A Cup of Coffee–Then On to the CFL

August 30th, 2012  |  Published in CFL Cards, Silly Stuff

Last week, when I added 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery, I discovered that three of the players in the set had played in exactly one NFL game before going to the CFL. So I added the three players–Greg Barton, Don Jonas, and Benjy Dial–to my Cups of Coffee page. If you haven’t seen it, have a look!
Greg Barton 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL football cardDon Jonas 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL football cardBenjy Dial 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL football card

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New in the Gallery: 1962 Topps CFL Football Cards

March 30th, 2012  |  Published in CFL Cards, New in the Gallery

This week I added 1962 Topps CFL cards to the Vintage Football Card Gallery. There are 169 cards in the set, about 21 per team. Most Topps sets contain about 10-12 cards per team, so many of the players in the 1962 CFL set were making their first appearance on a card.

As usual with non-NFL sets, I enjoyed finding players who had played in the NFL but who had not appeared on cards for their NFL teams. Pictured here are three of the those players: Hal Ledyard played for the 49ers in 1953, Chuck Quilter played for the 49ers in 1949 and 1950, and George Scott played for the Giants in 1959. I identified a few other ex-NFL players, as well; just browse the set to see them.
1962 Topps CFL Hal Ledyard football card1962 Topps CFL Chuck Quilter football cardGeorge Scott 1962 Topps CFL football card

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Buddy Tinsley, CFL Hall of Fame Lineman

September 15th, 2011  |  Published in CFL Cards, Player Deaths

Robert "Buddy" Tinsley 1950 Bowman football cardRobert “Buddy” Tinsley, a member of the CFL Hall of Fame, passed away on September 14. After spending one year, 1949, with the AAFC’s Los Angeles Dons, Tinsley played eleven seasons for the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In those eleven seasons, he played in five Grey Cup (CFL championship) games. The Blue Bombers won two of them, in 1958 and 1959.

Though he never played in the NFL, Tinsley appeared on a 1950 Bowman card for the Pittsburgh Steelers. When the AAFC folded after the 1949 season, the AAFC’s Colts, 49ers, and Browns joined the NFL, and players from the other AAFC teams were distributed among the NFL teams in a “dispersal draft.” The Steelers chose Tinsley in the first round, but he opted to play in Canada instead. (See Tinsley’s CFL Hall of Fame page for a brief summary of his career.)

Tinsley also appeared on a number of CFL cards. I don’t have them in the Gallery yet, but you can find most of them on eBay.

A few other members of the CFL Hall of Fame appeared on NFL football cards, as well. You can search for cards of CFL Hall of Famers in the Vintage Football Card Gallery.

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Richard Harris, Winnipeg Blue Bombers Coach

July 26th, 2011  |  Published in Player Deaths

Richard Harris 1974 Topps football cardRichard Harris, the assistant head coach and defensive line coach of the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, passed away this afternoon. The Winnipeg Free Press web site has a report and a recent photo. Harris was a defensive lineman in the NFL from 1971 to 1977, playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bears, and Seattle Seahawks.

Harris appeared on one football card during his playing days, the 1974 Topps card pictured here. He also appeared on a 1972 Sunoco Stamp.

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Ron Atchison and Frank Rigney, CFL Hall of Famers

July 1st, 2010  |  Published in CFL Cards, Halls of Fame, Player Deaths

Two Canadian Football League Hall of Famers, Ron Atchison and Frank Rigney, passed away this week. Both players appeared on numerous CFL football cards. I am not an expert on CFL cards (or on the CFL, for that matter), so I took the opportunity to do some web searching and learn a little.

1965 Topps CFL Ron Atchison football cardA tribute to Ron Atchison on the Vancouver Sun web site says that he walked-on to the Saskatchewan training camp in 1952, and he ended up playing on the Roughriders defensive line for seventeen years. In that span, the team won one Grey Cup (CFL Championship), in 1966. In one playoff game on an icy field, the resourceful Atchison wore his Hush Puppies for better traction–and they worked!

Atchison apparently did not play college football, but prior to trying out with Saskatchewan, he played for the Saskatoon Hilltops in the Canadian Junior Football League. The league is still in operation, and, according to its Wikipedia page, it serves as a sort of minor league for the CFL. There are some fun team names among the league’s current nineteen teams, including the Big Kahuna Rams, the Chilliwack Huskers, the London Beefeaters, and the Windsor AKO Fratmen.

The card pictured here is Atchison’s 1965 Topps CFL card. 1965 Topps is probably my favorite CFL set, since the cards are colorful and distinct from their NFL counterparts. (Some CFL cards, such as 1958 Topps, 1962 Post, and 1968 O-Pee-Chee, look just like the NFL cards from those years, so to me they’re not very interesting.) Atchison appeared on many more cards, and although I don’t yet have them, you can see a nice assortment on eBay.

1962 Topps CFL Frank Rigney football cardLike Atchison, Frank Rigney spent his entire CFL career with the same team, playing ten years on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers offensive line. In those ten years, Winnipeg played in five Grey Cups and won four of them. Rigney was a CFL West All Star in seven of his ten seasons. He played college football for Iowa, and he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but I did not find anything that said he reported to the Eagles training camp.

Pictured here is Rigney’s 1962 Topps CFL card, half of a panel he shared with teammate Gordie Rowland. The two-card panels in this set are the size of standard single cards. Rigney appeared on many more cards, as well as on some Nalley’s Coins, and you can see examples of them on eBay.

Rigney’s obituary on the CBC News web site provides a nice summary of his career.

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