Name: Harold “Red” Grange
Pro Career: 1925 – 1934
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Bears, New York Yankees
Induction Class: 1963 – Charter Member
Brief Bio: Although he was one of the first great rushers, Red will forever be known as the first highly touted college recruit. In a day when college athletes rarely went on to play professional sports, George Halas offered Grange a rather large contract to play for his Chicago Bears. Grange debuted just 10 days after his final college game with Illinois and the results were dramatic. As Grange and his new team traveled the nation, thousands of people turned out to see the recent college star perform. Grange went on to play until 1934, but after a knee injury kept him sidelined the entire 1928 season, he was never the same elusive back. He later admitted however that he did “develop into a pretty good defensive back.” In 1933, he made the game saving tackle to win the NFL Championship Game.
Career Stats: 96 games played; 10 passing TDs; 569 rushing yards; 21 rushing TDs; 10 receiving TDs; 1 interception TD
Featured Card: 1933 Sport Kings #4. Although released just one year before his retirement, this is considered to be Grange’s rookie card. There were not many releases in Grange’s day, but you can also find him featured on many of today’s certified cut autograph and relic products. Trivial Beckett value of this 1933 RC is $800.00. You can find several on eBay for less than half this amount, but many are poorly graded. At the time I did my research, one graded PSA 8 NM-MT was listed with a Buy It Now price tag of $6,000. There also appear to be quite a few reprints available, and as always with these older classics, there are sure to be counterfeits out there, so be cautious when purchasing a vintage gem like this. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.