HOF Spotlight: Ollie Matson

08.06.2012

Ollie Matson
Name: Ollie Matson
Position: Halfback
Pro Career: 1952, 1954 – 1966
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles
College: San Francisco
Induction Class: 1972
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: A lone shining star in an otherwise dark abyss, Ollie Matson was often the sole bright spot for awful teams. Yet despite playing for just two teams with winning records during his brilliant 14-year career, and often being the opposing defense’s only target, Matson built an exceptional résumé. A quick-footed All-American who represented the United States in the 1952 Olympics, Matson was the number 1 draft choice of the basement dwelling Chicago Cardinals and was their supposed savior. When he was traded to Los Angeles for an unheard-of 9 players in 1959, he was once again labeled the potential deliverer for a fledging franchise. While Lady Luck was never Matson’s teammate, he competed to his fullest year in and year out and was a six-time Pro Bowl and All-NFL honoree.

Career Stats: 171 games played; 5,173 rushing yards; 40 rushing TDs; 3,285 receiving yards; 23 receiving TDs; 3,746 kickoff return yards; 6 kickoff return TDs; 119 passing yards; 595 punt return yards; 3 punt return TDs; 1 fumble recovery TD, 3 INTs

1952 Bowman #127

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #127. Along with fellow University of San Francisco alumnus and 1972 Hall of Inductee Gino Marchetti, Ollie Matson was featured on his rookie card before ever playing a down of professional football, something not nearly as common as today. There are not a lot of copies of this card listed on eBay, but prices range from about $50 to $499. Buying vintage can certainly be a lot of fun, especially for older collectors or football history buffs. Just always be aware of what you’re buying as lots of counterfeits and reprints do exist, especially for a legendary set like the 1952 Bowmans.

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

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Heisman Highlight: Charles White

08.25.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Charles White
Position: Running Back
College: Southern California Trojans
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1979 – 45th Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: White was a workhorse and carried the ball 30-40 times each game his senior year…averaged 194.1 yards per game his senior year…rushed for a total of 6,245 yards in his career, including bowl games…holds a total of 22 NCAA, PAC-10, and USC records…was drafted by the Cleveland Browns and later played for Los Angeles Rams…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1996.

1981 Topps #69

Featured Card: 1981 Topps #69. Despite an incredible college career, White’s NFL career never quite took off, having only one respectable season when he led the league in rushing yards in 1987. This fact obviously affects his rookie card value as there is only a very small sampling listed on the secondary market. An autographed copy will set you back less than $10 and a raw copy looks to cost about $1. White certainly wasn’t the first or the last Heisman winner to fizzle out after college and is still a valuable member of the fraternity and any Heisman card or memorabilia collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


Heisman Highlight: Billy Sims

08.18.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Billy Sims
Position: Running Back
College: Oklahoma Sooners
Class: Junior
Winning Year: 1978 – 44th Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: Sims was a man possessed his junior year, setting the Big Eight single season rushing record at 1,762 yards on 7.6 yards per attempt…rushed for more than 300 yards in three consecutive games…won a host of national awards in just his first full season after injury-riddled freshman and sophomore years…had fewer first place votes than Penn State QB Chuck Fusina but finished ahead in total points by dominating the second place votes…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1995.

1981 Topps #100

Featured Card: 1981 Topps #100. Sims may have set the news presses on fire in 1978, but he has evidently lost some of his luster after 30 years. There are relatively few copies of his rookie card listed on eBay and not one breaks the $50 mark. Interestingly enough, there are a few autographed copies available, which is not the case for many Heisman winners. With a vast majority of listings falling under $10 shipped, this would be a great card to add to or kick start a Heisman winners rookie card collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Pete Pihos

08.15.2011

Tom Fears
Name: Pete Pihos
Position: End
Pro Career: 1947 – 1955
Team Affiliation(s): Philadelphia Eagles
College: Indiana
Induction Class: 1970
HOF Profile: Click Here
 
 

Brief Bio: Pete Pihos may have been the very definition of versatility. Drafted in 1945 but unable to play until 1947 due to military service, Pihos made an immediate impact on both sides of the ball once he hit the field. A second-minute man, Pihos was an excellent receiver and defensive end. As football become a platoon-style game, Pihos was positioned as a receiving specialist and thrived. The Eagles won three straight divisional championships and back-to-back NFL championships with Pihos catching the ball. In 1952, the Eagles were in desperate need for a defensive end and Pihos aptly filled the roll, winning All-NFL honors. Pihos then switched back to receiver and was the league leader for the final three seasons of his career. He was never a blazing speedster, but what he lacked there he more than made up for in moves, brains, and toughness. Pihos missed just 1 game his entire NFL career.

Career Stats: 107 games played; 373 receptions; 5,619 receiving yards; 61 receiving touchdowns; 1 punt return TD; 1 fumble recovery for TD; 2 INTs.

