If you collect sports cards, chances are high that you’re a big sports fan. It’s also likely that you’re a fan of sports movies. There’s been some great characters over the years and many of those characters even have their own sports card. Many of these cards are highly collectible especially the autographed versions. You’ll notice that most are from a special set and I hope card companies produce many more in the upcoming years. Here are the most recognized fictional athletes that have a sports card produced for them.
Rocky Balboa (Rocky): Everyone knows how legendary the Philly southpaw was in the boxing world. His in the ring battles with Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, and Ivan Drago were a must see on the big screen. Rocky has his own card in the 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter set.
Al Bundy (Married With Children): The pride of Polk High score four touchdowns in the city championship. If it wasn’t for being held back by Peg, Al would’ve went on to be the greatest running back in the NFL. Bundy has a card in 2007 Upper Deck Spectrum of stars and from Leaf in their 2015 NSCC promo cards.
Apollo Creed (Rocky): Yes, the man who gave Rocky his shot at the big time also has a card. You can find a card from the “King of Sting” in the 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter set. He has other cards from smaller sets, but many aren’t recognized. Carl Weathers also has football cards from various years throughout the early to mid 70’s.
Paul Crewe (The Longest Yard): From the Original “The Longest Yard” movie. The card is from the 2008 Upper Deck Icons “Movie Icons Letterman” set. Although the picture isn’t of Reynolds in character, the print run of the letters spells out “Paul Crewe.”
Crash Davis (Bull Durham): Crash was a career minor leaguer, that passed his knowledge for the game along to the youngsters. Bull Durham was one of the greatest baseball movies of all time so it’s only logical that Topps would print out a set honoring the movie in the 2016 Topps Archives set.
Roger Dorn (Major League): As the third baseman for the Cleveland Indians in “Major League,” Dorn seemed to only have money on his mind. You can find his card in the 2014 Topps Archives set.
Ivan Drago (Rocky IV): Rocky’s biggest nemesis after killing his best friend Apollo Creed in the ring. He was portrayed as a big and scary Russian (Lundgren is actually Swedish), Rocky comes back to the ring one last time to avenge the death of his friend. Drago has a card in the 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter set.
Mike Engelberg (Bad News Bears): The chubby loud mouthed catcher for “The Bad News Bears” was a fan favorite. Engelberg has a card in the 2013 Panini Golden Age set.
Eddie Harris (Major League): Harris clearly was modeling Gaylord Perry as he was a veteran pitcher with a weakening arm. So he turned to the Vaseline Ball. Harris must have found time between his holy war with Cerrano to make a baseball card in the 2014 Topps Archives set.
Roy Hobbs (The Natural): The greatest comeback story of all time along with a bat named “Wonder Boy” makes Hobbs an all-time favorite. This card is sort of unique. It’s not produced by any of the top companies, but it was printed for the movie in the 1940 Play Ball design. You can still find a few cards for sale today.
Jobu (Major League): If you love the movie, then you have to love Jobu. The two-feet tall voodoo figurine was worshiped by Pedro Cerrano who fed the little guy full of rum and a cigar to help him hit a curve ball. Jobu can be found in a 2014 Topps Archives special edition 5 x 7 set.
Ray Kinsella (Field of Dreams): “If you build it, they will come.” That has to be one of the most popular lines among any sports related movie. Kinsella has a card in Topps 2016 Allen & Ginter Mini. The auto card fetches a good bit of money online given that a Kevin Costner auto seems to be valuable.
Nuke Laloosh (Bull Durham): The “Nuke” is a know it all pitcher who throws hard, but lacks control. He looks for advice from Crash Davis to help become solid enough to reach the majors. Check him out in 2016 Topps Archives.
Clubber Lang (Rocky III): This movie was where Mr. T coined the phrase ” I pity the fool.” He gave Rocky a brutal beating in their first match, but does anyone stand a chance after “Eye of the Tiger” plays? I didn’t think so. His card is also in the 2015 Topps Allen & Ginter set.
Kelly Leak (Bad News Bears): The bad boy of little league baseball that produced a lot of power and helped the Bears put their losing ways behind him. He also loved to terrorize the town with his dirt bike. His baseball card is in the 2013 Panini Golden Age set.
Ahmad Abdul Rahim (Bad News Bears): He was my favorite character in all three of the original movies. He had speed and swagger. Another of the Bears players in the 2013 Panini Golden Age set.
Leon Sandcastle (NFL Network): Even though retired, Deion Sanders thought he still could play at a higher level than the incoming 2013 draft class. So he goes undercover with an afro and claims to be from Primetime University. Sandcastle has cards in the 2013 Bowman, Score, and Prestige football card sets. Side note: A stunt double was used in action shots and the stuntman was Andre Dawson, cornerback from Ball State.
Rudi Stein (Bad News Bears): He may have looked nerdy and nervous all the time, but Rudi was the man. Knowingly a bad hitter, Stein was always being asked by Coach Buttermaker get hit by a pitch to get on base. A cool baseball card to own and it’s in the 2013 Panini Golden Age set.
Jake Taylor ( Major League): The captain of the Cleveland Indians’ miraculous comeback to win the A.L. pennant. I still love him calling his shot and bunting instead. A great movie and Tom Berenger plays the part great. Taylor’s baseball card is also in the 2014 Topps Archives set.
Ricky Vaughn (Major League): Vaughn got his call to the majors from the California Penal League. He threw a triple digit heater, but had no control whatsoever. Hence the nickname “Wild Thing.” His baseball card is in the 2014 Topps Archives set and the auto by Charlie Sheen is one that is highly sought after from both collectors and investors.
Toby Whitewood (Bad News Bears): Often the spokesperson for the Bears, Whitewood played first base for the team of misfits. His parents were the ones in both the original and the remake movies that bribed the coaches to coach the Bears. They may have bribed Panini as well since he’s in the 2013 Golden Age set.
Amanda Whurlitzer (Bad News Bears): Played by Tatum O’Neal, Whurlitzer is a 12-year-old who feels insecure about her tomboy image, but his a great pitcher. She can throw some heat and helped the Bears go from the laughing stock to one of the best in the state. Her baseball card is in the 2013 Panini Golden Age set.
There’s also a few more from the 2016 Topps Bull Durham series. Hopefully, card companies like Topps and Panini will see the interest and popularity with fictional athletes and will print more in the upcoming years. Personally, I’d love to see Bobby Boucher or Jackie Moon with their own card.