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eBay Card of the Day: Namath’s Rookie Shot in the Hospital

The recent Super Bowl may have been a dud of a game but one of the highlights was the appearance of Joe Willie Namath tossing the ceremonial coin in a pre-game ceremony while wearing a fur coat. Nearly fifty years after his professional debut, Namath is still making news and we suspect he will always produce some interesting media fodder for as long as he is in the public eye.

Joe Namath rookie card 1965And yes, the Namath fame and charisma goes back to the beginning of his career both on the field and on football cards. Namath has always been extremely popular among fans and women. Namath was as well known for his off-field life style as he was for leading the upstart New York Jets to their surprising victory in Super Bowl III. Of course, one enduring hobby question is why there are no Topps Namath cards for the last few years of his career, During his playing career, the last year Topps issued a card for him was in 1973.

However, our Card of the Day sponsored by eBay, features the 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie.  Not only is keeping this card in top-notch collectible condition tough because of the larger card size, but also because it was the last of its kind for nearly a quarter century. The card was issued during his rookie season and for football cards, Topps would not issue cards of players during in their rookie year  until 1989. Today, as we know, the current crop of rookies dominates how popular football cards are in any specific season. Then, we wanted our favorite players and did not concern ourselves with knowing rookie card status of players.

What’s more interesting is that the photo of Namath that is on the card was shot in a hospital hallway.  Joe was in the hospital recovering from his first knee operation but a picture was needed so shoulder pads and a jersey were brought in, he grabbed his crutches and hobbled into the hallway.  The deed was done, the wall and background of the medical facility were cropped out and a collecting legend was born.

Here is a link to a Namath Rookie Card graded PSA 3.5 that’s up for bid now and closing within a couple of days.  It remains extremely popular so even low to mid-grade versions like this will sell for hundreds of dollars.

You can see more Namath cards in a variety of grades here.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]

About Rich Klein

Rich Klein has spent almost his entire life collecting baseball cards having begun at the tender age of seven. He has spent more than three decades in the organized hobby including editing the first 12 editions of the Beckett Almanac of Baseball Card and Collectibles. He lives in Plano, TX along with his wife Dena and their two dogs. You can reach him at [email protected].