One of four 1965 Topps Joe Namath rookie cards ever to grade PSA 9 (mint) has been sold in a private transaction for $60,000. The seller was MINT State, a long-time dealer specializing in high-grade sports cards.
One of the most recognizable sports cards of all-time, the Namath is one out of approximately 1,000 examples ever submitted for PSA grading to have been awarded a 9. There are no 10s in existence.
In 2001, Rick Snyder, founder and President of Illinois-based MINT State, had sold one of the other three Namath rookie cards graded PSA 9 for a then-record setting sum of $20,000.
“The buyer viewed this as a rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest known rookie cards of the quarterback who boldly guaranteed the New York Jets victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III,” explained Snyder. “Not only is Joe Namath an American Football League icon, he is also the game’s first true media superstar.”
Snyder continued, “Exceptionally high grade football cards continue to escalate in value, particularly Hall of Famer rookie cards. This magnificent specimen was the keystone of the finest 1965 Topps football card set ever assembled, a set we have been handling on consignment with phenomenal results.”
The set was entirely graded PSA 8 NM-MT and higher with 139 cards out of the 176 graded PSA 9 MINT, or 27% of the entire MINT 9 population. Out of the set’s 176 cards, only eight could have been improved upon and only by a single example in all eight cases.
Snyder told Sports Collectors Daily that the #133 Fred Biletnikoff rookie PSA 9 from the set sold for $7,900 while fellow Raiders’ legend Ben Davidson’s PSA 10 rookie card brought $4,000 and the #1 card in the set, Tom Addison, also a single print and graded PSA 9 sold for $3,500. Other cards are being offered through MINT State’s eBay store.
The Namath is considered one of the top sports cards to own the key to the 1965 Topps football set, which features all AFL players. While not rare, finding one that is centered with sharp corners is a challenge, partly because of the card’s size.
You can see 1965 Topps Joe Namath cards for sale on eBay here.