Grab virtually any list of the top sports cards ever created and the 1935 National Chicle Bronko Nagurski is on it. Rare by any measure and featuring one of the biggest and best names in football history, the Nagurski card in high-grade is a “white whale” for card collectors.
Now, one of the highest graded examples in the hobby is about to hit the auction block.
Heritage Auctions will offer an SGC 88 (NM/MT 8) Nagurski in its spring trading card auction where it’s expected to sell for $80,000 or more. The card is one of three SGC-graded copies at that level, with none higher. PSA has graded just two higher. In all, there are fewer than 250 graded Nagurski cards in existence, most rating lower grades.
The Nagurski card was produced in the scarce high number series in a set is, of itself, among the rarest mainstream vintage sets in the hobby.
Heritage sold a PSA 7 example for over $38,000 in the fall of 2016 but of the few higher end Nagurski rookie card sales have come via private transactions and it’s believed none have taken place recently.
The 1935 National Chicle football set included just 36 players and was the last significant pro football set until 1948. Designed in a colorful art deco style that was popular at the time, it’s similar to the National Chicle “Diamond Stars” set produced from 1934-1936.
Bidding in the two-part auction is set to open March 28 and continue through April 19-20.