Thursday, December 3, 2009

Schneider-Man moves from NY to Phillie

OK so this isn't a post about Cards, but it is sports related. Earlier this week my fave catcher Brian Schneider signed a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. I won't go into detail on it here since I already just mentioned it on my regular Blog Kirk's Knook.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Fleer Laughlin World Series Cards

(with Drawings by Robert Laughlin)
1970 and 1971 (plus any B&W '67s if I can find them)

I've loved these cards since I was a kid and first saw a pack in either K-Mart or some other big retail chain in 1970/71. I also recall that the gum included by Fleer in this product and in others had a powder (presumably to keep the gum from sticking to the cards) that had a distinctive taste. I both hated it and yet loved it at the same time thinking it was worse/better than the Topps gum. I think the gum Fleer used was sugar-free.

These cards have political style cartoons depicting the teams that played in the World Series for that card's particular year. The blog The Fleer Sticker Project is a good background source for these cards, and was a major help to me in reconnecting to this set. Ebay and Sportlots also had a hand in reconnecting me. More recently I found a Sport Collector's Digest link ( with an excellent description of the set(s).

It seems that in 1967 an independent company (maybe Fleer I'm not sure) along with Robert Laughlin produced a card set with black and white cartoons. I'm not 100% sure of the total card count I think it's 64? The 1970 set is based on that set and uses color versions of the drawings. The 1971 set changed a few of the drawings. Like many early 1970s cards many people are confused about when the cards came out since the copyright date is 1968. Topps did the same thing in 1975 with the non-sports set of the TV show Planet of The Apes the cards are copyright dated 1967 but were produced in 1975. In my My Ebay Guide on POTA cards I describe how to tell the difference between those and the original movie cards produced in 1968. I need to update the images on that guide, but I digress.

The 1970 set has 66 cards From World Series 1903 - 1969 (minus 1904 when there was no series) the 1971 set has 68 cards and includes 1904 and 1970. From 1972 - 1978 Fleer apparently released an update each year to include the most recent year, or they had a reprint set made in 1978. The jury is still out concerning when/how these updates were released. I'm going with the yearly updates as I recall seeing that mentioned in a price guide or a hobby magazine about these sets. Some of my 1970 card backs seem to have darker blue ink than others. I don't know if that means I've managed to get better preserved cards or that they may have reprinted the set at one time. My 1971 card of the '63 WS has a back that to me seems more of a dark brown than true black, and my card of the '24 WS seems to be a dark grey/charcoal black.

In 1980 Fleer reprinted the 1971 set (sort of) with card fronts and sticker backs from WS 1940 to 1979 with some of the cartoons replaced by new ones. I have the full Sticker set, although I'm curious about sticker variations that I might try to find. I haven't scanned those yet when I do I'll post a part two to this post and probably add at least one image here.

The two 70s sets are very similar but have tell-tale signs to tell the differences.

Keys to telling the sets apart:

* The WS year is in a baseball.* The card back is white with Blue inked lettering.

*The WS year is above the MLB Logo.
*The card back is white with Black inked lettering.

I find it interesting that the 1937 WS card from 1970 is the only card (so far, I don't have the entire set yet) that does not have the abbreviation "vs." on its front. I have two of this card and neither one has it.

There is a slight inconsistency with the team names. Sometimes the Yankees are abbreviated as "Yanks" and the Cardinals as the "Cards". The Athletics are always listed as the "A's" and the White Sox always as "Sox", but the Red Sox are never abbreviated. The Cubs are always listed with the team "C" logo (the one that says "Cubs"). Some of the Giants vs. Yankees series are listed as "Giants vs. Yanks" and some not. Some of the Cardinals vs. Yankees series are either "Cards vs. Yankees" or "Cardinals vs. Yanks" never any "Cards vs. Yanks". Interesting, I'm not sure why this is. As I said there doesn't seem to be any consistency to using the team nicknames.

