November 3rd, 2010 |
Funny Poses, Silly Stuff | 2 Comments
Did you know that the card companies sometimes hired photographers from the DMV to take pictures for sports cards? As you can see from these examples, it’s true. Those DMV folks are experts at catching people with their eyes closed. At least driver’s licenses expire after a few years. People keep sports cards forever!
So, who are our sleepy players, and what cards do they appear on? From the top, we have:
I am undoubtedly missing some. If you know ‘em, post ‘em!
October 31st, 2010 |
Funny Poses, Silly Stuff | 2 Comments
Happy Halloween! This is the scariest vintage football card I can think of, easily topping last year’s Don Hutson card. It’s a 1967 Royal Castle Dolphins card of Ed Cooke, which I recently added to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. (See my earlier article about the Royal Castle Dolphins cards.) The image appears to have been cropped from a 1966 Dolphins press photo, an example of which I found on eBay. The seller of the press photo, historicimages01, has other sports photos on eBay, as well.
I believe that this is Cooke’s only card, though he played in the NFL and AFL for ten seasons. He got around, spending time on six different teams. His longest stint was with the New York Titans/Jets, where he spent four seasons. There is a slightly less scary photo of Cooke at fanbase.com.
So, what’s your favorite scary football card?
October 28th, 2010 |
error cards, New in the Gallery, Sites I Like | 3 Comments
I learned from Todd Tobias’s new blog, Tales from the American Football League, that Rick Redman’s rookie card, the 1965 Topps card shown here, does not picture Rick Redman. So, if it’s not Rick Redman, who is it? Well, Todd has a nice story to tell about it, so I’ll direct you to his article.
A surprising number of vintage football cards picture the wrong player. I keep a list of them, and Mr. Redman’s card is just the latest addition. You can see all of them on my Mistaken Identities page.
October 27th, 2010 |
Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery, Sites I Like
The New York Giants introduced their Ring of Honor at New Meadowlands Stadium early this month. The inaugural class included twenty-two players, plus eight coaches, owners, and executives. You can see the full list of inductees on the Giants’ Wikipedia page. (You can also see the full list on the Giants’ web site, but beware: the page automatically starts a video, and it’s kind of startling.)
Thirteen of the inductees appear as individuals on cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery. You can search for them by choosing “Giants Ring of Honor” in one of the “Honor” menus on the Advanced Search page. At least one more inductee, coach Jim Lee Howell, does not appear on a card of his own, but you can find him on some of the team cards–see him on my interactive 1959 Topps Giants team card, for example.
Two of the inductees, Dick Lynch and Joe Morrison, first appeared on cards in the 1962 Post Cereal set, a minor issue. Their cards are pictured here. (For a description of the Post set, see W is for Wonder Bread–and Other Food Issues.) Lynch’s first card in a major issue–in other words, his rookie card–is a 1964 Philadelphia, and Morrison’s is a 1965 Philadelphia. Despite being stars, both players spent seven years in the league before appearing in a major set.
For more early Giants cards, matchbooks, etc., also check out revmoran’s Giants Football Cards page on the Giants web site. It’s great stuff!
October 26th, 2010 |
New in the Gallery, Team Issue Photos
Yesterday I added 1969 Raiders Team Issue photos to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. These are large black-and-white photos, printed on lightweight cardboard. (At 8 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches, they barely fit on my scanner!) The photos were distributed in two packages, one containing eight offensive players and one containing eight defensive players, for a total of sixteen. The backs of the photos are blank. The players’ names, at the bottom of the photos, appear in at least three different fonts; this suggests to me that the Raiders reused the photos from year to year, adjusting the set as their roster changed.
The set includes a photo of Gene Upshaw, issued three years before his rookie card, a 1972 Topps. It also includes a photo of Warren Wells, who never appeared on a card of his own. Wells led the AFL in receiving yards, touchdowns, and yards from scrimmage in 1969.
October 25th, 2010 |
Player Deaths | 1 Comment
Vince Banonis, an offensive lineman and linebacker for the Chicago Cardinals and Detroit Lions in the 1940s and 1950s, passed away on October 23. Banonis was a member of the Cardinals’ NFL championship team in 1947–the last time the Cardinals won the championship–and of the Lions’ championship teams in 1952 and 1953. A New York Times article about the 1947 Cardinals includes a great photo of a muddy Banonis with Charley Trippi.