1948 Leaf #16

Featured Card: 1948 Leaf #16. Making an immediate impact on the field, there is little wonder why Leaf picked up Pete Pihos in its 1948 set. Despite not being one of the all-time “big names,” Pihos obviously still catches collectors’ attention. There are quite a few copies of his Leaf rookie card available on eBay, ranging in price from $15 to $225. Interestingly enough, there are currently no graded copies of the card listed, which seems a bit odd for a vintage rookie card, especially of a hall of famer. Pihos does have another official rookie card, 1948 Bowman #63, and several other vintage cards available.

 

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


Heisman Highlight: Earl Campbell

08.11.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Earl Campbell
Position: Running Back
College: Texas Longhorns
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1977 – 43rd Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: Campbell had a very successful four year rushing career at Texas…eclipsed the 100-yard mark in 18 college games…was a four-time All Southwest running back (the first to do so)…won every region of Heisman voting except his home base…was the first overall pick in the 1978 NFL Draft…broke several rookie records with the Houston Oilers…had a very successful NFL career…was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1990.

1979 Topps #390

Featured Card: 1979 Topps #390. Earl’s Heisman victory, #1 overall pick status, and successful NFL career have obviously kept him in the collecting limelight. There are a lot of current listings on eBay with a huge range of prices. There are actually TWO token higher than anything listings right around $2,000. There are a large number of copies available in the $25-$50 range. There are a handful of auctions starting at just $0.99 and the lowest BIN listing carries a $5.25 + 2 S/H. So yeah, there’s a wide range.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.


HOF Spotlight: Hugh McElhenny

08.08.2011

Tom Fears
Name: Hugh McElhenny
Position: Halfback
Pro Career: 1952 – 1964
Team Affiliation(s): San Francisco 49ers; Minnesota Vikings; New York Giants; Detroit Lions
College: Washington; Compton Junior College
Induction Class: 1970
HOF Profile: Click Here
 

Brief Bio: If ever there was a professional football player who “hit the ground running,” that player would be Hugh McElhenny. After rewriting the Pacific Coast Conference’s record book while at Washington, McElhenny was the first round draft choice of the 49ers. In his very first play from scrimmage, “The King” bounded down the field for a 40-yard touchdown. By the end of his rookie season, he had accrued the season’s longest run from scrimmage (89 yards), the longest punt return (94 yards), the top rushing average (7.0 yards per carry), an All-NFL recognition, and a unanimous Rookie of the Year honor. McElhenny continued his electrifying combination of speed and elusive moves in San Francisco for nine seasons and still had plenty in the tank for the expansion Minnesota Vikings in 1961. Two years later, McElhenny realized a life-long dream, playing for a championship team, when he joined the New York Giants. McElhenny retired after the 1964 season as one of only three players to amass 11,000+ all-purpose yards – well over six miles.

Career Stats: 143 games played; 5,281 rushing yards; 38 rushing TDs; 3,247 receiving yards; 20 receiving TDs; 920 punt return yards; 2 punt return TDs; 1,921 kickoff return yards; 1 passing TD; 1 INT; 11,375 all-purpose yards

1952 Bowman #29

Featured Card: 1952 Bowman #29. As an All-American and record setting college player, Bowman opted to include McElhenny right away in its 1952 set. The card comes in both a large and small variant, with the small being more scarce but seemingly less popular amongst collectors. Prices on the secondary market are a bit scattered with a fairly evenly distribution from $85 up to $425 with a pretty clear graded preference There are, of course, the absurdly expensive listings: a $2,750 SGC 96 (+$13 shipping!) and a $2,000 PSA 8. If you aren’t focused on rookie cards, McElhenny is also featured in numerous other vintage card sets as well as a smattering of junk wax era and very recent high-end sets, so there is something for anyone looking to build a football HOF collection.

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


Heisman Highlight: Tony Dorsett

08.03.2011

Heisman Highlight


Name: Tony Dorsett
Position: Running Back
College: Pittsburgh Panthers
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1976 – 42nd Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here
 
 
 

Interesting Notes: Dorsett set numerous NCAA rushing records including most yards gained, most seasons gaining 1,000 yards, most seasons gaining 1,500 yards, most rushes, most yards rushing, and most yards gained in a season…led Pitt to a national title over Georgia as a senior…rushed for 6,082 yards in his four-year career…joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1977 and won Rookie of the Year honors and played in the Super Bowl alongside Roger Staubach, Heisman Winner of 1963… was elected to the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1994.

1978 Topps #315

Featured Card: 1978 Topps #315. Tony’s successful NFL career with one of the league’s most popular teams has kept him in the minds of many fans and collectors. Despite his rookie card being 33 years old, there is still a lot of activity on the secondary market. There are tons of listings on eBay with a wide range of prices and a pretty clear grading preference. The token much higher than anything else listing carries an asking price of $325 (+5.95 shipping) but it looks like the most popular range is $30-$40.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.