HOF Spotlight: Ernie Stautner


Ernie Stautner
Name: Ernie Stautner
Position: Defensive Tackle
Pro Career: 1950 – 1963
Team Affiliation(s): Pittsburgh Steelers
College: Boston College
Induction Class: 1969
HOF Profile: Click Here

Brief Bio: Mildly undersized for an NFL lineman, Ernie Stautner had the will and determination of a giant and went down in history as one of the finest, toughest, and fiercest competitors in league history. Despite a plethora of bodily injuries, Stautner missed just six games in his entire professional career and was named to nine first- or second-team All-NFL squads and played in nine Pro Bowls. An anchor of the greatly feared Pittsburgh D, Stautner found his way into the NFL record books, a rare feat for a defensive lineman. His three career safeties were a then-best and his 23 recovered fumbles was third best at the time. After his retirement, the Steelers officially retired Stautner’s #70 jersey, an honor given to a very select view.

Career Stats: 173 games played; 23 fumble recoveries; 3 safeties; 2 INTs

1950 Topps Felt Backs #79

Featured Card: 1950 Topps Felt Backs #79. Ernie Stautner may have been a small and unproven player in 1950, but in hindsight, Topps (and the Steelers) can be proud of picking him up right out of college. The Topps Felt Backs are an interesting and fairly rare set to find. There are currently no copies of this card available on eBay. Stautner does, however, have several other vintage football cards as well as junk wax era HOF cards and more recent cut autographs – something for every collection style.


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Live Today: 2009 SPx


Always the innovators in technology, Upper Deck has once again taken sports cards to a new level with this year’s release of SPx. The all new Shadow Box cards have been creating quite a buzz amongst collectors since the first images were released months ago. 2009 SPx is being sold in cases of 10 boxes of 10 packs of 3 cards each (follow that?).

The 150-card base set is comprised of 90 veterans and 60 rookies (#/799). Beyond the base set are quite a few inserted memorabilia, autograph, and parallel cards, along with the Shadow Box set. Autograph cards include: SPx Rookie Auto Jersey and parallels (#’d up to 549); SPx Rookie Signatures and parallels (# up to 299); Super Scripts, Super Scripts Duals, Trios, Quads, Six, and Eights (Varied #); X Factor Signatures; Rookie Materials Auto Patch (Varied #); Winning Combos Auto Patch (Varied #); Winning Trios Auto Patch(Varied #); and SPx Shadow Box Autographs (Varied #). Memoribilia cards without autos include: Winning Materials and parallels (# up to 249); Rookie Materials and parallels (# up to 249); Winning Combos and parallels (# up to 99); Winning Trios and parallels (# up to 50); and Fantastic Foursome and parallels (# up to 20). There are also parallels of the SPx rookie base cards (# up to 399). Also, don’t forget that the shortprinted 2009 Upper Deck flagship cards of Michael Vick and Brett Favre are also being randomly inserted into SPx.

Base CardAutographed RCRookie Material
Winning MaterialsFantastic Foursome
Each tiny thumbnail leads to a full sized image

Per Box Breakdown: 10 packs of 3 cards each (30 total cards) including: 6 memorabilia cards and up to 4 autographed cards, including 1 Rookie Signature Triple Memorabilia card. Shadow Box cards are inserted at a rate of 1 per case and there will be at least 3 autographed memorabilia or multi-signed cards per case. Boxes are currently selling in the $150 ballpark.

My first thought is excitement. I have been looking forward to seeing these Shadow Box cards ever since Upper Deck first gave us a glimpse at them. I think it is a really cool concept and I applaud UD for trying something new in what has become a rather stagnant pool of releases. Football collectors have been lucky to receive some of UD’s best efforts in recent years, and after losing their NBA license, which had been UD’s forté, that trend should only grow stronger. I am a bit leary of this product though. Partially for the price point. As a collector who does not have the resources to drop top dollar for cards, $150 for 30 cards ($5 per card) is a bit high. But what really concerns me is that once again we see a mid-to-high end product that, other than those Shadow Box cards, is depending on relics and autos to move boxes. I know a lot of other collectors and bloggers have brought this up before now, but I would like to second the opinion that it would be nice to see a very well designed set not fall into the same relic/auto rut as all other products are in right now. I think the Shadow Box cards are moving in the right direction, I just hope we can get to that point soon. My last concern about SPx is the parallels, which are not fully explained in the product description. This is another trend I don’t particularly like. It was cool when companies started making gold parallels of cards and I even liked the bronze/silver/gold/platinum idea. But nowadays, it seems like every non-flagship card has multiple parallels of various names, serial numbers, and gimmicks. I’m not saying we need to go back to 1984 Topps and just have one base set and that’s it, but it would be nice if the companies could focus and exercise a bit of self-control. Overall though, I will say this product looks pretty nice. It is certainly not in a ridiculous price range and the cards look good and should do well in the secondary market, especially the highly-hyped Shadow Box cards. Hopefully I’ll get to see one of those in person some day!

HOF Spotlight: Art Rooney


Name: Art Rooney
Position: Founder, Administrator
Pro Career: 1933 – 1988
Team Affiliation(s): Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers
College: Georgetown; Duquesne
Induction Class: 1964

Brief Bio: ”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” If anyone in NFL history has lived those famous motivational words, it was Art Rooney. Rooney purchased the Pittsburgh football franchise in 1933 and waited more than 40 years before winning his first championship. In the 1970s, all of the pieces of the puzzle finally landed into place as the Steelers became the first decade-long dominator in the NFL, winning an unprecedented 4 Super Bowl titles in six years. Not only did Rooney build a storied and successful franchise, currently the owner of more Super Bowl rings than any other NFL team, he was also a great contributor to the NFL, serving as a guiding light in the early days of a struggling league. Rooney proved success could come by showing love, friendship, and grace, rare traits even in his time.

Featured Card: 1975 Fleer Hall of Fame #78. As a franchise owner, obviously Rooney does not have many cards. The one featured above was produced at the height of his success in the mid 1970s, and several HOF focused sets have included him since then. Trivial Beckett value of the featured card is $0.75. Most Rooney base cards can be picked up for around $1-4. Rooney’s autograph appears to be valued at just over $100 as index cards, photos, and cards all seem to be selling in the $125 ballpark. Obviously Rooney is a very recognizable name in the Pittsburgh area, so finding a seller in the southwestern states may prove useful in saving a few dollars if you are looking to add Rooney to your collection.

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