Memory Lane Kicks Off All Football Auction This Weekend

Memory Lane Inc. launches its first ever football only event this Friday when the popular sports card and memorabilia company presents The Big Game Auction, dedicated to some of the finest football items ever offered to the public. The auction will include over 350 lots of high-grade and rare football cards and memorabilia, with telephone and online bidding set to close February 6th, the night before Super Bowl XLIV. There are numerous other lots of quality football memorabilia and cards available in this unique event. To register and bid, visit or call (877) 606-LANE (5263) .

MLI has spent months accumulating a wide range of pieces, many of which represent some of the biggest names in NFL history; from Nagurski to Namath, Baugh to Butkus and dozens of others in between.

The auction’s premier item is the second-rated 1935 National Chicle football set listed on the PSA Set Registry (minimum bid $225,000), pieced together over many years by a dedicated and discriminating collector from Hawaii. Each card in the set is at least a PSA 8 including the ‘holy grail of football cards’, Bronko Nagurski. The set is a true museum-quality artifact from the early days of the pro game.

A 1978 game-worn Franco Harris Pittsburgh Steelers jersey will also be among the more dazzling items up for bid, with a $20,000 minimum. A Hall of Famer and key member of Pittsburgh’s 1970s run of greatness, Harris wore the road white #32 jersey during the regular season of a Super Bowl-winning year.

Memory Lane is known for bringing some of the best sports cards in the world to its auctions and this sale is no different. The Big Game auction includes a mind-blowing selection of vintage football cards representing virtually every era. From the 1930s through the 1980s, collectors can bid on some of the most famous and rare examples in existence.

In addition to the #2-rated 1935 National Chicle set, the auction will include single, high-grade cards for those still working on building their own sets. Among them: a PSA 7 Bronko Nagurski (minimum bid of $5,000) and a PSA 8 Knute Rockne ($2,000), as well as numerous other high-grade ’35 Chicle cards. The 1933 Sport Kings issue includes two cards that will be found in the MLI sale, both in exceptional condition: Red Grange and Jim Thorpe (both PSA 8).

Yet football card history dates back to the 19th century, when the game was still virtually unknown in many parts of the country. The first football card ever produced actually featured a college player. The 1888 N162 Goodwin Champions Harry Beecher card shows the Yale star clutching an oversized football and one can be found in this auction event. Graded PSA Authentic but Altered, this card is nonetheless an important and historic piece, both in the sport and in the hobby for what it represents.

There is a mint condition 1957 Topps Johnny Unitas (PSA 9) that carries a minimum bid of $3500 and top-level rookie cards of legends like Tom Landry (1951 Bowman PSA 9), who gained fame as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys but was a player for the New York Giants back then. There are even multiple rookies of some players like Jim Brown (1958 Topps), Paul Hornung (1957 Topps, one in PSA 9 condition) and Dick Butkus (THREE rookie cards-PSA 7, 7.5 and 8).

Most football card collectors desire a rookie card of Joe Namath, who may be personally responsible for the Super Bowl being what it is today. There’s a PSA 7 (near mint) example of Broadway Joe in this auction. A small sampling of the other rookie cards available, all in ultra high-grade, include: Mike Ditka, Ernie Davis, Fran Tarkenton, Deacon Jones, Bob Lilly, Len Dawson, Lance Alworth, Don Maynard, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, Walter Payton, Jack Lambert, Joe Montana, Dan Marino and Steve Young.

There are numerous mint and gem mint graded star cards available including a 1951 Bowman Sammy Baugh, 1956 Topps George Blanda (PSA 10) and a 1950 Bowman Elroy Hirsch (PSA 10).

Several complete sets are offered in the auction including: 1953 Bowman, 1955 Bowman and 1955 Topps All-American. Collectors piecing together sets of their own will find a number of exceptional lots as well, many of them consisting of cards that have already been graded.

Super Bowl trophies are rarely available to the general public but MLI has secured one from perhaps the greatest Super Bowl of all-time. The St. Louis Rams held off the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV on a last second tackle near the goal line and a Lombardi trophy presented to a member of the Rams’ staff after that game is offered with a minimum bid of $2,000.

Few items are more well known among college football historians than the photo of Notre Dame’s legendary “Four Horsemen” backfield. The quartet became known coast-to-coast after a sharp public relations man put the Irish stars on horseback in response to a famous column by Grantland Rice that labeled them college football’s version of the literary tale. This auction includes the photo, signed by all four men and bidding will start at $1,000.

There are numerous other lots of quality football memorabilia and cards available in this unique event. To register and bid, visit or call (877) 606-LANE (5263) .

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