Name: Ernie Nevers
Pro Career: 1926 – 1931
Team Affiliation(s): Duluth Eskimos, Chicago Cardinals
Induction Class: 1963 – Charter Member
Brief Bio: If you were to look up “iron man” in the NFL glossary, you would see a picture of Ernie Nevers, a quintessential do-it-all player. Nevers gained gridiron fame in the legendary 1925 Rose Bowl when he fought courageously against a far superior Notre Dame squad. Nevers played on two very sore ankles, both of which were broken earlier in the season, yet rushed for 114 yards. His coach at Stanford, legendary Pop Warner once called him “the football player without a fault.” Extremely versatile and athletically gifted, Nevers could run, pass, kick, call signals, and play “rock hard defense” with the best of his day. Starting his career with Duluth, a barnstorming travel team, Nevers reportedly played all but 29 minutes out of 1,740 total minutes in a 29-game season. After injuries forced Nevers to take the 1928 season off, he came back just as dominant in 1929 with the Chicago Cardinals. It was in his first year back that Nevers set the longest standing record in NFL history by scoring all 40 of Chicago’s points in a 40-6 route of the Bears on November 28, 1929. Nevers earned All-NFL honors each of his five professional seasons.
Career Stats: 54 games played; 24 passing TDs; 38 rushing TDs (formal statistics are incomplete prior to 1932)
Featured Card: 1955 Topps All-American #56. As a player who ended his career before football cards would ever be nationally distributed, we look to this legendary set for Nevers’ “rookie card.” Trivial Beckett value is $125. You can pick up an ungraded copy on eBay for less than $100. However, if you want one that is graded, expect to pay well over $100. At the time of my research, one PSA 8+ was listed with a Buy It Now price of $349. Be sure to shop around for cards like this. Nevers is not one of the most sought-after players, so you should not be forced to pay a premium for his rookie card. If you’re in the market to buy, wait a little to see if you can find a better deal. As always, be careful when purchasing vintage cards. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.