The Jim Brown Rookie Card and Other Vintage Cards
Jim Brown Rookie Cards
Some players have a lot of cards that can be considered a rookie, but in the case of Jim Brown, there is only one (unless you want to count a team card). In 1959, however, some cool and rare early Jim Brown cards start popping up. In this article, we’ll cover the only two cards featuring Brown from 1958 and some of the cool 1959 issues.
1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card #62
The 1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card, #62, is one of the most recognizable cards in the sports card hobby. The card features Jim Brown running in what can be described as a near-Heisman pose. The NFL doesn’t have a single player with the status of Babe Ruth, but Jim Brown is likely the closest player football has to offer. His career was relatively short but completely dominant. He led the league in rushing each year he played in the NFL except 1962. Any rookie football card of a skill-position Hall of Fame player would be worth a lot, but other factors make the 1958 Topps Jim Brown card even more sought after:
- The Greatest: There is seldom a consensus among fans on who the all-time greatest player at a given position is. That is also the case with NFL running backs, but Jim Brown is the most popular pick. He held the rushing record for many years and was the league’s best rusher almost every year he played. This ensures that Jim Brown cards are very popular with collectors to this day.
- Rub for a Magic Answer: Jim Brown’s rookie card is from the 1958 Topps set. One unique thing about this set is that the back of the cards had a rub-off game. Each card back had a “Football Fun” trivia question. To get the answer, collectors had to rub off a film with the edge of a coin. Many fans did this to the cards, which makes it more difficult to find them in mint condition.
- Celebrity Outside of Football: After Jim Brown retired from football he stayed in the public eye with a long career as an actor. He starred in the Hollywood blockbuster The Dirty Dozen and went on to play the lead role in more than 15 films. His first role was in the 1964 movie Rio Conchos and he has acted as recently as 2014. Players who remain in the spotlight after their playing years often attract more interest from collectors.
1958 Topps Football Set Details
The 1958 Topps Football Card Set is a smaller set indicative of its time and contains only 132 cards. The set is anchored by the Jim Brown rookie card (#62) and also contains the rookie card for Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgenson (#90). Although there are no other significant rookie cards, the set has cards of several Hall of Famers including Bart Starr (#66) and Johnny Unitas (#22). All of the cards were printed in equal numbers so there are no double prints in this set.
- Year: 1958
- Manufacturer: Topps
- Number of Cards: 132
- Team Cards (not sequential)
1958 Topps Jim Brown #62 Details
- Name on Card: Jimmy Brown
- Card Number: #62 of 132
- Position: Fullback
- Team: Cleveland Browns
- College: Syracuse
- Yrs Pro: 2
- Height: 6’02”
- Weight: 228
- Age: 22
Front of the card
Design: The front of the 1968 Topps Jim Brown rookie card (#62) is a vertical layout and is arguably one of the most recognizable football cards ever made. It has a white border with a dark rectangle and an oval-shaped photo of Jim Brown. In the photo, a helmetless Jim Brown is carrying a football in a pose that is reminiscent of the Heisman trophy pose. His name (written on the card as “Jimmy”) is at the bottom of the card in brightly colored letters. Just below his name is his position “fullback” and team name “Cleveland Browns.” It’s worth noting that Jim was a fullback, but in his era fullbacks often carried the football significantly more than in modern times.
Shop for the 1958 Topps Jim Brown rookie on eBay (affiliate link), because this is the only true rookie card.
Back of the card
The back of the 1958 Jim Brown rookie card (#62) has a horizontal layout and is split down the middle into two sides. The left top has the card number and his name. Below his name, you’ll find Jim Brown’s position, team, college, size, and age. The card features a short paragraph about Jim’s college career and rookie season. It also has stats from his 1958 season when he rushed for 942 yards and 9 touchdowns.
The top right side of the card reads “Football Fun” and has a large square that collectors can scratch off with a coin for a “magic answer.” The question reads, “What is the nickname of N. Carolina U.?” As mentioned above, this is one of the factors that decrease the population of Jim Brown rookie cards in perfect condition.
