Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of interest in Curley Culp’s 1973 Topps rookie card since he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame a week ago. Less known are Culp’s pre-rookie issues, but there are collectors who find pre-rookies highly desirable, as well. Culp appeared on at least two: the 1971 Kellogg’s card and 1972 Sunoco stamp pictured here. They are the latest additions to the pre-rookie card page of the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
Last week I added 1953 Los Angeles Rams Team Issue football cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. This was the first of five team sets that the Rams issued in the 1950s. The 1954, 1955, and 1957 cards also have black borders, and the Rams reused some of the images from year to year, so you sometimes have to look at a card’s back to determine its year. If you look through the 1955 Rams Team Issue cards in the Gallery, you can see some of the reused images.
Fans ordered the cards directly from the Rams, evidently. The 1953 set I obtained was still in the original envelope, pictured below.
I tried something new while entering the 1953 cards in my database: I added a note for each card. As I wrote in a previous article, I like it when collectors add notes when registering their graded cards, so I thought I would start entering notes for cards in the Gallery. I’ll never cover all of the cards, but when I learn something interesting about a card or a player, I’ll make a note of it. while researching this set, for example, I learned that most of the 1953 Rams players appeared in the film Crazy Legs, and that two of the players became the first head coaches of expansion teams. Check out my bits of trivia, and let me know what you think.
Last week I added 1969 Glendale Stamps to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 312 stamps in the set, 12 each for the 26 NFL teams of the time. The stamps are slightly smaller than 2×3 inches.
The stamps were printed on panels of 12, and they were designed to be stuck in a special album. The album contains a page for each NFL team, and each team page contains a bio for each player and a place for his stamp. The full stamp panels were approximately the same height and width as the album, so I assume that the stamps and album came packaged together. The album was published by Glendale Publishers, Inc., of New York City.
Oddly, the title of the stamp album is “Official 1970 Pro Football Stars,” though Glendale apparently published it in 1969. The copyright date inside the album is from 1969, and the players’ bios include their performances in 1968, but not 1969. (Click on the image below to see a larger image.)
There are three Hall of Famers in the 1969 Glendale set whose stamps predate their rookie cards: O.J. Simpson, whose rookie card is a 1970 Topps; Jan Stenerud, whose rookie card is also a 1970 Topps; and Gene Upshaw, whose rookie card is a 1972 Topps. I have added the three stamps to my pre-rookie card page.
- See the full set of 1969 Glendale Stamps in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.
- Find individual Glendale stamps, full panels, and stamp albums on eBay.
May 6th, 2011 | Published in New in the Gallery
Today I added 1964 Kahn’s Wieners cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. Kahn’s, which is still in business, included football cards in packages of wieners each fall from 1959 to 1964. Only the 1964 set is in color, and they are great looking cards.
There are 53 cards in the 1964 Kahn’s set, with all 14 NFL teams of the time represented. Because Kahn’s distributed their products in the Cincinnati region (and since the Bengals had not yet arrived), the company put a disproportionate number of Cleveland Browns in the set: 9 of the 53 cards. One of the Browns cards, Paul Warfield, is a pre-rookie card, so I will be adding it to my pre-rookie card page. Warfield’s rookie card is in the 1965 Philadelphia set.
A big thanks to Mike Ford for providing images for this set.
A few weeks ago, when I added 1967 Royal Castle Dolphins cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I wrote that I had seen only one example of the Bob Griese card, an autographed copy in the SGC set registry. Well, now I’ve seen two. My friend Steve at thecowboysguide.com emailed to tell me about this one, another autographed copy, which just sold on eBay for $1007.75. Because the card has writing on it, and because it has paper stuck to the back, my guess is that it would get about the same grade as the one on the SGC site, fair to good.
What, you say, “because it has writing on it”? It’s his autograph! Well, when grading cards, the grading companies treat signatures like any other pen marks: harshly. You might not expect it, but an autograph on an otherwise high-grade card can actually hurt the card’s value. I don’t know the value of a Bob Griese autograph, but I suspect that this is one card that would be worth more unsigned.
