Here are two high-grade Hall of Fame rookie cards from the beautiful 1952 Bowman Large football set: Giants’ running back/receiver Frank Gifford, and Cardinals/Rams/Lions/Eagles running back/receiver Ollie Matson.
Matson, who was jointly awarded Rookie of the Year in 1952 and was a six-time Pro Bowler, was inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in 1972. A two-time Olympic medalist in 1952 (he won the bronze in the 400-meter run and a silver in the 4×400-meter relay), Matson’s 12,799 all-purpose yards were second only to Jim Brown at the time of his retirement in 1966.
Gifford, perhaps known better for his Monday Night Football broadcasts with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith or for his celebrity wife Kathie Lee, won the NFL Most Valuable Player award in 1956. Despite losing nearly two seasons due to injury, Gifford made eight trips tot he Pro Bowl and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.
As of this writing, PSA has graded just eight cards higher than the Gifford, despite the Gifford having the most examples graded of any card in the set. The Matson, one of the difficult high number series, has had just one card graded higher than the Matson.
Among the keys to this popular and beautiful set of football cards, the Gifford and Matson will be offered individually among the football section of our inaugural auction this October.