1888 Goodwin Champions Harry Beecher: The First Football Card

Henry Beecher was one of the first football players in America, captain of the Yale football team during the late 1880’s. Around the same time, Goodwin & Company began producing sports cards as inserts to their tobacco products. The only football card in the 50-card set, the 1888 N162 Goodwins Champions Henry Beecher, is the first football card ever printed in America.  As one of the most important pieces of sports memorabilia, the N162 Beecher remains one of the most sought after and valuable cards on the market.

The 1888 N162 Beecher card is well over a century old now, and, as a result, very few cards, let alone those at high examples, exist. There is not a consensus answer as to how many exist, but it is generally accepted that the number is around or below 60. As one of both the rarest and most desirable football cards, the N162 Beecher can be a very safe, intelligent investment. As with all vintage football cards, condition of the card is everything. There are very few high grade examples, which are far more scarce and valuable. A PSA 8 (near mint-mint) sold at auction at for over $11,000  in 2004, but lower grade examples (below PSA 5) routinely sell for less than $5,000.

Lower grade examples represent less of a potential risk and reward. The prices for each card at its specific grade usually remain stable. Over time, the cards will generally increase in value as the general public and investors realize the importance of the Beecher card. Higher grade examples, which are far scarcer, present much more of a risk, but also allow for large profits. These cards are usually sold exclusively at auction, which is the riskiest aspect of the investment. If there are several desperate collectors in the audience, the price will probably exceed expectations, leaving the previous owner with a serious profit.   However, if very few collectors are bidding, the card will probably return much less than one would have paid to acquire it.

The Goodwin Champions cards were included in packages of Old Judge and Gypsy Queen cigarettes in 1888.  They measure about 1 1/2" by 2 5/8" and the baseball cards in the set are extremely desirable as well.  The backs of the cards list the subjects in the set and their respective athletic fields.  The Goodwin's Champions Harry Beecher card stands out for its historic value and is worthy of any collection.

1970 Topps Football ALAN PAGE #59 Vikings PSA 9 (MINT)
1970 Topps Football ALAN PAGE #59 Vikings PSA 9 (MINT) $101.00 (14 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 9m
1970 Topps Football 1st SERIES CHECKLIST #9 PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint)
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1970 Topps Football ELVIN BETHEA #43 Oilers PSA 9 (MINT)
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Time Remaining: 1d 19h 4m
1970 Topps Football RALPH NEELY #4 Cowboys PSA 9 (MINT)
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1970 Topps Football #102 Dave Robinson HOF Packers PSA 9 MINT
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Time Remaining: 4d 22h 59m
1970 Topps Football Merlin Olsen #237 Los Angeles Rams PSA 8 NM-MT
1970 Topps Football Merlin Olsen #237 Los Angeles Rams PSA 8 NM-MT $40.00
Time Remaining: 27d 9h 56m
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1970 Topps Football DAVE ROBINSON #102 Packers PSA 9 (MINT)
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Time Remaining: 1d 19h 18m
1970 Topps Football LEM BARNEY #75 Lions PSA 9 (MINT)
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Time Remaining: 1d 19h 13m
1970 Topps Football BILL PETERSON #16 Bengals PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint)
1970 Topps Football BILL PETERSON #16 Bengals PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint) $8.00
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 44m
1970 Topps Football DEACON JONES #125 Rams PSA 9 (MINT)
1970 Topps Football DEACON JONES #125 Rams PSA 9 (MINT) $26.00 (4 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 19h 22m
1970 Topps Football LARRY BROWN #24 Redskins PSA 9 (MINT)
1970 Topps Football LARRY BROWN #24 Redskins PSA 9 (MINT) $30.00 (3 Bids)
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 59m
1970 Topps #156 Claude Humphrey PSA 7 NM. Rookie. Atlanta Falcons
1970 Topps #156 Claude Humphrey PSA 7 NM.  Rookie. Atlanta Falcons $22.00
Time Remaining: 27d 9h 5m
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1970 Topps Football LANCE RENTZEL #113 (Red) PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint)
1970 Topps Football LANCE RENTZEL #113 (Red) PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint) $8.00 (1 Bid)
Time Remaining: 1d 18h 52m
1970 Topps Football JAN STENERUD #25 Chiefs PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint)
1970 Topps Football JAN STENERUD #25 Chiefs PSA 8 (NearMint-Mint) $11.50 (3 Bids)
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1970 Topps Football DARYLE LAMONICA #50 Raiders PSA 9 (MINT)
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1970 TOPPS FOOTBALL #90 O.J. SIMPSON BILLS ROOKIE PSA 7 NM!
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Time Remaining: 2d 21h 54m
1970 Topps Football #111 Jim Hunt Boston Patriots PSA 8 NM-MT
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1970 Topps Football #33 Len St. Jean Boston Patriots PSA 8 NM-MT
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Time Remaining: 1d 19h 15m
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