So, why $1007.75 for a “fair to good” card? The buyer could be a big Dolphins fan, he could be a vintage collector who wants everything, or–my guess–he could be a pre-rookie card collector. It is generally accepted that Griese’s rookie card is his 1968 Topps card, so this Royal Castle card pre-dates his rookie card by a year. See my pre-rookie card page for more examples.
It is interesting that both of the Griese cards I have seen from this set have been autographed. I wonder if he did a promotion at one of the restaurants and signed both of the cards the same day. I haven’t seen examples of the other short prints, but if some autographed ones turned up, I might conclude that the only way to get the short prints was in person.
One of my readers, Steve, recently called my attention to the card shown here, a 1949 Silber’s Bakery Colts Y.A. Tittle card. Huggins & Scott has the card up for sale in their current auction, and they kindly let me copy the image.
I hadn’t seen this Tittle card before, and I hadn’t heard of the Silber’s Bakery issue. Reader Steve also sent me a link to a book, called Football in Baltimore: History and Memorabilia, that contains a description of the Silber’s Bakery set and pictures of two more of the cards. (One of the cards pictured in the book is Rex Grossman, grandfather of Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman III. The elder Grossman played for the Colts and Lions from 1948 to 1950.) There are also pictures of a few Silber’s cards on the SGC web site, along with a full list of the cards in the set.
Tittle’s Silber’s Bakery card is a pre-rookie card; his rookie card is a 1950 Bowman. (For more pre-rookie cards, see my pre-rookie card page.) It is also one of the few cards on which Tittle appears bareheaded. As I wrote in an earlier article, Tittle apparently preferred to wear his helmet for photos. The image on his Silber’s card is the nearly the same as the one on his 1951 Bowman card, shown here. I imagine that whoever colored his jersey 49ers red enhanced the trees in the background, as well.
In 1949, when the Silber’s Bakery cards were issued, the Colts were still in the All-America Football Conference, or AAFC. The Silber’s set is now the second set of AAFC cards I have learned about, the other being the 1946 Sears Cleveland Browns set I wrote about a few weeks ago.
In 1950, the AAFC folded, and three teams from the AAFC–the Colts, Browns, and 49ers–joined the NFL. This Colts team disbanded after the 1950 season, and Tittle joined the 49ers. Three years later, the Dallas Texans moved to Baltimore and changed their nickname to the Colts. The second Colts franchise stayed in Baltimore until 1984, when they moved to Indianapolis.
Earlier this week, via the Remember the Rams blog, I came across the Eddie Meador Hall of Fame Nomination site. The site is well-done and thorough–did you know that he worked in an Arkansas pickle plant during college?–and it’s clear that his friends and family are very devoted to him.
Meador played mostly before my time, and until I read his Awards and Statistics page, I didn’t know how good he had been. Meador’s rookie card, a 1963 Topps, is relatively easy to find, and it is inexpensive for a rookie card of a hall-of-fame candidate. Meador also had three cards issued before his rookie card: 1959 Bell Brand, 1960 Bell Brand, and 1962 Post Cereal, all of which are challenging to find. I can’t think of another other player with three “pre-rookie” cards, so if he does make the hall-of-fame, I’ll have to add a new section to my pre-rookie card page.
Altogether, Meador appeared on at least eleven cards, a large number for a defensive player in the 1960’s. The card pictured here is his 1960 Bell Brand Potato Chips card.
Awhile back, a collector called to ask if I had any 1962 Post Cereal cards, because he was interested in the Bob Lilly card from that set. He said he collected pre-rookie cards of hall-of-famers, and that the 1962 Post Lilly was one he still needed. An interesting idea, I thought.
Today I added a page to the gallery that highlights a few pre-rookie cards. I included a few well-known players that aren’t in the hall of fame, in part because I wanted to include a few 1961 Nu-Cards. The Nu-Card set is one of the few vintage college sets, and it contains cards of a lot players who went on to play in the NFL and AFL.