HOF Spotlight: Mel Hein

Name: Mel Hein
Position: Center
Pro Career: 1931 – 1945
Team Affiliation(s): New York Giants
College: Washington State
Induction Class: 1963 – Charter Member

Brief Bio: In the days before “platoon football” when players were often on the field the entire 60 minutes of game time, Mel Hein was the quintessential Iron Man. In his 15 seasons, Hein played nearly every minute of every game and only called one timeout, to hastily fix a broken nose, in his entire career. An eight-time All-NFL player, Hein was named the NFL’s MVP in 1938, a very rare honor for a center. Hein was an All-American in college and led his Washington State squad to the 1930 Rose Bowl; however, he was forced to write letters to three NFL teams upon graduating in order to land a professional career. He signed with the New York Giants for $150 per game, a laughable salary compared to modern contracts. Yet he remained loyal to the club, playing his entire 15-year, stellar career with New York.

Career Stats: 170 games played; 1 interception TD; (unfortunately, no statistics truly show the greatness of a center)

Featured Card: 1955 Topps All American #28. Hein played in an era when football card sets were anything but commonplace. For that reason, you need to look ten years after he retired to find a “rookie card” of this HOF member. Trivial Beckett value is $100 while eBay prices range from $13.95 to $379. If you wish to purchase a copy of this Hein card, be sure to look at what grade it received (if it is even graded) and if the listing is priced much higher than any others. Some sellers may try to convince you that a vintage card is extremely rare and therefore worth the hundreds of dollars they are asking. Be sure to shop around to ensure you do not pay too much for a card other sellers will gladly part with for a much smaller sum.

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