July 9th, 2011 |
Pete Duranko, a defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos from 1967 to 1974, passed away on July 8. Today’s Denver Post has a report. Duranko played college football at Notre Dame, and he was a member of the Irish’s 1966 National Championship team.
The cards pictured here are Duranko’s rookie card, a 1969 Topps, and his last card, a 1975 Topps. His last card was issued the year after his last season–a common occurrence in the 1970s.
You can see all of Pete Duranko’s football cards and stamps in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
July 7th, 2011 |
John Mackey, the Hall of Fame tight end, passed away on July 6th. Mackey played for the Baltimore Colts from 1963 to 1971 and for the San Diego Chargers in 1972. He was a five-time Pro Bowler for the Colts–three times on the first team–and he played in two Super Bowls: the Colts’ loss to the Jets in Super Bowl III and their win agains the Cowboys in Super Bowl V. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.
The cards pictured here are Mackey’s rookie card, a 1964 Philadelphia, and his last card, a 1973 Topps. The 1973 card was actually issued after Mackey’s last season. You can see all of John Mackey’s football cards and stamps in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
July 5th, 2011 |
Interesting eBay Auctions
Happy Tuesday! Here are the eBay auctions of the week.
Here’s a rare 1950s Schilling Coffee card of Joe Arenas. As far as I can tell, this is a set of one: I couldn’t find more Schilling Coffee cards on the web, and Arenas’s Wikipedia page says he was a salesman and public relations man for the company. If anyone knows of more of these, I would really like to know about them.
Some cool autographed postcards of SMU teammates Doak Walker and Kyle Rote–especially if your name happens to be Dale!
A complete set of 1972 Sunoco Stamps, still in the album and at a low starting bid. Nice!
A must-have for the Edmonton Eskimos fan: a group of 1958 McDermid Studios photos.
Smile of the week: a hand-cut 1952 Bowman Small Russ Craft card.
A complete set of 1976 Town Talk Bread cards. These look just like 1976 Wonder Bread cards, except that, if you look closely at the top line on the back of a card, you can see that it says “Town Talk” instead of “Wonder Bread.” I wrote about these last year in an article about food issues.
A partial sheet of 1948 Leaf cards, including rookie cards of Sammy Baugh, Bobby Layne, John Lujack, and Bob Waterfield.
And, finally, a cute kiddie on an early Sun Life Insurance trading card. Awwww.
For past weeks’ interesting auctions, click here.
July 4th, 2011 |
Silly Stuff | 1 Comment
The holiday made me think of the movie, and thinking of the movie made me wonder what NFL players were born on the Fourth of July. I found the full list at pro-football-reference.com; the eight who appear in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are shown below. Wish them a happy birthday!
Six-time Pro Bowler Erich Barnes was born on July 4, 1935. Barnes’s rookie card, shown here, is a 1960 Topps. Two-time Pro-Bowler Emerson Boozer was born on July 4, 1943; he is shown here on his 1971 Topps card. (Boozer also appeared on my all-party team.)
Two-time Pro Bowler Rosey Taylor was born on July 4, 1937; he is pictured here on his 1965 Philadelphia card. 1963 Pro-Bowler Lee Folkins was born on July 4, 1939; his rookie card, a 1964 Philadelphia, is shown here. (I heard from Mr. Folkins once. He told me that the signature on his 1964 Wheaties Stamp is not in his handwriting.)
Five-time Pro-Bowler Rick Casares was born on July 4, 1931. His rookie card, shown here, is a 1955 Bowman. Hall of Famer Floyd Little was born on July 4, 1942; he is shown here on his 1968 Topps Stand Up insert card.
1981 Pro Bowler Frank Lewis was born on July 4, 1947; his rookie card, a 1973 Topps, is shown here. And, finally, Fred Forsberg was born on July 4, 1944. I don’t believe Forsberg appeared on a card, but I do have his 1972 Sunoco Stamp.
Enjoy your picnics!
July 1st, 2011 |
Brothers, Player Deaths
Preston Carpenter, who played twelve seasons for the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, and Miami Dolphins, passed away on June 30. Carpenter played halfback for the Browns in his rookie season, 1956, then spent the rest of his career as a receiver. He made the Pro Bowl in 1962 as a tight end with the Steelers.
Carpenter’s older brother, Lew, who also had a long NFL career, passed away last fall.
The card pictured here is Carpenter’s rookie card, a 1957 Topps. He appeared on numerous other cards during his career, as well.
