On Location: Inside The Pro Football Hall of Fame – Canton, OH

Over the weekend I took a trip to Canton, Ohio and visited the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  I first visited back in 1998.  That year, guys like Paul Krause and Anthony Munoz got inducted.  It was also the year Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were neck and neck in the single season home run race.

Going through the Hall of Fame is a blast!!!  They’ve really changed a lot since the last time I was there.  Right after buying your tickets to get in, you’re greeted by a photographer who will take your picture in front of a green screen.  When you’re finished touring the museum, you can stop and see your pictures before leaving.  They put a whole photo package together for you.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the holy land for any football fan.  You can sit there and open every high-end football card product on the market today, and it will never come close to the fun stuff you see inside this place.  All the way from professional football’s 1892 birth certificate to memorabilia used by players today.  The Hall of Fame covers everything.

Its difficult to pick what parts of the Hall of Fame are my favorite.  Every corner I turned there was another priceless artifact.  The older memorabilia fascinates me the most.  Mainly because its a miracle that its still around.  The Hall of Fame Gallery filled with all of the inductee busts is really cool too.  That was dramatically better looking than what I remember it being.  But if I had to pick one artifact to be my personal favorite, it would probably be the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

The gift shop is massive and contains every NFL themed item you could possibly think of.  I bought three new pins, lanyard, golf shirt, and a Hall of Fame mini helmet.  I also ate lunch at the Hall of Fame Cafe.  They serve lots of stuff from hot dogs and hamburgers to gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

Take a look!!!

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Pro Football’s Birth Certificate – this is an expense sheet from the Allegheny Athletic Association dated November 12, 1892.  The “game performance bonus to W. Heffelfinger for playing (cash) $500.00” is the earliest evidence of someone being paid to play football.

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Jim Thorpe’s Carlisle Indians Letterman Sweater.

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(Top Middle) Arnie Herber’s sideline coat, (Top Left) Butch Gibson’s 1934 N.Y. Giants jersey, (Top Right) “Wooky” Roberts Canton Bulldogs jersey.  Also seen in this picture is the helmet worn by Link Lyman in the 1934 NFL Championship Game, game ball signed by the 1925 N.Y. Giants, and coach’s cap worn by Redskins founder-owner George Preston Marshall.

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Jerseys of Bob Waterfield #7, Bronko Nagurski #3, and Sid Luckman #42.

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Jerseys of Johnny Unitas #19 and Doak Walker #37.

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Jerseys of Jim Brown #32, Lance Alworth’s AFL All-Star jersey #19 , and Sonny Jurgensen #9.  Helmets of Dick Butkus (left), and Tommy Nobis (right).

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Jerseys of Peyton Manning #18, Reggie White #92, and Tony Gonzalez #88.  Shoulder pads of Cortez Kennedy and college helmet of Larry Allen.

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Tim Tebow jersey – this jersey was worn during the playoff win over the Steelers in 2012.  Tebow threw an 80-yard bomb to win the game 29-23.

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Miami Dolphins Perfect Season.

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The “Immaculate Reception” Turf – Franco Harris removed this piece of turf at the exact spot where the “Immaculate Reception” took place in Three Rivers Stadium.

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Toys!!!

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The inaugural Hall of Fame class from 1963.

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Jim Thorpe

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Vince Lombardi

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O.J. Simpson

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Mike Ditka

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Dan Marino

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John Madden

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Team Postcards – (Left) 1911 Nutshell Tigers of Canton, (Right) Game action from a 1900 game.

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World Football League football – they didn’t make it.

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United States Football League football – they didn’t make it either 🙂

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Player bench from the last game Vince Lombardi coached at Lambeau Field.  Green Bay, Dec. 31, 1967.

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LeSean McCoy wore this jersey, gloves, and cleats in a game against the Lions in Dec. 2013.  On that day, in blizzard conditions, McCoy ran for 217 yards setting a new franchise record.

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Vince Lombardi Trophy

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Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl XLIII ring.

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“I’m ready to go in coach, just give me a chance.  I know there’s a lot riding on it, but it’s all psychological.  Just gotta stay in a positive frame of mind.” – Ace Ventura

“Pin-Up” of the Week: 1995/1963 Pro Football HOF Guest Pins

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You would’ve thought the Football Hall of Fame had issued specially made pins for high profile guests long before 1995.  But that isn’t the case.  The HOF began giving out pins to specific guests like the media in ’95.  These lucky people were presented with a small box that contained two lapel pins.  One pin would feature the names of the Hall of Famers who were being inducted that year.  The other pin had a retro theme containing the names of past inductees.  1995 was paired with 1963, 1996 was paired with 1964, etc…  The first pins given out in 1995 aren’t serial numbered, but the ones afterward are.  Quantities range into the high hundreds.  Prices can be between $50.00 to $100.00 per set.  They are all made by Balfour.

