This is the only recognized rookie card of one of football's greatest running backs, at both
the collegiate and professional levels. I have to admit, I really didn't want to include this card
on the list because of obvious reasons. However, O.J. Simpson's performance on the field
and the importance of this card simply overpower the controversy outside of the game. This
former two-time All-American and 1968 Heisman Trophy winner from USC entered the NFL
with as much fanfare as anyone in the history of the sport. His breakout season came in 1973
when Simpson became the first player in history to rush for 2,000 or more yards in a season,
finishing with 2,003 in only 14 games for the Buffalo Bills. In 1975, Simpson would rush for 1,817 yards and 23 touchdowns, a record number of scores at the time. Simpson would lead the league in rushing four times and amass 11,236 rushing yards in his 11-year career. Simpson
would add 2,142 yards receiving and 76 career touchdowns as well. This six-time Pro Bowl Selection was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. This card, the key to the 1970 Topps set, is often found with poor centering and print defects along the face of the card, which can hinder the grade.
Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson (July 9, 1947-) (RB) was a two-time All-American at the University of Southern California and is one of three players in NFL history to win the Heisman Trophy, be chosen Number 1 overall in the NFL Draft and be inducted into both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame with Paul Hornung and Earl Campbell. The Buffalo Bills selected the speedy running back with the Number 1 overall pick of the 1969 NFL Draft. Though Simpson’s ability was not immediately noticed, once he became the Bills starter he did not disappoint. In his fourth season, he led the NFL in rushing yards and became the first player in NFL history to top the 2,000 yard mark in 1973, leading the league in rushing yards, touchdowns, attempts and yards per game. He was named the 1973 NFL AP Most Valuable Player, the Newspaper Enterprise Association MVP, the AP Offensive Player of the Year and the Bert Bell Award (Player of the Year) winner. “Juice” led the NFL four times in rushing yards, three times in attempts, yards per game and yards from scrimmage and twice in rushing touchdowns.
Simpson played 11 seasons with the Bills (1969-1977) and the San Francisco 49ers (1978-1979) amassing 11,236 rushing yards and 61 touchdowns on 2,404 rushing attempts. He added 2,142 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 203 receptions. In total, Juice collected 13,378 all-purpose yards and 76 touchdowns for 456 total points. He made six NFL Pro Bowl appearances and was named to five NFL All-Pro First Teams. O.J. Simpson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. Following his playing days, O.J. made numerous cameo appearances on television shows, had a recurring role in the Naked Gun motion picture comedy series and was a regular at annual charitable golf tournaments and events with other famed athletes. In 1994, Simpson was acquitted of the double homicide of his ex-wife Nicole and friend Ronald Brown in one of the most publicized trials in American history. However, Simpson was convicted of participating in a robbery and kidnapping in Las Vegas in 2007, as he attempted to recover historical sports memorabilia chronicling his Hall of Fame career.