Happy Birthday, John Roach!

March 26th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Former NFL quarterback John Roach is celebrating his 80th birthday today. Roach played seven seasons for the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, and Dallas Cowboys. He was a member of NFL Championship teams with the Packers in 1961 and 1962.

Roach appeared on two football cards, both in 1961, but with different teams. His 1961 Topps card pictures him with the Cardinals, but he was traded before the 1961 season first to the Cleveland Browns, then to the Packers, and he ended up on a 1961 Lake to Lake Packers card, as well. Both of his cards are pictured below.

According to OldestLivingProFootball.com, Roach is the 496th oldest former professional American football player.

Happy birthday, Mr. Roach!
John Roach 1961 Topps rookie football cardJohn Roach 1961 Lake to Lake Packers football card

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Happy Birthday, Roy Hilton!

March 23rd, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Roy Hilton 1969 Topps rookie football cardFormer NFL defensive end Roy Hilton is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Hilton played from 1965 to 1975 for the Baltimore Colts, New York Giants, and Atlanta Falcons. He was a member of the Colts teams that played in Super Bowls III and V. He got 1 1/2 sacks in Super Bowl V, which the Colts won 16-13 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Hilton is shown here on his rookie card, a 1969 Topps. He appeared on a few more cards, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Hilton!

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Harlon Hill, Bears, Lions, and Steelers Receiver

March 23rd, 2013  |  Published in error cards, Player Deaths

Harlon Hill, a receiver from 1954 to 1962 for the Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers, passed away on March 21. Hill won the Newspaper Enterprise Association NFL MVP Award in 1955, and he is still the Bears’ second-leading all-time receiver. (Johnny Morris is first.) See whnt.com for a nice video tribute to Hill.

Hill played college football at Florence State Teachers College, now named the University of North Alabama. His quarterback for two seasons was George Lindsey, who became famous as Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show. In 1986, the trophy for the Division II College Football Player of the Year was named after Hill.

The cards pictured here are Hill’s rookie card, a 1955 Bowman, and his 1956 Topps card. (The 1956 card is an uncorrected error card: Topps misspelled his first name “Harlan.”) He appeared on at least seven more football cards, as well.
Harlon Hill 1955 Bowman rookie football cardHarlon Hill 1956 Topps football card

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Interesting eBay Auctions of the Week

March 22nd, 2013  |  Published in Interesting eBay Auctions  |  2 Comments

Happy Friday! Here are this week’s interesting eBay auctions for vintage football card and related collectibles.

    1957 Topps Zeke Bratkowski football card
  • According to PSA’s population report, only thirteen 1957 Topps Zeke Bratkowski cards have been graded PSA 8 or better, making it the scarcest 1957 Topps card in high grades. (When the cards were printed, the Bratkowski was on a corner of the sheet, so it tended to get damaged in production. See my 1957 Topps virtual uncut sheet page.) One of the PSA 8 Bratkowski cards is up for sale this week. The last one to sell on eBay went for $965!
  • Wrongback fans, here’s a 1967 Topps Joe Namath card with Howard Kindig’s stats on the back. I suspect that the back is also upside-down, because some wrongbacks were caused by the back of the sheet being printed upside-down in relation to the front. The seller has not answered my question about it, though.
  • There’s no shortage of 1976 Wonder Bread cards out there, but I imagine that assembling a complete set of PSA 10s would be challenging.
  • The uncut sheet of the week is a full sheet of 1974 Topps football cards. The sheet holds 264 cards, half of the set.
  • This is the first I’ve heard of a distinction between “Type I” and “Type II” 1952 Bowman Large football cards. If I understand, the way to tell the difference is that Type I cards are centered, and Type II cards are not?
  • Pete Rose wasn’t just a baseball star. Here’s an original photo of Rose with his high school football team.
  • If you ever want to identify the players on an old team card, you might be able to find them on a team photo from a year or two earlier. For example, this 1957 Chicago Cardinals team photo appeared a year later on the 1958 Topps Cardinals team card, and this 1958 New York Giants team photo appeared on the 1959 Topps Giants team card.
  • In case you aren’t familiar with the 1955 Topps All-American Gaynell Tinsley error card, here’s a nice example. (The error is that it has Whizzer White’s biography on the back.) The bidding on the card is low, so far.
  • Finally, this week’s most watched vintage football card is a PSA 9 1976 Topps Walter Payton rookie card that started at 99 cents. The list also includes a complete set of 1958 Topps football cards, plus Dick Butkus and Joe Montana rookie cards. See all of them on my Most Watched Football Card Auctions page.