July 1st, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
Yesterday I added virtual uncut sheets of 1954 Bowman cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. I have not seen an actual sheet of 1954 Bowmans, but I followed the numbering patterns on sheets of older Bowman cards and made an educated guess as to what the 1954 sheets looked like.
Bowman apparently printed the third 1954 sheet in smaller quantities than the others, because most of the scarcer cards are from that sheet.
(Click on the image to see all four sheets.)
June 28th, 2011 |
CFL Cards, error cards, Interesting eBay Auctions, Interesting Message Board Threads
Happy Interesting eBay Auctions of the Week Day!
First up is a 1949 Silber’s Bakery card of Dick Barwegan, from the AAFC’s Baltimore Colts. (His name is misspelled on the card.) This is one of the few Silber’s cards I have seen for sale. The set also includes a Y.A. Tittle pre-rookie card, which I wrote about in an earlier article.
wwwprpsportscom is selling a bunch of individual 1959 Bell Brand Rams cards, another tough regional set, .
The pre-rookie card of the week is a 1948 Kellogg’s Pep Lou Groza card. (Groza’s rookie card is a beautiful 1950 Bowman.)
Here are a couple of sharp 1951 Berk Ross “doubles,” cards that were not separated at the perforations. As you can see, this was a multi-sport set.
Holey Bronco Nagurski rookie card!
This week’s crinkled 1960 Kahn’s Jim Brown card looks a lot like last week’s crinkled 1960 Kahn’s Jim Brown card, but the price has gone up.
Another very tough regional card: a 1969 Fairmont Dairy Len Dawson card, still on the milk carton. You can see many more Fairmont Dairy Chiefs cards and information about them on the net54 message board.
Here’s a full set of 1956 Parkhurst CFL cards. The 1956 Parkhursts came undeveloped, and you rubbed a special piece of paper on them to develop them. There is also an undeveloped Bud Grant card on eBay, as well as a square of the special paper.
Finally, the oddball item of the week: a full set of 1967 New Orleans Saints Doubloons!
June 27th, 2011 |
Last week, while I was scanning 1969 Glendale Stamps for the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I noticed that the Bob Griese and Mel Farr stamps have reversed images. The players’ jersey numbers were what clued me in: Griese wore number 12 for the Dolphins, and Farr wore number 24 for the Lions. I’ll bet that there are more reversed images in the set, but most of the players’ jersey numbers are not visible, so it is hard to tell.
There are several other reversed images in the Gallery: Charley Trippi on one variation of his 1948 Kellogg’s Pep card; Bill Wade, Doug Atkins, and Frank Varrichione on their 1960 Topps cards, and Dick Butkus and Joe Namath on variations of their 1972 NFLPA Vinyl Stickers.
June 26th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery, Oddball
Last week I added 1969 Glendale Stamps to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 312 stamps in the set, 12 each for the 26 NFL teams of the time. The stamps are slightly smaller than 2×3 inches.
The stamps were printed on panels of 12, and they were designed to be stuck in a special album. The album contains a page for each NFL team, and each team page contains a bio for each player and a place for his stamp. The full stamp panels were approximately the same height and width as the album, so I assume that the stamps and album came packaged together. The album was published by Glendale Publishers, Inc., of New York City.
Oddly, the title of the stamp album is “Official 1970 Pro Football Stars,” though Glendale apparently published it in 1969. The copyright date inside the album is from 1969, and the players’ bios include their performances in 1968, but not 1969. (Click on the image below to see a larger image.)
There are three Hall of Famers in the 1969 Glendale set whose stamps predate their rookie cards: O.J. Simpson, whose rookie card is a 1970 Topps; Jan Stenerud, whose rookie card is also a 1970 Topps; and Gene Upshaw, whose rookie card is a 1972 Topps. I have added the three stamps to my pre-rookie card page.
June 17th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
Dan Tester (thanks, Dan!) sent me a link yesterday to a picture of a four-card panel of 1953 Bowman football cards. That small panel was enough to show that 1953 Bowmans were printed in numerical order on the uncut sheets, as the earlier Bowman cards were. That bit of knowledge prompted me to go ahead and assemble virtual uncut sheets for the 1953 Bowman set.
One thing I don’t understand is why the price guides show short prints in the 1953 Bowman set. It looks to me as if the 96-card set broke evenly over three sheets of 32. If Bowman had printed fewer copies of one sheet than the others, that would have resulted in short prints, but the price guides’ short prints don’t match up with a single sheet. Maybe some reader can explain it to me.
