Treasures Charter Class Signature Cuts #BB. Obviously as a non-player member, it is difficult to find cards of Bell, although his induction certainly helps as several junk wax era sets and modern autograph insert sets focus on HOF members. Trivial Beckett Value is $450.

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2 Responses to HOF Spotlight: Bert Bell

  1. jswaykos says:

    I’ve never pulled a cut signature – mostly because they don’t come in packs that cost $1.99 or less – but if I did, I’m not sure how I’d feel about it. They’re kinda strange, especially when it’s off a check or something like that.

    I know autos have become less personal with the advent of stickers and whatnot, but at least then the players still KNOW they’re signing for a baseball card… with these cuts, it’s as impersonal as it gets.

  2. CPAdave says:

    Yeah, I’m not a huge fan of them, either, but it was tough to pick a card for this guy since he was not a player.

    I got an Upper Deck Iconic Cuts Mystery Redemption of Joe Foss (WWII flying ace and first commissioner of the AFL). You can tell the auto is cut from an old portrait. To me, the old autographed portrait would have been worth so much more than the cut auto inside a poorly designed card. I understand why they do it, but I agree with you in that I don’t really know what to think about it.

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