Banonis appeared on three cards that I know of: the 1948 Bowman card pictured here, a 1948 Leaf card, and a 1949 Leaf card. I have not yet added the Leaf cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, but you can usually find them on eBay. The fronts of the 1948 and 1949 Leaf cards are identical, but the backs are different–see L is for Leaf for examples.
October 21st, 2010 |
Autographs, Interesting eBay Auctions
A few weeks ago, when I added 1967 Royal Castle Dolphins cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I wrote that I had seen only one example of the Bob Griese card, an autographed copy in the SGC set registry. Well, now I’ve seen two. My friend Steve at thecowboysguide.com emailed to tell me about this one, another autographed copy, which just sold on eBay for $1007.75. Because the card has writing on it, and because it has paper stuck to the back, my guess is that it would get about the same grade as the one on the SGC site, fair to good.
What, you say, “because it has writing on it”? It’s his autograph! Well, when grading cards, the grading companies treat signatures like any other pen marks: harshly. You might not expect it, but an autograph on an otherwise high-grade card can actually hurt the card’s value. I don’t know the value of a Bob Griese autograph, but I suspect that this is one card that would be worth more unsigned.
So, why $1007.75 for a “fair to good” card? The buyer could be a big Dolphins fan, he could be a vintage collector who wants everything, or–my guess–he could be a pre-rookie card collector. It is generally accepted that Griese’s rookie card is his 1968 Topps card, so this Royal Castle card pre-dates his rookie card by a year. See my pre-rookie card page for more examples.
It is interesting that both of the Griese cards I have seen from this set have been autographed. I wonder if he did a promotion at one of the restaurants and signed both of the cards the same day. I haven’t seen examples of the other short prints, but if some autographed ones turned up, I might conclude that the only way to get the short prints was in person.
For more interesting football card auctions, see my Interesting eBay Auctions tab, above. For more on regional vintage football card sets, see K is for KDKA Steelers–and Other Regional Sets.
October 19th, 2010 |
Player Deaths | 2 Comments
Charley Leo, who played guard for the AFL’s Boston Patriots and Buffalo Bills from 1960 to 1963, passed away on October 7. Leo made the 2nd Team All-AFL in 1960 and 1st Team All-AFL in 1961. I found a photo of the 1961 team on the Patriots web site; Leo is number 63, on the left end of the middle row.
Leo appeared on two cards: a 1961 Fleer card, pictured here, and a 1961 Topps. 1961 was the only year that two card companies printed cards of AFL players, and Leo appeared in both the Fleer and Topps sets. He also appeared on a 1961 Fleer Wallet Picture, a black-and-white version of the 1961 Fleer card, cut from a magazine. (See my previous blog article on the 1961 Fleer Wallet Pictures.)
October 18th, 2010 |
Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery
I recently added the ability to search the Vintage Football Card Gallery for members of the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll. According to Wikipedia, “The Miami Dolphin Honor Roll is a ring around the second tier at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which honors former players, coaches, contributors, and officials who have made significant contributions to the Miami Dolphins franchise.” The Wikipedia article includes a list of inductees and a picture of the ring. Oddly, I couldn’t find a reference to the Honor Roll on either the Sun Life Stadium web site or the Dolphins official site. Perhaps it’s a user problem.
Pictured here is one member of the Honor Roll, Dick Anderson, on his 1969 Topps rookie card. Anderson once intercepted four passes in a game, an NFL record he shares with seventeen other players.
To search for players in other teams’ Rings and Halls of Fame and Honor, see the Gallery’s Advanced Search page.
October 16th, 2010 |
Interactive Team Cards, New in the Gallery
It’s been awhile, but I finally added another “interactive” team card to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. This one is a 1967 Philadelphia Cleveland Browns team card. Just click the image shown here to see it.
Whenever I create one of these, I find a surprise. This time it was #87, Tom Hutchinson, in the front row. I didn’t think I had a card of Hutchinson by himself, but I do: a 1961 Nu-Card, which pictures him still in college, at Kentucky. Hutchinson played for the Browns from 1963 to 1965, then for the Falcons in 1966. He apparently left the Browns shortly after this photo was taken.
October 15th, 2010 |
Football Card Trivia, Player Deaths
Ralph Kercheval, who had been the oldest living pro football player, passed away on October 6. He was 98 years and 10 months old. I wrote a short article about Kercheval and his football cards last year.
