Rookie Card Year: 1979
Investment Rating: 5.0 (Average)
Earl Campbell was selected out of the University of Texas at Austin as the number one overall pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1978 NFL Draft. He was powerful and compact runner who was happy to punish would-be tacklers when given the chance.
Campbell's NFL career was limited to just eight years after suffering from multiple injuries. He has the unique distinction of being one of only three players to win a Heisman Trophy, be the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft and be elected to both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame. O.J. Simpson and Paul Hornung are the other two.
Despite the abbreviated career, the 1978 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year amassed an impressive resume of statistics and accolades: 1979 AP NFL MVP, five-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All Pro player. Campbell accumulated 9,407 rushing yards on 2,187 attempts and 74 touchdowns.
Earl Campbell football card collectors have just one rookie card to track down: 1979 Topps Football #390. His signature is available on the secondary market but, because of health issues, not to the degree of other living Hall of Famers. Numerous surgeries and ailments have sidelined his post-retirement career and limited his appearance at autograph signings and memorabilia shows.
Earl Campbell Rookie Cards
His only rookie card, Campbell is pictured in a close-up shot that shows his massive upper body. The clay card stock and white borders are prone to edge wear and print dots. As a result, high grades of this card can command four figures. A variation of the card with a cream-colored back also exists, most likely the result of an error in the printing process.