Hey there! It’s been a while since I reviewed a rare sports card, and this week I’m returning to the gridiron with a card that depicts one of my favorite football players ever! Best known for his powerful running, speed, resilience, and leadership, Jim Brown is considered by many to be the greatest Fullback and all-around football player of all time. Brown also established himself as a powerful figure off the field as well, which he has maintained throughout his life, even to this very day at the age of 85.
Jim Brown’s legacy as both a football player and person is nothing short of legendary, which is why so many who followed in similar footsteps used him as their template for success. All I can say is that I wish I was alive at the time to see him playing in his prime. But, I guess I’m just going to have to settle for the vintage highlights and sports cards that are out there.
Speaking of cards, Brown’s original rookie card is listed as one of the rarest and most valuable football cards in existence. Bronko Nagurski and Tom Brady currently hold the top spots in the value department, but Jim Brown will always be holding steady with the best of them when it comes to rarity. In this blog, I’ll be talking about the card/player and what makes them so special to fans and passionate card collectors to this day.
Will start the drive with some backstory on Jim ‘Jimmy’ Brown and work our way down the field from there!
Like me, Jim Brown comes from Long Island, New York. Specifically, a town called Manhasset, which is about an hour train ride from Manhattan. Even though he was born in Georgia, Jim still considers Manhasset his home since that’s where he first started playing and flourishing in sports. Jim played basketball, baseball, lacrosse, and football. He even ran on the track as well. Although he excelled in every sport he tried, Brown seemed to enjoy football above all.
This love/knack for running and football made quite a nice combo, which propelled Brown to move on to the collegiate level where he played for Syracuse University. During his time at Syracuse, Jim showed off his talents through his ability to run, juke, and power through defenses and made it look easy in the process. In fact, if you watch the highlights today, it almost seems as if the defenders are moving in slow motion while he glides with smooth, blazing speed.
This next-level style of play would be the ticket to his professional future. That future came in the 1957 NFL draft where the Cleveland Browns, where the team pick Jim Brown at #6 Brown to be their torpedo in the backfield. It was here where Jim Brown would start on his path to greatness. After spending 8 years in pros (1957-1965) with the Browns, Jim Brown would achieve an NFL championship, three MVP awards, a rookie of the year awards, nine Pro Bowl appearances, record-setting rushing yards, league-leading rushing yards, and so much more.
Six years after his retirement (1971), Brown was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Today, his bust sits on display in the hall, which is in the same state as his one and only pro team...Ohio.
Let’s talk a little bit about the card now. Brown’s rare 1958 Rookie card is produced by Topps and shows the legend at the age of 20, shortly after he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Now, remember how in previous posts I would talk about defects being one of the many factors that can affect the rarity and value of a card? Well, that seems to be the case for this particular card.
That’s right, this card is rare both because of the youthful legend that it depicts and because of the small, but somewhat obvious defects that it contains. Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the oval image is not perfectly centered on the card. It leans a little to the right. The second defect isn’t as noticeable, especially through an image, but it is in fact there. If you were to have a closer look, you would see that it has some chipping on the edges.
So, what’s it worth? Good question. According to numerous sources, including PSA Authentication, an MT 9 (MINT) version of this card could sell for anywhere between $225,00 - $275,000. Given its rarity, player, and defects, this is a pretty good price for anyone who might be looking to sell. However, just know that anything less than MT 9 will run you right out of six-figure territory, so to speak.
That just about wraps up this little review. I may have said this before, but I LOVE and look forward to writing these, and I hope that you enjoy reading them. I’m still on the fence about which card I shall talk about next. I know we did hockey just before this one, so maybe it’s time to go back to basketball. I don’t know. Tell me what you think in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out our Sports Card Breaking/Team Sorting Mats while you’re here. If you haven’t seen those yet, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Until we meet again,
Vince The Prince