Al Davis’ legacy not reflected on many cards

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Sports Card Monthly Editor

Al Davis, the controversial owner of the Oakland Raiders and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died on Saturday. He was 82.

A maverick owner whose mantra was “Just win, baby,” Davis built a franchise with an iconic silver- and- black-laced image — one that won three Super Bowls and four conference titles. In the last 15 years, though, his team had just three winning seasons.

Although he was not a player, he was an assistant coach, head coach, GM, owner and the AFL’s commissioner during a life lived in football. He also was a character — and that has led to 15 trading card appearances through the years, according to the database.

Five of Davis’ cards are autographs — two 1/1s from recent years and three certified autographs from landmark sets. He signed 100 cards as part of the Goal Line Hall of Fame Gold series, but it’s his regular signed card from the annual tribute set that fetches the most money. That card sold for as much as $450 before his death.

Davis’ only other autograph can be found in 1992 Pro Line Portraits (Pro line was one of the first NFL products to include a signature in every box) — a card that also sold for as much as $350 before the news.

As a coach Davis appears on just one item, a 1963 Coke Cap — a $100 item from when he led the Chargers. Most other items featuring Davis come from after his 1992 Hall of Fame induction and few typically sell for more than $6, though his 1992 Pro Set card (top) —  a card that typically sells for less than a nickel — fetched $12.50 on eBay this morning in the wake of the news.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Kevin
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Love him or hate him you have to admit Al Davis had the best wardrobe in football.

  2. chrisolds
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Neither card seen here really captures the essence, though. The ProLine comes close.

  3. Kevin
    Posted October 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    The bottom card does show the mans love of kick-butt eyewear.

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