Like these? See my Interesting eBay Auction articles from past weeks.

Happy Birthday, John Henderson!

March 21st, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

John Henderson 1972 Sunoco StampJohn Henderson, a wide receiver from 1965 to 1972 for the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Henderson’s best seasons were 1969 and 1970, when he gained over 500 yards each season. He was the leading receiver in Super Bowl IV, with 7 receptions for 111 yards. It wasn’t enough: the Vikings lost to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7.

Though he played for eight seasons, I don’t believe that Henderson appeared on any standard football cards during his NFL career. He did, however, appear on a 1972 Sunoco Stamp, pictured here.

Happy birthday, Mr. Henderson!

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An Interactive 1958 Topps Baltimore Colts Team Card

March 19th, 2013  |  Published in Interactive Team Cards, Interesting eBay Auctions, New in the Gallery  |  4 Comments

National Bohemian Beer 1957 Baltimore Colts Team photoIn a recent Interesting eBay Auctions article, I pointed out a 1957 Baltimore Colts team photo, and I said that the image was reused a year later on the 1958 Topps Colts team card. This week, using the photo as a reference, I made an interactive version of that team card. On the interactive card, you can move your cursor over the players to see their names, and you can click on a player to see all of his cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery. Give it a try!

As I was mapping the names on the photo to the image on the card, I found that a lot of the players didn’t appear on the team’s 1957 roster. I concluded that the photo must have been taken well before the 1957 regular season started. The Colts picked up several of the players in the photo in the 1957 draft, but apparently some of them did not make the team. One of the 1957 draftees who appears in the photo but not on the roster is Joe Unitas, Johnny Unitas’s cousin.

I was unable to find the first names of three of the players in the photo: Welch, Stephenson, and Pollard. The Colts didn’t draft them in 1957, and I couldn’t find matches in the online NFL player databases. My guess is that the players were walk-ons whom the Colts gave tryouts. If you happen to know any of their first names, let me know, and I’ll add them to the interactive card.

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Happy Birthday, Dave Osborn!

March 18th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Dave Osborn 1970 Topps Super Glossy football cardDave Osborn, longtime running back for the Minnesota Vikings, is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Osborn played for the Vikings from 1965 to 1975, and he finished his career with the Green Bay Packers in 1976. His best season was 1967, when he gained a total of 1244 yards rushing and receiving. Osborn was a member of the Vikings teams that played in Super Bowls IV, XIII, and IV. He scored the team’s only touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl IV.

Osborn played college football at the University of North Dakota. He was elected to the University of North Dakota Letterwinners Association Hall of Fame in 1977.

Osborn is pictured here on his 1970 Topps Super Glossy football card. He appeared on dozen more cards and stamps, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Osborn!

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Happy Birthday, Tom Bettis and Chuck Muncie!

March 17th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Two players in the Vintage Football Card Gallery are celebrating milestone birthdays today: Tom Bettis is 80, and Chuck Muncie is 60.

Tom Bettis played linebacker from 1955 to 1963 for the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Chicago Bears. He was a member of two NFL Championship teams, the 1961 Packers and the 1963 Bears. After his playing career, Bettis held numerous coaching positions in the NFL, including a stint as interim head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1977. There is a nice summary of Bettis’s career at InstantNewsKaty.com.