Anyway, check out the new sheets!
June 16th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
This week I added 1962 Kahn’s Wieners football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 38 cards in this set: sixteen Browns, fourteen Steelers, and a sprinkling of players from six other teams. Kahn’s Meats was (and still is) based in Cincinnati, and the early Kahn’s sets were heavily weighted toward players from nearby Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
The 1962 Kahn’s set includes a pre-rookie card of Gene Hickerson, pictured here. Hickerson’s generally recognized rookie card (because it was issued by a major card company) is in the 1966 Philadelphia set. (For a discussion about rookie cards and pre-rookie cards, see an earlier article, R is for Rookie Cards.)
According to beckett.com, Kahn’s also issued an album to hold their 1962 cards, but I have not seen one yet.
Thanks again to Mike Ford, who provided images for several of the Kahn’s sets.
June 15th, 2011 |
Tom Addison, who starred at linebacker for the Boston Patriots for their first eight seasons, passed away on June 14. Addison played in the AFL All-Star game each year from 1961 to 1964. He also played in the 1963 AFL Championship game, which the Patriots lost to the Chargers. There is a nice tribute to Addison and a summary of his career on the Patriots web site.
Addison appeared on a Fleer or Topps football card each year from 1962 to 1967. His rookie card, a 1962 Fleer, is pictured here. Oddly, he also appeared on a 1961 Fleer Wallet Picture, but he did not have a card in the regular 1961 Fleer set.
June 15th, 2011 |
Brothers, Fathers and Sons, Player Deaths | 3 Comments
Lee Riley, who played defensive back from 1955 to 1962 for the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, and New York Titans, passed away on June 9. Riley’s best season was 1962, when he intercepted 11 passes for the Titans, leading the AFL. Riley was the son of Leon Riley, who played briefly for baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies, and the brother of Pat Riley, longtime NBA coach and current president of the Miami Heat. He is mentioned in Pat Riley’s profile on the NBA web site.
The card pictured here is Riley’s rookie card, a 1955 Bowman. (1955 Bowmans are the only vintage football cards I can think of that indicate which players were rookies.) He also appeared on a 1963 Fleer card, issued after his last season.
You can see Lee Riley’s career stats at pro-football-reference.com.
June 11th, 2011 |
Autographs, New in the Gallery, Silly Stuff
It seemed like a good week to add another set of wiener cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. So I added 1963 Kahn’s Wieners, a set of 92 black-and-white cards distributed in the Cincinnati region by Kahn’s Meats. (Kahn’s is still in operation; it is now a Sara Lee company.)
All fourteen of the 1963 NFL teams are represented in the set, but the distribution of the cards among the teams is very uneven. I thought that the distribution might be related to how the teams finished in 1962, so I looked up the 1962 NFL standings. I found that, except for the Redskins, there is a strong correlation between the teams’ 1962 records and the number of players representing them in the 1963 Kahn’s set. Why so many Redskins? I dunno, maybe they were expected to do better in 1963. (They didn’t; they finished 3-11.)
||Number of 1963 Kahn’s Cards
|Green Bay Packers
|New York Giants
|St. Louis Cardinals
|San Francisco 49ers
|Los Angeles Rams
Like earlier Kahn’s cards, the 1963 cards have facsimile signatures printed on them. However, as I pointed out in a previous article, at least some of the facsimile signatures are not in the players’ handwriting. The signature on the John Unitas card pictured here, for example, does not look like any of his autographs that appear in a Google image search. Most obvious is that on all of the items I found with his actual autograph, he signed his first name “Johnny,” not “John.”
Thanks again to Mike Ford, who provided the images for this set.
(Feel free to Twitter this article.)
June 9th, 2011 |
Football Card Oddities, Interesting eBay Auctions | 2 Comments
Most of you are familiar with my virtual uncut sheets of vintage football cards. There are a lot of sets I haven’t been able to do yet, though, because I have not seen pictures of real sheets. So I would like your help: if you see an uncut sheet for a pre-1970 set that I have not done yet, please send me an email and let me know where you saw it. The sheets I have completed are listed on the Vintage Football Card Gallery home page.
I would also like to see any pre-1970 cards that are miscut so badly–on either the front or the back–that they show part of the next card. The card pictured here is an example that I found in an eBay auction: it’s a miscut 1957 Topps Sid Watson card that shows Kyle Rote’s toe. If I see enough cards like this, I might be able to piece together what the uncut sheet looked like–especially if there is a pattern to the card numbers.