New in the Gallery

New in the Gallery: 1976 Popsicle Football Cards

June 21st, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

New England Patriots 1976 Popsicle football cardYesterday I added 1976 Popsicle football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. I included a short description of the set with the images, so I won’t describe them here. Check out the card for your favorite team–do you recognize the players in the action photo?

I filed the Popsicle cards under Food and Regional Issues.

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Teammate Brothers

May 28th, 2012  |  Published in Brothers, New in the Gallery

Awhile back, on the Pro Football Hall of Fame web site, I found a list of brothers who played pro football. I thought it was interesting, so I marked all of the players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery whose brothers had also played professionally. In many cases, only one brother appeared on a card, and it was fun to give the cardless brothers a nod. Did you know, for instance, that Terry Bradshaw’s brother Craig played a season for the Houston Oilers?

In the Hall of Fame’s list, the brothers who were teammates during their pro careers are marked with a diamond. Seeing these made me wonder how many brothers appeared on the same team in the same set of football cards. I did a quick check, and these are the ones I found in the Gallery:

Brothers Knox and Garrard (“Buster”) Ramsey were teammates with the Chicago Cardinals in 1950 and 1951. They both appeared with the Cardinals on 1951 Bowman cards.
Knox Ramsey 1950 Bowman rookie football card1950 Bowman Buster Ramsey rookie football card
Ebert and Steve Van Buren were teammates with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1951, and they both appeared on 1951 Bowman football cards.
Ebert Van Buren 1951 Bowman rookie football cardSteve Van Buren 1951 Bowman football card
Phil and Merlin Olsen were teammates with the Los Angeles Rams from 1971 to 1974. They appeared together on 1972 Sunoco Stamps and 1973 Topps football cards.
Phil Olsen 1972 Sunoco StampMerlin Olsen 1972 Sunoco Stamp
Phil Olsen 1973 Topps rookie football cardMerlin Olsen 1973 Topps football card
Tody and Bubba Smith were teammates with the Houston Oilers in 1975 and 1976, and they both appeared with the Oilers in the 1976 Topps set.
1976 Topps Tody Smith football cardBubba Smith 1976 Topps football card
Finally, just missing the cut are brothers Mel and Miller Farr, who were teammates for the Detroit Lions in 1973. Both of them appeared on 1973 Topps cards, but Miller was not traded to the Lions until September, so Topps still had him with the St. Louis Cardinals.
1973 Topps Mel Farr football cardMiller Farr 1973 Topps football card

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Finally Finished: 1972 Sunoco Stamps

May 12th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery, Oddball, Uniforms

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I bought a set of 1972 Sunoco Stamps, and I started adding them to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. I said at the time that it would take me months to take pictures of all the stamps, and it did: 30 months, to be precise. I finally scanned and uploaded the last of them yesterday–all but one, that is. I discovered yesterday that I have two Verlon Biggs stamps, but no Ron McDole stamp. Anyone have a picture of a McDole they can send me?

As I was scanning the stamps yesterday, I noted one thing I like about them: the images on them aren’t airbrushed. In 1972, Topps was still airbrushing logos off helmets and airbrushing new uniforms onto players–badly–but the Sunoco stamps show the players in the uniforms of their current teams, logos intact. I especially like seeing old helmets, and for most teams there’s at least one stamp with a good picture of the team’s helmet. Below are a few examples.
Roger Shoals 1972 Sunoco Football StampJim Yarbrough 1972 Sunoco football stampCharley Taylor 1972 Sunoco football stampSteve Zabel 1972 Sunoco football stampRon East 1972 Sunoco football stampJoe Scibelli 1972 Sunoco football stamps

Now, on to the 82-stamp update set!

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New in the Gallery: 1969 Saints Doubloons

May 6th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery, Oddball

Dan Abramowicz 1969 New Orleans Saints DoubloonLast week I added 1969 New Orleans Saints Doubloons to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. These are the first coins I have added to the Gallery, and I filed them under Oddball. As usual with team sets, this set contains a few players who never appeared on regular issue football cards. That is my favorite feature of team sets: seeing players I have not seen before.

Doubloons are common souvenirs in New Orleans, and the Saints have been commemorated on other doubloons, as well. One example I found online is a series of doubloons showing the Saints’ 1967-1975 schedules, sponsored by Falstaff beer. Another set of doubloons, sponsored by Jax beer, contains a coin for each 1967 home game. You can see an example of that set on eBay.

