Professional Football Celebrates It’s 125th Anniversary

On Sunday, professional football celebrated it’s 125th anniversary.  According to a November 12, 1892 expense accounting sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association, a W. Heffelfinger was paid to play.  The official entry on the sheet reads “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00”.  This is the earliest known evidence of an individual being paid to play football.  Historians consider this document to be professional football’s birth certificate.  $500.00 was a lot of money back then.  He must have been worth it, because the Allegheny Athletic Club beat the Pittsburgh Athletic Club that day 4-0.  Heffelfinger recovered a fumble to score the only touchdown.  In those days a touchdown was only worth four points.

You would think someone as historically significant as William “Pudge” Heffelfinger would have lots of cards.  That is far from the case.  I’d say his 1955 Topps All-American SP #18 is his most important card.  He also has a handful of cards in 2011 TRISTAR Obak, and a cut signature in 2014 Panini National Treasures.

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