Dick Yelvington, New York Giants Tackle

March 3rd, 2013  |  Published in Player Deaths

Dick Yelvington 1954 Bowman football cardDick Yelvington, who played tackle from 1952 to 1957 for the New York Giants, passed away on February 24. Yelvington was a member of the Giants team that won the NFL Championship in 1956. There is a nice summary of his career at bigblueinteractive.com.

Yelvington appeared on one football card, the 1954 Bowman card pictured here.

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New in the Gallery: Almost Hall of Famers

March 2nd, 2013  |  Published in Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery

George Young 1951 Topps Magic football cardI added a new page, called Almost Hall of Famers, to the Vintage Football Card Gallery this week. The page shows all of the players in the Gallery who have been finalists for the Hall of Fame, but who have not yet been elected. One of them, George Young, is pictured here on his 1951 Topps Magic card. Young, who was a general manager for the New York Giants for 19 years, was a finalist as a contributor in 2005.

Check out the new page and the Gallery’s other “Fun Pages“!

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Happy Birthday, Frank Gallagher and Jim Allison!

March 2nd, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Jim Allison 1967 Topps rookie football cardFrank Gallagher 1972 Sunoco StampTwo players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are celebrating milestone birthdays today: Frank Gallagher and Jim Allison are both 70.

Frank Gallagher was a guard from 1967 to 1973 for the Detroit Lions, Atlanta Falcons, and Minnesota Vikings. Gallagher started for the Vikings in Super Bowl VIII, though he joined the team just a few games before the end of the 1973 season. (The Vikings lost to the Dolphins, 24-7.) In 1974 he played for the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League. As far as I know, Gallagher did not appear on a football card, but he did appear on a 1972 Sunoco stamp, pictured here.

Jim Allison was a running back from 1965 to 1968 for the San Diego Chargers. In 1964, at San Diego State University, Allison set the school’s single-game rushing record with a 271-yard game against San Francisco State. That record held until Marshall Faulk broke it in 1991. Allison appeared on the 1967 Topps card pictured here, and he also appeared on a 1969 Topps 4-in-1 insert card.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Gallagher and Allison!

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Happy Birthday, Thomas Henderson!

March 1st, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Thomas Henderson 1978 Topps rookie football cardThomas “Hollywood” Henderson is celebrating his 60th birthday today. Henderson played linebacker from 1975 to 1979 for the Dallas Cowboys, and in 1980 for the San Francisco 49ers and Houston Oilers. He made the Pro Bowl in 1978, and he played in three Super Bowls with the Cowboys. The Cowboys won one of them, Super Bowl XII, against the Denver Broncos.

Henderson now sponsors charitable work for youth in East Austin, Texas, and he has produced books and films to help prevent drug and alcohol abuse. You can read about his work on his official website.

Henderson is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1978 Topps.

Happy birthday, Mr. Henderson!

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Happy Birthday, Tom Vaughn and Roland Harper!

February 28th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Two players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are celebrating milestone birthdays today: Tom Vaughn is 70, and Roland Harper is 60.

Tom Vaughn, a defensive back and kick returner, played from 1965 to 1971 for the Detroit Lions. Before joining the Lions, he starred at Iowa State. He was elected to the Iowa State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005. Vaughn appeared on one football card, the 1969 Topps card pictured here.

Roland Harper played fullback from 1975 to 1982 for the Chicago Bears. His best season was 1978, when he rushed for 992 yards and had 340 receiving yards. If Harper had gained just 8 more yards rushing, he and his running mate, Walter Payton, would have been the third pair of teammates to rush for 1000 yards in the same season. Harper is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1976 Topps.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Vaughn and Harper!
Tom Vaughn 1969 Topps football cardRoland Harper 1976 Topps rookie football card

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Happy Birthday, Raymond Berry!

February 27th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Raymond Berry 1960 Topps football cardRaymond Berry, the Hall of Fame receiver of the Baltimore Colts, is celebrating his 80th birthday today. Berry played for the Colts from 1955 to 1967, and he was a key player on the Colts’ NFL Championship teams of 1958 and 1959. In 1960 he averaged 108 yards receiving per game, an NFL record at the time, and still the 11th-highest all-time average for a season. When he retired from playing, he held the NFL records for both career receptions and career receiving yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

Berry went on to a long coaching career, including six seasons as the head coach of the New England Patriots. He coached the Patriots to their first Super Bowl appearance, Super Bowl XX, against the Chicago Bears. (The Bears won, 46-10.)

