New in the Gallery: 1955 49ers Team Issue Photos

December 21st, 2009  |  Published in Funny Poses, New in the Gallery, Team Issue Photos  |  3 Comments

Yesterday I added 1955 49ers Team Issue photos to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The photos are bigger than cards, at just under 5×7, and I had to order extra-large toploaders for storing them. They came in the original envelope, pictured below. The photos, amazingly, are in much better condition than the envelope.

The photos are sharp black-and-whites, and each includes a facsimile of the player’s signature. On the back of each photo is a glowing biography of the player on the front. (Hardy Brown‘s bio calls him “the most feared linebacker in the game because of his fantastic ‘shoulder tackle’ which uncoils like a pile driver and causes many fumbles”!) Most of the images of the well-known players are familiar, since they also appear in color on 1950s Bowman and Topps cards. Being a team issue, though, the set also includes numerous players who never appeared on cards. In the 50s and 60s, the major card companies printed cards of only 10-12 players from each team, and most linemen and defensive players were left out. I love team sets for this reason: I get to see players I’ve never seen before.

There are 38 photos in the set, and it includes photos of the 49ers’ coaches and their TV and radio announcers. I imagine that in the 50’s, the announcers for each team were as familiar to fans as the players, so it was natural to include them in a team set.

The set includes six Pro Football Hall of Fame players, including the four members of the 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield”: Y.A. Tittle, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry, and John Henry Johnson.

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  1. Clay Matthews Sr. | Nearmint's Vintage Football Card Blog says:

    January 8th, 2010 at 12:29 PM (#)

    […] couple of weeks ago, when I wrote that I had added 1955 49ers Team Issue photos to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I neglected to point out that Clay Matthews Sr. is in one of […]

  2. rich wittish says:

    November 4th, 2011 at 1:41 PM (#)

    Did you know that the player pictured with your writeup on the 1955 49ers team-issued photo set was a major league baseball player during the late 1950s and early ’60s?
    Carroll Hardy was an outfielder who played with Cleveland, Boston, Houston and Minnesota. He holds the distinction of being the only player to pinchhit for Red Sox great Ted Williams.

  3. nearmint says:

    November 5th, 2011 at 4:20 AM (#)

    Hi Rich,

    Yes, there’s an article about Hardy here: