Name: Joe Stydahar
Pro Career: 1936 – 1942; 1945 – 1946
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Bears
College: West Virginia
Induction Class: 1967
Brief Bio: A large and bruising force to be reckoned with, “Jumbo” Joe Stydahar was the epitome of the physically dominating Chicago Bears teams of the late 1930s and early 1940s. Stydahar was the first ever draft choice of legendary Bears owner/coach George Halas in 1936 and quickly became the quintessential 60-minute man. He was a hard nosed lineman and feared little, as evidenced by his refusal to wear a helmet through much of his career and his downright bold decision to trivialize superstition by wearing number 13. Throughout his career, the Bears went as he went. In his 9-season career, which was interrupted by his being called into the U.S. Navy during the height of WWII, Stydahar was named All-NFL 5 consecutive years and the Bears won five divisional and three NFL championships. In fact, in his final game in 1946, the Bears defeated the New York Giants 24-14. Not only did it mark the end of his hall of fame career, but it also marked the final notable achievement of the Bears dynasty.
Career Stats: 84 games played; 28/31 PATs; 1 INT
Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #99. While you might expect a 1952 Bowman card to be the rookie card of an early HOF inductee, it is worth noting that Joe Stydahar’s rookie card was released six years after his retirement. It’s also worth noting that despite playing his entire storied career with the legendary Chicago Bears, his rookie card features a Los Angeles Rams logo. Truth be told, Stydahar returned to the NFL to coach the Rams from 1950-1952 and the Cardinals from 1953-1954. Stydahar’s entire playing career landed between major football card releases (1935 National Chicle and 1948 Leaf and Bowman), so it actually makes sense that his first card was from his coaching days. Trivial Beckett value is $650 while current eBay listings indicate the approximate value of this card to be about $200, although there is one listing for a PSA 8 with a staggering $3,999 price tag.
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