This is the only recognized rookie card of the great quarterback and the key to the 1954 Bowman set. When it comes to longevity, George Blanda is football's equivalent to Nolan Ryan in baseball or Gordie Howe in hockey, playing for an amazing 26 seasons as a quarterback and place kicker. By the time he retired, Blanda was the all-time leader in points with 2,002 after playing in 340 games. As a quarterback, he threw for a total of 26,920 yards and 236
touchdowns, which included seven in one game in 1961. As a kicker, Blanda connected on 335 field goals and 943 extra points. Blanda will probably be best remembered for his 1970 performance with the Oakland Raiders. During that season and at the age of 43, Blanda had a string of five consecutive games with a last-second score to either
win or tie the game (four wins and one tie.) He led the Raiders to the AFC Championship Game, becoming the oldest quarterback to do so. Blanda retired at the age of 48, just before the 1976 season. In 1981, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This 1954 Bowman issue, measuring approximately 2 ½" by 3 ¾" is not quite as difficult as some of the other 1950s football sets, but is difficult to find well-centered in PSA NM-MT 8 or better condition.
George Frederick Blanda (September 17, 1927 - September 27, 2010) (QB/K) played a record 26 seasons in the NFL, scored the most points in history at the time of his retirement and is one of three players to play in four different decades. George played quarterback and placekicker/punter for the University of Kentucky and legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Chicago Bears selected Blanda in the 12th round of the 1949 NFL Draft. He played for the Bears (1949, 1950-1958), the Baltimore Colts (1950), the American Football League’s Houston Oilers (1960-1966) and Oakland Raiders (1967-1969), remaining with the Raiders after the NFL merger (1970-1975). After a falling out with Bears management over playing time as a quarterback, George retired in 1958, only to be lured out of retirement by the Houston Oilers of the newly formed American Football League. Blanda led the league twice in passing yards, four times in interceptions, three times in average yards per game, and from 1963-1965 led the AFL in completions and attempts. As a kicker, he led the league three times in field goal attempts and field goal percentage, seven times in extra point attempts and eight times in extra points made. He was a four-time AFL Pro Bowl selection and was named to the 1961 NFL All-Pro First Team. In 1961, he was the AP and UPI’s AFL Most Valuable Player Award winner. He won the 1970 NFL Bert Bell Award for Player of the Year and won the 1974 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award winner. George Blanda continues to hold numerous professional football records including most touchdowns in a game (7), most season (26), first player to 2,000 points and most pass attempts in a single game (68). George scored at least one point in 26 seasons and finished his career with an astounding 2,002 total points on nine rushing touchdowns, 943 extra points made and 335 field goals made. George Blanda was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980.