Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about football and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the football urban legends featured so far.
FOOTBALL URBAN LEGEND: Joe Namath posed for his Topps rookie card while still in the hospital.
One of the notable differences in the world of sports cards nowadays as opposed to the early days of Topps sports cards is the pictures on the fronts of the cards. Today, you routinely get detailed shots of the players in action – hitting home runs, dunking the basketball, throwing a touchdown pass, shooting the puck and more. Early on, though, almost all cards were just simple head shots of a player or, for variety’s sake, players posed in a few different standard “action” shots (like a player crouched over as if they were fielding a ball). Heck, sometimes Topps even re-used the photos for some players in multiple years! While it did not always make for the most interesting looking cards, it was at least very simple to get the necessary shots for the cards. In fact, since they often used a blank background, you could get a shot for a card pretty much anywhere – it did not have to come on the actual field and/or court. Never was this more evident than with the 1965 Topps rookie card of Joe Namath – a card posed for by Namath while he was in the hospital!
Read on to see how this strange event came about…