1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Card: A Closer Look

brown-rookieWhen we speak of all-time football greats, Jim Brown is usually a centerpiece of any discussion.

In fact, a 2019 USA Today poll of nineteen pro football writers saw Brown ranked as the number four pro football player of all time. 

In the hobby, Brown’s 1958 Topps rookie card remains one of the most sought-after cards for vintage football card collectors.

And in high grade, the card is among the most valuable football cards in the hobby.

In this guide, we take a closer look at Jim Brown, the football player, while examining his rookie card — including the existing population, card values, and future investment potential. 

Jim Brown As A Player

Standing at six foot two and weighing in at 230 pounds, Jim Brown will forever go down in history as one of the all-time best multisport athletes. Brown played not only football, but basketball, track and lacrosse as a student at Syracuse University.

In fact, while Brown was a remarkable football player at Syracuse, he was also a great lacrosse player, even earning a spot in the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.  

Brown however would find football to be his sport of choice, and in 1957 he was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the sixth pick in the first round of the NFL draft.  

Brown combined the perfect combination of power and speed and ran a sub 4.5 forty yard dash. He didn't disappoint, winning rookie of the year in '57, putting up 942 yards and ten touchdowns

Brown would play nine total seasons with the Browns, winning eight rushing titles over those nine years.  He left the game he loved at the age of 30, never missing a game over his nine seasons in the NFL.  

Despite the NFL only playing 12 games per season during his NFL career, Brown managed to amass an amazing 1863 yards in 1963,  and his career total of 126 touchdowns stood as a league record until Marcus Allen broke the mark in 1994.   

"Jim ran from a split backfield where you started from about three yards out behind the line of scrimmage.  He didn't have the luxury of starting from seven yards deep and the advantage that gives you in picking your holes.  He was that rare player who combined all the talents desired in a running back. He moved with speed and he also had the power to run over defenders.

Brown would be elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1971 leaving a legacy as one of the best running backs to play in the National Football League.

A Look At The Front and Back of The 58 Topps Brown Rookie

The front of the Brown rookie card features the legendary running back in his classic running pose in a sort of odd looking farm/forest background.  The simplicity of the '58 Topps set is in my opinion what also gives it such as appeal, with the white borders and black frame.

brown-rookie

The back of the card shows a brief bio of Brown with a stat line from the previous year.  There is also a 'Football Fun' section which allowed fans to scratch off the section with a coin to reveal an answer to a trivia question--in this case,  'What is the nickname of N.Carolina U.?  

It's sort of hard to tell, but the first card below has been graded whereas the second card (which is a PSA 9) has not been scratched. Note that a scratched card will be awarded a lower grade by any of the grading companies. 

Brown rookie back unscratched

How Much Is A Jim Brown Rookie Card Worth?

Jim Brown's official rookie card is his 1958 Topps #62 card.  A mint copy of the card (PSA 9) is worth on average between $300,000 to $350,000.  Note that PSA has not graded any PSA 10 (Gem Mint) copies of Brown's rookie card.

1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie PSA Authentic 📈🔥

$1,999.99  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-09-2021 11:20:40 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,999.99
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1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC-S)

$150,000.00  
End Date: Saturday Jun-12-2021 23:41:15 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $150,000.00
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1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 PSA 6 EXMT

$7,000.00  
End Date: Monday Jun-07-2021 16:42:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $7,000.00
Buy It Now

JIM BROWN BVG 2.5 1958 TOPPS FOOTBALL #62 ROOKIE CARD RC BROWNS HOF 

$536.00  (23 bids)
End Date: Monday May-17-2021 21:57:01 EDT

Bid
auction-prices-realized

Recent PSA auction prices of Jim Brown's 1958 Topps rookie card

For collector's with a lighter budget, Brown rookie cards in Poor condition sell for less than $1000.  However anything even low to mid grade is going to sell for multiple thousands of dollars. 

What's The Current Graded Population For Brown's Rookie Card?

In total, PSA has graded more than 4,000 copies of Brown's rookie card (including qualifiers).  Note that this number doesn't include any graded copies from Beckett or SGC.  

As shown in the chart below, PSA has only graded 5 PSA 9 copies of Brown's rookie, which is one of the reasons the card is worth over $300K.  Even NM-MT (PSA 8) copies are relatively scarce, with less than 200 copies graded by PSA.

brown-pop-psa

PSA Population of Jim Brown's rookie card

Ultimately, the graded total at ~4,000 doesn't make the card rare, but given the high demand for Jim Brown's rookie card, it helps explain why the card has been so popular in recent years. 

How Much Is An Autographed Jim Brown Rookie Worth?

I've seen sales on eBay for an autographed Jim Brown rookie card averaging between $2000 to $10,000 or so, depending on the card's condition and grade of the auto.

