Bob Cousy Basketball Cards

Bob Cousy (born 1928) was a basketball player, coach, and broadcaster. Best remembered for his scoring, ball handling, and playmaking, Cousy played for the Boston Celtics from 1950-1963, where he acquired six championship rings.

In addition to six NBA Championships, Cousy was the MVP in 1957, 13 time All Star, 10 time All NBA First Team, 8 time assists leader, an NCAA Champion, and his number 14 is retired by the Boston Celtics.

Cousy grew up in New York City to a poor pair of French immigrants. He spoke French for his first five years, and he did not learn English until entering public school. Cousy grew up playing stickball with people from a variety of races. This ingrained in him a strong sense of anti racism, which he carried into his NBA career where race issues were prominent in the Civil Rights Era in which he played.

At the age of 13, Cousy discovered basketball and fell in love. Cousy was cut during tryouts during his first two attempts for his school team. He broke his hand after his second try. Continuing to play outside of school with his broken hand, Cousy became ambidextrous on the court.

Cousy grew as a player, making JV and then Varsity in high school. He went to Holy Cross, where he saw playing time as a Freshman. Holy Cross won the NCAA Tournament in 1947 during his Freshman season. Cousy did terribly in the finals, shooting 2 for 13. Though Holy Cross did not repeat its success, Cousy gained more playing time, became the team leader, and he ended his collegiate career as a three time All American.

Declaring for the 1950 draft, Cousy was projected to be the #1 pick, but it was a bit more chaotic of a situation than it would be today. The league was just beginning, and the process was a bit hectic in 1950.

First, Red Auerbach, GM of the Boston Celtics, did not want him, despite some newspaper and fan controversy. Thus, Cousy was drafted by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. Cousy was attempting to start a driving school business, and he disliked the small market of the Blackhawks, so he demanded a high $10,000 salary. In 1950, any reasonable man would have a backup to basketball.

After refusing to report for the Blackhawks, Cousy was picked up by the Chicago Stags, who quickly went bankrupt. Cousy was selected by chance by the Boston Celtics in a dispersal draft even though the Celtics truly did not want him.

Yet! The Celtics organization, including Auerbach, and Cousy soon changed their minds. In Cousy’s first year, the struggling Celtics went from a 22-46 record to a 39-30 record.

Cousy established himself as a leader and one of the best in the nascent league. The Celtics success in the regular season and playoffs continued to grow, culminating in six championships during Cousy’s tenure.

The breakthrough for the Celtics and Cousy came in the 1956 NBA Draft when Auerbach drafted future Hall of Famers Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell. The next year, Cousy won MVP, and the Celtics won the title. Cousy led the offense, and Bill Russell dominated on defense.

Cousy and the Celtics excelled. Naturally, Cousy grew older, and he had to retire at 34. Then President John F. Kennedy wired the retiring Cousy, “The game bears an indelible stamp of your rare skills and competitive daring.”

Given the time period of basketball trading cards, there are not many cards featuring Cousy. But, there are a few cards that do him justice.

1951 Berk Ross Bob Cousy

The 1951 Berk Ross is a multi sport set, which includes football, golf, figure skating, basketball, and Olympic athletes. There are 72 cards in the set, and they measure at 2 ⅙” x 2 ½”. The set is also known as the “Hit Parade of Champions.”

The cards were released into four subsets. Each subset has 10 baseball players. Bob Cousy is located at card number 1-11.

Since it is a minor brand and a multi sport set, the Berk Ross 1951 Bob Cousy is somewhat lessened as a rookie card. Though the card is released closer to his rookie year, the 1951 Berk Ross is far less valuable than the 1957 Topps.

The set is not exceptionally rare, but there are only 100 cards registered by PSA, and none of them are above grade 8. The most expensive registered sale was in November of 2020 for $1,246.22 for a PSA 7.

1957 Topps Bob Cousy

The 1957 Topps is an important set as Topps initial foray into the basketball card market. Topps would immediately exit, and the would return with a test set in 1968 to stick around for a few years.

There are 80 cards of standard size in the set. As the first major set for the NBA in several years, there are a number of important rookie cards, which includes Bob Cousy. The most important rookie card is for Bill Russell, and other notable rookie cards are Maurice Stokes, Bill Sharman, Bob Petit, and Jack Twyman.

Another important aspect to this set is that high grade cards are scarce. Difficulties with poor centering, surface snow, and grainy pictures are common.

There are well over 700 cards registered by PSA. As mentioned above, this is the most expensive Cousy card around. There are only a few PSA Mint 9 cards surviving, so sales of the card are scarce. But, a PSA 8 sold for $26,100 in September of 2020.

1961 Fleer Bob Cousy

The 1961 Fleer has 66 cards of standard size, and the major rookie cards include Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, and Elgin Baylor. For most players, there are two cards. The standard card is lower numbered from #1-44 and more valuable, and the “In Action” cards are considered secondary and measured #45-66. Cousy’s cards are found at #10 and #49.

Cousy’s #10 has over 600 cards registered by PSA. Mint condition cards were selling in 2020 for about $1,500. As the 1961 Fleer is an important and well respected set, it’s one of the best chances for a collector to get a solid Cousy card when compared with the pricier 1957 Topps and less well regarded 1951 Berk Ross.


There were not many basketball cards in production in the early days of the NBA. These are the only three solid cards available for Cousy.

Cousy is an important early player in NBA history. He is particularly remembered for his time spent with the “Bill Russell Celtics” of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cousy is commemorated through his cards as a piece of basketball history.