According to oldestlivingprofootball.com, Bettis is the 495th oldest living professional football player. He is pictured here on his 1963 Topps card, one of the short prints in the set. He also appeared on a two cards with the Packers.
Tom Bettis 1963 Topps football cardChuck Muncie 1978 Topps football card
Chuck Muncie was a running back from 1976 to 1984 for the New Orleans Saints and San Diego Chargers. Muncie gained over 1000 yards twice, in 1979 and 1981, and in 1981 he led the NFL with 19 touchdowns. Before his pro career, Muncie starred at the University of California, finishing second in voting for the Heisman in 1975. (See my page of football cards of Heisman Trophy candidates.)

After football, Muncie founded a youth foundation in California. He is pictured here on his 1978 Topps football card.

Happy birthday, Messrs. Bettis and Muncie!

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Another Piece for My 1962 Topps Virtual Uncut Sheet

March 15th, 2013  |  Published in New in the Gallery  |  1 Comment

Miscut 1962 Topps John Unitas football cardYesterday, via an eBay purchase, I obtained another card that will help me figure out how 1962 Topps football cards were arranged on uncut sheets. The John Unitas card shown here has a sliver of Bill Forester’s card on the left. This bit of information let me add the Unitas to a piece of the uncut sheet I already had. To see where the new piece fit, scroll toward the bottom of the 1962 Topps virtual uncut sheet page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery. Another ten years, and I should have it finished!

For other virtual uncut sheets, some completed and some not, see a previous article, U is for Uncut Sheets.

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This Week’s Interesting eBay Auctions

March 14th, 2013  |  Published in Interesting eBay Auctions, Oddball

Happy Thursday! Here are this week’s interesting eBay auctions for vintage football cards and related collectibles:

Like these? See my Interesting eBay Auction articles from past weeks.

Fathers and Sons and Teammate Brothers, Revisited

March 11th, 2013  |  Published in Brothers, Fathers and Sons, New in the Gallery

As I wrote in a previous article, I am converting some of my more popular blog articles into standard web pages and moving them to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. I am finding that blog articles work best for news, and standard pages work better for information that is not time-sensitive.

This weekend I converted my Fathers and Sons and Teammate Brothers blog articles into gallery pages. In the process, I added a few fathers, sons, and brothers who are new to the Gallery since I wrote the original articles. The new pages are in the Fun Pages section of the Gallery home page. While you’re over there, check out the other pages to see if you’ve missed any new ones.

What is your favorite father/son or brother/brother football card pair? Here’s mine: George Sauer Sr. on his 1955 Topps All-American card, and George Sauer Jr. on his 1969 Glendale Stamp. There’s quite a resemblance, don’t you think?
George Sauer 1955 Topps All-American football cardGeorge Sauer Jr. 1969 Glendale Stamp

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George Saimes, Bills and Broncos Defensive Back

March 10th, 2013  |  Published in Player Deaths

George Saimes 1964 Topps rookie football cardGeorge Saimes, who played defensive back from 1963 to 1972 for the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos, passed away on March 8. There is a tribute to Saimes on the Buffalo Bills web site. Saimes was an AFL All-Star five times, and he played on Buffalo’s 1964 and 1965 AFL championship teams. He was elected to the Bills Wall of Fame in 2000.

Before his pro career, Saimes starred at both fullback and defensive back at Michigan State. In 1962 he finished seventh in voting for the Heisman Trophy. He was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2000.

Saimes is pictured here on his rookie card, a 1964 Topps. He appeared on numerous other cards and stamps, as well.

