New in the Gallery: NFL Players Whose Numbers Have Been Retired

June 1st, 2013  |  Published in New in the Gallery  |  2 Comments

Last week the Chicago Bears announced that the team will retire Mike Ditka’s number in December. This prompted me to add a page to the Vintage Football Card Gallery that shows all of the NFL players whose jersey numbers have been retired. For the players who appear on cards in the Gallery, I tried to find cards that showed them wearing their numbers. Check out the new page!
Chicago Bears retired numbers

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Happy Birthday, Gale Sayers!

May 30th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Gale Sayers 1971 Bazooka football cardHall of Fame running back Gale Sayers is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Sayers played from 1965 to 1971 for the Chicago Bears, and he was named first team All-NFL in five of his seven seasons. He led the league in rushing in 1966 and 1969, in yards from scrimmage in 1966, and in all-purpose yards in 1965, 1966, and 1967. In 1965 he also led the NFL in scoring, with 132 points.

Sayers is pictured here on his 1971 Bazooka football card. He appeared on many more cards, stamps, and stickers, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Sayers!

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Happy Birthday, Andy Nelson!

May 27th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

1959 Topps Andy Nelson rookie football cardFormer NFL defensive back Andy Nelson is celebrating his 80th birthday today. Nelson played from 1957 to 1964 for the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants. He led the NFL in interception return yards in 1958, he was named first team All-NFL in 1959, and he helped the Colts win NFL championships in 1958 and 1959.

After football, Nelson started a barbeque restaurant in Maryland that his family still runs. You can see recent photos of him on the restaurant’s web site.

Nelson is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1959 Topps. He also appeared on a 1962 Topps football card.

According to oldestlivingproplayers.com, Nelson is the 496th oldest living professional American football player.

Happy birthday, Mr. Nelson!

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New in the Gallery: 1979 Chiefs Police Football Cards

May 25th, 2013  |  Published in New in the Gallery

Marv Levy 1979 Kansas City Chiefs Police football cardYesterday I added 1979 Kansas City Chiefs Police cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. This is the one of the first NFL police sets ever produced, and it is the first one in the Gallery. I anticipate adding more police sets, so I created a new category for them. You guessed it, it’s called Police Sets.

Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy’s first card is in the 1979 Chiefs Police set. Levy coached the Chiefs for five seasons before going to the Buffalo Bills.

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Happy Birthday, Glenn Ressler, Johnny Roland, and John Wilbur!

May 21st, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Glenn Ressler 1974 Topps football cardA trio of players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are celebrating milestone birthdays today: Glenn Ressler, Johnny Roland, and John Wilbur are all 70.

Glenn Ressler played guard from 1965 to 1974 for the Baltimore Colts. He was a starter in Super Bowl III, which the Colts lost to the New York Jets, and in Super Bowl V, which the Colts won against the Dallas Cowboys. Before his pro career, Ressler starred at center and middle guard at Penn State. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001. Ressler is pictured here on his 1974 Topps football card.

Johnny Roland 1967 Philadelphia rookie football cardJohnny Roland was a running back from 1966 to 1973 for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants. Roland was named the UPI NFL Rookie of the Year in 1966, and he made the Pro Bowl in his first two seasons. He played college football at Missouri, and he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998. After retiring as a player, Roland went on to a long coaching career. His rookie card, a 1967 Philadelphia, is shown here.

John Wilbur 1973 Topps rookie football cardJohn Wilbur played guard from 1966 to 1974 for the Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, and Washington Redskins. He started at right guard in Super Bowl VII, which the Redskins lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins. Wilbur is pictured here on his 1973 Topps football card.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Ressler, Roland, and Wilbur!

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New in the Gallery: 1969 Drenk’s Green Bay Packers Pins

May 20th, 2013  |  Published in New in the Gallery, Oddball

Ray Nitscke 1969 Drenk's Potato Chips Green Bay Packers pinBart Starr 1969 Drenk's Potato Chips Green Bay Packers pinLast week I added 1969 Drenk’s Green Bay Packers pins to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke pins are pictured here. See the Gallery for the rest of the pins and a description of the set. I filed the pins under Oddball.

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More Interactive Team Cards: 1956 Topps Baltimore Colts and New York Giants

May 19th, 2013  |  Published in Interactive Team Cards, New in the Gallery

1956 Topps Baltimore Colts team football card1956 Topps New York Giants team football cardThe newest interactive team cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are the 1956 Topps Baltimore Colts and New York Giants team cards. Click on the images pictured here to see the interactive versions.

Both cards show the 1955 teams. Three future Hall of Fame coaches appear on the cards: Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry are pictured on the Giants card, and Don Shula is a player on the Colts card. Leroy Vaughn, the father of major league baseball’s Mo Vaughn, also appears with the Colts.

These are my sixth and seventh interactive 1956 Topps team cards; I have five more to go. Next up: the Washington Redskins.

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Happy Birthday, Carroll Hardy!

May 18th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Carroll Hardy 1955 49ers team issue photoCarroll Hardy, who played halfback for one season with the San Francisco 49ers, is celebrating his 80th birthday today. Hardy made the most of his opportunities to handle the football: on 12 pass receptions, he gained 338 yards and scored 4 touchdowns. He is pictured here, in a great pose, on his 1955 49ers team issue photo.

