Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bazooka Cowboys Of 1960


Fred Cone, Bobby Gordon, L.G. DuPre, Frank Kuchta, Buzz Guy, Don Healy, Mike Falls, Ed Husman, Ray Fisher, Gerry Delucca, Bob Fry, John Gonzaga, Frank Clarke, Jim Doran, Tom Franckhauser, Gene Cronin, Dave Sherer, and Fred Dugan.
If you were lucky enough to get the last pack of Bazooka gum from the candy store between 1959 and 1971, you may have found a baseball or football card on the back to cut out.  Cards varied from year to year in size and style and are rarities for today's collectors. 

Those who have an interest in the early days of the Cowboys know how late in the game they joined the NFL during the 1960 season.  It was so late that they were not able to participate in that year’s draft and had to rely on the expansion draft to secure players.  The pickings were slim but several able-bodied players were given tryouts and some became long-time contributors whereas some just where there for a “cup of coffee.”

This RetroCards set is styled after the 1959 football Bazooka cards and gives this first Cowboys team a close look by featuring some very obscure players, including a few who didn’t even make the team.  Series One includes: Fred Cone, Bobby Gordon, L.G. DuPre, Frank Kuchta, Buzz Guy, Don Healy, Mike Falls, Ed Husman, Ray Fisher, Gerry Delucca, Bob Fry, John Gonzaga, Frank Clarke, Jim Doran, Tom Franckhauser, Gene Cronin, Dave Sherer, and Fred Dugan. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

1967 Chiefs Set: AFL Champs In 1966

Hank Stram, Dub Abell, Emmitt Thomas, Fred "the hammer" Williamson, Jerrel Wilson, Mike Garrett, Jon Giliam, Willie Mitchell, Sherrill, Headrick, Reg Carolan, Dennis Diodrowski, Tommy Brooker, Walt Corey, Tony Dimidio, Curt Merz, Bobby Ply, Al Reynolds, Hatch Rosdahl, Smokey Stover
The 1966 Kansas City Chiefs season saw their first AFL Championship as they dispensed with Jack Kemp and the Buffalo Bills, winners of the 1964 and 1965 Championships.  But the season didn’t end there because 1966 was to be the first ever NFL-AFL Championship between the winner of each league.  This game of course was Super Bowl I and a lot was riding on this game as the NFL did not want to be embarrassed by the junior league.  Vince Lombardi was nervous about this game but he needn’t have been as his Green Bay Packers dispensed with the Chiefs 35-10.

The Chiefs were just getting started and returned to the Super Bowl three years later, beating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.  This RetroCard set focuses on that 1966 team which was stacked with excellent players and headed by Hall Of Fame coach Hank Stram.  The small football card sets of the day regularly missed fine players as well as many up-and-coming players and this set corrects that but adding 18 more cards in the 1967 style. This set features: Hank Stram, Dub Abell, Emmitt Thomas, Fred "the hammer" Williamson, Jerrel Wilson, Mike Garrett, Jon Giliam, Willie Mitchell, Sherrill, Headrick, Reg Carolan, Dennis Diodrowski, Tommy Brooker, Walt Corey, Tony Dimidio, Curt Merz, Bobby Ply, Al Reynolds, Hatch Rosdahl, Smokey Stover, and a team card. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lee Elia And The Art Of Profanity

RetroCards custom cards that never were lee elia tirade
The name Lee Elia may conjure up images of the old Chicago Cubs of the 70s and early 80s, a hapless team that took losing to new levels.  Elia only managed in the big leagues for 4 season and bounced around as coach for another xx years or so.  But he is known for a profanity-laced tirade after a Wrigley field game that some would consider a work of art.

In 1983 the Cubs were off to a difficult start and the fans were letting the team have it.  It’s hard to believe that Wrigley Field went without lights until 1988 and up until then,  all games played there were day games.  This was the time before Wrigley Field was “the place to be" and didn’t attract the affluent (and some would say “less cool”) crowd  that it started to attract once lights were installed.   But a particular day in April, 1983 the normally docile daytime fans had had enough and booed and heckled the Cubs after a one run loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Elia lost his cool in front of four reporters: Robert Marcus (Chicago Tribune), Joel Behrig (Chicago Sun-Times) Don Friske (Daily Herald), and WLS-AM’s Les Grobstein who recorded it on tape.

