Former CFL and NFL running back Bo Scott is celebrating his 70th birthday today. Scott played for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1964 to 1968, and for the Cleveland Browns from 1969 to 1973. He was a member of the Ottawa team that won the Grey Cup (CFL Championship) in 1968. There is a nice summary of Scott’s professional career in the Alumni Spotlight section of ClevelandBrowns.com.
Longtime 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.
Two 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.
Roland Lakes, a defensive lineman from 1961 to 1971 for the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants, passed away on March 5. There is a story about Lakes on the San Francisco Chronicle web site. According to that article, until 2010, Lakes was the youngest lineman ever to start a game for the 49ers.
Lakes appeared on two regular issue football cards, both shown here. The first is his rookie card, a 1965 Philadelphia; the second is a 1970 Topps. He also appeared, as a Giant, on a 1972 Sunoco Stamp, but he did not play in 1972.
Greg Cook, a quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals from 1969 to 1974, has passed away. Cook was an American Football League Co-Rookie of the Year in 1969, but he suffered an injury during the 1969 season from which he never fully recovered. He led the AFL in passer rating, completion percentage, yards per attempt, and yards per completion in 1969. After the 1969 season, he appeared in just one regular season game, in 1973.
Mike Current, a tackle for 13 seasons with the Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins, has passed away. According to his page at bucpower.com, Current started 105 consecutive games for the Broncos and played in a total of 169 AFL and NFL games. Current was elected to the AFL West All-Star team after the 1969 season.
Houston Antwine, a defensive lineman from 1961 to 1972 for the Boston/New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, passed away last night, according to the Boston Globe web site. His wife passed away today. Antwine was an American Football League All-Star six straight seasons, from 1963 to 1968.
Antwine appeared on numerous football cards and stamps during his career. The cards pictured here are his rookie card, a 1964 Topps, and his last card, a 1970 Topps. You can see all of Antwine’s cards in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Gale Gillingham, an offensive lineman for ten seasons with the Green Bay Packers, passed away on October 20. Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a report. Gillingham made the Pro Bowl five times, and he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1982.
By now, most NFL fans have heard that Bubba Smith passed away. Smith was a defensive end from 1967 to 1976 for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders, and Houston Oilers. He made the Pro Bowl twice, and he played in two Super Bowls: Super Bowl III, which the Colts lost to the Jets, and Super Bowl V, in which the Colts beat Cowboys. A New York Times article from earlier this week has a summary of Smith’s career, along with a few photos.
After football, Smith appeared in many films and television shows, most notably the Police Academy movies. I had no idea how many until I checked out his IMDB page.
I was recently perusing the individual records page at nfl.com, looking for records that were set by players who are now on vintage cards. I found one record that I doubt will ever be broken: Fred Dryer’s record for “Most Safeties, Game.” Dryer set the record on October 21, 1973, when he scored two safeties against the Green Bay Packers. The video below shows them, at 2:48. If you watch closely, you can see that he sacked two different Packer quarterbacks: number 12, Scott Hunter, and number 16, Jim Del Gaizo. I looked up the box score for the game and found that not only did Dryer get two safeties in one game, he got them both in the fourth quarter. And, according to pro-football-reference.com, they were the only two safeties he scored in his 13-year career!
Of course, while searching youtube, I also came across lots of videos of Dryer starring in the television show “Hunter.” Hunter ran for seven seasons in the late 80s. For a smile, check out the season 1 intro below.
John Elliott, a defensive tackle for the New York Jets from 1967 to 1973, passed away on November 11. Elliott made the Pro Bowl three times in his seven seasons, and he was a member of the Jets team that beat the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. There is a recent interview with Elliott, and a picture of him with his Super Bowl ring, on the Beamont (Texas) Enterprise web site.
After football, Elliott was elected sheriff of Real County, Texas. I found an old People magazine article that describes his efforts, while he was sheriff, to protect golden eagles.
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:
As you have probably heard, today is the 40th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monday Night Football. The New York Jets played the Cleveland Browns on Monday, September 21, 1970, and the Browns won 31-21. Below are the 1970 Topps cards of the stars of the night: Matt Snell, who had 108 yards rushing for the Jets, and Homer Jones, who had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for the Browns. There is a box score for the game on pro-football-reference.com.
According to Wikipedia, Marlboro was the first sponsor of Monday Night Football. The Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, which banned cigarette ads on television and radio, didn’t take effect until January 2, 1971. It has been forty years since the ads were taken off the air, but I can still recall their jingles.
The 1970 Topps set happens to be the first one I completed as a kid. I remember selling my duplicates for a penny each–what they cost at the time–and using the proceeds to buy more cards. I also remember that my teacher told me to knock it off, because I was selling them during class. The elusive Greg Cook was the last card I needed to complete the set. I probably traded a Bart Starr or a Joe Namath to get him!