I’ve been a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers since I was in college, but I have to admit that I’m not the most devoted fan around. For me, football always takes a back seat to baseball, and in those years where I take more than a casual interest in the MLB postseason, football stays in the back seat into November.
So after the excitement of the Mets getting to the World Series, and a week or so to wind down from that excitement, I finally got back around to the NFL and said “What’d I miss?”
“OK, so the Steelers have had three different starting quarterbacks and I seem to have missed the Michael Vick era, I think I’ll get over it. The Bengals are undefeated? The Panthers are undefeated? The Carolina Panthers?!? Seriously? OK, man, don’t get upset, I’m not questioning you, just making sure I heard that right.”
Anyway, in observance of my refamiliarization with the National Football League and it’s constituent franchises, and to give you some cards to look at after three straight wordy posts, I wanted to share some vintage football I’ve picked up lately.
When it comes to Football, my original goal (“There he goes, talking about goals again,…”) was to complete the 1975 Topps Football set (done) and complete the Steeler team sets from 1976 forward.
…But somewhere along the line I decided I should have at least one card from every football set going back to the 1950’s. Steelers from before the 1970’s Super Bowl dynasty years are largely unknown to me, but even so it seemed obvious to focus mainly on them for my type collection, unless desire or circumstance (AFL and CFL sets which are Steeler-free) dictate otherwise.
This first card I’m featuring is from the 1958 Topps set, and features the Steelers uniforms which inspired the popular throwbacks of recent years.
George Tarasovic is now 85 years old and I saw reference to his being among the oldest living NFL players. He played for the Steelers, Eagles and Broncos from 1952 to 1966
This next card is a 1962 Topps card, and when I looked at it I said “Whoa, Preston Carpenter has a George Clooney thing going there…”, and then realized that it was George Clooney who has a Preston Carpenter thing going because George was 1 year old when this card came out. At any rate, I’m sure the ladies loved Preston Carpenter.
Preston Carpenter was a Pro Bowl selection in 1962, and also played for the Browns, Redskins, Vikings and Dolphins.
In my younger days I was aware that the New York Jets started out as the New York Titans, but I’d never seen any photos or videos and I didn’t think much about it. Just one of those “fun fact” things.
Years later, I found out that the Titans had uniforms that were similar to the Giants (blue and yellow as opposed to blue and red) and it finally clicked that “Titans” was intended to be more-or-less synonymous with “Giants” and when this all fell into place for me, I exclaimed “Oh, dude, that is LAME.”
So here’s a 1962 Fleer AFL card of those lame New York Titans.
Bob Brooks played in 14 games in 1961, and that was the entirety of his career. I couldn’t find much information on him in the 5 minutes I spent Googling his name.
For four years in the 1960’s, the NFL’s trading card licensed belonged to the Philadelphia Chewing Gum Co., makers of Swell gum.
Back in January, Commish Bob over at The Five Tool Collector featured a number of Philadelphia football cards, including this one, which featured a fantastic shot of old Yankee Stadium. I knew then that I had to have it… and now I do.
Allen Jacobs was part of the 1965 NFL Champion Green Bay Packers and played for the Giants in 1966 and 1967.