George Halas Rookie Card

George Halas is one of the NFL’s pioneers. He was the founder and owner of the Chicago Bears which started in 1920 and played an important part in establishing the Chicago Bears as an NFL team. George Halas has two official rookie cards.

George Halas a No-Nonsense Trailblazer

“Papa Bear” Halas was the first coach to hold daily practice sessions, the first to analyze film of opposing teams in an effort to find weaknesses in them.

Known as a disciplinarian he had little to no tolerance for players who were insubordinate.

He also demanded absolute integrity and honesty within the management ranks.

George Halas introduced the NFL to the T-Formation Offense which helped them win many games including a championship game in 1940 against the Washington Redskins.

Bears won 73-0! To this day the most lopsided victory in NFL history.

The Chicago Bears of the 1940s had such an intimidating presence they were known as, The Monsters of the Midway, much in part to the leadership of George Halas.

His impact on the game was so substantial that in 1997 he was featured on a US Postal Service stamp as one of the All-Time Greats.

He’s been recognized by ESPN as one of the most influential people in sports.

Today, if you look at current players on the Chicago Bears the initials “GSH” are on the upper left sleeves in honor of George Stanley Halas.

In 1956 the US Navy awarded him the Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, which is the Navy’s highest civilian award. He served three different terms with the US Navy.

Interesting Facts of George Halas

A few other things I found interesting about George Halas.

He played right field for the New York Yankees May 6, 1919 – July 5, 1919.

I’m assuming he figured out baseball wasn’t in the cards (pun intended) but perhaps found greater purpose in football.

In 1982, one of his final executive decisions was to hire one of his former players as Head Coach.

That coach was Mike Ditka which lead the Bears to a Super Bowl Championship in 1985, he played for Halas in the 1960s.

And in 1971 the film Brian’s Song, which was about the friendship of Chicago Bears players Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers.

Halas was portrayed by Jack Warden, who won an Emmy Award for his performance.

Career Stats & Accomplishments

Career Summary as 40yr NFL Coach: Games 497 | Wins 318 | Loses 148 | Ties 31 | Winning Percentage .682

Accomplishments:

  • 5x NFL Champion
  • 2x All-Pro Coach of the Year (1963, 1965)
  • HOF All-1920s Team
  • 1963 Hall of Fame Induction

True Rookie Cards of Hall of Famer

George Halas

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1952 Bowman, #48

In 1952 the Bowman Gum Company based out of Philidelphia released two separate football sets.

Bowman “Large” which measuring 2-1/2″ x 3-3/4″ (pictured above) and Bowman “Small” set which measures 2-1/16″ x 3-1/8.”

They were Identical in quantity each set contained 144 cards, no difference in design either, the only difference being the size of the card.

This was done to compete with the success of their rival Topps Co. The 52 Bowman Football Large was an experiment.

When Topps released their premier 1952 baseball set the cards were bigger than the Bowman brand and collectors were drawn to them like a magnet.

Bowman realized this and quickly released the 52 Bowman Football in a larger size and they continued to do so until 1955, which was the year Topps bought out Bowman.

This set is beloved by football card collectors everywhere. It’s viewed as the set of all sets to have.

The card front displays a beautiful painting of the featured player. A pennant runs across the bottom of the card giving us the full name.

Look at that team logo! It’s an actual bear with a football tucked under his arm. Can anyone say vintage?

The card back is not as colorful but gives us an excellent player commentary.

Caution: be careful purchasing cards from this set in raw condition because they have been counterfeited, it’s important to really do your homework.

For the Chicago Bears fan out there check out my article on the most recent Bear Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher Rookie Cards

 

Happy Collecting Collectors,

Learn. Collect. Enjoy.


Sources:
Pro Football Hall of Fame. “2013 George Halas Award PWFA” Digital Image. Pro Football Writers of America. http://www.profootballwriters.org/off-field-awards/pfwa-george-halas-award/ (accessed January 4, 2017)
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