Here are my set needs:


4, 6, 9, 20, 26, 33, 36, 41, 45, 48, 49, 61, 62,

#s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68

These are ones I need to replace for being off centered (some more so than others):1970: 1, 3, 14, 19, 32, 35, 38,43, 44, 53, 54, 57, 59, 60, 63, 66
1971: 61

For some reason, or maybe many as with other card sets, many of the cards from these sets that I had as a kid disappeared save a handful to about a dozen maybe 15. Most from the 1970 set including the 1917, 1950 and 1967 (I think that is my favorite one). The 1963 card from 1971 seems to be the lone survivor from that set of the cards I had when I was a kid. Here are a few of the other cards I seem to remember having as a kid. I know there are a few others but these I'm the most sure of.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mailday Mostly 1972 Topps

I haven't scanned any of these cards from today but I got a boat load of 1972 Topps Baseball from and a couple of 1974 Football Cards from Ebay.

The Baseball Onslaught.

1964 Topps
154 Dick Tracewski Dodgers

1966 Topps
298 Rico Petrocelli Red Sox

1972 Topps Some of these are off center.

20 Don Wilson Astros
150 Norm Cash Tigers
152 Gene Clines Pirates
154 Ted Simmons Cardinals (I might have 3 of this card, not sure)
156 Twins Team Card
160 Andy Messersmith Angels
162 Jerry Bell Darrell Porter Bob Reynolds 1972 Rookie Stars Brewers
164 Tug McGraw Mets IN ACTION (very cool super PC card, YES! I do have his regular card as well - see below)
165 Chris Speier Giants
166 Chris Speier IN ACTION
167 Deron Johnson Phillies
169 Vida Blue A's
173 Clay Kirby Padres
174 Clay Kirby IN ACTION
175 Tom Haller Tigers
176 Tom Haller IN ACTION
178 Paul Schaal IN ACTION
179 Dock Ellis Pirates
182 Ed Kranepool IN ACTION
183 Bill Melton White Sox
184 Bill Melton IN ACTION
185 Ron Bryant Giants
187 Gates Brown Tigers
189 Gene Tenace A's
190 Dave Giusti Pirates
191 Jeff Burroughs Rangers

192 Cubs Team Card - A couple of times in the 1970s it seemed that only the Cubs did this cut-out heads team thing on the team cards. I think I had a poster of this once as a kid, not 100% sure such a product existed let alone if I actually had it.

201 Phil Roof Twins (way off center)
202 Scipio Spinks Astros
204 Tommy Helms Astros
206 Dal Maxvill Cardinals
209 Joe Rudi A's
212 Grant Jackson Orioles
213 Billy Parker Art Kusnyer Tom Silverio 1972 Rookie Stars Angels
214 Mike McQueen Braves
215 Alex Johnson Indians (Off Center)
216 Joe Niekro Tigers
217 Roger Metzger Astros
218 Eddie Kasko Red Sox
219 Rennie Stennett Pirates
220 Jim Perry Twins

The 1972 Topps Baseball is the ultimate in 1970s design style, here are a couple of examples of the styling. The following cards I already had, I had forgotten that I had scanned the second two.

One of my fave Old-Time Players Frank Howard, began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers but is most remembered as a Washington Senator (They then became the Texas Rangers and the 1972 is the Debut of the Texas Rangers on Cards)

Frank Howard # 350
Even though Tug McGraw played on two teams I'm not very big on. The Phillies and The Mets (Since some trades of some Nationals to the Mets I am more appreciative of them) If you are old enough to remember the 1970s you may remember Tugs comic strip based on his MLB career "Scroogie". The main character played for a team call the PETS. Somewhere I have a Scroogie book and a couple of comic strip clippings when I find them I'll try to remember to scan them.

Tug McGraw # 163

Just because he is the Home Run King Here is Hammerin' Hank IN ACTION.

Hank Aaron IN ACTION # 300

Now the Football Cards I got:

1974 Topps
148 John Matuszak Oilers RC.

1974 Wonder Bread
15 Tom Mack Rams - My first 1974 Wonder Bread Football card.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mid 1970s Wonder Bread NFL

Back in the day one of the biggest food companies and Topps produced some nice card sets that were included in the food product. I am talking about WONDER BREAD. In 1974 -76 they made some nice, although small, Football sets.

