Vintage Football As “Plan B”

This time of year, Football is always “Plan B” for me… I can’t get enthused about football until baseball is over for me…  But in this particular case I had something I was 90% done with and planning to post today, but last night I looked at it and said “Naaaaah… Don’t like it”.

As a fallback, I figured I’d share some 1960’s football cards got the last time I went to a show.

…As it turns out, it’s a damn fine Plan B.

I’ll start with the oldest, from 1960 Topps Football.
John Nisby was a three-time Pro Bowler and one of the first African-American players on the Washington Redskins… in 1962.  I might be naive, but I had no idea that there were teams in any pro sport that hadn’t integrated by the 1960’s… Outside of the NHL, anyway.

As this is the first 1960 Topps Football card I own, I figured I’d share the back…
The “Football Funnies” became visible when you rub a coin over it.  It’s hard to see it on this card, so I’ll describe it for you…
Man in suit:  “So, you’re looking for a job.  Okay, I’ll pay you what you’re worth.”
Football player:  “Oh, no.  I won’t work that cheap.”


This next card is from the 1966 Philadelphia set, and I love this card.  Something about the pose and Clarence Childs’ expression.
And look at that jersey!  It’s got SLEEVES!  Sleeves that come down over the elbow!  I love 1960’s football uniforms.

Childs played 4 years for the Giants and one for the Bears.  He’s listed as a halfback, but he also did kick and punt returns, as well as some defensive work.  He twice scored a touchdown on kickoff returns, including a 100-yard run on December 6, 1964.

The rest of these cards are from the 1967 Philadelphia Football set.

Gary Wood is wearing a Giants uniform and standing in Yankee Stadium, so it’s easy to overlook the relatively small line on  his card that says “NEW ORLEANS SAINTS”.
Wood was a quarterback who set numerous records when he played at Cornell.  With the Giants, he slotted as the #2 quarterback behind Y.A. Tittle and then Earl Morrall, but got a lot of playing time due to those quarterback’s injuries.  After time with the Saints, he returned to the Giants to back up Fran Tarkenton and hold the ball for kicker Pete Gogolak.

Carl “Spider” Lockhart was a two-time Pro Bowler who played 11 years for the Giants.
Spider ranks third on the Giants list of career interceptions (behind Emlen Tunnell and Jimmy Patton).

This next card features a great shot of Yankee Stadium…oh, and quarterback Tom Kennedy.
1966 was Kennedy’s only season in the NFL;  he played in six games and started one.  He joined the team mid-season as a backup to Gary Wood after Earl Morrall went down with a broken wrist.

Kennedy’s one start came in the game that set records for points scored in a game:  Redskins 72, Giants 41.  There’s a fantastic vintage film about this game over at… And The Sky Rained Footballs.  This is absolutely worth the 2:40 you’ll spend watching it.  This is still a record for most points scored in a game by a team and by both teams.  Although none of the Giants on these Philadelphia cards are mentioned by name, all four of them appear in the film.

My New “Oldest Doubles” And Other 1956 Topps

Up until recently, the oldest “doubles” I’d ever had were a pair of 1963 Topps Marv Throneberry cards, one of those deals where I bought a card at a show and then got home and found out that I already had it.

One thing about buying from COMC is that it makes screwing up so much more efficient… I got both of these cards in the same COMC order…
1956 Topps Eddie Yost in duplicate
…and didn’t realize it until after the cards had shipped. Completely my fault, nothing to do with COMC, please continue to buy cards from that fine website (especially my cards).

The majority of the 1956 cards I got were all of the same category: “affordable commons that I bought solely because of the visual appeal — usually the action shot”.

This Roy Sievers card was one I saw on someone else’s blog and said “Oooh, gotta get me one!”
…I wish I could remember whose blog it was…
1956 Topps Roy Sievers
Roy Sievers was the 1949 AL Rookie Of the Year, was an all-star four times, lead the AL with 42 homers and 114 RBI in 1957 and his nickname was “Squirrel”.

Ruben Gomez was one of the first Puerto Ricans in the Majors.
1956 Topps Ruben Gomez
I love the fact that this pitcher’s action shot shows him legging it out to first.  It’s not entirely uncalled for… He batted .300 in 1955 (18 for 60).

Sammy White was the Red Sox starting catcher for most of the 1950’s, and was an All-Star in 1953.
1956 Topps Sammy White
White scored three times in one inning in a game against the Tigers on 6/18/53. He had two singles and a walk in the bottom of the 7th, as the Sox scored 17 runs off three Tigers pitchers.

Wayne Terwilliger played 9 years in the Majors with the Cubs, Dodgers, Senators, Giants and A’s…
1956 Topps Wayne Terwilliger
…but what’s really interesting about him is a career in baseball that spans seven decades. He started in the minors in 1948, and between playing, managing and coaching he spent 62 years in professional baseball, finishing as a first base coach for the independent minor league Ft. Worth Cats in 2010.

An interesting sign of how much I’ve come to enjoy the 1956 set is the fact that I’ve got nearly as many cards from 1956 as from the rest of the 1950’s – Topps, Bowman and Red Man – combined.  There’s a very good chance that 1956 will take the lead with the next show I attend.

Black Friday: Bob And The Red Men

When COMC had it’s Black Friday promotion, I bought somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 cards.  I’ve shown a few cards here and there over the past few days, but this is the official kickoff of this particular round of “show and tell”.

I’ll start off the festivities with a trio of oversized cards, two of which feature Hall-of-Famers.