Surprisingly, there seem to be a fair amount of Brown rookie auto's available for sale, showing that Brown has signed a decent amount of these.  Still, I always find autographed rookie cards to be more desirable than the original card itself, just based on the rarity of the item in general. 

I actually think that given the rise in Jim Brown rookie pricing, the autographed copies are a better investment.  Here's an example of an Excellent graded copy that sold for a little over $5800.   Note that a PSA 5, non auto sells for around $3000, so to have one this nice that is autographed...to me it's worth that big premium. 

auto-brown

Jim Brown Signed 1958 Topps Football #62 RC Rookie HOF AUTO PSA/DNA PSA 10 auto

$2,999.99  
End Date: Saturday Jun-05-2021 17:05:33 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,999.99
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1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie Auto RC Cleveland Browns #62 BGS Authenticated

$2,500.00  
End Date: Monday May-17-2021 21:24:17 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $5,500.00
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1958 Topps Jim Brown #62 Rookie BVG 5 & 2009 Gridiron Gear Auto Cleveland Browns

$4,500.00  
End Date: Saturday Jun-12-2021 14:39:08 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,500.00
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1958 Topps JIM BROWN #62 BVG BGS 5 JSA 10 Auto Autograph Rookie RC Signed Jimmy

$10,000.00  
End Date: Friday Jun-04-2021 01:20:51 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $10,000.00
Buy It Now

How To Spot A Fake Jim Brown Rookie Card

I haven't personally viewed a good Brown fake in person, but I'm sure they exist, so I would heed caution if buying any raw Brown rookies.  The same rules would apply--get yourself some 58 Topps commons and examine the print.  Compare it to the card in question and see if it matches up.  

There are some very obvious fakes I've seen for sale on eBay.  Here's one with crystal clear white borders and a bright red back.  Also note that the 'Football Fun' section is bright white.   Overall, it's typically rarer to find one that hasn't been scratched, but it still will have some age and texture (as the authentic back shown previously).

A fake Jim Brown rookie

A fake back on a Jim Brown rookie

What's The Investment Potential?

While Jim Brown rookies have been on fire of late, I still say that over the long run, his rookie card should continue to be a good investment.  Assuming the floor doesn't fall out on vintage football cards, I'd say Brown rookies should hold up well.

Higher grade Brown rookies should continue to rise in value, and I personally think that better condition Brown autograph rookie cards tend to be undervalued.  I consider Brown to be in the same stratosphere as Ruth, Williams, Cobb and Wagner, but in the football world.  We all know that vintage football tends to be unloved, but Brown is a guy that should have staying power for quite some time to come. 

Jim Brown Rookie Cards For Sale on eBay

If you're looking for a Brown rookie card, we still would recommend opting for a graded copy.  PSA rookies tend to sell for a premium, so you could ultimately consider SGC or BVG slabs for a bit of a discount.  Remember buy the card, not the grade.   We've listed some of the Brown rookies for sale on eBay below.  

1958 Topps Jim Brown Rookie PSA Authentic 📈🔥

$1,999.99  
End Date: Wednesday Jun-09-2021 11:20:40 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $1,999.99
Buy It Now

1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC-S)

$150,000.00  
End Date: Saturday Jun-12-2021 23:41:15 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $150,000.00
Buy It Now

1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 PSA 6 EXMT

$7,000.00  
End Date: Monday Jun-07-2021 16:42:50 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $7,000.00
Buy It Now

JIM BROWN BVG 2.5 1958 TOPPS FOOTBALL #62 ROOKIE CARD RC BROWNS HOF 

$536.00  (23 bids)
End Date: Monday May-17-2021 21:57:01 EDT

Bid

1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 PSA 5 EX

$4,100.00  
End Date: Saturday Jun-05-2021 09:49:28 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $4,100.00
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1958 Topps Football Jim Brown ROOKIE RC #62 SGC 7 NRMT

$20,000.00  
End Date: Thursday Jun-10-2021 22:04:47 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $20,000.00
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1958 Topps Jim Jimmy Brown Rookie Card 62 PSA 4  FRESH GRADED

$1,000.00  (1 bid)
End Date: Sunday May-16-2021 12:52:02 EDT

Bid

1958 TOPPS #62 JIM BROWN ROOKIE - PSA AUTHENTIC (SVSC) - CENTERED!

$2,999.99  
End Date: Tuesday May-25-2021 10:15:01 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $2,999.99
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1958 Topps RC Rookie Jimmy Jim Brown Graded SGC 3.5 VG+ Card #62 Cleveland RARE

$1,022.00  (13 bids)
End Date: Sunday May-16-2021 21:30:39 EDT

Bid

Jim Brown 1958 Topps #62 Cleveland Browns HOF Rookie Card

$649.99  
End Date: Thursday Jun-10-2021 14:38:37 EDT
Buy It Now for only: $649.99
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