The designs are both nice and pretty plain. The 1974 set takes the design of the 1971 Topps Football set, while the 1975 and 1976 seem to be unique to themselves.

I will concentrate this post on the 1975 set as that was the only one I had any cards of way back then. My mom wasn't much of a fan of the bleached white Wonder bread so we would usually get either the store brand or Whole Wheat breads when I was a kid. So it was sort of rare when I would get some of these things. Wonder Bread also did some non-sport sets the most popular would probably be the STAR WARS and maybe the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (The original series) sets. (I'll try to post some pics of those sometime later, I don't think I have any scanned).

OK so way back in '75 I managed to get these two cards from this 24 card set:

Those two cards were pulled directly from the product, the only way to get these cards back then. A few years later when trading card shops started popping up during the hobby boom of the early 1980s it was possible to start getting these from other sorces and even some of the factory sets. So my copies of these cards are pretty yellowed on the back and the white parts on the front from being in actual contact with the bread. I forget if they put them in those little plastic packs back then or not. Even if they did cards pulled directly from the bread bags are most likely never going to be anywhere near NM.

For the longest time those were the only two cards from this set that I had. It also seemed that I would be forever doomed to only having just those two, um this was before the internet and places like Ebay where now if you are patient enough you can find a decent set for a pretty good price, but I had to do things the hard way and find the set in bits and pieces So I do have a few cards from this set for trade (I'll list those toward the bottom of this post). OK so I pieced the set together mostly by winning some Ebay auctions, and I think maybe one or two purchases from (either in the direct stock, or in the 1,2,3 Auctions they have).

Here are a few of my fave cards from this set:


The Bob Griese card was not too difficult to get with today's internet. I got it from Ebay and the seller appologized for it being in such poor condition. When I got it I was like "What's wrong?" OK so the corners are not prestine sharp and the edges have a tiny bit of wear, but that doesn't make me sad about it.

Now the cards that eluded me the most and I had Dicken's of a time trying to pin down. They were cards #15 Chuck Forman and the first card #1 Alan Page. Since they both are Vikings maybe it was an ancient Viking curse I was a victim of. I would keep finding partial sets, that had almost everyone but these two, especially Mr. Page. He was the very last card I managed to find. Odd as often people manage to get the first card of a set or some of the early ones and decide to acquire them in order. Anyway it took about 34 years to complete this 24 card set, with probably only about 10 years of actually trying hard to find the cards other than in passing.


One thing about the design of this set that for several years I couldn't place since I only had the two cards was how they were organized. I haven't quite figured out the reason for the numbering but I eventually discovered the pattern to the RED and BLUE borders. At first I thought it may be the traditional AFC/NFC thing, but after getting more cards from teams of the same conference with different color schemes I knew that wasn't it. It isn't by team either as there are a couple of teams that have 2 players as you can see there are two Vikings and one is Red the other Blue. Well with the full set and studying the cards carefully, I discovered that The DEFENSE is RED and the OFFENSE is BLUE. Mystery Solved.

I don't have any of the 1974 set yet. I'd like to start getting some of those or find a nice conditioned set. UPDATE: I now have my first 1974 Wonder Bread Card: # 15 Tom Mack - Rams. Received in mail on 13 Nov.

I do have a complete 1976 set. Over the years, now many of the players from each of these sets are now in the NFL Hall of Fame.

Here are my Duplicates from this set and also my lone duplicate from the 1976 set that are up for trade.

1975 Wonder Bread
#2 Emmitt Thomas - Chiefs
#7 Tom Mack - Rams (2)
#9 Isaac Curtis - Bengals (2)
#22 Levi Johnson - Lions (2)

1976 Wonder Bread
#14 Jack Youngblood - Rams

Friday, October 30, 2009

A White Whale From One Of My Fave QBs


One of my favorite QuarterBacks growing up was Sonny Jurgensen. He began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles but is best known for my Homie Team The Washington Redskins. Recently from Ebay I got one of the "white whales" I had been looking for quite a while.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term "White Whale" in the trading card hobby it basically is a card that you have been hunting for your personal collection (PC) that has been pretty difficult to acquire. Often a white whale will elude you for some time, often teasing you by showing up just out of reach. It is a reference to Moby Dick the white whale in the classic book of the same name by HERMAN MELVILLE. Moby was the nemesis to the main character Capt. Ahab.

