Saturday, January 12, 2013

Great Addition to my USC Trojan Collection

I have made mention of my USC Trojan Football collection a few times on the blog but haven't really shared much in the way of cards.  This is due in large part to not spending a lot of my time or my funds on this collection in the last 2 years.  There were several factors that came into play that drove me in this direction including: 1) I started my Giants collection (I had collected GU/Auto before but I have expanded to everything), 2) the sanctions placed (unfairly in my opinion) on my former school started taking a toll on the team, 3) not too many exciting new players to collect and my collection of the older players, which I actually prefer, got to the point where new additions were expensive and/or rare to find.

I did make a goal this year to jump start this part of my collection again but I am still working on exactly what I want to focus on.  I will say that this card I received over Christmas has helped me get excited about my USC collection once again.

This is a nice OJ Simpson Rookie card from the 1970 Topps set.  I was given this by a friend of my mom's who has several copies of this card from when he was younger.  He is thinking about asking me to sell his collection (not overly excited about the idea as it is a lot of work but I would do it for my mom if asked).  My mom brought me this card several months back to ask me to figure out a value so I looked at some finished auctions and gave her a price.  I said I would pay slightly under the eBay price if he was interested but he decided against it.  Then a few months later it is mine as a gift!

This is definitely an iconic football card.  We all know OJ's post football challenges and he obviously isn't a model human being.  But as a football player he was amazing.  He actually has some significance in my life as well.  In the late 70s I checked out a book from the library about OJ and was immediately impressed with him.  He was a Heisman trophy winner and set the all time single season rushing record.  Around the time I was reading the book he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers and they immediately became my favorite team - I lived in a Raiders house so this was a little controversial at the time.  My dad and mom have come around to the Niners since.  I really credit OJ with helping lead me to my favorite team.  After 1981 it may have happened anyway but it was pretty cool in my neighborhood to have been a 49er fan before The Catch.

I also started following college sports, and particularly USC as a result of reading that OJ book.  Every picture I saw had the sun and the palm trees and a great football tradition.  Many years later, I applied to and got into USC. The half tuition college scholarship was just enough to allow me to attend and I am a Trojan for life.  Based on all the above, I think most would see how I just prefer to focus on the first 40 years of OJ's life.

The card itself is in nice condition and features that classic OJ smile.  The 1970 design is pretty nice itself with the banner across the bottom and the football to show the position.  I really like the back as well.  The orange color fits the time frame well in my opinion and it fits The Juice perfectly. OJ has a solid but not spectacular rookie season.  I love the cartoon.  Most people remember OJ from some of his acting gigs including the Naked Gun movies and his Hertz rent-a-car commercials.  I was surprised his TV career started so early. Maybe it was living in LA that got him his kick start.

I am still trying to work out what I am going to target in my USC collection this year but whatever direction I decide to go would have included seeking out this iconic card.  I am very happy that I now have it in my collection.

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