An All-American and all-around letterman at Syracuse, Jimmy kept grabbing new honors last season as the NFL’s outstanding rookie. All Jimmy did was lead the league in yards gained and TD’s as well as to pace the Browns to the title.1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie (#62)
Jim Brown Rookie Card Value
The Jim Brown rookie card is one of the most valuable football cards of the 1950s. The chart below is from the popular card grading site, PSA. It shows prices for the Jim Brown 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 1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie card.
Other Relevant Jim Brown Cards
The 1958 Topps Jim Brown rookie card (#62) card is the only card in the hobby that is widely considered a Jim Brown Rookie. It’s not uncommon for a player to only have one Rookie card in this era, but there are a few other cards that warrant discussion in this post.
1958 Cleveland Browns Team Card #9
The 1958 Cleveland Browns card #9 isn’t considered a Jim Brown rookie, but it is his rookie year and Jim is in the photo. If you want to add this card to your collection, it shouldn’t set you back too much. And if you’re wondering if Jim Brown’s name is on the back of it, it isn’t. This card doesn’t have team roster information, but instead just has a paragraph about the Browns.
Shop for the 1958 Topps Browns Team on eBay (affiliate link), because it’s still a card with Brown from his rookie year.
1959 Topps Jim Brown (#10)
The 1959 Topps Jim Brown card #10 is the only other Brown card of the 1950s. This is Jim Brown’s 2nd-year card and it features a photo of him staring off into the distance. It lists his position as “Fullback,” just like his rookie card does. This isn’t a rookie card, but it can be found in high-grade condition for a lot cheaper and still makes a very nice addition to a collection.
Shop for the 1959 Topps Jim Brown on eBay (affiliate link)
1959 Bazooka Jim Brown
The 1959 Bazooka football set had 18 cards (19 for the master set due to an error correction for the Charley Conerly card) that had to be hand-cut from the box of 20-count twin-pack Bazooka bubble gum. The cards measured 2 3/16” by 4 5/16” and are very rare. Of the examples out there, many of them were cut out of the box poorly. The Tom “The Bomb” Tracy card is by far the rarest with only a few known to be in existence. Although the Jim Brown is rare, it’s not nearly as rare as the Tom Tracy.
Shop for the 1959 Bazooka Jim Brown on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1959 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
The 1959 Kahn’s Wiener set consists of 31 cards that were included in wiener packages. The black-and-white cards are 3 1/4″ by 3 15/16″ and only included players from the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. The cards are very rare and even harder to find in good condition. They often came out of the original packaging damaged and stained.
Shop for the 1959 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1959 Carling Black Label Beer Jim Brown
This 8 1/2″ x 12″ photo card of Jim Brown was part of a Browns set that was released by Carling Black Label, a beer manufacturer that had a plant in Cleveland. The set consisted of 10 oversized cards.
Shop for a 1959 Carling Black Label Beer Jim Brown on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
Jim Brown’s Legacy
Most football historians consider Jim Brown to be the greatest running back in NFL history. He retired when he was only 29 years old after he had just led the league in rushing yards (1,544) and touchdowns (17). Jim Brown only played nine seasons in the NFL, but he led the league in rushing yards in every season he played but one. At the time of his retirement, he was the leading rusher in NFL history, a record he held until it was broken by Walter Payton in 1984. Walter Payton had the advantage of playing mostly 16-game seasons, while Jim Brown set his record playing seasons that only had 12 or 14 games.
Jim Brown walked away from football in 1965 while he was still at the top of his game. He could likely have continued playing at a high level for several more years, but his strained relationship with Browns ownership and his budding movie career was enough to convince him to retire. Here are some of Jim Brown’s career accomplishments:
- 1957 AP Rookie of the Year
- 8 time NFL Rushing Leader
- 5 time NFL Rushing TD Leader
- 6 time NFL Yards from Scrimmage Leader
- 5 time NFL All-Purpose Yards Leader
- 9 time Pro Bowl
- 8 time All-Pro
- 3 time NFL MVP
- Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971
Get a Jim Brown Rookie for Your Collection
Do you want to own a 1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie (#62)? 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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