Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The 1969 Football card set was printed in two series, each consisting of 132 cards. The checklist card (#132), is printed in both series and has two variations. Card numbers 133-263 are more difficult to locate than the first 132 cards. A slight change was amde to the design of the second series of cards. Where the first series featured a full bleed of the background color, a white border was added to the second series cards.  This made for an inconsistent look but collectors have loved the bright colors and simple design.

RetroCards has created an 18-card supplemental Cowboys set that is designed with white borders.  This set features first time card appearances by Phil Clark, Willie Townes, and Bob Belden, as well as pre-rookie cards for Calvin Hill, Roger Staubach, and Reggie Rucker.  Click here to order!

Staubach norman cole nye townes calvin hill

Monday, October 28, 2013

Having Fun With 1975 Designs

1975 was the first year I started buying sports cards regularly.  I'd walk up to the hobby shop and buy some penny candy and a pack of sportscards. Sometimes I'd open the pack to find football cards, sometimes they were Hockey or Basketball.  I was more interested in the gum in those days but eventually I became more interested in the cards and would give the gum to my buddy Dan or my little sister.

Those colorful cards stayed in my junk drawer for many years and upon returning from college, I found those same old cards.  They still smelled of chalky pink gum and I started to reminisce.  So when I started making new cards from this set recently, those same old memories came back.  There were quite of few quality players that didn't make the cut.... veterans like Joe Namath and Duane Thomas as well as up and coming stars like Too Tall Jones, Jack Lambert, and Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.  I even created a special card featuring an MLB and ABA star for my All-Pro Afros card!  Quite a few guys qualified but I narrowed it down to my two favorites: Oscar Gamble and Darnell Hillman.

Having fun with 1975 Topps designs featuring All-Pro Afros: Oscar Gamble and Darnell Hillman!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1983 was a great time for NFL football.  Two great dynasties started (San Fransisco 49ers and Washington Redskins) as the league entered a very prosperous decade.  Though the Dallas Cowboys began their slow fade in 1983 (Danny, NO!) they remained one of the most popular teams with stars Tony Dorsett, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Everson Walls, and Tony Hill.

RetroCards has another Cowboy set featuring players that didn't have cards that year.  This set offers several mid-level stars such as Billy Joe DuPree, Bill Bates, and Michael Downs as well as young players like Jim Jeffcoat, Doug Donley, and Gary Hogeboom.  This set also features a slick Tom Landry card, Dennis Thurman Highlight, and two playoff cards. Click here to order.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The regular 1962 Football set had the Packer's biggest stars: Hornung, Starr, Taylor, Ringo, and Gregg.  Unfortunately, the football sets were rather small and teams were relegated to about a dozen players per set each year.  That meant that many great players often waited years to appear on a card, or in some instances, never appeared on a card at all during their playing career.  

As a collector myself, I want to collect the old stuff but not "just the stars."  Even today, "the stars" may appeal to greater number of hobbyists but for people that want to take their collecting further can do so with RetroCards.  These cards are NOT for the masses, but for the select few who want to collect more from that period.  Some collectors have all there is from that time and wish there were more players available.  Plus, they sure are great for autographs!  Click here to order your set now! Watch for more from this great 1962 set coming soon!

1962 Topps RetroCards Willie Davis Lombardi Kramer Ron Jerry Adderley Wood Skoronski Symank Kostelnik nitschke tunnell pitts wood master roach wittenton blaine iman barnes custom retro cards "cards that never were"
Below is the original Packers Team set from 1962.  There are an abundance of red name boxes for the Packers team set with only one blue and one yellow box (green was omitted entirely).  The RetroCards 18 card set balances out the colors of both sets by including more yellow, green, and blue.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

No Police Card Set for 2013 Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Police Department and surrounding municipalities have been handing out Milwaukee Brewer cards to young kids and adults for 30 years.  2013 will be different.  Due to lack of funding, there will be no police cards issued this year.  Funding came from various sources but a local card dealer explained that department budget cuts had to do with the decision not to produce them.  This sounds like a job for RetroCards!

