Name: Steve van Buren
Pro Career: 1944 – 1951
Team Affiliation(s): Philadelphia Eagles
College: Louisiana State
Induction Class: 1965
Brief Bio: A punishing rusher, Steve van Buren helped to lead an Eagles team that dominated the NFL in the late 1940s. A team that wallowed in mediocracy before van Buren’s arrival suddenly became division runners up for two years, won three straight divisional championships, and won the NFL title in 1948 and 1949. In many ways, the Eagles have never since been as successful since van Buren’s retirement. During van Buren’s brilliant career, he broke the 1,000 rushing yard mark twice, won 4 NFL rushing titles, won an ever elusive “triple crown” in 1945 by leading the NFL in rushing, scoring, and kickoff returns, and was first-team all-NFL six seasons in a row.
Career Stats: 83 games played; 5,860 rushing yards; 69 rushing TDs; 523 receiving yards; 3 receiving TDs; 3 return TDs
Featured Card: 1948 Leaf #22. When Leaf created its first all-football set in 1948, there is no guessing why they included van Buren. The man was dominating the gridiron and leading his team to feats unexplored in the franchise’s past. Trivial Beckett value of this gem is $300. Prices on eBay listings are all over the place, but a majority fall in just below $100. Similar to Sid Luckman, van Buren also has a 1948 Bowman rookie card that can be used as a substitute for the 1948 Leaf if you are just trying to get a basic HOF collection put together.
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