Happy Birthday, Rickie Harris!

May 15th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

Rickie Harris 1969 Topps football cardFormer NFL and WFL player Rickie Harris is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Harris was a defensive back and return specialist from 1965 to 1972 for the Washington Redskins and New England Patriots. He had the NFL’s longest punt return in 1969, 86 yards for a touchdown. He finished his career in the World Football League, playing for the Florida Blazers in 1974 and the Memphis Southmen in 1975.

Harris is shown here on his 1969 Topps football card. He appeared on several other cards, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Harris!

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Happy Birthday, Miller Farr!

April 8th, 2013  |  Published in Brothers, Milestone Birthdays

Miller Farr 1969 Topps football cardFormer AFL, NFL, and WFL defensive back Miller Farr is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Farr played from 1965 to 1973 for the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Houston Oilers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Detroit Lions, and he finished his career in 1974 with the WFL’s Florida Blazers. His best seasons were his three with the Oilers, 1967-1969. He led the AFL with 10 interceptions in 1967, he was voted First Team All-AFL in 1967 and 1968, and he was an AFL All-Star all three years.

Farr’s younger brother, Mel, also played in the NFL. The two brothers were teammates with the Lions in 1973. Their cards from that season are featured on the Teammate Brothers page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery.

Farr is pictured here on his 1969 Topps football card. He appeared on several other cards and stamps, as well.

Happy birthday, Mr. Farr!

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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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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, 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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Happy Birthday, Rudy Kuechenberg and Robert Brazile!

February 7th, 2013  |  Published in Milestone Birthdays

We have two milestone birthdays today: Rudy Kuechenberg is 70, and Robert Brazile is 60. Kuechenberg played linebacker from 1967 to 1971 for the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns, and Atlanta Falcons. He also played for the Chicago Fire of the World Football League, in 1974. Kuechenberg’s younger brother, Bob, was a guard for fourteen seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Rudy Kuechenberg appeared on one football card, the 1969 Topps card pictured below.

Robert Brazile played linebacker from 1975 to 1984 for the Houston Oilers. He was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1975, and he made the Pro Bowl seven consecutive seasons after that. (The Corpus Christi Caller-Times web site has a nice summary of his career.) Brazile is pictured below on his 1978 Topps football card, and there are a couple more of his cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Rudy Kuechenberg 1969 Topps football cardRobert Brazile 1978 Topps football card
Happy birthday, Messrs. Kuechenberg and Brazile!

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Larry Bowie, Minnesota Vikings Guard

January 3rd, 2013  |  Published in Player Deaths

Larry Bowie, a guard for the Minnesota Vikings from 1962 to 1968, passed away on December 31. His obituary appeared in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Star Tribune. Bowie played college football at Purdue.

Bowie appeared on two regular issue football cards, the 1964 Philadelphia and 1969 Topps cards pictured here. He also appeared on a 1969 Topps mini-card.
Larry Bowie 1964 Philadlphia football cardLarry Bowie 1969 Topps football card

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Jim Whalen, Patriots, Broncos, and Eagles Tight End

December 20th, 2012  |  Published in Player Deaths

Jim Whalen, a tight end from 1965 to 1971 for the Boston Patriots, Denver Broncos, and Philadelphia Eagles, passed away on December 18. There is an article about Whalen on the Patriots web site. According to the article, Whalen led the Patriots in receptions and receiving yards during his five seasons with the team.

Whalen is shown here on his 1968 Topps and 1969 Topps football cards. His first three cards, from 1965 to 1967, picture him in his Boston College uniform, with his face obscured. You can see all of Whalen’s cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Jim Whalen 1968 Topps football cardJim Whalen 1969 Topps football card

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Pete Duranko, Denver Broncos Defensive Lineman

July 9th, 2011  |  Published in Player Deaths

Pete Duranko, a defensive lineman for the Denver Broncos from 1967 to 1974, passed away on July 8. Today’s Denver Post has a report. Duranko played college football at Notre Dame, and he was a member of the Irish’s 1966 National Championship team.

The cards pictured here are Duranko’s rookie card, a 1969 Topps, and his last card, a 1975 Topps. His last card was issued the year after his last season–a common occurrence in the 1970s.

You can see all of Pete Duranko’s football cards and stamps in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Pete Duranko 1969 Topps rookie football cardPete Duranko 1975 Topps football card

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Marv Woodson’s Big Game?

