HOF Spotlight: Lamar Hunt

07.23.2012

Lamar Hunt
Name: Lamar Hunt
Position: League Founder, Owner
Pro Career: 1959 – 2006
Team Affiliation(s): Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs
College: Southern Methodist
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: What do you do when you’re a 26-year-old who is frustrated in trying to obtain an NFL franchise? Establish a new rival league. That’s just what Lamar Hunt did in 1959 when he helped create the American Football League to challenge the NFL’s stronghold on professional football. A year later, he established the Dallas Texans franchise, which was eventually moved to Kansas City and changed its nickname to the Chiefs. Hunt fought vehemently for the AFL’s survival and spearheaded a total equality merger with the NFL in 1966. His tireless efforts with the new league and the successful franchise he operated as a solid backbone of that league helped forever change the landscape of professional football and formed the NFL as we know and love it today.

1990 Swell Greats #40

Featured Card: 1990 Swell Greats #40. While visionary founders and owners like Lamar Hunt have perhaps the greatest impact on the sport, they are often overlooked in the popular esteem. As such, Hunt does not have an official rookie card, but has been honored in many HOF-focused card sets, such as this junk wax era gem. Current eBay prices are obviously very low for this type of card and would make for an economical addition to any HOF collection.

 
 

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.

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HOF Spotlight: Greasy Neale

05.16.2011

Greasy Neale
Name: Earle “Greasy” Neale
Position: Coach
Pro Career: 1941 – 1950
Team Affiliation(s): Philadelphia Eagles
College: West Virginia Wesleyan
Induction Class: 1969
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Brief Bio: One of the overlooked coaching greats of all time, Earle “Greasy” Neale turned the second-tier Philadelphia Eagles franchise into an NFL perennial power in the 1940s. When Neale took over as head coach of the struggling Eagle club in 1941, it took just three years before they began finishing second place in the Eastern Division and just another three years before they won their first divisional crown. His offense was led by quarterback Tommy Thompson and future HOFers Pete Pihos and Steve Van Buren. His legendary “Eagle Defense,” the predecessor to the still popular 4-3 formation, was stifling and helped win two straight NFL championships via shutouts; the only team to ever do so. Before his NFL coaching days, Neale was a long-time college coaching great, taking his Washington and Jefferson squad to the 1922 Rose Bowl. He was also a gifted athlete and played on Jim Thorpe’s pre-WWI Canton Bulldog team and was an outfielder who batted .357 for the Cincinnati Reds in the infamous “Black Sox” World Series of 1919.

Career Stats: 66-44-5 coaching record (0.596 winning pct)

1990 Swell Greats #55

Featured Card: 1990 Swell Greats #55. As a coach in the 1940s, Greasy Neale never had a true rookie card and no actual vintage football cards at all. He does, however, have numerous modern cards from legends-themed sets, such as the 1990 Swell Greats pictured, that can generally be found for less than $5. If your collection is not football exclusive, Neale does have some baseball cards from his playing days with the Reds, including a few WWI-era postcards, as well as several modern cards from legend-themed sets such as the 1981 and 1992 Conlon Collection sets.
 

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Jimmy Conzelman

08.21.2009

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!

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.