To commemorate the occasion, I have designed a card paying tribute to Ryan Braun.  This may someday develop into a full Brewer team set but begin "retro," I will probably wait another 20 years before actually do it.  So here is what it will look like.  In 20 years it will be interesting to see how we will view sports figures that used PEDs.  As for now, it is hard to imagine the use of PEDs ever being "okay.' 

Braun was going to be Milwaukee's next shot at having one of their home-grown players be in the Hall Of Fame.  He not only cheated himself out of a chance to be in elite company, but he also cheated a whole baseball community of sharing in that pride.  We expect to be lied to by politicians, but not by our sports figures!  That's starting to change.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The 1970's: Embarrassing at times, but they were OUR times.

Having grown up as a child in the 1970s, I have a certain sense of humor that seems to reference that wonderful decade much like the movie riffers from Mystery Science Theater 3000.  Was there ever a decade that America was so embarrassed by?  I remember during the 80s, you would never admit to having a copy of Shadow Dancing by Andy Gibb, or admit that you really did like The Brady Bunch or The Krofft Superstar Show.  But when I threw my first 70s party in 1990, I hit a nerve and all those wonderful childhood memories came back!

The 70s where the first decade of a full scale pop culture marketing phenomenon that saw board games of the Waltons, Columbo, and Welcome Back Kotter,  record albums by Telly Savales, Lynda Carter, and Lenny & Squiggy, and trading cards of dozens of TV shows such as Charlie's Angels, The Bionic Woman, The Partridge Family, Battlestar Galactica, etc...  There was even a cheesecake poster of Pinky Tuscadero!  You must have had a memorable lunch box (mine was the Six Million Dollar Man!)

RetroCards is not limited to just Sports!  Which is why we have dipped our toes in that incorrigible decade with our TV All-Pro "Versus" Series.  Modeled after sports league leader cards, the 70s TV Versus Series has some fun with some of TV's favorite personalities.  Coming Soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

1962 Packers Supplemental Set By RetroCards!

The 1962 Green Bay Packers team was arguably the greatest team of the Lombardi era.... on second thought, there wouldn't be much argument - they were the best!  It is the pleasure of RetroCards to make a very special 1962 supplemental set of Packer cards.  No team has more Hall Of Fame players than that team and since the football sets were rather small, several key players didn't have cards.  Hall of Famers Willie Davis, Ray Nitschke, Willie Wood, Herb Adderley, and Emlen Tunnell now have cards and other Pro Bowlers Jerry Kramer, Ron Kramer, Bob Skoronski, Jess Whittington, and legendary coach Vince Lombardi are now properly represented.

This set is considered one of the finest sets of the 60's with it's sharp black border, color posed shot, and black and white action photo.  It is the reason RetroCards took the time to make this a very special set for collectors.  This is the first of several vintage Packer sets where the card company missed several key players that collectors just can't do without! Coming Soon.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

Various custom RetroCards of Thomas Henderson spanning designs from 1976-1980.

One of my favorite players growing up was linebacker Thomas Henderson.  He was a Pro Bowl player for the Dallas Cowboys and just when I though he would be an All-Pro for years to come, his career took a nasty turn as he was kicked off the Dallas Cowboys in 1979.  Eventually called "Hollywood" Henderson for his antics on and off the field, he has become more known for his substance abuse problems and eventual recovery.  Though his career was cut short due to many excesses, he leaves an interesting legacy as a player and now as a motivational speaker.

His book "Out Of Control - Confessions of an NFL Casualty (1987)" is a great read and really gives an interesting perspective from a high profile player on a high profile team.  A series of motivational videos, "Yes, I'm Still Clean," can be found on YouTube.  Henderson is eloquent, inspiring, and funny in these candid talks about his recovery.

