April 8th, 2011 | Published in Player Deaths
Joe Heap, who played halfback for the New York Giants in 1955, passed away on April 6. According to an article about him on the Allstate Sugar Bowl web site, Heap left the Giants after one season to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to joining the Giants, Heap starred at Notre Dame. The Sugar Bowl article includes a nice account of his college career.
Though he spent only one season in the NFL, Heap appeared on an NFL football card, the 1955 Bowman card pictured here. (The 1955 Bowman set is the only vintage set I can think of that identified rookies on the fronts of the cards.) I believe that the image on Heap’s card was originally a black-and-white photo of him in his Notre Dame uniform, and that Bowman added the Giants colors. The uniform he is wearing on his card appears to be the same one he is wearing in the photo in the Sugar Bowl article noted above. Also, according to his page at pro-football-reference.com, Heap wore number 48 with the Giants.