April 30th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
This week I added virtual uncut sheets of 1948 Leaf and 1949 Leaf football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. From a picture of a 1949 sheet, I think I have also figured out what the 1948 sheets looked like. The 1949 Leaf set is basically a subset of the 1948 Leaf set with the card backs and card numbers changed, and it appears to me that the sheets would have been similar. Take a peek, and let me know what you think.
April 27th, 2011 |
Player Deaths | 1 Comment
Jim “Mad Dog” Mandich, a tight end from 1970 to 1978 for the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers, passed away on April 26. Mandich played on four Super Bowl teams: the Dolphins of 1971, 1972, and 1973, and the Steelers of 1978. Three of those teams–all but the 1971 Dolphins–won the Super Bowl, and 1972 was the year of the Dolphins perfect 17-0 season.
After his playing days, Mandich was a Dolphins radio announcer for 19 years. You can hear him in a video tribute at nbcmiami.com.
The card pictured here is Mandich’s rookie card, a 1975 Topps. He also appeared on 1976 Topps, 1977 Topps, and 1977 Topps Mexican cards.
You can see Mandich’s career NFL stats at pro-football-reference.com.
April 25th, 2011 |
Player Deaths, Record Holders
Joe “The Jet” Perry, who played from 1948 to 1963 for the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Colts, has passed away. Perry led the NFL in rushing twice, in 1953 and 1954, and he made the Pro Bowl three times. He also held the NFL record for career rushing yards from 1958 to 1963, when Jim Brown surpassed him. Perry’s record did not include the yards he gained in 1948 and 1949, when the 49ers were still part of the AAFC. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969.
The card pictured here is Perry’s rookie card, a 1950 Bowman. He appeared on many more cards and team issue photos over the next thirteen years. You can see all of Joe Perry’s football cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
April 25th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
Over the weekend I added 1949 Leaf football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. It is quite an unexciting set: the fronts of 1949 Leaf cards are identical to the fronts of 1948 Leaf cards, and there are no new players–and hence, no rookie cards–in the 1949 set. The 1949 set is also just half the size of the 1948 set: 49 cards versus 98. Whereas the 1948 Leaf set contains both NFL and college players, the 1949 set contains just NFL players.
Leaf changed the backs of the cards in 1949, so it actually is easy to tell the two years apart. My earlier article, L is for Leaf, includes pictures of the backs of both 1948 and 1949 cards. Leaf also changed the card numbers in 1949. The 1949 Leaf set is skip-numbered, with numbers scattered between 1 and 150, presumably to fool kids into thinking there were more cards available to buy.
April 22nd, 2011 |
Norm Masters, who played for the CFL’s British Columbia Lions in 1956 and for the Green Bay Packers from 1957 to 1964, passed away on April 19. Masters was a member of Green Bay’s NFL Championship teams in 1961 and 1962. A tribute on the Green Bay Press-Gazette web site includes a nice summary of his NFL career. I also found, in my internet search, a great image of Masters leading the way for Paul Hornung.
To my knowledge, Masters appeared on only one card, the 1961 Lake to Lake Packers card pictured here. This is one of the short prints in the set, and it is quite scarce. The print lines you see on this card are common in the set.
You can see the career NFL stats for Norm Masters at pro-football-reference.com.
April 21st, 2011 |
Player Deaths | 1 Comment
Lynn Chandnois, a back and kick returner for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1950 to 1956, passed away on April 19. Chandnois was a two-time Pro Bowler, and he still has the NFL’s second-best career kickoff return average, behind Gale Sayers. According to the Detroit Free Press, Chandnois also still holds the records at Michigan State for most career interceptions and interception return yards.
Chandnois appeared on a card from a major card company every year from 1951 to 1957, which is remarkable for the time. Pictured here is his rookie card, a 1951 Bowman. His 1955 Bowman card is an error card; it has his name spelled “Chadnois.” You can see all of Lynn Chandnois’s football cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
April 19th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery, Oddball | 2 Comments
Yesterday I added 1971 Bazooka football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 36 cards in the set, with at least one player from each of the 26 NFL teams. The cards were printed, three per box, on the bottoms of 25-cent boxes of Bazooka bubble gum. There are nice pictures of two empty boxes in the Redskins Football Card Museum.
I wouldn’t categorize the set as either a regular issue or a food issue, so I’m filing them under Oddball. A big thanks to Mike Ford for providing the images.
April 12th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery | 1 Comment
The list of card sets on the Vintage Football Card Gallery home page was getting out of hand, so yesterday I grouped the cards into categories: regular issues, inserts, food and regional issues, team issue photos, and oddball. This also gave me some room to highlight some of the other features of the Gallery. If you haven’t visited in the last couple of days, check it out.
Card searches still work across all of the categories, so if you search for Dick Butkus, his regular cards, inserts, and oddballs will all appear in the search results.