Hardy is better known as a baseball player. After his stint with the 49ers, he played major league baseball for the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Houston Colt .45s, and Minnesota Twins. I don’t have his baseball cards, but you can see lots of them on eBay.

According to oldestlivingproplayers.com, Hardy is the 494th oldest living professional American football player.

Happy birthday, Mr. Hardy!

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Happy Birthday, Donny Anderson!

May 16th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Donny Anderson 1968 Topps rookie football cardFormer NFL running back and punter Donny Anderson is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Anderson played from 1966 to 1974 for the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals. He gained over 1000 yards from scrimmage four times, and he made the Pro Bowl with the Packers in 1968. He played on the Packers teams that won the first two Super Bowls.

Before his pro career, Anderson starred at Texas Tech. He is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Anderson is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1968 Topps. He also appeared on at least a dozen more cards, stamps, and stickers.

Happy birthday, Mr. Anderson!

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Happy Birthday, Rickie Harris!

May 15th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Rickie Harris 1969 Topps football cardFormer NFL and WFL player Rickie Harris is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Harris was a defensive back and return specialist from 1965 to 1972 for the Washington Redskins and New England Patriots. He had the NFL’s longest punt return in 1969, 86 yards for a touchdown. He finished his career in the World Football League, playing for the Florida Blazers in 1974 and the Memphis Southmen in 1975.

Harris is shown here on his 1969 Topps football card. He appeared on several other cards, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Harris!

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An Interactive 1956 Topps Cleveland Browns Team Card

May 14th, 2013  |  Published in Interactive Team Cards, New in the Gallery

1956 Topps Cleveland Browns team football cardThe newest interactive team card in the Vintage Football Card Gallery is the 1956 Topps Cleveland Browns team card. Clicking on the image pictured here will take you to the interactive version.

The card pictures the 1955 Cleveland Browns, who won the NFL championship. Remarkably, at least six of the players on the team later became head coaches in the NFL: Otto Graham, Abe Gibron, Mike McCormack, Walt Michaels, Chuck Noll, and John Sandusky.

This is my fifth interactive 1956 Topps team card; I have seven more to go. Next up: the Baltimore Colts.

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An Interactive 1956 Topps Philadelphia Eagles Team Card

May 13th, 2013  |  Published in Interactive Team Cards, New in the Gallery  |  1 Comment

1956 Topps Philadelphia Eagles team football cardThe newest interactive team card in the Vintage Football Card Gallery is the 1956 Topps Philadelphia Eagles team card. Clicking on the image pictured here will take you to the interactive version.

At least one of the players on the card will be familiar to CFL fans. After three seasons with the Eagles, Ralph Goldston played nine seasons for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and in those nine seasons, he played in seven Grey Cups. Goldston appeared on several cards with the Tiger-Cats.

I will continue to work on the remaining 1956 Topps team cards as I have time. Next up: the Cleveland Browns.

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Happy Birthday, Fred Dugan!

May 12th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Fred Dugan 1963 Topps football cardFormer NFL end Fred Dugan is celebrating his 80th birthday today. Dugan played from 1958 to 1963 for the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, and Washington Redskins. His best season was 1961, when he gained 817 yards on 53 receptions for the Redskins.

Dugan is shown here on his 1963 Topps football card, one of the short prints in the set. He appeared on several other cards, as well.

Dugan is the 493rd oldest living pro American football player, according to oldestlivingprofootball.com.

Happy birthday, Mr. Dugan!

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New in the Gallery: 1977 Touchdown Club Football Cards

May 11th, 2013  |  Published in New in the Gallery

This week I added 1977 Touchdown Club cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The set contains fifty cards of players who were former NFL stars when the cards were issued. According to Beckett’s description of the set, the addresses of the players were included with the cards, so that collectors who bought the cards could mail them to the players for autographs.

Back of Bill Willis 1977 Touchdown Club football cardBill Willis 1977 Touchdown Club football cardThe best thing about this set is that it includes some stars who had not appeared on cards during their playing careers. One of those stars, Bill Willis, is pictured here. Willis played on five AAFC and NFL championship teams with the Cleveland Browns, and he was voted first team All-NFL three times in the early 1950s. Somehow he didn’t appear on a card before this one, though. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977, the year this card was issued.

I couldn’t decide whether to list the Touchdown Club cards under Regular Issues or Oddball, but for now they are under Regular Issues. Perhaps they belong in a new category, called Tribute Sets, along with sets like 1974 and 1975 Fleer Immortal Roll cards and 1963 Stancraft playing cards. Any opinions?

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You Can’t Trust Card Cartoonists

May 9th, 2013  |  Published in error cards  |  2 Comments

Yesterday I was looking at some 1964 Philadelphia football cards, and I happened to read the cartoon on the back of Lamar McHan’s card. The cartoon says that McHan won the Heisman Trophy. Hmm, I thought, that doesn’t sound right. So I checked my Heisman Trophy candidates page, and sure enough, the highest McHan finished in Heisman voting was ninth. Ninth is great, of course, but it isn’t first.
Lamar McHan 1964 Philadelphia football cardBack of Lamar McHan 1964 Philadelphia football card
This is at least the second whopper I have seen in a cartoon on the back of a card. Homer Jones’s 1968 Topps football card says that “Homer defeated the Russians in the 1960 Olympics,” but that isn’t true, either. For a list of football players who did win Olympic medals, see my page of Olympic athletes on vintage football cards

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