First off, we have a beeeeee-yoootiful 1955 Red Man Henry Thompson card.

1955 Red Man Hank Thompson

This card is in quite nice shape for a 58-year old card;  there’s a pinhole up in the corner of the box, the corners are slightly dinged, and the tab is missing from the bottom, but I don’t care about any of this.  I just see an awesome addition to my collection.

Slightly older and in worse shape is this Ralph Kiner:

1953 Red Man Ralph Kiner

Yeah, the cards a little rougher, but he’s also a HOFer so you’ve got to have some give and take here.    As you can see, someone “updated” the card with a ball point pen.  What you can’t see is that some of the back has been torn away; it looks like this may have been pasted into someone’s album.  The actual artwork remains unblemished, which makes it more than nice enough for me.

Ralph Kiner went to the Cubs in a mid-season trade that involved 10 players and $150,000.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Inflation Calculator, that’s equivalent to $1.3M in today’s dollars.  That’s a hell of a deal.

Moving forward to the 1960’s, we have another Hall-Of-Famer;  an affordable copy of this card has eluded me for years…

1964 Topps Giants  Bob Clemente

Yes indeed, it’s “Bob” Clemente.  It seems ridiculous now to think that “Roberto” was too exotic for the youth of America to process, but apparently it was.  You could make a good drinking game out of the number of times “Bob” is used on the back of the card.
1964 Topps Giants Bob Clemente back

Now that I’ve got “Bob”, I need just 7 SP’s to complete the set…. Hah!  “Just 7 SP’s”.   Among the seven are Sandy Koufax and Willie Mays… it’ll be a challenge to finish this set off while staying within my budget, but we’ll see what happens.


Nothin’ From Nothin’ Leaves Nothin’

This post has nothin’ to do with nothin’… Just like the last post, I’m trying something here, trying to figure out why this highly respected and much beloved blog will not appear in blogrolls.

1956 Topps Bobby Hofman

Bobby Hofman was a New York Giant who was used mainly as a pinch hitter and utility guy. I bought this at a recent show because it’s a cool 1956 common, and I like 1956 and I can afford commons.

The Funny Hats Of ’76!!!!

Yesterday’s post was about America’s bicentennial in 1976.  Something else that happened in 1976 was the National League’s Centennial.  Several teams observed the Centennial in ways which people confused for observing the Bicentennial.

Of course, everybody knows the Pirates wore funny hats…
1977 Topps Jerry Reuss

The Cardinals wore funny hats almost as much as the Pirates…
1977 Topps Al Hrabosky

…and did the Pirates one better by wearing funny helmets to match their funny hats…
1977 Topps Lou Brock

…The National League All-Stars wore funny hats (but not during the game)…
1977 Mets yearbook Photo of 1976 all-stars

…The Mets wore funny hats (but not much, and the only image I could find in my collection was this shot from 1976’s Old Timers’ Day: This is Don Cardwell and Sal Maglie)…
1977 Mets yearbook photo of Don Cardwell and Sal Maglie

The Reds and Phillies and NL umpires also wore funny hats, but I couldn’t find any decent images of them.

…and every team, funny hat or no funny hat, wore a “National League Centennial” patch like Manny Mota has.
1977 Topps Manny Mota

Everybody but the Pirates would abandon the funny hats after the season.  The following year the Pirates would add funny uniforms to go with the funny hats, and would continue to wear those up through the mid-1980’s.

The Oldest Card I Own

NOTE I posted this earlier today, and somehow it showed up as having been posted back in April.  Dunno why.  Not losing sleep over it.

Given that I’ve been actively collecting for nearly 40 years, one would think that I’d have some amazingly old cards.  One would be wrong.

For whatever reason, I’ve never been interested in pre-1950’s cards.  Out of the however-many thousands of cards I own, I’ve got only a handful of cards from before 1956, and this 1951 Bowman Wes Westrum is the oldest one of the bunch.

I wish I had some great story to tell, but the details behind this card are pretty mundane.  I ran across it at a show, it was cheap because of its condition, Wes Westrum once managed the Mets, and my mother had been a New York Giants fan (until they moved to San Francisco).  All that combined for a “What the heck” moment.

So unlike many of you out there, there are no vintage tobacco cards for me.  I think I might be able to keep myself occupied with cards from the last 60 years, anyway.

Super Bowl prediction sans football images

I’m using unrelated non-sports cards to accompany my predictions, because I don’t have any appropriate scans nor the time to scan anything.  Oh, sure, I could get images off another website, but where’s the fun in that?

New York Giants – 28

Prime Time Speed Racer #36 - Racer X

New England Patriots – 26

Donruss M*A*S*H #41 - Corporal Max Klinger

I do have one image which is appropriate for Super Bowl Sunday…

Inkworks Simpsons #55

My NFL playoff predictions as illustrated by some recently acquired 1975 Topps Football

I thought it would be fun to share my guesses predictions for this weekend’s playoff games while showing off the progress I’m making towards completing my 1975 Topps Football set.  I need 8 cards to finish off the set that I’ve been working on since… well, since 1975.  Yay, me.

Here are my predictions, along with scores determined through an extremely involved mathematical process (I’m pulling them out of my… uhhhhh  …out of a hat).

In the NFC game, the final score will be Giants – 37…

…’Niners – 34

…and in the AFC, Baltimore – 28 (Sorry, there’s no such thing as a 1975 Ravens card)…

…Patriots – 27

Yes, I’m predicting a rematch of Super Bowl XXXV.  Hopefully the Giants will beat the Ravens this time around.