April 8th, 2011 |
Joe Heap, who played halfback for the New York Giants in 1955, passed away on April 6. According to an article about him on the Allstate Sugar Bowl web site, Heap left the Giants after one season to serve in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to joining the Giants, Heap starred at Notre Dame. The Sugar Bowl article includes a nice account of his college career.
Though he spent only one season in the NFL, Heap appeared on an NFL football card, the 1955 Bowman card pictured here. (The 1955 Bowman set is the only vintage set I can think of that identified rookies on the fronts of the cards.) I believe that the image on Heap’s card was originally a black-and-white photo of him in his Notre Dame uniform, and that Bowman added the Giants colors. The uniform he is wearing on his card appears to be the same one he is wearing in the photo in the Sugar Bowl article noted above. Also, according to his page at pro-football-reference.com, Heap wore number 48 with the Giants.
April 7th, 2011 |
error cards, New in the Gallery, Oddball | 1 Comment
Yesterday I added 1972 NFLPA Vinyl Stickers to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. A number of places on the web say that the stickers were sold from vending machines, but I couldn’t find a picture of such a machine. I was a little surprised at that. The stickers are bigger than standard-sized cards, and I’m curious about how they were packaged for vending.
There are twenty players in the set of stickers, with two variations. The Joe Namath and Dick Butkus stickers each come two ways: with a reversed image of the player’s head, and with the player’s head oriented correctly. To guess which stickers had the reversed images, I compared them to the images on 1972 NFLPA Iron Ons.
I can’t say I am fond of these stickers. The big-real-head-on-little-cartoon-body design also appears on other cards–1938 Goudey baseball cards, for example–and I have always found it a bit creepy. Also, the stickers don’t include the players’ teams, and some don’t even have the players in the correct team colors. Paul Warfield in green and John Brockington in purple? That must have alarmed young Dolphins and Packers fans!
For more oddball football cards and collectibles, see the Oddball page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
April 2nd, 2011 |
New in the Gallery, Oddball | 1 Comment
This week I added 1974 University of Colorado Playing Cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The cards came in a bridge set: one deck with black backs, and one with gold backs. Each 54-card deck contains cards of 40 players, 11 coaches, the athletic director, and 2 team logos.
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.”
Another player in the deck, Jim Kelleher, was the last player chosen in the 1977 NFL draft. For this he was dubbed “Mr. Irrelevant.” You can also read about Kelleher and other Misters Irrelevant in my blog.
Several of the players who made the NFL appeared on Topps cards in the late 70s and early 80s. I don’t have cards that recent in the Gallery yet, but you can usually find them on eBay. The players whose cards I found were Emery Moorehead, Rod Perry, Dave Logan, Don Hasselbeck, and Bill Waddy.
For more decks of playing cards that picture football players, see the Oddball page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
March 29th, 2011 |
New Cards for Sale
Yesterday I put a nice group of PSA-graded 1950s Topps football cards up for sale at nearmintcards.com. Most are from the 1957 Topps and 1959 Topps sets. Included is the PSA 9 1957 Topps Mike McCormack card pictured below. McCormack was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
Also see my 1959 Topps virtual uncut sheet and my blog articles on 1957 Topps and 1959 Topps football cards.
March 28th, 2011 |
Halls of Fame
I read today on boston.com that Jon Morris will be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame this year. Morris was a center in the AFL and NFL for fifteen seasons: eleven with the Patriots, then three with the Lions and one with the Bears. He was an Pro Bowler in each of his first seven seasons, according to his page at pro-football-reference.com.
The card pictured here is Morris’s rookie card, a 1965 Topps. Topps apparently liked the image, because it also appears on his 1966 Topps and 1967 Topps cards.
You can see all of Jon Morris’s cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery. You can also search the Gallery for cards of other members of the Patriots Hall of Fame.
March 16th, 2011 |
Here’s another old record from the nfl.com individual records page: in the 1963 season, Don Hultz, a rookie for the Minnesota Vikings, recovered nine opponents’ fumbles. That broke Joe Schmidt’s record of eight, set in 1955, and no player has come close since. According to The Vikings Timeline at vikingupdate.com, Hultz’s feat earned him a new nickname, “The Magnet.”
In 1964, the Vikings traded Hultz to the Philadelphia Eagles, and he never again came close to his 1963 record. Hultz’s page at pro-football-reference.com says that in his last eleven seasons, he recovered just three more opponents’ fumbles.
The card pictured here is Hultz’s rookie card, a 1968 Topps. He also appeared on a 1972 Sunoco Stamp and a 1973 Topps card.
March 14th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
Last week I added virtual uncut sheets of 1952 Bowman Large football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. From what I have read, Bowman simply enlarged their 1952 Small sheets to get the 1952 Large sheets, and when they printed the Large sheets, some cards on the edges of the sheets were truncated. The cards on the edges of the sheets thus became the short prints in the set.
Click the image below to see all of the 1952 Bowman Large sheets. Also, for an overview of the topic, see an earlier blog article, U is for Uncut Sheets.