Name: Jimmy Conzelman
Position: Quarterback, Coach, Owner
Pro Career: 1920 – 1930, 1940 – 1942, 1946 – 1948
Team Affiliation(s): Decatur Staleys, Rock Island Independents, Milwaukee Badgers, Detroit Panthers, Providence Steam Roller, Chicago Cardinals
College: Washington of St. Louis
Induction Class: 1964
Brief Bio: A multi-dimensional talent (both on and off the field), Jimmy Conzelman was the epitome of early professional football. A star halfback in college, Conzelman was recruited by fellow HOF member George Halas to play for the Decatur Staleys, where he played for just one year. He then went to the Rock Island Independents where he began his career as a player-coach, a common role for star athletes in the early NFL. In 1925, Conzelman was offered an NFL franchise in Detroit for a reported investment of $100. Although his team, for which he was owner/coach/quarterback, enjoyed moderate success on the field, he could never crack the Motor City’s fanbase. After a knee injury ended his playing career, Conzelman returned to football after successfully trying other careers. He led the Chicago Cardinals to an NFL title in 1947 and a second consecutive divisional title in 1948.
Career Stats: 102 games played; 10 passing TDs; 13 rushing TDs; 11 receiving TDs; 1 interception TD; 88-64-17 record as coach
Featured Card: 1990 Swell Greats #34. Although Conzelman was a very gifted and multi-talented threat on the field, he never seems to have gotten the critical acclaim (HOF membership aside) as other star athletes of the early 20th century. Conzelman does not have a rookie card, so I chose to feature one of those HOF focused sets of the junk wax era, which can be a nice way to pick up cards of HOF members without having to take out a second mortgage on your house or sell your first-born child. Trivial Beckett value of the pictured card is $0.10. Prices on eBay around about $1-$5 (mostly depending on shipping), but I feel that is more because very few cards are listed below $1 on eBay. It may be beneficial to contact a seller of this type of card if you are looking to purchase a bunch of cheap cards as they may be willing to cut you a deal with combined shipping or even a few free cards. I think most sellers would just be happy to unload some cardboard from that era, so it can’t hurt to ask!
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