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Card of the Day: 2011 Timeless Treasures Hall Of Fame Materials Quads Clark/Grange/Baugh/Thorpe

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Card of the Day: Eric Dickerson 2013 Panini Spectra Hall of Fame Auto

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“Pin-Up” of the Week: Jackie Robinson 1962 Hall of Fame Induction Press Pin

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Cooperstown has spoken.  The 2014 Induction Class includes Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, and Frank Thomas.  I’m a bit surprised that Craig Biggio didn’t make it in, but I’m sure it won’t be long until he gets there.  At least this year’s class has people that are still alive.  Guys like Sosa, McGwire, Clemens, and Bonds will never make it in.

Jackie Robinson is one of the most influential athletes of all time.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962 along with Bob Feller, Bill McKechnie, and Edd Roush.  The Hall of Fame held a luncheon announcing Robinson’s induction and members of the press were provided with this pin.  I don’t know what it is about these pewter pins, but some of them freak me out.  I think its the eyes.  They always look so empty.  Collectors wanting to add this pin to their collection will have to open their wallets.  One recently sold for $300.00.

Who’s Going In The Hall Of Fame This Year? These Guys Are.

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The Baseball Writers’ Association of America may not have voted anyone into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, but on July 28th there will still be a ceremony.  In fact, the Hall of Fame’s Pre-Integration Committee will be inducting three very prominent individuals this year – Hank O’Day, Jacob Ruppert, and Deacon White.  No, these guys don’t sound as familiar as Bonds, Clemens, Sosa or McGwire, but they do have their place in history.

Hank O’Day

O’Day was a pitcher, umpire, and manager starting in the early days of Major League Baseball.  After playing for seven years, he went on to have one of the best careers an umpire could ever have that spanned thirty seasons.  In the end, he umpired a total of 3,986 games.  That includes umpiring 10 World Series.  O’Day is known for being part of the controversial field decision called Merkle’s Boner.  This call will go down as one of the most controversial field decisions is MLB history.

Key Cards:

  • 1887-89 Old Judge Cabinets N173 #66
  • 1887-90 Old Judge N172 #398
  • 1888-89 Sporting Times M117 #7
  • 1994 Conlon TSN #1201
  • 1994 Conlon TSN Burgundy #1201

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Jacob Ruppert

He purchased Babe Ruth and built the original Yankee Stadium.  Made is fortune in beer.  Enough said.

Key Cards:

  • 1962 Topps #136 Babe Ruth Special 2/Babe Joins Yanks/Pictured With Owner Jacob Ruppert
  • 2008 Upper Deck Yankee Stadium Legacy – Collection Moments in Time Dual Cut Signature – Steinbrenner/Ruppert #’ed/1
  • 2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts – Legendary Cut Signatures #’ed/14
  • 2009 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts – Legendary Cut Signatures Dual – Frazee/Ruppert #’ed/1
  • 2011 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts – Legendary Black Signatures #’ed/1

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Deacon White

I guess you could say that Deacon White was there when the modern game of baseball started.  He played during the time when catchers didn’t even use gloves.  White’s baseball career ranged from 1868 to 1890 and is one of the game’s first major stars.  He constantly lead the league in batting average, RBIs, hits, and triples.  Lets not forget White was also a major player on five championship teams (1873-1877).  The guy was a powerhouse.

Key Cards:

  • 1887-90 Old Judge N172 #558
  • 1887 Buchner Gold Coin N284 #35
  • 1888 Scraps Tobacco Die Cuts #18
  • 1888 WG1 Card Game #27
  • 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions SP #182

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Panini ’12 Football HOF Set Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Chris on being the lucky winner of the 2012 Panini Football Hall of Fame Set.  Once Chris sends me their mailing address, I will ship this set ASAP.  Thanks!

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Panini ’12 Football HOF Set Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest will be for a 2012 Panini Pro Football Hall of Fame promo set.  Inside you will find a 6-card set of this year’s inductees: Jack Butler, Cortez Kennedy, Dermonth Dawson, Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, and Willie Roaf.  Good luck!!!

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Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 8:00 p.m. EST
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post
  • You can enter once per day
  • The winner will be selected at random
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this set for FREE!!!

Press Pass Is Throwing Everything In 2012 Legends Hall Of Fame Edition

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Press Pass plans to release in October what could be one of their most high-end products ever – 2012 Legends Hall of Fame Edition.  It may not be Five Star Racing high-end, but its going to be up there.

Each tin will come with four autographs covering all sports.  Some of the players include Nolan Ryan, Rickey Henderson, Larry Bird, Jack Nicklaus, Stan Musial, Ozzie Smith, and Randy Couture.  Press Pass will even be throwing in cut signatures of Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Ty Cobb.  Look for hot boxes that contain six autographs.  Cases include an autographed baseball from guys like Chipper Jones and Greg Maddux.

It looks like Press Pass is throwing everything they have into this product.  Its got a clean design (holo-foil card stock), but the lack of logos is a big downer.

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