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New in the Gallery: 1926 Shotwell Red Grange Ad Back Cards

April 25th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

1926 Shotwell Red Grange Ad Back football cardToday I added 1926 Shotwell Red Grange Ad Back cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. These cards, which all picture Red Grange, were one of two series included in 1926 Shotwell Red Grange candy bars. (The other series, which is blank-backed, pictures Grange in scenes from the movie One Minute to Play.) The cards are slightly smaller than standard cards, and they are printed on thin, fragile paper. A huge thanks to MSB Sports Cards for the images for this set.

Though it is not mentioned on the Shotwell cards, Grange co-founded the 9-team American Football League in 1926, and he played for the league’s New York Yankees that year. The AFL survived only one season, unfortunately. Grange and the Yankees moved to the NFL in 1927, but the Yankees lasted only two seasons in the NFL before folding.

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A Few More Pieces to My Puzzle

April 9th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

1966 Philadelphia Atlanta Falcons Insignia football cardLast year, after looking at a number of badly miscut cards, I concluded that uncut sheets of 1965, 1966, and 1967 Philadelphia football cards all had the same numbering scheme. So, from a picture of a half-sheet of 1966 Philadelphia cards, I was able to construct virtual half-sheets of 1965 and 1967 Philadelphia cards, as well. Unfortunately, I have not seen an example of the other half-sheet from any of the three sets, but I have been slowly piecing one together by looking at more miscut cards. Last weekend I added a few more pieces, and the second half-sheet took more shape. One of the new pieces is shown here: it’s a miscut 1966 Atlanta Falcons card that has a tiny piece of a Don Perkins card in the lower left corner.

To see my progress on the second half-sheet, go to the Uncut Sheets in Progress page and scroll down to the bottom. For a full list of my virtual uncut sheets, see a previous blog article, U is for Uncut Sheets.

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New in the Gallery: 1962 Topps CFL Football Cards

March 30th, 2012  |  Published in CFL Cards, New in the Gallery

This week I added 1962 Topps CFL cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 169 cards in the set, about 21 per team. Most Topps sets contain about 10-12 cards per team, so many of the players in the 1962 CFL set were making their first appearance on a card.

As usual with non-NFL sets, I enjoyed finding players who had played in the NFL but who had not appeared on cards for their NFL teams. Pictured here are three of the those players: Hal Ledyard played for the 49ers in 1953, Chuck Quilter played for the 49ers in 1949 and 1950, and George Scott played for the Giants in 1959. I identified a few other ex-NFL players, as well; just browse the set to see them.
1962 Topps CFL Hal Ledyard football card1962 Topps CFL Chuck Quilter football cardGeorge Scott 1962 Topps CFL football card

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New in the Gallery: Comprehensive Search

March 17th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

Google custom search for Vintage Football Card GalleryI added a new search to the Vintage Football Card Gallery yesterday: a custom Google search for the Gallery and this blog. Whereas the old search (which is still available) looks only for cards that match your search string, the new search finds all relevant Gallery pages and blog articles, as well. A search for “Len Dawson,” for example, will find his cards, his puzzle on the backs of 1968 Topps cards, and any blog articles I wrote about him. Give it a whirl!

New in the Gallery: 1963 Topps CFL Football Cards

March 14th, 2012  |  Published in CFL Cards, New in the Gallery

Bobby Walden 1963 Topps CFL football cardThis week I added 1963 Topps CFL cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. This was my first CFL set, so most of the players were new to me. I did find a few familiar faces: Joe Kapp, Dave Mann, Pat Holmes, and Bobby Walden all appear on NFL cards, as well. Walden, I learned, was a running back and kick returner in the CFL, as well as a punter. After he moved to the NFL, he stuck to punting, though it appears from his NFL stats that he faked a few punts and ran instead.

Topps apparently really liked the image on Joe Kapp’s card, because they used the same image on his 1960, 1961, 1968, and 1969 cards, and on his 1969 mini-card. I don’t know why he is in a green jersey, though, because I don’t believe any of his teams wore green. I suspect that the image was originally a black-and-white photo from his days at the University of California, and that someone at Topps colored it. The jersey on his card resembles the one he is wearing in the photo on his College Football Hall of Fame page.

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New in the Gallery: 1952 Wheaties Football Cards

March 9th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

This week I added the twelve football cards from the 1952 Wheaties multi-sport set to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. For details on the cards, see my 1952 Wheaties page. For a survey of other football cards that were distributed with food products, see one of my previous blog articles, W is for Wonder Bread–and Other Food Issues.
Otto Graham 1952 Wheaties football card

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New in the Gallery: A Virtual Uncut Sheet of 1962 Fleer Football Cards

February 18th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

Yesterday I added a virtual uncut sheet of 1962 Fleer football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. By studying miscut cards from the set, my friend Paul puzzled out the numbering pattern of the cards on the sheet. Most of the cards that are scarce in high grades are grouped together on the sheet, and I added a diagram to show that.

