General Published on : 6/6/2016

Guests visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer will be treated to an extraordinarily rare glimpse at football history when the Hunt/Casterline Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection exhibit opens this July.

The Hunt/Casterline Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection is the highest graded and most valuable football card collection in the world. The collection’s creators are Dan Hunt, President of FC Dallas and son of LAMAR HUNT, the founder of the American Football League and Kansas City Chiefs and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame; and Robert Casterline, Casterline Goodman Gallery, Partner.

Together, Hunt and Casterline have selected the rarest, most-valuable and most significant pieces of the 300,000-plus card collection to be displayed publicly for the first time in this one-of-a-kind exhibit. It is an unbelievable marriage of art, sports, and pop culture that dates back to 1888.

“Dan and I are excited to share with the fans one of the most important and valuable investment grade football card collections in the world,” Casterline commented.

“Each individual card or set tells a great story,” explained Hall of Fame Executive Vice President and renowned football historian Joe Horrigan “This collection has been meticulously preserved and will evoke emotional memories from football’s past. It will reconnect football fans to their youth and bring back memories of specific players, teams and circumstances of play that may have influenced their lives. This incredible exhibit will let fans experience the ‘Super Bowl’ of football card collections.”

The “heart and soul” of the Hunt/Casterline Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection is the Hall of Fame Rookie Card Set by assembled Hunt and Casterline. A rookie card is  not necessarily indicative of the player’s first year, but more specifically the first card issued with his likeness. Hunt and Casterline built an amazing assemblage of these rookie cards that includes the highest graded card available for each member of the Hall of Fame. No other rookie set this highly graded of the finest players of all time exists, and likely never will.

Most in the collector industry consider the 1965 JOE NAMATH rookie card as the single-most-valuable. Only four Namath rookie cards have ever been graded MINT 9 by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). The Hunt/Casterline Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection not only includes one of the four Namath PSA graded 9 cards, it also includes seven others graded 8.

The history and development of football cards can be traced back to Henry (Harry) Beecher, the captain of the Yale football team, who in 1888 became the first football player depicted on a trading card. One of these rarest of rare cards will displayed in the exhibit along with several other one-of-kind cards from the 1880s and 1890s.

The exhibition, scheduled to open in mid-July, will be featured in the Hall’s temporary exhibit gallery located adjacent to the museum’s grand entrance lobby and will be included in the Museum admission fee.

The exhibit  features countless noteworthy individual cards and complete sets from every era of the game. Featured sets include the 1894 Mayo’s Cut Plug set, the first to focus solely on football players. Also included is the 36-card 1935 National Chicle Football Set, considered to be the “Holy Grail” of football sets, and the 1957 Topps Card Set that includes a “who’s who” of future Hall of Famers.

Supplementing this remarkable exhibition of football’s cardboard connections will be a number of pieces from the Hall of Fame’s collection of ephemera, photos, and even a few pieces of game-used artifacts. The exhibit is designed to engage and appeal to audiences from the casual observer to experienced collectors. It will provide a look into the world of card collecting and how it has inspired, entertained and provided lasting memories to generations young and old. It tells the story of how small paper portraits of sports figures originally created by tobacco companies promoting their products, has grown into an industry of dedicated hobbyists, sports collectors and enthusiasts as well as investors and speculators.

The Hunt/Casterline Pro Football Hall of Fame Card Collection exhibit is one of two major new exhibits opening at the Hall of Fame this summer. “A Game for Life” immersive holographic theater also opens in mid-July. It is the next generation of experiential entertainment that literally places fans into a themed locker room. The cutting-edge multi-sensory locker room theater provides a full range of emotions for fans who are immersed into a setting typically reserved just for Hall of Famers. Holographic versions of JOE NAMATH, GEORGE HALAS and VINCE LOMBARDI engage through a “magical chalkboard” with several Hall of Fame legends – ALAN PAGE, JIM KELLY, JIM BROWN, CURTIS MARTIN, STEVE LARGENT and others – to share the inspiring lessons learned from the Game that are, in reality, lessons for life.