Monday, April 7, 2014

1957 Topps Jim Brown

In 1957 Jim Brown was named the NFL Rookie of the Year by the United Press as well as the Most Valuable Player by the Associated Press and The Sporting News (Y.A. Tittle was the UPI MVP). The Cleveland Browns 1st pick (6th overall) led the league in rushing his rookie year. He would go on to be the league leading rusher in 8 of his 9 years in the NFL.

I think Topps missed an opportunity when making their 1994 Football Archives set. They could have included cards like this one and cards of the other key players and rookies missing from the original set similar to the Baseball Archives sets.

In 1955 United Press International began recognizing the top rookie in the NFL. Since then there have been several incarnations of the NFL Rookie of the Year award. Many of them were overlapping. But NFL cards have lagged badly. Oddly the very first ROYs were included in the 1955 Bowman and 1956 Topps sets.

But from 1957 until 1988 there was exactly 4 ROYs included in all the sets from Topps, Fleer and Philadelphia. 1 NFL and 2 AFL ROYs from Topps and 1 AFL ROY from Fleer.

 It wasn't until 1989 when rookies began to appear.  In 1989 Topps added a "Traded" series. That series was in response to the new competition from Score and Pro Set who included several rookie players in their sets. 

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