1946 Sears Browns Football Cards

The Cleveland Browns were one of the eight original members of the All America Football Conference (AAFC). In 1946, the AAFC's first year, Cleveland's Sears stores and WGAR radio station sponsored a set of eight Browns cards. The cards are slightly bigger than standard sports cards, at about four inches tall. Three of the eight players in the set--Otto Graham, Dante Lavelli, and Frank Gatski--went on to Hall of Fame careers. Though these were the players' first cards, they are not considered rookie cards, because they were a minor set, distributed regionally. You can see many more such pre-rookie cards on my pre-rookie card page.

Hall of Famers Marion Motley, Lou Groza, and Bill Willis were also members of the 1946 Browns team. The Browns dominated the AAFC, winning the championship all four years of its existence. The Browns also won the NFL championship in 1950, the year that the AAFC folded and three of its teams (Cleveland, Baltimore, and San Francisco) joined the NFL.

Image Set # Card Title/Players Pro Team Position College Honors Notes Grades available at Nearmint Sports Cards
1946 Sears Browns Ernie Blandin 1946 Sears Browns 1 Ernie Blandin Cleveland Browns tackle, defensive tackle Tulane
1946 Sears Browns Jim Daniell 1946 Sears Browns 2 Jim Daniell Cleveland Browns tackle Ohio State College Hall of Fame 1977
1946 Sears Browns Fred Evans 1946 Sears Browns 3 Fred Evans Cleveland Browns halfback Notre Dame Playing for the Bears in a game in 1948, Evans recovered 2 fumbles for touchdowns. That is still an NFL record.
1946 Sears Browns Frank Gatski 1946 Sears Browns 4 Frank Gatski Cleveland Browns center Marshall Pro Football Hall of Fame 1985, Browns Ring of Honor 2010 Pre-rookie card

Gatski was inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
1946 Sears Browns Otto Graham 1946 Sears Browns 5 Otto Graham Cleveland Browns quarterback Northwestern College Hall of Fame 1956, Pro Football Hall of Fame 1965, Browns Ring of Honor 2010 Pre-rookie card, error card

"Quarterback" is misspelled "Quaterback" on this card.
1946 Sears Browns Dante Lavelli 1946 Sears Browns 6 Dante Lavelli Cleveland Browns end Ohio State Pro Football Hall of Fame 1975, Browns Ring of Honor 2010 Pre-rookie card

For other pre-rookie cards, see my pre-rookie card page.
1946 Sears Browns Mel Maceau 1946 Sears Browns 7 Mel Maceau Cleveland Browns center Marquette
1946 Sears Browns George Young 1946 Sears Browns 8 George Young Cleveland Browns end, defensive end Baldwin-Wallace