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2013 College Football Hall of Fame Candidates, Bowl Subdivision

March 8th, 2013  |  Published in Halls of Fame

Earlier this week, the National Football Foundation announced the names of the 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision candidates for the College Football Hall of Fame. Eleven of the 82 players and coaches on the ballot appear on cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery. (One of them appears on someone else’s card, however.) Here are the eleven in the Gallery:

Bob Berry, Quarterback, Oregon. Berry had a long NFL career with the Vikings and Falcons. He is shown here on his 1972 Topps card.
Bob Berry 1972 Topps football card
John Didion, center, Oregon State. Didion played six seasons for the New Orleans Saints. This is his 1974 Topps card.
John Didion 1974 Topps football card
Charlie Gogolak, kicker, Princeton. Gogolak played six seasons for the Washington Redskins and Boston/New England Patriots. In 1966, he set a record for most extra points attempted in a game, with 10. (He made 9 of them.) He is shown here on his rookie card, a 1967 Philadelphia. Gogolak’s brother, Pete, also played in the NFL.
Charlie Gogolak 1967 Philadelphia rookie football card
Rob Lytle, running back, Michigan. Lytle played seven seasons for the Denver Broncos. This is his rookie card, a 1978 Topps. Lytle finished third in voting for the Heisman Trophy in 1976, so he also appears on my page of cards of Heisman Trophy candidates.
Rob Lytle 1978 Topps rookie football card
Paul Naumoff, linebacker, Tennessee. Naumoff had a 12-year NFL career with the Detroit Lions. He is pictured here on his 1973 Topps card.
Paul Naumoff 1973 Topps football card
Tom Nowatzke, linebacker, Indiana. Nowatzke played eight seasons for the Detroit Lions and Baltimore Colts. This is his 1969 Topps football card.
Tom Nowatze 1969 Topps football card
Phil Olsen, defensive end, Utah State. Olsen played six seasons for the Los Angeles Rams and Denver Broncos. One of his teammates with the Rams was his brother, Merlin. (See my Teammate Brothers article.) Olsen is shown here on his 1973 Topps football card.
Phil Olsen 1973 Topps football card
Jim Otis, fullback, Ohio State. Otis played nine seasons for the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, and St. Louis Cardinals. His 1976 Buckmans Disc is pictured here. Otis also appears on my page of cards of Heisman Trophy candidates.
Jim Otis 1976 Buckmans football disc
Don Trull, quarterback, Baylor. Trull played six seasons for the AFL’s Houston Oilers and Boston Patriots, and two seasons for the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. He is shown here on his 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL card. Trull also appears on my page of cards of Heisman Trophy candidates.
Don Trull 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL football card
Clancy Williams, running back, Washington State. Though Williams was a running back in college, as a pro he played defensive back. He played his whole eight-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams. Williams’s son, Clarence, also played a season in the NFL. The elder Williams is shown here on his only card, a 1967 Philadelphia.
Clancy Williams 1967 Philadelphia football card
Darryl Rogers, coach, several schools. Rogers never played in a regular season game as a pro, but he did coach the Detroit Lions from 1985 to 1988. Apparently, he also tried out with the Denver Broncos in the early 1960s, because his picture ended up on Goose Gonsoulin’s 1961 Fleer card. For more cards that picture the wrong player, see the Mistaken Identities page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Goose Gonsoulin 1961 Fleer rookie football card
You can see all 82 of the 2013 Football Bowl Subdivision candidates on the National Football Foundation web site.

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Happy Birthday, Rick Redman!

March 7th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays  |  2 Comments

Rick Redman 1970 Topps football cardLongtime San Diego Charger Rick Redman is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Redman played linebacker for the Chargers from 1965 to 1973, and he was also the team’s punter for his first three seasons. He made the AFL Western Division All-Star team after the 1967 season.

Before his pro career, Redman starred for the University of Washington. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.

Redman is pictured here on his 1970 Topps football card. He appeared on several other cards, also. Unfortunately, one of them, his 1965 Topps rookie card, actually pictures Larry Elkins. You can see that card and others that picture the wrong player on my Mistaken Identities page.

Happy birthday, Mr. Redman!

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Interesting eBay Auctions of the Week

March 7th, 2013  |  Published in Interesting eBay Auctions

Happy Thursday! Here are this week’s interesting eBay auctions for vintage football cards and related collectibles:

Like these? See my Interesting eBay Auction articles from past weeks.