The most iconic football card in the hobby has set a new sales record. The only PSA 9 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski has been sold for $350,000 recently in a private transaction brokered by Memory Lane Inc.
The card had been the centerpiece of a collector’s number one all-time finest Hall of Fame rookie cards set listed on PSA’s Set Registry. It was recently purchased by another collector on the east coast who has chosen to remain anonymous.
The 1935 National Chicle Nagurski is the most valuable football card and was ranked 17th on the list of the hobby’s most important sports cards compiled for publication in Collecting Sports Legends, a coffee table book chronicling the most important sports cards and memorabilia.
It is a difficult card to locate in any condition because it is part of the scarce high number series in a set that is rare in and of itself. Pro football was barely a blip on the radar screen of most sports fans in the 1930s and not many were printed or sold. Nagurski represents the hard-nosed, leather helmet play of the era and his hard charging image on the front of the card is instantly recognizable.
PSA has never graded a 1935 National Chicle Nagurski in a ‘10’ and no PSA 9 Nagurski cards have emerged since, keeping the recently sold example as a one-of-a-kind vintage football card with no peer in PSA annals.
“This is a landmark sale and it was exciting to be a part of it,” said Memory Lane’s J.P. Cohen. “It shows that the high end vintage card market is not just thriving for baseball cards but for all scarce, high-grade cards from other sports as well. The demand for 1-of-1 cards like this is greater than ever and some feel that a private transaction is the best way to acquire the tough cards they need.”
The sale of the Nagurski card is a prelude to Memory Lane’s Second Annual Big Game Auction, a football-only event that begins January 21 and concludes February 5, the day before Super Bowl XLV.
The Nagurski card represents the latest high dollar transaction handled by Memory Lane. The company has also helped other iconic cards and memorabilia change hands including: T206 Honus Wagner ($925,000), 1951 Bowman Mickey Mantle PSA 10 ($600,000), 1956 Topps Baseball #1 All-Time Finest set ($550,000), 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 ($375,000), 1927 New York Yankees team signed photo ($350,000, 1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie Card PSA 10 ($250,000) and a 1948 Bowman George Mikan Rookie Card PSA 10 ($218,550).