Well this card, and many cards now-a-days thanks to the internet, is not so much a "White Whale" anymore. The card is the 1958 Topps Rookie Card (RC) of Sonny Jurgensen.

It fast became one of my favorite Sonny J. cards. Another of my fave Sonny J. cards is:

1971 Topps Game Card Insert

And also the companion to the Game Card is the Pin-Up.

1971 Topps Pin-Up.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monsters Of The Gridiron

Soon it will be Halloween, scary eh kids? With that note let us flip back 15 years with Coca-Cola and The NFL...

Monsters of the Gridiron in 1994.
Coca-Cola, and the NFL Player's Association using Pro-Line Classics cards. Produced this unique set of 30 cards:

This Football card set was released around October for Halloween (one would guess), each player card has the player dressed up in a monster costume that incorporates their own team jersey at least most of them. There are 30 numbered player cards in the set, 1 for each of the the 28 then current teams, 2 "mascot" cards for the expansion teams of the Carolina Panthers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the checklist card which was not numbered so 31 cards actually. 32 if you count the insert of the special scratch-off game cards.

Front of Un-Numbered Checklist card

The cards are in alphabetical order by the team city. This was in the days before the Baltimore Ravens, while both the Raiders and the Rams were still in Los Angeles, and the Houston team was still the Oilers.

Each NFL team is represented by one of its big named Starter Stars, and each player is dressed up in some sort of Monster or Creature Costume and some sort of silly monster nickname. Some of them are pretty cool looking others are just silly and stupid. The two new expansion teams that would begin their histories with the NFL the following season in 1995; The Carolina Panthers and The Jacksonville Jaguars are represented by drawings of "Mascots" that didn't quite become the official logos. The backs of the cards say 1994 Edition which seems to indicate that there were plans to make the concept a regular annual series. That never happened.

The cards were included in the 12 can pack cases of Coca-Cola products. If I recall correctly I think 2 cards may have been included or 1 card and a scratch off game card.

Yes There was a scratch off game card. You scratched off a football shaped area on the card with a coin and won some sort of prize, money or 99% of the time a "Sorry, try again" sort of no win. If I remember right the Coca-Cola products that included the cards had 1 random card plus one scratch off game card. Maybe they just had one card, I don't recall I just know I originally had only 4 players and 2 of the scratch off cards which I never scratched.

Scratch Off Game Card

15 years does effect ones memory so I really don't know unless there is some website out there on the internet that gives all the distribution details.

Full 30 card set in hanging blister pack

As you can see the entire set was also made available later in a hanging cardboard backed blister pack.

Now I present some of the "Monsters":

Marshall "The Missle" Faulk

Chester "Renegade Raider" McGlockton
Cortez "Tez Rex" Kennedy

Hardy "Hyena" Nickerson

Shane "The Barbarian" Conlan

Monday, October 26, 2009

Topps Of The Class

Sometime last year I guess Topps came up with an idea (uh-oh) a campaign to award students good grades with trading cards. Apparently this is in cooperation with tons of card shops across the country (USA). First the student needs to do well in school, not sure how good they mean when they say "good grades". I'm guessing it has to be at least a B+ maybe even an A-. Anyway first the student gets the grade then the student goes to a participating card shop. The list of participating card shops is online (of course) at oh OK they can also call the Topps 1-800 number also, which is actually an 888 number (1-888-GO-TOPPS or 1-888-468-6777). The student searches by their state, and hopefully the few shops that are located are somewhere near them. A random sampling of the lists shows that poor Utah and Oklahoma have only one participating store each. while California has a ton, I didn't take a total count but it was a pretty long list.

OK so once your kid gets the good grades they take their report card (and they probably have to bring some sort of ID to show they are who they claim they are LOL) into the shop to the manager, and they get some cards. What cards from Topps and how many is a mystery. I'm guessing that the shop owners who participate are given a supply of "freebie" cards to give out in this program. Maybe they are the same cards that are included in the retail "back to school" sets that Wal*Mart and Target sell by the boatload.