With Kercheval’s passing, Ace Parker, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, became the oldest living pro football player. According to his Wikipedia page, Parker is 98 years and 5 months old. To my knowledge, the 1955 Topps All-American card pictured here is Parker’s only vintage card, though he appeared in a few modern tribute sets, as well. You can find many of his tribute cards on eBay.
Parker also played two seasons for baseball’s Philadelphia Athletics, but I don’t know if he is also the oldest living major league baseball player. I did a quick net search for Ace Parker baseball cards, but I didn’t turn any up.
The Oldest Living Pro Football Players web site has a long, long list of the current oldest living pro players. Glancing through the first couple dozen players on the list, I see that only a few them appeared on football cards. Most of the oldest players played in the 1930s and 1940s, and only a few sets of football cards were printed during those decades.
October 15th, 2010 |
Woody Peoples, a guard for thirteen seasons with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles, passed away on Tuesday. Peoples made the Pro Bowl twice for the 49ers, in 1972 and 1973, and he was a member of the Eagles’ 1980 NFC Championship team. A tribute to Peoples at lehighvalleylive.com includes a nice photo of him warming up for Super Bowl XV.
Peoples appeared on a few cards during his long career. The card pictured here is his rookie card, a 1970 Topps. He also appeared on a 1973 Topps card, a 1981 Topps card, and a 1972 Sunoco stamp. His 1981 Topps card, his only card with the Eagles, was actually issued the year after he retired.
September 30th, 2010 |
error cards, Interesting eBay Auctions | 1 Comment
There are two cards on eBay this week that I seldom see for sale: a 1955 Topps All-American Whizzer White card with Gaynell Tinsley’s bio, and a Gaynell Tinsley card with Whizzer White’s bio. Both were graded 8, or NM/MT, by PSA. It apparently didn’t take Topps long to correct their error in 1955, because these two cards are much scarcer than the corrected versions. The back of each error card is shown here.
Years ago, when I first read about these errors, I assumed that the backs of the cards were swapped in their entirety. Wrong-back cards are fairly common; you can see a few of them on my 1960 Fleer virtual uncut sheet page. It was only recently that I learned that only the bio sections of the White and Tinsley cards are swapped. This is why the descriptions in the price guides say Gaynell Tinsley (Whizzer White bio) and Whizzer White (Gaynell Tinsley bio). Duh.
I have always thought that the corrected Whizzer White card was undervalued, considering that it is his rookie card, and that he served as a U.S. Supreme Court justice for 31 years after his football career. White’s card sells for only about double the price of a common in the 1955 All-American set, and the price guides put it at two or three times the price of a common. His error card sells for much more, but that is because of its scarcity, not his fame.
For more on the 1955 Topps All-American set, see A is for All-Americans.
September 28th, 2010 |
Don Doll, who played safety from 1949 to 1954 for the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins, and Los Angeles Rams, passed away on September 22. Doll had 41 career interceptions, and he made the Pro Bowl in four of his six seasons. According to a tribute on the Lions web site, he is the only NFL player to have intercepted at least ten passes in three different seasons. After his playing career, he coached in college and in the NFL for 34 years.
Despite his stellar play, Doll appeared on only two football cards. This was not unusual: defensive players were often under-represented in football card sets of the 1950s and 1960s. (Also see D is for Defensive Players.) The card shown here is Doll’s rookie card, a 1950 Bowman. He also appeared on a 1951 Bowman card with the Lions.
September 28th, 2010 |
Autographs, New in the Gallery, Team Issue Photos
Yesterday I added 1968 Browns Team Issue 7×8 photos to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. The set contains just seven players, the team’s offensive stars at the time. The photos are printed on lightweight cardboard, and the backs are blank. The “7×8″ in the set name is to distinguish it from a second 1968 Browns team issue, in which the photos are 8-by-10. The 8-by-10 set, according to Beckett’s site, contains twelve photos, with some overlap with the 7-by-8′s.
There are facsimile autographs on the photos, and as far as I can tell, they are copies of authentic signatures. (This isn’t always the case on vintage cards; see my article on the facsimile signatures on Kahn’s Wieners cards.) At first I thought that the signatures on the Browns photos might be real, not facsimiles, because Ernie Green’s extends into the border. But then I noticed white fisheyes in the “F” and “k” of Frank Ryan’s signature, which I don’t believe would appear in an original.