Steve Largent didn’t have the style and grace of Lance Alworth or play in a game-changing offense like Jerry Rice, but his inclusion on the NFL’s 100th Anniversary Team with those those two means that he is considered one of the greatest receivers of all time. He earned that distinction by running perfect pass routes and catching everything thrown his way in a 14-year career with the Seattle Seahawks.
Steve Largent had an All-American career at the University of Tulsa and was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the fourth round of the 1976 NFL Draft. He was sent to Seattle at the end of training camp in a deal that proved to be one of the most lopsided in NFL history. In the trade the Oilers received an eighth round pick in the 1977 draft that they used to select Steve Davis, who ultimately never played an NFL game. The Seahawks got a future Hall of Fame receiver and the greatest player in the history of their organization in Steve Largent.
In fourteen seasons in the Pacific Northwest, Largent ran routes, caught passes, scored touchdowns and shattered records. He led the NFL in receiving in 1979 and 1985, was selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, was the NFL’s Man of the Year in 1988, was named to the NFL’s 1980s All-Decade Team, the Seahawks Ring of Honor and had his #80 retired by the team. When he retired after the 1989 season, Largent held the NFL records for most receptions in a career (819), most receiving yards in a career (13,089), and most touchdown receptions (100). He caught passes in 177 consecutive games (at that point an NFL record) and was the first receiver to amass 100 touchdown receptions in his career.
Simply put, Largent was one of the greatest players to ever catch a football and fortunately for collectors there are a wide variety of his cards to add to your collection. Now let’s take a closer look at Largent’s imprint on the hobby through four key cards found in his 13-card Basic Topps Set checklist.
Simple and understated, but still of great value… This description would be as apt for Steve Largent’s rookie card as it would be for the man, himself. The card shows Largent from the shoulders up, his face partially obscured by shadow. His helmet is free of a team logo as was standard practice with Topps football cards of the era. All told, the card itself presents rather blandly.
However, that is where the plainness ends. The 1977 Topps set consists of 528 standard-sized cards and Largent (#177) is one of five Hall of Fame rookie cards in the set, along with Lee Roy Selmon (#29), Mike Haynes (#50), Harry Carson (#146) and Dave Casper (#380). Likely due to the inferior stock on which these cards were printed, high grade 1977s are not readily accessible. Nearly 3,300 Steve Largent rookie cards have been submitted to PSA, and yet only 25 cards have earned a grade of Gem Mint 10. Recent sales of these cards show a price range of $3,200 to $4,200.
At 10.00, this is Largent’s most heavily weighted card in his Basic Set checklist on the PSA Set Registry and has the highest trading card value. Weights are determined by the card’s secondary market value using a scale from 1.00 to 10.00 with 10.00 being the most expensive. Using two different PSA grades for the card, here are its current industry average auction prices:
PSA Mint 9: $150
PSA Gem Mint 10: $3,000
The 528-card 1978 Topps set has a simple design that remains popular with collectors today. Like most of his cards, the Largent issue (#443) shows the young Seahawks star in a relaxed pose and away from game action.
These cards have held up better than others from the era, as can be seen in the PSA Population Report. Of the nearly 800 examples submitted for grading, 26 have received a grade of PSA 10, which is a considerably higher ratio than that of his rookie card the year before. As would be expected, the price for these cards is considerably less as well, which bodes well for collectors interested in attractive, high-grade cards.
PSA Mint 9: $20
PSA Gem Mint 10: $250
Largent’s 1979 Topps issue is the lone card in his Basic Set that shows the Seattle receiver in game action. In the image, Largent appears to be turning back to his quarterback after a pass route and hoping that the ball is coming his way. A crisp white border and classic All-Pro symbol make this card exceptionally attractive and a real classic for 1970s football collectors.
Of the 500+ cards submitted for grading, 45 now reside in PSA 10 slabs. The combination of attractive card, growing high-grade populations and affordability make this one of the most popular of all Largent’s cards. The most recent PSA 10 example sold for just $120 in October 2019, and PSA 9s can be had for a fraction of that price.
PSA Mint 9: $20
PSA Gem Mint 10: $115
Steve Largent’s 1985 Topps card is notable for two reasons. First, it is the lone card in his Basic Set that sports a horizontal format. Second, it features fragile black borders that chip easily and make PSA 10 examples incredibly difficult to obtain. Nearly 300 examples have been submitted for grading and while more than 120 are worthy of PSA 9 ratings, only eight examples have been graded Gem Mint 10.
PSA Mint 9: $10
PSA Gem Mint 10: $180
Steve Largent Cards Required to Complete the Set
(with PSA weights included)
- 1977 Topps #177 Steve Largent (10.00)
- 1978 Topps #443 Steve Largent (4.00)
- 1979 Topps #198 Steve Largent (3.00)
- 1980 Topps #450 Steve Largent (3.00)
- 1981 Topps #271 Steve Largent (2.00)
- 1982 Topps #249 Steve Largent (2.00)
- 1983 Topps #389 Steve Largent (2.00)
- 1984 Topps #196 Steve Largent (2.00)
- 1985 Topps #389 Steve Largent (2.00)
- 1986 Topps #203 Steve Largent (1.00)
- 1987 Topps #177 Steve Largent (1.00)
- 1988 Topps #135 Steve Largent (1.00)
- 1989 Topps #183 Steve Largent (1.00)
Here are the images of the entire set within the image gallery section of the Set Registry.
After 14 years in the National Football League, Steve Largent threw his hat into the world of politics and in 1994 won the election to become Oklahoma’s 1st District Congressman. He served four consecutive terms in Congress before losing the election for Governor of Oklahoma in 2002. After leaving politics, Largent had a long and successful run in the wireless communications industry.
Largent is highly respected on the football field, political arena and the trading card world. He is a model of hard work and success and it’s no wonder that hobbyists want to add his pasteboards to their collections. Collectors today would be wise to look into the Steve Largent Basic Topps Set on the PSA Set Registry and consider assembling a set for themselves. You could do much worse than adding this All-American success story to your own hobby holdings.Start Your Set Today