May 23rd, 2011  |  Published in error cards

Back of Marv Woodson 1969 Topps football cardI was looking at some 1969 Topps cards today, and I ran across this Marv Woodson card. When I read the cartoon on the back, I thought, wow, now that has to be a record! So I did a search for the 1967 Pro Bowl, and I found a nice article about it. The article, it turned out, didn’t support the cartoon; it said Woodson’s team, the NFL East, had a total of four interceptions in the game. I then checked Woodson’s page at pro-football-reference.com and got the real story: Woodson had seven interceptions during the 1967 season, and he also made the Pro Bowl that year. The cartoonist sort of contracted those two accomplishments.

Though I don’t often look at the cartoons, this is the second big error I have found in a cartoon on a Topps card. The other was on Homer Jones’s 1968 Topps card, which said that “Homer Defeated the Russians in the 1960 Olympics.” As I wrote in an earlier blog post, Jones never competed in the Olympics.

So now I’m skeptical: Did Butch Byrd really love to read detective stories in his spare time? Did Roy Jefferson really dabble in investments after football season? Did Ron McDole really play paddle-racquets to stay in condition? I’ll check my facts before quoting the cartoonist!

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A Familiar-Looking Lions Logo

May 17th, 2011  |  Published in Football Card Trivia, Uniforms

1969 Topps Tom Vaughn football cardFord Mustang logoI recently put some 1969 Topps football cards up for sale, including this one, Tom Vaughn of the Lions. The Lions logo that Topps used in this set has always looked familiar to me, so yesterday I did some searching. I believe I found what I was thinking of: a Ford Mustang logo from around that time. This might be obvious to Detroit fans, but it appears to me that the designer of the Lions logo gave a nod to the city’s main industry. (The image of the Mustang logo is from motortopia.com.)

This card happens to show Vaughn in my favorite football card pose, where the player is about to put on his helmet. For more examples, see My Favorite Pose, More of My Favorite Pose, and Still More of My Favorite Post.

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The New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame

January 6th, 2011  |  Published in Halls of Fame

Today I identified the members of the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame in the Vintage Football Card Gallery. Pictured here are cards of the first two members, Archie Manning and Dan Abramowicz, who both were inducted in 1988. Manning is on his 1972 Topps rookie card, and Abramowicz is on his 1969 Topps rookie card.
Archie Manning 1972 Topps rookie football cardDan Abramowicz 1969 Topps rookie football card
While researching Saints Hall of Fame players, I found something interesting: according to several web sites, including the Pro Football Hall of Fame site, the Saints have retired Jim Taylor’s number, 31. Taylor played only one season for the Saints, however, and he is not a member of their Hall of Fame. The team also retired Doug Atkins’s number, though Atkins was a Saint for only three seasons. It appears that someone in charge was in a hurry to retire numbers. (Taylor is shown here on a 1968 Topps card, though he retired before the 1968 season. Atkins is shown here on his 1969 Topps card.)
Jim Taylor 1968 Topps football cardDoug Atkins 1969 Topps football card
You can see the full list of Saints Hall of Famers on the team’s web site.

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Still More of My Favorite Pose

December 13th, 2010  |  Published in Uniforms

Here is one last group of players in my favorite pose, about to put on their helmets. (For more of these, see My Favorite Pose and More of My Favorite Pose.)

This time we have a 1969 Topps Joe Scarpati and a 1967 Topps Johnny Robinson:
Joe Scarpati 1969 Topps football cardJohnny Robinson 1967 Topps football card
A 1968 Topps Andy Russell rookie and a 1966 Philadelphia Roger LeClerc:
Andy Russell 1968 Topps rookie football cardRoger LeClerc 1966 Philadelphia football card
A 1965 Philadelphia Dick Schafrath and a 1967 Philadelphia Willie Davis:
Dick Schafrath 1965 Philadelphia football cardWillie Davis 1967 Philadelphia football card
Unfortunately, the photographers from many teams–notably the AFL teams–never used this pose, so in this series I could feature cards from only about half the teams. That’s a pity: I love Pat Patriot and Denver’s drunk Bronco, and it would have been nice to include them.

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Wakey Wakey, Picture Takey!

November 3rd, 2010  |  Published in Funny Poses, Silly Stuff

1951 Bowman Al DeRogatis football card1950 Bowman Bob Kelly football cardDid 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!

1967 Topps Babe Parilli football card1969 Topps Don Maynard football card1970 Topps Mike Tilleman football card1971 Topps Gerry Philbin football card

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Football Cards of Members of the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll

October 18th, 2010  |  Published in Halls of Fame, New in the Gallery

1969 Topps Dick Anderson rookie football cardI 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.

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