Name: Ken Strong
Pro Career: 1929 – 1939; 1944 – 1947
Team Affiliation(s): Staten Island Stapletons, New York Giants, New York Yanks
College: New York University
Induction Class: 1967
Brief Bio: A truly versatile gridiron hero who could play any position with the best, Ken Strong excelled at blocking, running, passing, punting, placekicking, and defense. Strong was named All-NFL four times in his 14-year career and helped lead the New York Giants to the 1934 NFL title, in what has become the historic “sneakers” game (from the shoe choice of the Giants during the ice-covered Polo Grounds game). Strong retired as one of the greatest players in NFL history after the 1939 season but was convinced to return to the game from 1944-1947 by the Giants who were suffering a severe wartime player shortage. Strong agreed but only under the conditions that he would only serve as a placekicking specialist, would wear no pads, and could wear his wristwatch on the field.
Career Stats: 131 games played; 35/50 FGs; 484 total points; 6 passing TDs; 1,228 rushing yards; 24 rushing TDs; 7 receiving TDs; 1 interception TD
Featured Card: 1935 National Chicle #7. As one of the league’s greatest multi-faceted athletes, it is no surprise that the National Chicle Gum Company included Ken Strong in their card set, which would go down in history as the first nationally distributed football-only card set. Strong was just coming off of his fourth All-NFL season and was part of the newest NFL champion team. Trivial Beckett value for this vintage gem is $400. Surprisingly enough, there are very few copies of this card for sale on eBay, with prices ranging from $100 to $295 (although that highest card is far above the others). As always with this high profile vintage sets, be sure to watch out for fakes and reprints. While some are obvious, others are not and you do not want to pay top dollar for a non-authentic card.
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