Raymond Berry 1964 Wheaties stampBerry is pictured here on his 1960 Topps football card and his 1964 Wheaties stamp. He appeared on many more cards, as well. (One of them, his 1967 Philadelphia card, actually pictures Bob Boyd.)

According to oldestlivingprofootball.com, Berry is the 494th oldest living pro football player.

Happy birthday, Mr. Berry!

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Happy Birthday, Fred Biletnikoff!

February 23rd, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays  |  1 Comment

Fred Biletnikoff 1970 Topps Super Glossy football cardFred Biletnikoff, the great Oakland Raiders wide receiver, is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Biletnikoff played 14 seasons for the Raiders, from 1965 to 1978. He played in Super Bowl II against the Green Bay Packers, and he was the MVP of Super Bowl XI, in which the Raiders beat the Minnesota Vikings. After retiring as a player, Biletnikoff went on to a long coaching career, including 18 more seasons with the Raiders. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988, and into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Biletnikoff is pictured here on one of my favorite football cards, a 1970 Topps Super Glossy insert card. He appeared on over twenty more cards and stamps, as well. You can see the whole array in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.

Happy birthday, Mr. Biletnikoff!

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Happy Birthday, Bill Asbury!

February 22nd, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Bill Asbury 1969 Topps football cardBill Asbury is celebrating his 70th birthday today; he was a running back from 1966 to 1968 for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Asbury’s best season was his rookie year, 1966, when he gained 772 yards from scrimmage and scored 9 touchdowns. In 1967, Asbury and Dave Osborn tied for the NFL’s longest run of the season, 73 yards.

Asbury is pictured here on a 1969 Topps card, wearing the Steelers’ “Batman” jersey. He also appeared on at least three other cards and stamps. You can read about the Batman jerseys in one of my previous blog articles.

Happy birthday, Mr. Asbury!

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Glynn Gregory, Dallas Cowboys End and Defensive Back

February 19th, 2013  |  Published in Player Deaths

Glynn Gregory 1962 Post Cereal football cardGlynn Gregory, who played for the Dallas Cowboys in 1961 and 1962, passed away on February 14. Gregory’s obituary, including a recent photo, appears at dignitymemorial.com. Before his professional career, Gregory starred at Southern Methodist University, where he was a teammate of Don Meredith. He was elected to the SMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984.

Gregory appeared on one football card, the 1962 Post Cereal card pictured here.

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Unflattering Sideline Shots on 1978 Topps Cards

February 18th, 2013  |  Published in Funny Poses, Silly Stuff

I have been busy scanning 1978 Topps cards for the Vintage Football Card Gallery, and I have been amused by some of the images on the cards. The set contains a lot of sideline shots, so it’s no surprise that the players aren’t looking their best. Here are just a couple of beauties: Tom Banks going for the oxygen mask, and Bill Lenkaitis sporting an Ed Grimley ‘do.
Tom Banks 1978 Topps football cardBill Lenkaitis 1978 Topps football card
Both players cleaned up well. Here are Banks and Lenkaitis on their 1976 Topps cards.
Tom Banks 1976 Topps rookie football cardBill Lenkaitis 1976 Topps football card
I am only about half done with the images, but you can scroll through the rest of the 1978 Topps cards here.

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Happy Birthday, John Lee and Scott Laidlaw!

February 17th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Two players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery, John Lee and Scott Laidlaw, are celebrating their 60th birthday today. Lee was a defensive end from 1976 to 1981 for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots, and Laidlaw was a running back from 1975 to 1980 for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. Laidlaw played on three Super Bowl teams in his first four seasons, all with the Cowboys. The Cowboys won one of them, Super Bowl XII, against the Broncos.

As far as I know, Lee did not appear on a football card during his NFL career, but he did appear on a 1974 Nebraska playing card while still in college. That card is shown below. He was one of at least fourteen players in the 1974 Nebraska football deck who later played in the NFL.

Laidlaw appeared on the 1977 Topps card pictured here, as well as a Mexican version of the same card. You can read about the 1977 Topps Mexican cards at toppsmexican.com.

