Bruce Smith's 1941 Heisman Trophy Coming to Auction

You Could Own the Actual Heisman From the Former Golden Gopher
  • November 24, 2020

Twitter User SCPAuctions

Only 79 people have ever had the honor of raising a Heisman Trophy.  The award given to the top collegiate football player in the entire Nation, The Heisman, is usually unattainable to you and I.  Fortunately for us, an actual trophy is about to come to auction tomorrow! 

While your sports memorabilia collection may hold some incredible items, you'd be hard pressed to find a Heisman trophy not just on your shelf but in any collection - ever..  The award given annually to the top Collegiate football player, only 79 different people have won the Heisman Trophy; the hardware is pretty rare.  There are fewer Heisman trophy awards than there are Super Bowl rings available to the public.  If you're interested in a super top-of-the-line item to add to your collection, you could now own a real, actual Heisman Trophy.

The Heisman Trophy

In 1935, the Downtown Athletic Club, a private social and athletic club in Manhattan, NY., created an award for the best NCAA football player.  A year later, the club's Athletic Director passed away, and the club decided to name the trophy after the late Director - John Heisman. 

Frank Eliscu was the sculptor hired to create the trophy. Eliscu asked his former classmate and NFL player, Ed Smith, to pose for the trophy and Smith delivered that iconic stiff arm pose you see today.  

The status is bronze, weighs 45 (!) pounds, is 13.5 inches tall, 14 inches long, and the width is 16 inches; the Heisman is a big trophy!

Eligible voters consist of:

  • Sports journalists - currently 870 total
  • Previous winners of the Heisman 
  • Fans 

Fan votes count as 1 Heisman vote while previous winners and sports journalists list three different players on their ballot.  The top player on each voter's ballot receives three points, the second player receives two points, and the third player gets one point towards their Heisman point tally.

The players receiving the most votes are invited to the award presentation.  No fewer than three players are invited but depending on how close vote totals are, more than three finalists may be invited to the ceremony.

To date, only 79 players have been awarded the Heisman Trophy with 81 total awards being given out.  In 1974 and 1975, Ohio State Running Back, Archie Griffin, won the award both seasons.

The 1941 Heisman award was given to Bruce Smith of Minnesota.  That trophy could now be yours!

This blog is sponsored by JUST COLLECT where we specialize in buying vintage cards, autographs, and collections. We have been fortunate to buy and sell game-used memorabilia such as a 1972 Mike Reid Bengals jersey a vintage 1967 worn practice jersey from the Warriors and we also break news stories about quirky memorabilia like the album John Lennon signed to his killer, Mark David Chapman. Can't say we've ever owned a Heisman, though!

Bruce Smith:

Playing for Minnesota, Bruce Smith lead the Golden Gophers to back-to-back National Championships in 1940 and 1941.  The 1941 season was capped with Smith winning the prestigious Heisman award.  

The 1941 award was presented just two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  After winning the Heisman, Smith served in WWII as a US Navy Fighter Pilot.

Smith played in the NFL for two teams over three seasons, suiting up for the Packers and Rams between 1945 and 1948. Unfortunately, Bruce Smith succumbed to cancer in 1967.

Tomorrow, the actual Heisman presented to Bruce Smith in 1941 will be available for sale! 



WHEN: 1/25/2020 10:00:00 AM

COST:  Minimum bid = $100,000 

If you're wondering how the trophy is able to be sold, it wasn't until 1999 when the club decided to implement a rule that players could NOT sell the award.  Winners prior to 1999 COULD sell the award, but few chose to. Only 11 trophies have made their way to the public - 11.


If you had the financial means to win the auction, or if you just want to day dream like us, HOW would you display the trophy?  Has only 11 trophies have been sold, this piece of memorabilia is more rare than a T-206 Honus Wagner, a Super Bowl ring, or a game-used Michael Jordan jersey.  This trophy couldn't just sit on your shelf!

For me, I'd straight up go Raiders of the Lost Ark flooring and a pedestal.  Visitors may admire this beautiful trophy from afar if they can't figure the combination.


I kid!  ...maybe.  I'd probably keep the trophy in my living room for my friends and family to see.  All would be welcome to lift the trophy over their heads like all real winners do, and give a speech; how cool would that be?

How about you - where you putting the trophy when/if you could buy it?


Earlier we mentioned that JUST COLLECT specializes in buying collections.

Maybe you were recently handed down cards from your grandparents like 1960's Topps sets.  Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic has had you bored and you're digging into cards you forgot you had like a 1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter Rookie. If you're looking find more information out about your items and would be interested in selling:

  • We offer FREE appraisals HERE
  • Learn how to PROTECT your cards HERE
  • Shipping Tips for your cards HERE

One of the best features we offer for an appraisal is to SHIP your cards to us!  With safety and travel restrictions being an issue during the Covid pandemic, we want to provide the safest and easiest way for you to sell your cards.  We also know it takes forever to send photos of each card if you're looking to sell a full set or collection.  If you choose to mail your cards, we will evaluate your cards for FREE still. If you choose not to sell the cards,  we will ship them back shipping fees paid by us!  

Shipping information is all listed out in our free appraisal form

Plenty of ways to reach out to us:



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