One of the most amazing parts of the Thomas Henderson story is NOT that he is a two-time lottery winner,  but that he still remained clean after winning millions of dollars.  I am honoring him with several custom RetroCards with designs from the 1976-1980 era.

Friday, July 12, 2013

1965 Philadelphia Gum Dallas Cowboys Update: The Latest RetroCard Set!

Here's the third Philadelphia Gum set Retrocards has tackled.  The black name box at the base of the card made this set the least colorful in the 4-year series but perhaps that what makes it look the classiest.

This Retrocards set includes first-time cards for; Pete Gent, Jim Boeke, Obert Logan, Leon Donohue, Jerry Rhome and Larry Stephens. Gent, Logan, and Rhome also appear in the 1966P Retrocards set. We have the first Cowboys card for Brig Owens and J.D Smith, as well as pre-rookie cards for Bob Hayes, Chuck Howley, Craig Morton, Dave Manders, Ralph Neely, Dan Reeves, and Jethro Pugh.  Check out the full set here!  More to come.

RetroCards featuring the style of 1965 Philadelphia Gum Cards.

Monday, July 8, 2013

1984 Football - But In A Baseball Card Style!

There are teams from certain eras that I grew up loving.  I used to wish there were more cards available of those old players but there were limits as to what was available - especially when it came to football cards.  As the sport of baseball added new manufacturers in the 80's like Fleer, Donruss, Bowman, Score, etc... us football fans where stuck with one company for much of the decade of the 80's.

One of the many fun projects has been creating new football team sets by using the corresponding year's baseball card design.  I always loved this 1984 baseball design so I decided to make an Dallas Cowboys team set with that style.  I thought the action photo with head shot in the colored box was a nice touch.  The design was clean and classic looking.  I've done this with several Basketball and Hockey designs as well.

RetroCards Custom 1984 Topps Baseball
1984 Topps Baseball set featuring the Dallas Cowboys

Check out the whole 1984 Cowboys RetroCards set here

Sunday, July 7, 2013

RetroCards: Custom Sports Cards Video

1966 Philadelphia Gum Cards Update Set

One of the most popular football cards sets is the 1966 Philadelphia Gum Card set which featured 198 NFL players.  The classic design is comprised of a posed color photo of the player, an NFL logo, and the players name in a brightly colored box.  From 1964-1967, Philadelphia Gum Cards had the contract to produce NLF player cards while Topps would produce AFL cards during that time.

David "Deacon" Jones 1966 Philadelphia Card

RetroCards is gearing up to make a massive update to the popular 1966 Philadephia set.  At roughly 170 cards, the RetroCards set will feature many mid-level stars and up-and-coming players not featured in the original set.  Stay tuned for more details!

Samples from RetroCards 1966 Philadelphia Update Set

Monday, July 1, 2013

Can't Get Enough Of Joe

If you have a favorite player that you want to create more cards of, I found that using period designs from other card sets is fun to do. Whether you decide to use Basketball, Baseball, Football, or Hockey, the possibilities are endless.  I made a few more Namaths for fun by using the Philidelphia Gum Cards designs for 1965-1967.  Namath had cards from those years that were featured in card sets but here was a way to expand his cards by using designs that were from the period he played.

Here are a couple designs from some of my favorite Baseball sets: 1971 and 1974.  It is always a challenge to find photography that fits the year featured. This can be a real challenge with obscure players where images are hard to find, but not with Broadway Joe!

Check out some of other custom cards here.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Why aren't there more cards of Broadway Joe?

Football card collectors with a sharp eye may have noticed that the last Joe Namath card during his playing days was a 1973 Topps card.  But he played until 1977 but cards of his later years are conspicuously missing. Apparently there was a contract dispute between Namath and Topps causing there to be no cards issued of Broadway Joe from 1974-1978.

Topps went so far as to create a card for 1974 but it was pulled.  Some proofs were printed and have found their way to collectors and according to Bob Lemke's blog, he states, "Larry Fritsch showed me the one he had more than 25 years ago. In 2004, Heritage Auctions sold an example for $2,340. I'd be surprised if more than two or three other examples of the Namath proof card exist."

