Hobby Outposts from the North: Gale Sayers and the hobby – As is unfortunately becoming commonplace as legends of yesteryear age, another memorable figure in football has passed away.

Mid-day Wednesday, the sporting world was abuzz with news of Gale Sayers’ passing. The Chicago Bears legend was 77.

A Hall of Famer, Sayers played just seven seasons of pro football, but made such an incredible impression on the league and its fans in that short amount of time. Sayers was a four-time Pro Bowler, five-time First Team All Pro member, twice led the league in rushing yards and was also named the Rookie of the Year (1965) and Comeback Player of the Year (1969). He was also named to the NFL’s 50th, 75th and 100th anniversary teams and was the youngest player ever named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Beyond those accolades, however, Sayers had a big presence in the sports card hobby. He was truly beloved by fans who clamored for his autograph and kept his collectibles in high standing. Fleer recognized his popularity more than any other company and employed the player once known as “The Kansas Comet” in 1997, creating the Goudey II set with his assistance. In the product, Sayers offered his analysis of modern-day gridiron greats with his “Gale Sayers Says…” commentary. It was an ambitious project to say the least, but it was effective, no questions asked.

Beyond that set, Sayers has been part of several products in recent years. As recently as 2017 he was featured in Panini sets, while Topps and Upper Deck also featured the Wichita, Kansasborn superstar when they held licenses. He also worked with Sports Impressions and Kenner Starting Lineups on figures.

But the true highlight for any collector was that unmistakable signature. Players of his era commonly had beautiful, full autographs, but there’s no question – Sayers stands out as being particularly dazzling.

In the days ahead, you will hear more about Gale Sayers and the trials and tribulations of his career and life after football, but there’s no question that the hobby has lost one of their most popular icons. May he always be remembered.

Hobby Outposts from the North: Gale Sayers and the hobby – Image Gallery


Jon Waldman
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