The Jack Nicklaus Rookie Card and Other Vintage Cards
Jack Nicklaus Rookie Card
The 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6 is the most valuable Jack Nicklaus rookie, but it is not the only card collectors consider to be a rookie. There is a sticker produced two years later and a major release card from one of the hobby’s “big boy” card producers a decade later that often gets the rookie designation. I like the 1971Barratt & Co. Nicklaus rookie, but this is a situation where there are very good arguments for other cards. In this article, I’ll walk through all the cards that can be considered Jack Nicklaus rookies and a few more.
1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6
1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6 is the card I like for the best Jack Nicklaus rookie card. It’s the first Nicklaus card made, and unlike the Panini issue that followed in 1973, it’s a card — not a sticker.
This card draws a lot of interest from collectors because of the historical significance of “The Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus. Most historians who are making an accomplishment-based argument believe Nicklaus is easily the greatest golfer in this history of the sport. Any vintage rookie card of an athlete who is considered to be their sports greatest achiever would be valuable, but other factors make this card especially interesting to collectors.
- A Relatively Rare Set: The 1971 Barratt & Co. Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6 card was issued from an English tobacco company and is part of a 50-card multi-sport set. This set is obscure and the cards are relatively rare compared to the number of Topps baseball or football cards that were printed in 1971. This adds to the value of this card, particularly in gem-mint condition.
- 18 Majors: Golfers are measured by the number of major tournaments (U.S. Open, Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, The Open Championship) they won. One of the reasons Nicklaus is considered the greatest golfer ever is because he won more Majors than anyone else. When you look at his top-three finishes, his dominance in major tournaments is even more impressive because he finished in second place 19 times and in third place 11 times.
- Tiger’s Historical Competition: Tiger Woods is the most famous golfer who has ever competed in the sport. During Wood’s historic run at the golf record books, only one man stood in his way from complete domination. Woods won 15 major tournaments but was not able to pass up Jack Nicklaus. The names of these two men are linked together because they easily stand above everyone else in terms of golf accomplishments. Being the one golfer who Tiger Woods couldn’t best only adds to Jack Nicklaus’ legend and the value of his collectibles.
The 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen set is a tobacco card set that was issued in England. It is a multi-sport set that included sporting greats like Gary Player, Cassius Clay, and Pele in its 50-card checklist. The set suffered from centering issues and is rare. The cards of the most prominent athletes from this set are quite valuable in high-grade conditions.
- Year: 1971
- Manufacturer: Barratt & Co. Limited
- Card no: #6 of 50
- Set Name: Famous Sportsmen
Front of the card
Design: The front of the 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus card number #6 is as basic of a design as possible. It is simply a photo of Jack Nicklaus with a white border around the outside. In the picture, Jack Nicklaus is seen in a yellow sweater at the end of his swing. There is a group of spectators watching and the background is trees and a blue sky. The balance of the photo is unique in that the “empty” blue sky takes up more than a third of the photo. Most cards would have gone with a more “zoomed in” photo so the athlete would take up most of the card.
Shop for the 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus rookie card on eBay (affiliate link).
Back of the card
Design: The back of the 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus card number #6 is very basic. The top of the card has the word “Goldflake,” which is the name of a cigarette brand. The set name and number come next, followed by a paragraph about Jack Nicklaus. The bottom of the card has the Barratt & Go Ltd. logo. The entire card is black ink printed on a white background.
Jack Nicklaus U.S.A. Won the championship in 1966, and is always the main danger in the top tournaments in the world. Jack also won the Australian Open in 68/69. He is often seen on T.V. screens as he is an exciting player to watch. Big hitter of the ball.1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6
Jack Nicklaus Rookie Card Value
The Jack Nicklaus rookie card is one of the most valuable golf cards made in the 1970s. The chart below was pulled from the PSA website on 11/12/2021. It shows prices for the Jack Nicklaus rookie card in various conditions.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus rookie card #6.
Other Relevant Jack Nicklaus Cards
The 1971 Barratt & Co. Limited Famous Sportsmen Jack Nicklaus #6 is my pick for his best rookie, but it’s close. There is a sticker that is nearly as old that hobbyists love and there is another card that was produced quite a bit later, but it’s undeniably a major release. Let’s walk through these cards and a few more relevant Jack Nicklaus cards.