Custom card makers like myself attempt to correct the wrongs of the Card industry and making custom Joe Namath Cards.  The first card is the 1974 proof that was never officially released. I made a slightly more attractive card with the next sample.  The next 3 cards are cards for 1975, 1976 & 1977 Topps while the last card features Joe's final year with the Rams.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Autographs on RetroCards

1968 Walt Garrison
We've had some big smiles from players that have discovered RetroCards at signings.  My favorite is Walt Garrison who held up the signed card for this photo. It is a 1968 Topps-style card which originally never existed. 
Walt Garrison with signed RetroCard, 2012

We have had a few sons of former players seek out memorabilia of their fathers.  We typically make a few cards for them in exchange for a couple of autographs for ourselves.  It is especially fun to hear how happy some players are to finally get on a card!  Sometimes good things come to those who wait.

Some have requested we make a stack of cards for them so they can use them to send autographs to fans or to keep for their families.  If asked, we'll include an area for the autograph that is a white, partial opaque box.  Below is a collage of a few old Cowboys who have been gracious enough to sign a card or two:  (clockwise from lower left: Ron Fellows, Dave Sherer, Don Talbert, Tom Braatz, Chuck Howley, Tom Stincic, Frank Clarke, and Jerry Rhome.

Mike Downs, Tony Hill and Chuck Howley are all smiles when seeing their respective RetroCards for the first time.  Mike got an 1984 Topps -style card, Tony Hill signs a "pre-rookie" 1978 Topps - style card, while Chuck Howley works on 1962, 1963 and 1972 Topps -style cards.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Love Player Feedback

One of the great things about making custom cards is some of the players get a kick out of them.  RetroCards was originally conceived as a way for autograph seekers to have something for players to sign.  Former All-Pro receiver Frank Clarke was a very grateful for the cards and sent a hand written "thank you."  Other players have purchased photography that they have sent to RetroCards with the idea of creating a custom card for them.

Many of the photos submitted are black and white and need to be colorized.  Depending on the quality of the photo, this can be well worth the time.  Both Clarke photos on the left were black and white photos that were enhanced using various editing software.
1962 Design
1961 Design

Another Cowboy receiver that had us create a card was Dennis Homan.  Though be played a few years in the league, he never had a card - until now!  Some players have also helped with getting the bio information on the back of the card accurate, which really help to make a realistic card.

Check out more custom designs here! 

1968 Dennis Homan

Monday, June 17, 2013

If you could have a custom sports card made, which player would you choose?  Maybe a guy that sat on the bench and never got much playing time. Maybe you would choose a player you've always admired but that never had a card.  Maybe you would have a card made of your son or daughter in their softball uniform.  With design software and the available digital photography, one can really have some fun making custom cards.  I have been making my own cards for many years and took it up a notch by actually having them printed on similar stock to what old baseball cards used to be printed on.
1980 RetroCard of Len Sakata

Having grown up in Milwaukee, I was a huge Milwaukee Brewers fan and I had a friend who was President of the Len Sakata fan club.  Len Sakata was an infield prospect that only played a couple years for the Milwaukee before going to the Orioles.  I was lucky enough to meet him and he was my first favorite baseball player.  Much to my dismay,  he never had a card in a Brewer uniform - until now.

I had saved old Brewers yearbooks and had a nice color photo of him that I scanned.  Using Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop, I redesigned the look of a 1980 Topps baseball card and inserted the photo. It took a lot of time and patience but I was able to come pretty close to the original design.  I then designed a back for it too.

I hooked up with someone else who was doing the same thing and we decided to join forces and concentrate on Dallas Cowboys cards.  I was amazed to learn that some retired players were interested in having cards made of themselves for autographing.  So we dedicated a couple of years to creating some very convincing looking cards - and have had a blast doing it.

RetroCards website