Thursday, July 20, 2017

EXTRA: O.J. vs. “Sweetness” – several hundred dollars difference these days

A couple of bucks for his cardboard
I remember back when O.J. Simpson was a big deal as an athlete – an All-Pro football player with the Buffalo Bills who also had charisma and charm and was well on his way to a celebrity lifestyle.

Now, he’s the guy who did nine years in prison (for supposedly threatening to harm people whom he says stole sports memorabilia from him even though many will forevermore think him guilty of the other crimes for which he was acquitted), and apparently became lucky enough this week to learn he qualified for parole from a Nevada corrections facility. He could be released by October.
Worth $1,000 if authentically autographed

I COULDN’T HELP but look up a little bit of data on the sports memorabilia market – particularly that involved with the trading cards that used to be a kiddie-thing, but now get treasured by people wishing to relive their sporting memories.

For what it’s worth, the book value for an O.J. Simpson card from the 1976 set produced by Topps Chewing Gum is $5.63, but only if it’s in prime physical shape. For anything less, a buck or two is about all O.J. is worth these days, according to

By comparison, there’s another card from that same set – one portraying Chicago Bears superstar Walter Payton. Admittedly, that card (which I remember actually owning as a kid) gets value added because it was the “rookie” card for Payton – he was a fresh prospect from Jackson State University who was just beginning his days of trying to make the Bears a respectable team. Fantasies of a Super Bowl were still a decade away in the future.

The same price guide gives a book value for the Payton at $207 – and for what it’s worth, I found one person Thursday on eBay who had such a card and already had bids of $449.99 for it.
Book value: About one dollar

QUITE A DIFFERENCE for pieces of cardboard from the months following the Bicentennial whose only real difference is the image they depict.

And also an example of just how far the mighty are capable of falling in life. A point we should all keep in mind on those occasions when we’re tempted to do something stupid.

Although those of us who remember the Naked Gun movies that included Simpson as an actor know that the “real” villain amongst athletes is Reggie Jackson. After all, he was going to kill the queen!


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