1973-74 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Jack Nicklaus Sticker #375
The 1973-74 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Jack Nicklaus sticker #375 is another great Nicklaus issue from the 1970s. I almost named this one as his best rookie for a few reasons. First, the design of the card and the photo are far better than the 1971 Barratt & Co. #6 card. It’s a close-up shot of Nicklaus with a look of concentration on his face just after striking the ball. Another thing that makes this sticker great is that it was issued by Panini – a card-producing company that is still very relevant in the industry. The only thing holding this one back is that it is a sticker and the back is generic and not specific to Jack Nicklaus. Still, this is a fantastic Jack Nicklaus collectible and is very rare and valuable.
Shop for the 1973-74 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Jack Nicklaus #375 on eBay (affiliate link)
1981 Donruss Golf Jack Nicklaus #13
The 1981 Donruss Gold Jack Nicklaus #13, even though it was released a full decade after the Barratt & Co. card, is considered a rookie card because it was a widely distributed set. It’s not as valuable as the Barratt & Co. or Panini cards mentioned above, but it’s still a valuable and sought-after vintage card. There is another Nicklaus card in this set that I’ll talk about next.
Shop for the 1981 Donruss Jack Nicklaus on eBay (affiliate link)
1981 Donruss Jack Nicklaus “Statistical Leader”
The 1981 Donruss Jack Nicklaus “Statistical Leader” card is another Nicklaus card from this set that is sometimes considered a rookie. This card doesn’t have a number and it is less valuable than the #13 Nicklaus card from this set. Still, it’s a great vintage Nicklaus card to add to your collection. Also, these may be the best pants to ever appear on a sports card.
Shop for the 81 Donruss Jack Nicklaus “Statistical Leader” card on eBay (affiliate link)
1979 Venorlandus World of Sport Our Heroes “Flik-Cards” Jack Nicklaus #22
The 1979 Venorlandus World of Sport Our Heroes “Flik-Cards” Jack Nicklaus card #22 is from a 48-card British multi-sport set that features sports stars drawn as cartoons. This set is not all that rare, but the Nicklaus card is still pretty valuable in high-grade condition.
Shop for the 1979 Venorlandus World of Sport Jack Nicklaus card on eBay (affiliate link)
1977-79 Sportscaster Jack Nicklaus #02-02
The 1977-79 Sportscaster Jack Nicklaus card is an oversized card from a mail-order set of cards that contains both sport and non-sport cards. It’s a cool Nicklaus card, but I wouldn’t consider it a rookie because of the Barratt & Co. and Panini cards that were released so much sooner. Also of note, there were several printings of this card. Also of note, there were three print runs of this card — A, B, and C. There are also other Sportscaster cards that feature a photo of Nicklaus such as “The World Cup” and “The Masters” cards.
Shop for the 977-79 Sportscaster Jack Nicklaus on eBay (affiliate link)
Jack Nicklaus Legacy
Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as the greatest golfer of all time. You will find people who say Tiger Woods is the greatest, but if you’re measuring career accomplishments Woods is a distant second. Jack Nicklaus was the dominant golfer during the 1960s and 1970s winning 73 PGA Tour events and 18 major championships. In addition to the 18 first-place finishes in majors, he finished second and astounding 19 times. No other player in history can match Nicklaus’ sustained level of excellence. Here’s a list of some of his career accomplishments.
- U.S. Amateur champion in 1959 and 1961
- 117 professional tournaments wins
- Won 73 PGA Tour tournaments
- Won 18 major championship
- 4 time U.S. Open champion (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)
- 6 time Masters Tournament champion (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986)
- 5 time PGA Championship champion (1963, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980)
- 3 time The Open Championship champion (1966, 1970, 1978)
- Won 10 Senior PGA Tour tournaments
- Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame in 1974
Get Your Jack Nicklaus Rookie
Do you want to own a 973-74 Panini Campioni Dello Sport Jack Nicklaus? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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All About Jack Nicklaus Rookies Infographic
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One thought on “The Jack Nicklaus Rookie Card and Other Vintage Cards”
Loved the read, thank you for the education and the passion you have for collecting!