Happy birthday, Mr. Lee and Mr. Laidlaw!
John Lee 1974 Nebraska football playing card1977 Topps Scott Laidlaw football card

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Happy Birthday, Elbert Dubenion and Brig Owens!

February 16th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays  |  1 Comment

Elbert Dubenion 1963 Fleer football cardTwo players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are celebrating milestone birthdays today: Elbert Dubenion is 80, and Brig Owens is 70.

Elbert “Golden Wheels” Dubenion, a flanker, played his entire career with the Buffalo Bills in the AFL. He was one of the original Bills in 1960, and he stayed with the team until 1968. Dubenion was AFL All-Star in 1964, and he was elected to the Bills Wall of Fame in 1993. Before his pro career, Dubenion starred at Bluffton University, and there is a nice article about him on the school’s web site. According to oldestlivingprofootball.com, Dubenion is the 494st oldest living pro football player.

Dubenion is pictured here on his 1963 Fleer football card. He appeared on many other Fleer and Topps cards, as well.

Brig Owens 1970 Topps football cardBrig Owens, a defensive back, played from 1966 to 1977 for the Washington Redskins. He is second on the Redskins all-time leaders list for interceptions, behind Darrell Green. The team has named Owens one of the 80 Greatest Redskins, and he is member of the Redskins Ring of Fame.

Owens is pictured here on his 1970 Topps football card. He also appeared on several other cards and stamps during his career.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Dubenion and Owens!

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Happy Birthday, Pat Tilley!

February 15th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Pat Tilley, a wide receiver who played his entire 11-year NFL career with the St. Louis Cardinals, is celebrating his 60th birthday today. Tilley led the Cardinals in receiving six times–1978 to 1982, and 1985–and he made the Pro Bowl once, in 1980. He is pictured here on his 1977 Topps and 1978 Topps football cards.

Happy birthday, Mr. Tilley!
Pat Tilley 1977 Topps rookie football cardPat Tilley 1978 Topps football card

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Happy Birthday, Ron Waller, Mike Raines, and Morris Owens!

February 14th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays  |  2 Comments

Ron Waller 1956 Topps rookie football cardHappy Valentine’s Day! Three players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery have milestone birthdays today: Ron Waller is 80, and Mike Raines and Morris Owens are 60.

Ron Waller was a running back and kick returner for the Los Angeles Rams from 1955 to 1958. He also played for the AFL’s Los Angeles Chargers in their first season, 1960. In 1955, his rookie year, Waller led the NFL in all-purpose yards, and he made the Pro Bowl that season. Much later, in 1973, Waller was the head coach of the San Diego Chargers for the last six games of the season. In 1974 he coached the Philadelphia Bell of the World Football League. According to oldestlivingprofootball.com, Waller is the 493rd oldest living pro football player.

Waller is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1956 Topps. He appeared on three other cards, as well.

Mike Raines, a defensive lineman, played two games for the San Francisco 49ers in 1974. (One game less, and he would have made my Cups of Coffee page.) He then moved to the CFL, where he played from 1975 to 1982 and was a member of two Grey Cup championship teams. He finished his career with three seasons in the USFL. Raines is pictured here on his 1972 Alabama Playing Card. He also appeared on a 1973 Alabama Playing Card, identical except for the year on the back.
Mike Raines 1972 Alabama playing cardMorris Owens 1978 Topps football card
Morris Owens was a wide receiver from 1976 to 1979 for the Miami Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Owens caught the first touchdown pass in Tampa Bay franchise history–from Louis Carter, who also turned 60 this month–and he was the Buccaneers’ leading receiver for three straight seasons, 1976 to 1978. He is shown here on his 1978 Topps card.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Waller, Raines, and Owens!

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Another Piece for My 1957 Topps Virtual Uncut Sheet

February 13th, 2013  |  Published in Miscut Cards and Uncut Sheets

Miscut 1957 Topps Fran Rogel football cardBack of miscut 1957 Topps Fran Rogel football cardLast week I invested $2 in a miscut Fran Rogel card I found on eBay. It provided another piece to the 1957 Topps virtual uncut sheet that I am slowly assembling. As you can see, you can’t tell from the front which card was under Rogel’s, but you can tell from the back that the card beneath is Royce Womble.

If you’re following along, you can see my progress on the sheet here.

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