Part of the fun of buying vintage cards is figuring out which non-Hall of Famers might get the call--and a price boost.
The day before Super Bowl XLIII, the 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced.
17 finalists will be considered by the Hall's Board of Selectors and the announcement made in Tampa that afternoon.
As few as four and as many as seven players could be elected. The list includes:
Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Dermontti Dawson – Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
Russ Grimm – Guard – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Bob Hayes – Wide Receiver – 1965-1974 Dallas Cowboys, 1975 San Francisco 49ers
Claude Humphrey – Defensive End – 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles
Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Bob Kuechenberg – Guard – 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins
Randall McDaniel – Guard – 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Randle – Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Bruce Smith – Defensive End – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000-03 Washington Redskins
Paul Tagliabue – Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Derrick Thomas – Linebacker – 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Ralph Wilson – Team Founder/Owner – 1960-Present Buffalo Bills
Rod Woodson – Cornerback/Safety – 1987-1996 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 1998-2001 Baltimore Ravens, 2002-03 Oakland Raiders
Projecting the election is much tougher than taking a stab at who makes the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some curious choices have been made over the years, but it would appear as if there are some shoo-ins.
Bruce Smith, a stalwart on the Buffalo Bills' Super Bowl teams, would appear to be a lock. Smith's 1986 Topps rookie card has always had value because of his reputation. The card presents some condition challenges because of the green border. PSA's Sportscard Market Report lists the Smith rookie at $40 in mint condition.
The same condition issue holds true for Richard Dent's 1985 Topps rookie. In fact, Dent and Warren Moon carry a weak rookie class in the black-bordered set. Dent's card has been jumping ahead of the Hall election. A PSA 9 is listed at $75.
Cris Carter will get strong consideration too. Carter's 1989 Score football rookie lists at just $13 in a '9' grade. His visibility as an ESPN analyst won't hurt his rookie card value.
The oldest rookie card in the finalst list belongs to Bob Hayes, who first appeared in the 1966 Philadelphia set. Hayes and Claude Humphrey are the two 'senior' nominees. Hayes was a huge part of the Cowboys offense during his career. He's apparently already in the collecting Hall of Fame. A PSA 8 Hayes rookie lists for $145 while a rare '9' checks in at a shocking $1100.
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