Thursday, May 16, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series Three

Topps NBA basketball

RetroCards continues its expansive 1978-79 NBA set with series three! This set contains 18 more cards including a five league leader cards.

Kings:  Otis Birdsong, Bill Robinzine
Pacers: Alex English, Adrian Dantley
Rockets: Robert Reid, Kevin Kunnert
Pistons: Ralph Simpson, Al Eberhard
Knicks: Toby Knight, Phil Jackson
Lakers: Brad Davis, Kenny Carr, Don Ford
Scoring Leaders: George Gervin, David Thompson, Bob McAdoo
Steals Leaders: Ron Lee, Quinn Buckner, Don Buse, Gus Williams
Assists Leaders: Kevin Porter, John Lucas, Ricky Sobers
Free Throw Leaders: Rick Barry, Calvin Murphy, Fred Brown
Rebound Leaders: Leonard "Truck" Robinson, Dave Cowens, Elvin Hayes

This set is coming soon!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series Two

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

RetroCards continues its expansive 1978-79 NBA set with series two! This set contains 18 more cards including a career-capper of Hall of Famer John Havlicek.

Bulls:  Cazzie Russell, Tom Boerwinkle
Spurs: James Silas, Coby Dietrick
76ers: Harvey Catchings, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant
Warriors: Nate Williams, Charles Dudley
Celtics: John Havlicek, Ernie DiGregorio
Cavaliers: Bobby "Bingo" Smith, Jim Brewer
Nuggets: Bo Ellis, Mack Calvin
Suns: Curtis Perry, Alvin Scott
Nets: Jan Van Breda Kolff, Eddie Jordan

Next up – series three. This set is coming soon!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series One

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

Though the 1970s were winding down, the card designs were still vibrant and daring, like the 1978-79 NBA set. Utilizing a game action shot and a close up head shot left little room for the team name – unless you run it up the side of the card vertically! This made this style seem taller, which is always a desired orientation for basketball.

Though the regular set released in 1978 had 132 cards (yielding 6-7 players per team) several key players were missed. This complete series adds 2 or 3 more players per team plus five league leader cards, an NBA finals card (Bullets vs. Sonics), and an All-Star Game card! The Finals card features MVP Wes Unseld and the All-Star Game features MVP Randy Smith.

This is the first of three 18-card series with a smaller fourth series (10 cards) featuring the Milwaukee Bucks. Series one features:

Jazz:  Jim McElroy, Slick Watts
Bullets: Greg Ballard, Phil Chenier, Larry Wright, Charles Johnson
Hawks: Wayne "Tree" Rollins, Tom McMillen
Sonics: John Johnson, Bruce Seals
Blazers: Corky Calhoun, Lloyd Neal
Braves: Gus Gerard, Marvin Barnes, Bird Averitt
misc: NBA Finals, All-Star Game, 1978-79 wrapper card

Plenty more players are to come in series 2 and 3. This set is coming soon!

Friday, April 12, 2019

1968 Dallas Cowboys: One More Philadelphia Set

This RetroCards 24-card set is a continuation of the Philadelphia Gum Football sets of the sixties. Philadelphia released cards of NFL players between 1964-1967. This set of Dallas Cowboy cards is what a set may have looked like in 1968, if one had been released by Philadelphia. The design goes away from the posed photography of the 1964-1967 sets and instead uses action or sideline shots. Some partial block outs overlap onto the name title box, making the player “jump off the card!”

Players include: George Andrie, Frank Clarke, Leon Donohue, Mike Gaechter, Walt Garrison, Pete Gent, Cornell Green, Bob Hayes, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan, Bob Lilly, Tony Liscio, Don Meredith, Ralph Neely, Pettis Norman, Don Perkins, Jethro Pugh, Dan Reeves, Mel Renfro, Lance Rentzel, Willie Townes, Danny Villanueva, Rayfield Wright, and coach Tom Landry.

The first installment in this series was a special Ice Bowl 18-card set. Now RetroCards gives you 24 Dallas Cowboys for your collection. Order here!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

1978-79 Milwaukee Bucks: Green & Growing

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

The 1978-79 Basketball set was always a favorite, with the vertical team name and two photos per card - an action shot and a head shot - a sharp looking design.

The Milwaukee Bucks took second place in the Midwest Division in 1977-78 and had built a fine team under Don Nelson – a team that would take first place in their division every year from 1980-1986. This Milwaukee Bucks team set features a couple up-and-coming players like Alex English, Lloyd Walton, Ernie Grunfeld, and Kent Benson plus some older roll players such as Norm Van Lier and Jim Eakins. Also included are coach Don Nelson, GM Wayne Embry, a team card, and pop artist Robert Indiana, who painted the classic design on the MECCA Arena floor, which was completed for the 1977-78 season. The final card in the set is a checklist for the forthcoming three series that feature 54 more NBA cards!

