CSG Certifies Superb Example of Sought-after 1933 Jim Thorpe Football Card

Posted on 5/1/2023

The pioneering Native American was an Olympic gold medalist who was one of the most versatile athletes in sports history.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) recently certified a vintage football card of an American sports icon: Jim Thorpe. The 1933 Sport Kings #6 Jim Thorpe earned a grade of CSG 6 and is one of the most sought-after early football cards ever produced. Considering the 1933 Sport Kings set is well-known for having condition issues, including ink bleeding, this is a clean and superb example of this legendary card that is easily worth thousands of dollars.

1933 Sport Kings #6 Jim Thorpe graded CSG 6
Click images to enlarge.

The 1933 Sport Kings #6 is one of 48 cards in the Goudey set that feature athletes from various American sports. In total, the series includes 18 different sports, with many featuring famous athletes of the era, such as baseball legends Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, golf icon Bobby Jones and boxing legend Jack Dempsey. There were only three football cards in the set: Notre Dame head coach Knute Rockne, college and NFL Hall of Famer Red Grange and Jim Thorpe. Additionally, this is the first official football card of Thorpe's career.

The series stands out due to its appealing design, with a painted image of the athletes on each card. The set includes various colors, but each has a red "Sport Kings Gum" banner above the player's image and a black strip at the bottom with the athlete's name. Above the black strip, there are tiny black silhouettes of figures in action that represent the sport of the featured athlete on the card. The back consists of the card number, the athlete's name and sport, a short biography and a Goudy Sport Kings Gum advertisement.

Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, was the first Native American to win a gold medal at the Olympics for the United States. He won two gold medals (decathlon and classic pentathlon) during the 1912 Summer Games. Thorpe also played numerous sports. The Oklahoma native was a collegiate All-American in football, played pro football in the American Professional Football Association (which became the NFL in 1922), played Major League Baseball for six years and played for a traveling basketball team beginning in 1926. Thorpe also popularized football in the US, as his heroics on the gridiron grabbed the nation's attention and helped propel the sport to new heights.

The All-American paved the way for future multi-sport athletes like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders. In fact, he played various sports professionally until his retirement at 41 years old. Thorpe received several accolades through the years for his athletic accomplishments. He was named the "greatest athlete" of the first half of the 20th century by the Associated Press. Thorpe was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and was also part of the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.

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