RetroCards has commemorated Lee Elia’s artistic expression with a special 1983 Highlight Card.  Treat yourself to a listen here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

1963 Rams: Green And Growing

Lamar Lundy, Bill Jobko, Art Perkins, Larry Hayes, Carver Shannon, Duane Allen, Charlie Cowan, Joe Scibelli, Jack Pardee, Charley Britt, Larry Stephens, Art Hunter, Bobby Smith, John Adams, Jim Boeke, Alvin Hall, Mike Henry, Terry Baker


The 1962 season was not kind to the Los Angeles Rams.  Eventual Hall of Famer Bob Waterfield, the team's head coach in 1960 and 1961, came back in 1962 and coached the Rams to a 1–7 record before being fired. Harland Svare, Waterfield's successor, could only manage a 0–5–1 record to finish a dismal season.  Despite the poor record, the Rams began adding pieces that would result in the powerful team the Rams came to be during the 1966-1969 seasons.

RetroCards added 18 supplemental Rams to the 1963 set:  Lamar Lundy, Bill Jobko, Art Perkins, Larry Hayes, Carver Shannon, Duane Allen, Charlie Cowan, Joe Scibelli, Jack Pardee, Charley Britt, Larry Stephens, Art Hunter, Bobby Smith, John Adams, Jim Boeke, Alvin Hall, Mike Henry, and Terry Baker.  Check the whole set out here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pete Gent: Author, Cynic, and All-Around Good Receiver

Dallas Cowboys RetroCards
Pete Gent is rightly remembered for his hard-edge novel North Dallas Forty, a book about how pro football teams exploited their players, which is based on his experiences with the Cowboys.  His colorful demeanor clashed with head coach Tom Landry's and GM Tex Schramm's old-school ways but he managed to be a productive member on the team from 1964-1968 in spite of that.

Credit the Cowboys for asking Big Ten basketball coaches for players that might make it in the NFL.  At the bottom of the list was Gent who Cowboy's scout Gil Brandt went to visit at Michigan State.  Brandt saw him as a defensive back and signed him.  The only trouble was Gent had no talent for playing defense.  He was able to catch passes however, and the Cowboys kept him as the sixth receiver, cutting quarterback Sonny Gibbs to make room for him.

Gent came to the Cowboys as a fairly mild-mannered non-drinker and non-smoker.   He hung with Dave Manders and Frank Clarke and their families and attended SMU Law School at night.  But by the second training camp in 1965, he roomed with Don Talbert, one of the four "Varmint Brothers," and his life was never the same afterward (that story is for a different blog post).  In spite of his cynicism and non-conformity, Gent was a solid contributor for five years though injuries often slowed him down.  Through his friendship with Frank Gifford, he got a tryout with the New York Giants but Gent, who by this time was insufferable and uncoachable, wore his welcome out quickly in New York and found himself a civilian in 1969.

His first novel North Dallas Forty came out in 1973 and the film of the same name in 1979.  The two main characters were based largely on himself and Don Meredith.  Surprisingly, Gent never had a card! So RetroCards has righted that wrong with 9 new cards of old number 35.  He died from a pulmonary disease in 2011.

Friday, November 27, 2015

RetroCards First Non-Sport Set Is Heavenly

Farrah Fawcett Majors, kate jackson, jaclyn smith, David doyle, david ogden stiers, john forsythe, cheryl ladd


For those of us growing up in the 1970s, card collecting was a boon.   All those fun designs and great players added to the quaintness of  the world we lived in.  The latest RetroCards set is from this period and is neither a football, baseball, basketball, nor hockey set.  It is a Charlie’s Angels set with everyone’s favorite Angels: Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and Jaclyn Smith.  In 1977,  four series of Charlie’s Angels cards (253 total cards) were produced of this pop culture phenomenon.  I’ve never seen statistics but aside from the bubble gum cards from the first Star Wars movie (1977), there probably wasn’t a better selling non-sport set than Charlie’s Angels.  The original cards came with stickers and the the majority of the card backs when assembled create a puzzle.  Non-sport cards, though they weren’t given the same attention that their sport card counterpart had, had plenty of charm too. 

This new Charlie's Angels "Series V" (numbered 254-271) showcases the first season, which unfortunately for many fans, was the only season featuring Farrah Fawcett as a regular.  Sharp photos show the Angels in action, solving crimes, on the set, or relaxing off camera.  There is even a group shot from the pilot movie that features another male working at Townsend And Associates, Scott Woodville, played by David Ogden-Stiers, whose role was written out by the first episode.  Charlie is finally "revealed" featuring you-know-who.  Be sure to look for other non-sport cards from this era in the future only from RetroCards!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A "Bad" Year For The Packers In 1964

Lionel Aldridge, Ken Bowman, Zeke Bratkowski, Lee Roy Caffey, