Friday, November 21, 2014

1961 Topps Mike Ditka

It has been a while since I posted some of the missing Rookie of the Year football cards. Here is the 1961 NFL Rookie of the Year, Mike Ditka. I don't think I need to go into depth on his Hall of Fame career as both a player and coach. But you might notice that he is not wearing his normal number 89. Ditka wore 89 at the University of Pittsburgh from 1958-1960 but was given the number 82 after being drafted by the Bears in 1961. The 89 uniform was being worn by kicker John Aveni. When Aveni was cut during training camp, Ditka was given 89 again.  When the franchise retired his number last season they said it would be the last digits retired by the Bears.

Even though 89 is the only number he wore as a Bear after his rookie training camp, you can see that Topps used a photo from the 1961 training camp on their 1962 card.

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