Red Grange was the first genuine star of American football, and his inclusion in the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set was not surprising.
In 1924, as a member of the University of Illinois, Grange burst onto the national scene when he scored 5 touchdowns in a shocking upset victory over vaunted Michigan, just one of the many stories in the Grange lore. As a senior, he made the cover of Time magazine in 1925, a year in which he ran for 363 yards in one game. ESPN voted him the number one college football player of all-time in 2008, and he was a charter member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. He would be nicknamed the “Galloping Ghost” by a Chicago sportswriter.
After his last game in college, Grange signed a contract with George Halas and the Chicago Bears, for a salary and portion of gate receipts during a tour of games. This successful tour is noted by many historians as the foundation of professional football, and the events that made football relevant, as over 65,000 people turned up for one of the games in New York in 1925. After a contract disagreement with the Bears, Grange formed a rival league, called the AFL. But the league only lasted on year, and his team of the time, the New York Yankees would then move into the NFL. While he was great on the field, as the true measure of a sporting great in the US, Grange was the First football player to ever appear on a box of Wheaties.
Grange’s football cards are obviously rare and tough for the average collector to buy into at a high grade. There simply weren’t many issued since football wasn’t really popular nationwide at the pro level until much later.
The 1933 Goudey Sport Kings set considered one of the most hallowed sets of all-time, and arrived near the end of Grange’s career. Jim Thorpe was the only other football player featured in the collection. Of the 297 Grange cards submitted to PSA from the set as of late 2012, there were only four PSA MINT 9’s listed, and just 30 PSA 8’s. In 2010, a PSA 8 sold for $3,538 and PSA 7’s have auctioned around $1,000-$2000. SGC has also graded several dozen Grange cards.
For any investor, collector or fan of the roots of football, the 1933 Goudey Sport Kings Red Grange is an amazing piece of history to own, and well worth consideration. If you can’t afford the real deal, there are reprints available for a couple of bucks. See what’s up for bid and compare prices on eBay below.