October 26th, 2011 |
error cards, Interesting eBay Auctions
A while back, someone told me that Adrian Young’s 1971 Topps card pictures not Adrian Young, but Rick Duncan. Today I searched for pictures of the two players to see for myself. As far as I know, neither of the players appeared on another standard football card, but I did find pictures of them on a few other items listed on eBay.
Rick Duncan, a kicker and punter, played in four games over three seasons for the Broncos, Eagles, and Lions. He had been out of football for two years by the time he showed up on Young’s card. Topps apparently used a photo of Duncan from 1968, because he is pictured in an Eagles uniform, and 1968 was the season he spent with the Eagles. He evidently had a tryout with the Bears in 1967, because I found a press photo of him and Bruce Alford in Bears uniforms.
Adrian Young, a linebacker, played for six seasons with the Eagles, Lions, and Bears. I found two items that picture the real Adrian Young: a 1969 Eagles team issue photo and a 1972 NFLPA stamp. (Young is in the bottom row, second from the right.) I’d say there’s not much resemblance between Young and Duncan.
Coincidentally, while searching for a photo of Young, I learned that he will be inducted into the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. I also found an article that says he once intercepted four passes in a game against Notre Dame. Unfortuately, the article uses the image from Young’s 1971 Topps card–the one that pictures Rick Duncan!
For more vintage football cards that picture the wrong player, see my Mistaken Identities page and my blog article about errors in the inset photos on 1962 Topps football cards.
November 13th, 2010 |
Brothers, Football Card Trivia
Yesterday, while I was adding the Eagles Honor Roll to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I did a web search for “Whitey Wistert.” Al Wistert is a member of the Eagles Honor Roll, and some of his cards say “Al ‘Whitey’ Wistert.”
My search results were interesting: they included a lot of references to Al’s football cards and a lot of references to Al’s older brother, Francis “Whitey” Wistert. Only a couple of non-football-card references, which appeared way down in my search results, referred to Al as “Whitey.” Most references to Al said his nickname was “Ox.”
According to an article on profootballresearchers.org, both Francis and Al were called “Whitey.” I’m guessing, though, that if people called Al “Whitey,” they did so out either out of confusion or as a tribute to Francis. Francis was a football and baseball star at Michigan, and he played major league baseball for Cincinnati.
Anyway, since Al’s brother Francis was well-known as “Whitey,” since Al was more often called “Ox,” and since mistakes are far from unusual on old football cards, I would say that calling Al “Whitey” was just another card company mistake. I suspect that some writers referred to Al as “Whitey” because that’s what it said on his cards.
Pictured here is one of Al’s error cards, a 1951 Bowman. His 1948 Leaf and 1949 Leaf cards also say “Whitey.”
August 17th, 2009 |
A few months ago I created a page called Mistaken Identities: Vintage Football Cards Picturing the Wrong Player. The page shows numerous cards that show the wrong player in the main photo. I learned from my Beckett catalog, though, that there are also a bunch of 1962 Topps cards that picture the wrong player in the black-and-white inset photo. What’s more, it appears that Topps faked a couple of these photos intentionally, altering the impostor’s jersey number to match the player on the card.
Here is one of the altered jersey numbers: the inset photo on Zeke Bratkowski’s 1962 Topps card actually shows John Unitas, with his number changed from 19 to 12. Topps apparently couldn’t find a good game photo of Bratkowski, though he had been in the league for eight years. It’s too bad, because Bratkowski took great action shots. On his his 1962 Post Cereal card, he’s throwing while going down, and on his 1958 Topps card, he’s leaping over palm trees!
The second altered jersey is on Fran Tarkenton’s rookie card. Beckett says that it’s Sonny Jurgensen in the inset photo, with his number changed from 9 to 10. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but did Topps leave the Eagle wings on Jurgensen’s helmet?
The third impostor is on Roman Gabriel’s rookie card. On this card, the player in the inset photo is clearly Y.A. Tittle. It is understandable that Topps didn’t have an NFL game shot of Gabriel, since 1962 was his first year in the league. This time they didn’t try to fool us: they just picked out a nice quarterback photo and called it good.
Last, we have a couple of Redskins. That’s Don Bosseler pictured in the inset photo of Dick James’s card. Bosseler didn’t appear in the 1962 Topps set on a card of his own, so it’s nice that they gave him a cameo. (He did, however, appear on a 1962 Post Cereal card.)
June 25th, 2009 |
Football Card Trivia, Sites I Like
Bob Lemke, editor of the vintage card sections of the Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, makes a hobby of creating custom vintage sports cards. Pictured is one of his latest creations, a 1968 Topps Brian Piccolo card. Though Piccolo started with the Bears in 1965, the card companies did not print a card of him until 1969, when Topps issued his rookie card and included him on a 4-in-1 stamp card. (Unfortunately, on both cards Topps misspelled Piccolo’s name “Bryon.”)
I like the image Bob chose for this card; it’s the helmet-in-hands pose I described earlier this week. Bob has also created a 1966 Philadelphia Piccolo card using a different image.
For more of Bob’s creations, all in the style of 1955 Topps All-Americans, check out his PhotoBucket gallery. There’s even one of Bluto Blutarsky!