Thursday, September 30, 2021

Some 1974 Football Customs

 I am in the process of getting my old cards from the 70s into binders.  Most of these sets fit nicely into Walmart cheapo 2 1/2" D-ring binders. I am making custom art to make the binders look better.  Since I haven't made many football customs, I've been creating a lot lately and I thought I'd share them with you.

Len Dawson was in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career.  But at 39 he was still the Chiefs opening day starting QB.  I'm not sure why he was excluded, but it gave me an excuse to use this famous shot of him enjoying and post-game lung dart and a Fresca?  Namath was famously missing from Topps sets after 1973.  There are many customs made of this card.  There was even an actual Topps prototype of a 1974 Joe Willie before he pulled the plug. Here that one is in case you've never seen it:

In 1974 Topps baseball there was a subset of traded cards.  Obviously these weren't part of the football set, but I thought I'd include one of the bigger trades of the season.  John Hadl, who was a star QB for the Chargers then the Rams was dealt to the Green Bay a few games into the season.  1974 also saw the birth of the World Football League.  I made a card of Virgil Carter of the Chicago Fire.

Another Topps baseball staple that never appeared in their football sets, was the Rookie Stars card.  Here is a San Diego Chargers Rookie Stars card of future Hall of Famer Dan Fouts and the 1974 Rookie of the year Don Woods.

I also wanted to make a card commemorating the College All Star game.  This was an old tradition played in Chicago which pitted, you guessed it, College All Star against an actual NFL team.  Not just any team either, they played the previous year's NFL Champs.  While this seems very one sided, the tradition goes back to when the NFL was young and college football was hugely popular. The early games were very competitive. AS the NFL grew the games became less so. It eventually ceased in 1976.  Still would've made for a cool looking card.

So here is what my final binder cover will look like. In addition to these six cards, I added a rookie Jack Lambert card that had already appeared on this blog. I also used the 1974 pack design.  I also use the center row of cards as the spine of the binder.

I haven't gone to the printer with my football versions yet, but this is what my baseball binders look like on the shelf:

One last thing, Like I said, I am trying to complete 1974-1979 both baseball and football.  This is very much early in the process, but if you are in the same boat, and are looking to trade dupes of commons or semi-stars, let me know.  I would like to get in touch and help each other out.  Keep in mind that in 1974 these cards were kept in cigar boxes with rubber bands. Some cards are rougher than others.  They were well used and well loved by a nine-year-old version of myself.  I guess that's the kindest way to put it. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1961 NL Infield

 There were two All Star Games in 1960 and in 1961 Topps had Panch Herrera as their All Star first baseman, Mazeroski at second, Ken Boyer at 3rd and Ernie Banks at short.  Only Maz and Banks started in the 1960 games.  Although Boyer didn't start in the 1960 ASGs he was the 1961 Sporting News All Star selection at 3rd base.  Here are a few cards that could have been included in that All Star subset.

At first Topps could have included Joe Adcock who actually started both 1960 ASGs.  They also could have had Orlando Cepeda who was The Sporting News actual 1962 All Star selection at 1st base.

At second, they could have included Frank Bolling.  He was the 1962 Sporting News All Star selection at second base.  And at third, his teammate, Eddie Mathews, started both 1960 ASGs.

At short, The Sporting News All Star was Maury Wills.  Of course, he was famously not under contract with Topps at the time.  So here is what could've been:

Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1961 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?
Frank (Pancho) Herrera:

Herrera was 2nd place in Rookie of the Year voting in 1960, far behind Frank Howard. He also led the league in errors at first base and had a then MLB record of 136 strikeouts.  He wasn't a 1960 All Star, nor was he a Sporting News All Star.  He is an interesting side note though.  He played from 1955-1974 in pro ball. Only parts of three seasons were at the Major League level.  In that time he amassed 305 homers at all levels.  He was elected to the International League Hall of Fame in 2008.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1962 AL Battery

Again with two mid season classics, there were several players that could have qualified for a Topps All Star card in 1962.  As a reminder, my criteria is that the player be a starter in the previous season's MLB All Star Game (In the case of pitchers the first righty and first lefty to appear in the game), or they be named to the current (in this case, 1962) Sporting News All Star roster. That is different than Topps criteria, which is, pretty much, a mystery. 

In 1962 Topps had All Star cards of Whitey Ford (LHP) who started the 1st All Star game in 1961. They also had a card of Frank Lary who was the first RHP to appear in relief in game one. At catcher they had Elston Howard who had a great year in 1961 and was named to the the 1961 Sporting News All Star roster.  However he started in neither 1961 ASGs nor was he a 1962 TSN All Star.

Here are 5 players who could've had cards in 1962:

Jim Bunning:

Bunning was the starter of the second All Star Game in 1961, he also pitched 2 innings in relief in the first 1961 ASG. He then went on to start the first ASG in 1962.  He was listed as reserve in game two but never left the bullpen.  

Dick Donovan and Ralph Terry were both named to the 1962 Sporting news All Star roster. Terry had a 23 win season in 1962 and was rostered for both '62 ASGs but never saw action. Donovan was similarly a reserve in both 1962 ASGs but unlike Terry, he pitched 2 innings in the first game of 1962. It mirrored his 1961 experience of being reserve for both games and pitching 2 innings of the first game.

Although Topps had Elston Howard on their 1962 All Star card, the actual 1962 Sporting News All Star selection at catcher was Earl Battey.  The starting catcher for both 1961 MLB All Star games was Johnny Romano.