The Gallery now includes virtual uncut sheets for 27 football card sets. For the full list, see one of my previous blog articles, U is for Uncut Sheets.

(Click on the image to see the full virtual sheet.)

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New in the Gallery: 1974 Fleer Immortal Roll Football Cards

February 7th, 2012  |  Published in Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery

Last week I added 1974 Fleer Immortal Roll cards–also called 1974 Fleer Hall of Fame cards– to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The page for the set includes a short description, so I won’t describe again them here. I added a fun fact or two for each card in the set, as well. Take a look!
Ernie Nevers 1974 Immortal Roll football cardDutch Clark 1974 Fleer Immortal Roll football cards

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New in the Gallery: Members of the College Football Hall of Fame

January 28th, 2012  |  Published in Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery

Jim Swink 1960 Fleer football cardI hope you like this feature, because it took me awhile: I identified all of the players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery who are members of the College Football Hall of Fame. You can do a search for all of the College Hall of Famers, all of the College Hall of Famers from a certain college (say Ohio State), or all of the College Hall of Famers from a certain pro team (say the Los Angeles Rams). Use the Gallery’s Advanced Search page to specify whatever combinations you like.

What I like most about this feature is that it highlights some cards that you typically find in the commons bin. Some players with stellar college careers had short or not-as-stellar pro careers, and you wouldn’t know from their cards how good they were in college. The player pictured here is one example: Jim Swink was runner-up to Howard Cassady for the Heisman Trophy in 1955, and he was elected to the College Hall of Fame in 1980. Swink played pro football for just one season–1960 for the AFL’s Dallas Texans–and this 1960 Fleer card is his only football card.

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New in the Gallery: 1971 Kellogg’s Football Cards

January 8th, 2012  |  Published in New in the Gallery

Mean Joe Greene 1971 Kellogg's football cardThis weekend I added 1971 Kellogg’s football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. This missing set was the biggest gap in the Gallery, I’d say, since Kellogg’s cards are popular and not too difficult to find. Thanks to Mike Ford for providing many of the images.

I found a few small surprises as I entered the information for the set. First, there is little overlap with the 1970 Kellogg’s set: only five players appear in both the 1970 and 1971 sets. Second, though most of the players in the 1971 Kellogg’s set were among the stars of their teams, two of the players never appeared on a card in a major issue. Finally, the cards apparently were issued–or at least designed–well before the 1971 season, because a number of players either played for a different team in 1971 or didn’t play at all. You can read the details on the Gallery page for the set.

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Happy New Year!

January 1st, 2012  |  Published in Football Card Trivia, Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery

Cosmo Iacavazzi 1965 Topps football cardHappy New Year, everyone! Time to start those diets, budgets, and exercise programs! But it’s okay to wait until tomorrow–it’s a holiday, right?

I was thinking about what I want to accomplish in 2012 in the Vintage Football Card Gallery, and I decided that my goals follow two themes. The first theme is to finish some of the things I have already started. For example, last year I started identifying players who are in the College Football Hall of Fame, but I haven’t finished because there are way more of them than I thought. On the other hand, in the process of identifying the College Hall of Famers, I have learned some interesting things about them. Did you know, for instance, that Cosmo Iacavazzi, who played in only two games professionally, led the nation in scoring at Princeton in 1963? I love uncovering nuggets like that.

Which brings me to my second theme: doing more with the cards I already have. The Gallery now contains pictures of most of the vintage football cards out there, so now I can work more on depth than breadth. One thing I have started doing in this area is adding trivia for each card. Going back to Mr. Iacavazzi: did you ever notice that his 1965 Topps card pictures him in his college uniform, recolored Jets green? Until yesterday, I didn’t, either, but as I learn such things, I will make note of them. (For more examples, see the 1953 Rams Team Issue cards I recently added to the Gallery.)

Of course, as well as looking ahead to the new year, we should look back and remind ourselves of what we accomplished in 2011. This morning I took a quick look through my “New in the Gallery” blog articles, and it was gratifying to see all of the new cards and virtual uncut sheets I was able to add over the year. Most gratifying, I think, is that I had so much fun doing it.

Enjoy your collections, keep in touch, and have a terrific 2012!

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