As football is gearing up for another season, I thought I’d share a batch of 1974 Wonder Bread All-Stars. I’ve had these cards since the mid-1970’s, and can only guess that I got them from a friend, or maybe a garage sale. While I remember having them, I don’t remember getting them… and my mom didn’t buy Wonder Bread.
We’ll start off the festivities with HOFer and 8-time Pro-Bowler Paul Warfield.
The fronts are very similar, but not identical, to 1971 Topps Football. 1971 Topps was color-coded by team and had the little cartoony football player on the bottom, while 1974 Wonder bread was color-coded by offense and defense, and had no cartoons.
The Wonder Bread backs are completely different and printed on white card stock.
The backs included football tips complete with photos of football players. Although the players in these photos had logoless helmets, the uniforms on many of the cards looks like Jets uniforms… I have no idea if they’re Jets players, or just guys in Jets-like uniforms. I would guess the latter.
The photo used on this Bob Griese card was also used on his 1975 Topps and 1975 Wonder Bread cards. As a kid I happened to own all three, and they were the only Bob Griese cards I owned. I think it would’ve blown my mind to get a card with a different photo on it.
Like his teammate, Griese is a HOFer and an 8-time Pro-Bowler.
Alan Page is looking menacing, and showing us that Wonder Bread cards were not immune to helmets with the logos airbrushed-out.
Alan Page says “Listen up… I’m a HOFer and a NINE-time Pro-Bowler!”
I didn’t realize it until I was writing this post, but there are three Dolphins in this set, and I have all three. Pity I’m not a Dolphins fan.
On March 31st, 1974, Csonka and Warfield, along with RB Jim Kiick, announced that in 1975 they would jump from the NFL to the World Football League, a rival league that folded halfway through its second season.
Oh, and Larry Csonka is a HOFer.
Willie Lanier is a (ho-hum) HOFer and 8-time Pro Bowler.
The 1974 Wonder Bread All-Star set is complete at 30 cards, and I don’t get the impression that any of them are particularly rare. It’s also not as loaded with HOFers as this post makes it seem; there are more than a few in the set who fell just a little short of the Hall-Of-Fame.
Interestingly enough, there are no Cowboys in the set, even though the previous year’s team was 10-4 and won a playoff game. Along with HOFers Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly and Mel Renfro, the 1973 Cowboys also had Pro-Bowlers Calvin Hill and Lee Roy Jordan… so clearly there were factors other than ability involved in player selection.
Other teams which are missing (and generally less surprisingly so) were the Bears (3-11-0 in 1973), Bills (9-5-0 and had O.J. Simpson), Chargers (2-11-1), Colts (4-10-0 but had Ted Hendricks), Falcons (9-5-0 but no “star power”), Oilers (1-13-0) and Saints (5-9-0 and I can’t imagine there were many children outside of Louisiana who said “Aw shucks, there aren’t any Saints!”)