Normally this is where I'd point out who didn't merit an All Star card.  I would lean toward Howard but seeing as though he was the Sporting News pick in 1961, I'll give Topps a pass.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Cards I Made for Other Websites

Cleaning Out the Closet 

Here are some cards I found, going through some of my old stuff that never got published on this blog. Some of these, I don't remember where I published them.  Like this Bo Jackson throwing out the first pitch at a White Sox - Royals game.  Apparently he wanted to appear neutral by wearing a plain black cap and sweatshirt.  I added the Sox logos because I am not neutral. But I really don't remember where or when (or if) I posted this card. 

This card was made for Rich Klein of Sports Collectors Daily.  The Astros had the first pick of the 1992 draft.  Hal Newhouser, who was at that time serving as scout for Houston, tried to convince them to draft Jeter. After they picked Phil Nevin instead, Newhouser quit.  This was my attempt at a "What if?" card.

Phillies reliever Al Raffo pitched in 35 games in 1969, but never had a card.  Jim from Downington requested this for his 1970 Topps Baseball blog.

In 1967 there were several of these type of multi-player cards. These cards were an attempt at giving at least one to each team.  I had a hard time finding era appropriate photos and ultimately abandoned the project.

More requests from Jim from Downington.  These were the QBs missing from his 1971 Topps Football blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

1976 NFL Rookies of the Year

It's been a while since my last NFL Rookies of the Year post.  We left off with the 1975 ROYs.

1976 still had five different organizations each presenting two different NFL Rookie of the Year awards for a total of ten trophies.  In an unusual happenstance, the top NFC rookie was an offensive player and the top AFC rookie was a defender. All five organizations were in unanimous agreement for the first time.  The NFC/Offensive Rookie of the Year was Sammy White. The AFC/Defensive Rookie of the Year was Mike Haynes. Haynes and White had their actual rookie cards in the 1977 Topps set.  Both of them had All Pro banners across the top as well.


White spent his whole career in Minnesota making the Pro Bowl his first two seasons.  His final season was in 1985. In 1998 he returned to his Alma Mater, Grambling State as a coach until 2009.

Mike Haynes was a nine time All Pro.  He played 14 seasons, seven with the Patriots and seven with the Raiders.  He retired in 1989 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2000 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1968 NL Outfield

The 1968 Topps All Star cards for the National League outfield mirrored the 1967 All Star Game starting outfield.  Perennial All Stars Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente were all there.  But the cards themselves say "The Sporting News 68 All Star Selection."  The actual 1968 Sporting News All Star outfielders were Billy Williams, Curt Flood and Pete Rose. 

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1969 AL Infield

 Topps 1969 American League All Star Infield was another head scratcher.  At second Topps had Rod Carew who was the 1968 All Star starter and a 1969 Sporting News All Star selection.  Similarly, third base was Brooks Robinson.  He was the 1968 ASG starter and a 1969 Sporting News All Star. There if falls apart.  

Topps had Bert Campaneris at shortstop. The actual 1969 Sporting News All Star was Luis Aparicio. The 1968 MLB All Star Game Starter was Jim Fregosi.

At first it gets really strange.  Topps had Ken Harrelson who had been used primarily as an outfielder since being dealt to the Red Sox in 1967.  In fact, he was named to The Sporting News All Star team in 1969 as an outfielder, not a first baseman. He also appears to be in his A's uniform despite being traded in 1967.  The actual 1969 Sporting News All Star in 1969 was Boog Powell and the starting first baseman in the 1968 All Star Game was Harmon Killebrew.

Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1969 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?
Bert Campaneris:

We'll give Topps a pass for Hawk Harrelson because he was a Sporting News Selection in 1969, although in the OF not 1B.  But Campy made his first ASG appearance in 1968 as a reserve and wouldn't be named to The Sporting News team until 1973. Additionally, the pinstriped uniform in the picture hasn't been worn by the A's in the regular season since 1961. How old is this picture? 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Topps All-Star Misses: 1970 NL Battery

 In a strange turn of events, Topps had the 1959 American League All Star infield and the 1958 National League outfield correct (by my narrow definition). The 1959 AL infield cards reflected the 1958 ASG starting lineup; Moose Skowron at first, Nellie Fox at second, Luis Aparicio at short and Frank Malzone at third.  The Sporting News All Stars in 1959 were combine AL and NL with only Nellie Fox of the White Sox representing the AL.

Similarly, the Topps 1958 NL Outfield All Stars were a reflection of the 1957 MLB All Star Game starters. Frank Robinson, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron were the 1957 ASG starters and Mays and Aaron were named to The Sporting News All Star team in 1958.  So we skip ahead to the 1970 NL Battery.

In 1970, Topps had Jerry Koosman (LHP), Juan Marichal (RHP) and Johnny Bench (C) on their "Sporting News" All Star Cards. Only Bench was actually named to the 1970 Sporting News All Star team.  He was also the only of the 3 to start in the 1969 ASG.  

The actual 1969 All Star Game starter was Steve Carlton of the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlton followed up his 1969 All Star season, with a league leading 19 losses in 1970.

The first right hand pitcher to make an appearance for the NL in the 1969 ASG was Bob Gibson.  Gibson was also The Sporting News All Star selection for 1970.

Jim Merritt (LHP) was The Sporting News All Star selection in 1970.  He was also the first lefty to pitch in the 1970 ASG following starter Tom Seaver.  He was 4th in Cy Young voting in 1970 and 21st in MVP voting.

Who probably didn't merit inclusion in the 1970 Topps All-Star set, but was in it anyway?
Koosman and Marichal:

Both were reserves in the 1969 MLB All Star Game but only Koosman left the bullpen. Neither were named to The Sporting News All Star team in 1970 and neither were selected for the 1970 MLB All Star team.