Wednesday, February 20, 2019

AFL / NFL Rookies of the Year

Catching up on old Ideas

Just a heads up this can get a bit confusing. You see there were (and still are) several outlets that award the Rookies of the Year in pro football. But they all started in 1955 with The Sporting News (TSN) and United Press International (UPI). 


In 1955 TSN and UPI both agree on Alan Ameche of the Colts. As it turns out, Bowman made a card of Ameche, so nothing for me to do but post it:


In '56 UPI gave the award to another Colt Lenny Moore and Topps had a card of him in the 1956 set. TSN gave it to J.C. Caroline of the Bears. Below is my custom:


TSN and UPI agreed again in 1957 on Jim Brown but Toppps left him out of their set. Another custom from me:


TSN and UPI split again in 1958. TSN gave the ROY to another Browns back, Bobby Mitchell. UPI gave it to Steelers receiver Jimmy Orr. Neither had cards in the 1958 Topps set so here are my customs:


Again TSN went with a back, Nick Pietrosante of the Lions while UPI went with an end, Boyd Dowler of the Packers. And again no Topps cards so here are my customs:


With the creation of the AFL in 1960 things get a bit more complex. Both gave the New AFL award to the Dallas Texanns' Abner Haynes. They also agreed on Gail Cogdill of the Lions for the NFL ROY. Fleer made a card of Haynes but Cogdill was left out of the Topps set. So I made a custom for him:


They were in sync again in 1961 with Charger DE Earl Faison in the AFL and "Da Coach" Mike Ditka in the NFL. This time neither Fleer nor Topps had them included in their sets. Two more customs:


Ditto for 1962. Both TSN and UPI had Curtis McClinton of the Texans and Bears running back Ronnie Bull in their respective leagues. Fleer missed out on McClinton so here's the custom. Topps did have Bull in their 1962 set which is still one of their best looking football sets.


Again in agreement but now neither Topps nor Fleer included the rookies. Here are my customs of Broncos fullback Billy Joe and Vikings receiver Paul Flatley:


In 1964 there was a new award added. The Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA) began handing out ROY awards to strictly NFL players. NEA, TSN and UPI all agreed on Charley Taylor. TSN and UPI agreed on Matt Snell.

The trading card game also changed. In 1964 Philadelphia licensed NFL cards and Topps got the license for AFL cards. Topps made a card for Snell of the Jets. They had him listed as FB-LB-DE but he was primarily a fullback as a pro. Philadelphia left Washington receiver Taylor out so here's my custom:


Again in 1965 NEA, TSN and UPI were in agreement and again Topps was on it in the AFL but Philadelphia missed out. Both future Hall of Famers, here is Topps' "Broadway Joe" and a custom Philadelphia card of "The Kansas Comet":


In 1966 things changed. UPI and TSN agreed on Bills running back Bobby Burnett in the AFL. But they split in the NFL with TSN and NEA giving the ROY to Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis and UPI going with Cardinals halfback Johnny Roland. This time Topps and Philadelphia came up empty.

Ok. You are all caught up. These have all been posted on this sight between 2014 and 2016. I still have a lot to cover. Stay tuned.

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