OK so it looks like at first in 2008 they (Topps) started this campaign in cooperation with the NFL, or at least the conned spokesman DREW BREES Quarterback of the currently undefeated New Orleans Saints to say something cool about how education helped him achieve his persuite of a career in the NFL.

I guess the campaign in '08 was soooooooooooooooo successfull, or at least didn't lose them any money, that they decided to continue the next school year in 2009. This time Ooooh Oooooh they work with the MLB and con New York Mets 3rd Baseman DAVID WRIGHT to give his two cents worth. Actually it looks like his 2 cents worth was about half a cent more than what Mr. Brees had to say. The quote takes about the same amount of space on the card but appears to be in a slightly smaller font size.

Meanwhile adult card collectors that get their cards from the various retail chains like Wal*Mart and Target are bombarded with these "Students: Work Hard, Get Cards" insert cards that most of them just toss away along with all the junk mail. These cards by the way have those white anti-theft device stickers. The same sort of stickers with computer chips embedded in them like you find in retail copies of DVDs and CDs that you buy that are attached to a plain index card. Sometimes those things are tossed behind the disc and cause the disc to become dislodged from the cases hub so that the disc rattles around and you hear something else with the disce which happens to be the white anti-theft card. If you are careful in removing those things like I am you have a nice looking, although probably totally worthless card.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

XFL 2001 Team Logo Stickers

XFL League Logo Sticker #9

In 2001 the owners of the WWF Wrestling League tried their hand at a rival for the NFL. Thus the XFL (eXtreme Football League) was born. Like many other leagues that have come and gone the XFL didn't last very long, it barely lasted it's inagural season. The victory for the "Million Dollar Game" championship team didn't last very long either.

One of the big selling points for this new league, other than some more manly rules like the "No Fair Catch" rule (which meant on kickoff returns they had to return the ball not just wimp out with a "fair catch"), was more gratuitus shots of the cheerleaders. Many of the advertsing emphasized the cheerleaders and during the televised games they showed the cheerleaders often, more so than the NFL does.

One of the other big selling points for the league was the use of the "helmet-cam" which was just what it sounds like a camera mounted on a players helmet so the audience could get the players-eye view of plays. Due to the costs of camera equipment and the logistics of putting the cameras into the helmets, there weren't very many helmet-cams used. I think the helmet-cam was used more in the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The 6th Day than it was used in real XFL games. Plus the movie had an "Expansion" team that never existed. They also had a sky-cam, had half-time locker-room-cam. Come to think about it they were trying to make it more of a "reality" game than a regular professional sports game.

Also the players had the option of putting anything they wanted on the back of their jerseys so some of them had nicknames on their jerseys, the most famous was Rod "He Hate Me" Smart, Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson would have fit in perfectly.

The league was pretty much a hit with the fans that got into it, but not so much with over-all ticket and merchandise sales so the league folded. Another big reason the league folded in my opinion is they spent way too much time on "during the game" interviews with players, coaches and anyone else they could get on camera.

OK enough background and on with the show. To help promote the league Topps made some trading cards of course (a 100 card set, I have one coming from an Ebay auction so I'll get around to talking about that set after it comes in soon) and a set of 10 stickers. The stickers have the 8 team logos, the league logo and a league ball (they had to have something for the final sticker and they already used the cheerleaders in part of the card set).

XFL League Football Sticker #10

Each football league, even the college leagues, have to have their own style of football I guess. Well the XFL used balls made by Spalding with their own unique design. The front of the stickers have the XFL logo in the upper left corner, the team logo centered as a die-cut sticker and the team's name in the lower right corner. The backs of the stickers show the league logo on the background color that was used for the team logo on the front, a smaller team logo under the league logo, and the sticker number (x of 10) in the lower right corner after all the copyright info.

Los Angeles Xtreme Sticker #1

Birmingham Thunderbolts Sticker #2

Memphis Maniax Sticker #3
Orlando Rage Sticker #4
Las Vegas Outlaws Sticker #5
San Francisco Demons Sticker #6

New York/New Jersey Hitmen Sticker #7

Chicago Enforcers Sticker #8