In the world of sports memorabilia, few names carry as much weight as Jim Brown. The legendary Cleveland Browns running back dominated the NFL in the late 1950s and early 1960s, earning nine Pro Bowl selections and three MVP awards during his career. And while there are countless Jim Brown collectibles out there, few are as intriguing as the six Kahn’s Wieners football cards he appeared on between 1959 and 1964. Initially, a regional set focused on players from the Browns and the Steelers, the Kahn’s Wieners cards featuring Brown have become highly sought-after by collectors. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at each of the six cards, examining their design, graded populations, and current market values.
Also, if you’re looking for more detailed information on the Kahn’s Wieners football cards, I’ve just completed set overviews for all of them on the Oddball Archive.
1959 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
Kahn’s released their first football set in 1959, and each card’s front featured a black-and-white player photo, a facsimile autograph, and Kahn’s slogan along the bottom. The backs had simple biographical information, which for Brown included his team, name and position, height, weight, college, years in the NFL, and hometown.
The photo that Kahn’s used is nearly identical to the one used for Brown’s 1958 Topps card, perhaps taken moments before or after.
Anyway, along with that 1958 Topps card, Brown’s 1959 Kahn’s Wiener is one of his most significant cards. However, PSA has only graded 15 1959 Kahn’s Wieners Brown cards, along with seven from SGC, while PSA has graded over 4500 1958 Topps Brown cards, and SGC has graded almost 1400 of them.
In September 2022, Memory Lane Inc sold a PSA 7 1959 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown PSA 7 graded card for $3534. A few months earlier, in March, Robert Edward Auctions sold a PSA 3 for $3960
1960 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
The 1960 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown is harder to find than his 1959 copy. PSA has only graded six of them, with SGC adding 3. Perhaps that’s because of the Photo Album and Instruction Book that Kahn’s advertised on the back of the card. Many kids may have pasted the cards into the albums that eventually got thrown out, or maybe the production run was smaller in 1960.
It’s hard to price this card since so few exist. But in September 2022, a PSA 7 (MC) sold for $726. However, in April 2021, a PSA 6 (MC) sold for $1980. The third sale on PSA’s APR was way back in May 2017 when a PSA 1 sold for $343.
1961 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
Kahn’s made the 1961 football cards a little larger and changed up the offer for the booklet a bit on the back of the cards. They used a similar action photo of Brown as the previous cards on the front. PSA has graded 18 1961 Kahn’s Brown cards, and SGC has added six to the total population.
In September 2022, Memory Lane sold a PSA 8 copy for just under $5k. But mid-grade cards were going for around $650 in 2020 and 2021.
1962 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
The big change in 1962 that you can see on Brown’s card is, of course, a slightly different pose, but his stats on the back are double-spaced, and his name is bolded. This is also the only Kahn’s football set where you could argue that Brown is not the set’s key card; in 1962, that distinction goes to Fran Tarkenton.
PS has graded 36 1962 Kahn’s Jim Brown cards (including one Mint 9 copy), and SGC has graded eight.
The most recent sales include a PSA 7 for $930 in December 2022 and a PSA 7.5 for $1558 in September 2022.
I highlighted the 1962 Kahn’s card in an article called 5 Jim Brown Football Cards for the Master Collector.
1963 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
The big and unpopular design change to the 1963 Kahn’s set was the addition of a white border around the black-and-white player photo. PSA has graded 34 of Brown’s 1963 Kahn’s Wieners cards (including a pair of PSA 9s), and SGC has graded 9.
The last PSA 9 sale I can see a record for was back in 2009 when Memory Lane Inc sold one of them for $2543. More recently, Memory Lane sold a PSA 8.5 for $1886 in September 2022. A PSA 7 pushed the $1k price point in March 2022 when one sold for $990.
1964 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown
The 1964 Kahn’s Wieners Jim Brown card is popular because it’s the only one printed in color, and it’s also more commonly found in nice condition. PSA has graded 41 of them, and six have achieved a Mint 9 grade. SGC has added 11 Brown cards to the graded population, making it the most graded Kahn’s Jim Brown card.
One of the PSA 9 copies sold for $3960 in April 2021 in Robert Edward Auctions’ spring catalog. The card was resold in September 2022 in Memory Lane’s auction, but it only brought in $2414. The most recent sale in PSA’s APR is a PSA 7 that went for $750 in September 2022.
In conclusion, Jim Brown’s Kahn’s Wieners football cards are highly sought-after collectibles for sports card enthusiasts. While all the action photos appear to have been taken on the same day, the set provides a unique snapshot of Brown’s career during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Acquiring all six cards would be a remarkable accomplishment for any collector. Happy collecting! And for more hobby news and writing, be sure to subscribe to The Post War Cards Newsletter.