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.
March 8th, 2011 |
Jim Keane, a receiver for the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers from 1946 to 1952, passed away this morning. His obituary on the Bears web site includes a summary of his career and a recent photo.
Keane was a member of the Bears NFL Championship team in his rookie season. The next season, 1947, he led the league in receptions, and he finished second in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. Despite his stellar performance in 1947, Keane did not have a card in the 1948 Leaf and 1948 Bowman football card sets. To my knowledge, he appeared on only one card, the 1950 Bowman card pictured here.
March 7th, 2011 |
Frank Ziegler, who played halfback for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949 to 1953, passed away on March 6. According to his page at pro-football-reference.com, Ziegler finished second in the NFL in rushing in 1950. He was a member of the 1949 Eagles team that finished 11-1 and won the NFL Championship.
The card pictured here is Ziegler’s 1952 Bowman Small football card. He also appeared on a 1952 Bowman Large card and a 1953 Bowman card. Bowman used the same image for all three cards.
March 6th, 2011 |
Fathers and Sons
In yesterday’s article about 1974 Nebraska Cornhusker Playing Cards, I included an image of the Wonder Monds card. Von Spalding, of Von’s Card Blog, saw the article and pointed out that a player named Wonder Monds had also appeared on an Atlanta Braves baseball card. Von guessed that Wonder Monds the Brave was the son of Wonder Monds the ‘Husker, and, as it turns out, he guessed correctly. An article at bleacherreport.com says that Wonder Monds the Brave is actually the third Wonder, and his full name is Wonderful Terrific Monds III.
After Nebraska, Wonder II played three seasons for the CFL’s Ottawa Rough Riders and one season for the San Francisco 49ers. Wonder III played several years of minor league baseball in the Braves, Rockies, and Reds farm systems. And Wonder III’s brother, Mario, spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.
The card pictured here is Wonder Monds II’s 1973 Nebraska Cornhuskers Playing Card. Son Mario appeared on a 2001 Bowman Chrome football card, which I know nothing about, but I did see a couple on eBay. Wonder III appeared on a handful of baseball cards, and you can find those on eBay, as well.
March 5th, 2011 |
New in the Gallery, Oddball | 1 Comment
Yesterday I added 1974 Nebraska Cornhuskers Playing Cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The 54-card deck includes cards of 52 players, Memorial Stadium, and Head Coach Tom Osborne. The cards’ design is nearly identical to that of the year before, but there is an easy way to tell the two years apart: in 1974, all of the players’ jerseys have “NEBRASKA” printed on them. For a couple of players, this required some cutting-and-pasting–literally, it appears. Willie Thornton’s image, for instance, is the same as on his 1973 card, except for the “NEBRASKA” pasted onto his jersey. Maybe Thornton had his eyes closed in his 1974 photo, so they used the one from the year before? Bobby Thomas’s image also appears to have gotten some primitive photoshopping.
The 1974 ‘Huskers team finished 9-3, tied for second in the Big Eight, and ranked #9 nationally. (Oklahoma went undefeated and won both the Big Eight and the National Championship.) By my count, 14 players in the 1974 ‘Huskers playing card deck made it onto NFL teams, at least for a few games. Wikipedia’s 1974 Cornhuskers page lists a few additional team members who played in the NFL, CFL, or WFL.
March 2nd, 2011 |
New in the Gallery
Yesterday I added virtual uncut sheets of 1950 Bowman football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 144 cards in the 1950 Bowman set, and they were printed on 4 sheets of 36. Compared to the other virtual sheets I have done, these were relatively easy, because the cards were arranged on the sheets in numerical order. The price guides don’t say that any of the 1950 Bowman cards were short prints, but it appears to me that the fourth sheet was printed in somewhat smaller numbers than the others.
Also see U is for Uncut Sheets for an overview of the topic.