CSG Certifies NBA Legend Bill Russell Rookie Card

Posted on 12/15/2021

The 1957 Topps card features one of the Boston Celtics’ all-time greats.

Certified Sports Guaranty® (CSG®) recently certified a 1957 Topps #77 Bill Russell rookie card. Part of the second true major basketball card release after the 1948 Bowman set, the card is highly sought after by collectors due to its the low print run.

This example of the Bill Russell rookie card was graded CSG 4.5 with sub-grades of 5 for Centering, 4.5 for Corners, 6 for Edges and 4.5 for Surface. When it was printed, the card set was prone to centering issues, grainy photos and surface debris.

Click images to enlarge.

Russell played for the Boston Celtics from 1956 to 1969. In 13 seasons, he won 11 Championships, was a 12-time All Star and a five-time Most Valuable Player. A member of the NBA 25th, 35th and 50th Anniversary Teams, Russell was recently selected as a member of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.

Topps introduced its first basketball set with only 80 cards. The company hoped that the success of its other sports cards would cross over to basketball, resulting in a large share of the basketball card market. However, Topps would go back to the drawing board with its basketball cards, and a new Topps set was not printed until 1968, making the 1957 set quite unique.

Do you collect vintage basketball cards? Submit them to CSG for expert authentication and grading and to preserve them with the state-of-the-art CSG holder. Once your cards are CSG-certified, organize and display your sets in the CSG Registry! Learn more about the CSG holder here and the CSG Registry here.

Stay Informed

Want news like this delivered to your inbox once a month? Subscribe to the free CGC eNewsletter today!


You've been subscribed to the CGC eNewsletter.

Unable to subscribe to our eNewsletter. Please try again later.

Articles List

Add CGC Card

Create a Set

Join CGC for free to add cards, track your collection and participate in the CGC Trading Cards Registry or CGC Sports Cards Registry.

Join CGC

Already a member? Sign In
Add to CGC Card Registry Example
Add to CGC Card Registry Example