This is the only mainstream card to feature Jim Thorpe
as a professional baseball player. Thorpe, one of the greatest all-around athletes in sports history, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. While Thorpe wasn't nearly as successful on the baseball field, he hit a respectable .252 during his major league career, which spanned 289 total games from 1913-1919. Nevertheless, Thorpe's importance in history remains. He paved the way for two-sport stars like Bo Jackson, Brian Jordan and Deion Sanders of the modern era. This card is rarely offered publicly due to its difficulty and it is one of only a few standouts in the set.
Jacobus Franciscus “Jim” Thorpe (May 1888 - March 28, 1953) (TB/E/FB) played baseball sporadically for the New York Giants, both in the minors and Major Leagues; he won two gold medals in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Olympiad in the decathlon and pentathlon, and he was, arguably, the biggest star in American professional football in the 1910s and 1920s. Jim Thorpe is widely considered the greatest all-around athlete in the history of sports. The legendary “Pop” Warner first recognized Jim’s athletic prowess at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, where he starred on the track and field team, football, baseball and basketball teams. In 1912, Carlisle won the national collegiate championship as Thorpe scored 25 touchdowns and contributed 198 points. Thorpe earned All-American honors in 1911 and 1912. Jim competed for the United States in the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games capturing the gold medals in both the decathlon (winning eight of the 15 events) and pentathlon (winning four of the five events). He also played professional basketball briefly before focusing solely on football.
In 1913, he joined the New York Giants as an outfielder, playing a limited role for six seasons with the Giants (1913-1915, 1917-1919), the Cincinnati Reds (1917) and the Boston Braves (1919). He helped the Giants reach the 1917 World Series before falling to the Chicago White Sox. While moonlighting in Major League Baseball, Thorpe played and coached from 1915-1928 in the National Football League. He played for the Canton Bulldogs (1915-1920, 1926), the Cleveland Indians (1921), the Oorang Indians (1922-1923), the Rock Island Independents (1924, 1925), the New York Giants (1925), the Tampa Cardinals (1926) and the Chicago Cardinals (1928). In 1923 he was an NFL All-Pro selection. When the NFL evolved in out of the American Professional Football Association, Thorpe was named the league’s first president, which he relinquished a year later as he spent more time on the playing field than in the league offices. The all-around athlete and all-around football Thorpe played 52 games in the NFL and scored six touchdowns. Jim Thorpe was a charter inductee in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.