Starting in 1963, artist Gary Thomas began his relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Since then, he has painted illustrations depicting members of the HOF for display around the Hall. He has also done work for the Olympic and Bowling Hall of Fame too. His work is amazingly well done and colorful.
The hobby in 1989 was in overproduction mode. Cards were everywhere, and everyone thought all this new stuff was going to be worth a fortune someday. Besides a few exceptions, most of the cards made at this time ended up tanking mainly because so many were issued. This is a topic that has been discussed on here regularly before. The HOF decided to get in on the card craze by making some annual sets based on the work of Gary Thomas.
Between Gary Thomas, Goal Line Art, Inc., and the HOF, collectors saw the first series of cards released in 1989. Series 1 consists of 30 4″ x 6″ cards. Every set is individually numbered out of 5,000. The first series seems to be the most desirable. Those continue to sell for $100.00 to $150.00. That is darn good considering other card products from this period are basically worthless.
Goal Line Art, Inc. is still around. In 1995, their annual set began to focus on that year’s induction class. This is the way it is today. The Class of 2015 set is scheduled for release next month. Rarer versions do exist. Gold Cards are numbered to 100 and autographed. Enshrinee Proofs are numbered to 50 and given to the players.
If you plan to attend an autograph signing with a HOF player, consider getting one of these cards autographed. They look really good when signed.