A Cup of Coffee–and a Card

September 1st, 2009  |  Published in error cards, Football Card Oddities, Oddball  |  5 Comments

A page at pro-football-reference.com called “Cups of Coffee” lists all of the pro football players who appeared in only one NFL, AFL, or AAFC game. Of course, when I discovered the page, I wondered if any of the players had appeared on football cards. I perused the list and came up with these:

Ronnie Knox

Ronnie Knox 1957 Topps football cardRonnie Knox played in one game for the Chicago Bears in 1957, but he did not throw a pass. It appears that he was the fourth-string quarterback, a rookie playing behind three veterans. Topps, oddly, printed cards of all four Bears quarterbacks in 1957. Knox also spent a few seasons in the CFL, and he appeared on a few CFL cards. You can usually find them on eBay.

Buddy Allen

1960 Fleer Buddy Allen football cardBuddy Allen had three carries in one game for the Denver Broncos in 1961. He apparently at least tried out for the Oakland Raiders the year before, because his only card is the 1960 Fleer card shown here. It is possible that he was on the Raiders’ roster in 1960, but the rosters I have found online show only the players who actually played in regular season games.

Jim Yeats

Jim Yeats 1960 Fleer football cardJim Yeats appeared in one game for the Houston Oilers in 1960, but he did not have any stats. The card pictured here is his 1960 Fleer card. Unfortunately, on his only card, Fleer misspelled his name. I heard from one of Yeats’s relatives a few years ago, and she told me that he was with the Packers in 1958 and 1959, and that he was still with the Oilers in 1961. He evidently did not see playing time those years.

1960 was the first year of the AFL, and the teams’ rosters apparently were not final when Fleer chose the players to include on their cards. Many of the players on 1960 Fleer cards did not see playing time in the AFL.

Don McKissack

1950 Topps Felt Back Don McKissack football card, yellow version1950 Topps Felt Back Dick McKissack football card, brown versionDon McKissack played in one game for the NFL’s Dallas Texans in 1952, two years after he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. If you count variations, he appeared on two cards in the 1950 Felt Backs set: a brown one and a yellow one. (The price guides assign higher prices to the yellow 1950 Topps Felt Backs, but the brown ones are actually scarcer.)

Mark Burke

Mark Burke 1974 West Virginia playing cardMark Burke saw playing time for the Philadelphia Eagles in the last game of the 1976 season. He returned one punt for fourteen yards, not too shabby. He appeared on the 1974 West Virginia playing card pictured here.

Steve Haggerty

Steve Haggerty 1974 Colorado Playing CardSteve Haggerty played in one game for the Denver Broncos in 1975, but he did not get any stats. Here he is on a 1974 Colorado Playing Card, though he had transferred to UNLV for the 1974 season.

Larry Joe

Larry Joe 1948 Leaf football cardLarry Joe played one game for the AAFC’s Buffalo Bills in 1949. He had a pretty good game, gaining 82 all-purpose yards. Joe appeared on a 1948 Leaf football card–one of the tough high numbers–with Penn State. I did a quick web search for Joe and found that he still holds the Penn State record for career kickoff return average.

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  1. CPAdave says:

    September 2nd, 2009 at 10:31 AM (#)

    Wow, this is a really interesting topic. I love your mini research projects in vintage football cards. Well done!

  2. nearmint says:

    September 3rd, 2009 at 4:50 AM (#)

    Hi Dave, thanks for dropping in–and for the compliment!

  3. 1974 West Virginia University Football Playing Cards | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    December 20th, 2010 at 7:44 AM (#)

    […] Five of the players in the deck saw playing time in the NFL: Ron Lee, Mark Burke, Danny Buggs, Artie Owens, and Jeff Merrow. Of the five, Merrow had the longest NFL career, spending nine seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. Burke had the shortest, playing in one game for the Philadelphia Eagles. I’ll have to add Burke to my earlier article, A Cup of Coffee–and a Card. […]

  4. 1974 University of Colorado Football Playing Cards | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    April 2nd, 2011 at 9:20 AM (#)

    […] By my count, 15 of the 40 players in the deck saw playing time in the NFL–a bit surprising, since the Buffs finished just 5-6 in 1974. Four players had NFL careers of ten or more seasons: Pete Brock and Emery Moorehead, with 12; Whitney Paul, with 11; and Rod Perry, with 10. At the other extreme, one player, Steve Haggerty, had an NFL career of exactly one game. For this distinction I added Haggerty to my blog article, “A Cup of Coffee–and a Card.” […]

  5. Paul says:

    January 14th, 2012 at 3:14 PM (#)

    Fitting that a guy named Joe would show up on the “A Cup of Coffee” list!