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Love of the Game Auctions: Roger the Dodger

(Written by Al Crisafulli, Owner of Love of the Game Auctions) – I grew up watching Roger Staubach play.  Actually, I grew up watching Danny White play, in Staubach’s shadow.  As a Cowboys fan in the early 1980s, White was forever compared to Staubach – and the “can’t win the big one” tag pretty much followed White year after year.  I really only watched Staubach in his final season, 1979, after his heroics were basically over.  Staubach led the Cowboys to one final first-place finish, losing to the 9-7 Rams to send Roger (and my hero, Tony Dorsett) home early for the season.  The Rams lost to Terry Bradshaw’s Steelers in the Super Bowl, a final indignity to Roger’s legacy in my young mind, because I just knew Staubach could have beaten Bradshaw.

For years after that, Danny White took the Cowboys to the brink, losing the conference championship to the Eagles in 1980, the 49?ers in 1981, losing to the Rams in the 1982 Wild Card game and getting shut out by the same Rams in 1984.  With each passing season, Staubach’s legacy grew larger, his shadow grew more and more dominant, and White’s career finally drew to a close, “can’t win the big one” being his unfortunate legacy.

It would take more than two decades for another Dallas quarterback to take that particular crown away from White.

Meanwhile, Staubach became more and more of a legend, both among football fans and football hobbyists.  His 1972 rookie card grew in value year after year, with near mint-mint copies reaching well into the hundreds of dollars, despite being in plentiful supply.  True mint copies reached far higher, and were far more scarce.  The 1972 Staubach is the most-graded card in the set by PSA, the graded population of which outnumbers all but the Namath by multiples.  And yet only 27 copies have been graded MINT 9 by PSA, just 1.6% of all the PSA-graded copies in the market.  Only two have graded higher.

We’re proud to offer this particular MINT copy of the Roger Staubach rookie card in our inaugural auction this October.  Suffering only from the left-to-right centering flaws that plague so many 1970s Topps cards (yet suffering much less than most examples of this card), this Staubach boasts a crisp image, sharp corners and near-flawless edges.  This is an outstanding example of one of the hobby’s most important post-1970 cards; a cornerstone card in any collection of postwar Hall of Famers.

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