This set is coming soon and is one of four series of custom RetroCards featuring many familiar players who didn't have cards in the original 1978-79 set. Check back soon!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

1968 Baltimore Colts: Hard Luck Season

1968 Topps football cards

The 1967 Baltimore Colts team is one that is often forgotten and one of the best "hard luck" teams of the 60s. Coached by Don Shula, the Baltimore Colts posted an 11–1–2 record, which was substantially better than the 9–4–1 Packers or the 9-5 Cowboys – the two 1967 Championship contestants. Despite their record, the Colts missed the playoffs because the Rams, who also had an 11–1–2 record, owned the tie breaker. The following year the Colts had a league-best 13–1 record but were upset by the New York Jets in Super Bowl III.

This 22-card RetroCards sets pays homage to this team by giving three Hall of Famers career capper cards (Lenny Moore, Raymond Berry, and Jim Parker) and including several other top Colt players. like: Bill Curry, Mike Curtis, Dennis Gaubatz, Alex Hawkins, Jerry Hill, Roy Hilton, Dale Memmelaar, Lou Michaels, Fred Miller, Jimmy Orr, Jim Parker, Glenn Ressler, Don Shinnick, Charlie Stukes, Dan Sullivan, Dick Szymanski, Bob Vogel, Jim Welch, and coach Don Shula. Order here!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spotlight On: Marques Johnson

Topps, Star Company Basketball cards

In the 1990s, NBA franchises went on a frenzy of retiring old players numbers. Though appropriate to honor the past, it was overdone and devalued the contributions of the truly great players. The Milwaukee Bucks, who have a very rich history, was one of the franchises that some contend "over-retired" numbers. This happened at a time (the 1990s) when the franchise was struggling and since it was hard to fill seats with a losing record, remembering past glories seemed to fill the void of winning. The Bucks have retired eight numbers thus far, but one deserving player’s number has been conspicuously absent: Marques Johnson. Approximately 30 years on, his number remained available for any wash-out, loafing, stiff to wear. Seeing Larry Sanders donning number 8 was an abomination!

The list of Bucks numbers hanging in the rafters is a formidable bunch: Kareem Addul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Jon McGlocklin, Brian Winters, Bob Lanier, Junior Bridgeman, Sidney Moncrief, and Bob Dandridge. Marques Johnson, one could argue, is among the top 5 players in franchise history and yet is not there. His stats are certainly not the issue. While with the Bucks, he played in 524 games, averaged 1,568 points per season, 21.0 points per game as well as 7.5 rebounds per game, and shot 53% from the field. He is a five-time All-Star and the Bucks made the playoffs 6 of 7 seasons he was with the team. He was an excellent defender and excellent shot-blocker. Plus, Michael Jordan, the greatest of all time, had Marques' poster on his bedroom wall growing up. So what is the issue?

It has to do with a contract holdout in 1981 that the former ownership held against Johnson in the decades that followed. Also, Marques Johnson was not involved in the Milwaukee community in the off-season, preferring to spend summers in Los Angeles, which was in contrast to most of the other honored players. The fact of the matter is, if you want to get your number retired by the Bucks, your resume better include community service!

Johnson’s resume hardly needed it. In a 1983 poll of fans, Johnson was ranked the #1 "Bucks Fans' Favorites." This ranking was done for the Bucks 15-year anniversary promotion in conjunction with Geiser’s, a local potato chip company (see inset below). The Bucks' choices for retiring players numbers saw less prestigious players like Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters, Bob Dandridge, Jon McGlocklin get voted in as well as players like Bob Lanier and Oscar Robertson, who were past their prime by the time they became Bucks. It’s clear to anyone who knows basketball and Bucks history that there had to be a reason Marques Johnson was kept out.

In a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal story in 2014, Johnson told Bob Wolfley, "Who wouldn't want their number retired? It would be a great honor to have the organization I broke in with afford me with that level of recognition. We were part of something special in those days with Nellie (coach Don Nelson), Brian (Winters), JB (Bridgeman), Sid (Moncrief) and the rest. The Sixers and Celtics were the only obstacle to Finals appearances and that's not too shabby considering the greats on their rosters." 

Well Marques Johnson’s wait is over as his number will be hung in the rafters of the new Fiserv Forum on March 24, 2019. It finally took a new franchise ownership (in 2014 and from New York for God sakes!) to make this happen. Aside from the support of the current ownership, Marques Johnson has cuddled up to Milwaukee’s fans once again when he became a color analyst for the Bucks on Fox Sports Wisconsin in 2015. The March 24 game is sold out and Mr. Johnson will be stepping away from the microphone at halftime for a ceremony where he will finally get to see #8 hoisted to the rafters. 

1983 Milwaukee Bucks Fans' Favorites poster.
Marques Johnson came in at #1.