CARDS: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Topps Archives 2001
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2020, 2022
- An all-around all star athlete at football, track and baseball for Wisconsin (1941-42), and Michigan (1943-44)
- Served in the military from 1945-46.
- Selected by the NFL Cleveland Rams in the 1945 NFL Draft, but opted not to play for them.
- Signed with the Chicago Rockets of the AAFL, who were coached by his military service football coach.
- Played both ways intially, also moonlighting as CB, recording 6 interceptions for 97 yards his rookie season.
- After 4 ultimately frustrating seasons in the AAFL, finally joined the NFL in 1950, signing with the now Los Angeles Rams, who held his rights and shifted him to End.
- In 1951 set multiple NFL receiving records at the time, in only a 12 game slate.
- Incredible season had him lead NFL in 5 receiving categories, catching 66 passes for 1495 yards, (22.7 yards per reception), 17 TDs, a 91 yard long and 124.6 yards per game.
- Became one of the first multimedia darlings, as he starred in the movie ‘Crazylegs’ in 1953 based on his life.
- Appeared in two other movies of note, ‘Unchained’ (1955), and ‘Zero Hour’ (1957).
- Retired in 1957, but not after basically owning all the Rams career receiving marks (at the time).
- Returned to Rams in 1960 where he served as the franchise’s GM through the 69 season.
- Then headed back to Wisconsin where he served as Athletic Director through 1987.
- Passed away of natural causes in 2004.
- Pro Bowl 1951-53
- All Pro 1951, 1953
- Pro Football Hall of Fame 1968
- Wisconsin Hall of Fame 1964
- Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor 1984
- NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
- College Football Hall of Fame 1974
When the pandemic struck, card prices began going through the roof. This was very true when it came to things like boxes of current product, so I turned my focus towards older cards. Since I was interested mainly in the hits, aka the autographs- I started focusing in on HOFers that I could possibly snipe out of the certified autograph market via EBay. The strategy worked better than I expected, and I was able to fill out quite a few needs at this level at an affordable price.
The first player I went after was Elroy Hirsch. I waited a few weeks and studied the prices and was able to nab this one at under the going rate. I was very happy to add his certified to the collection on his Legends entry. Later I picked up this Topps Archive autograph at a fraction of the cost.
I remember watching the archival footage of him slicing through opposing defenses with ease with his strange gait, and the NFL talking about what a legacy he had across a variety of media. I had always wanted to get Crazylegs certified autograph, but thought that he would be completely out of reach.
Elroy also was ahead of his time in his receiving style, as during that period it was still unheard of for players to catch the ball over their shoulder or in stride running down the field.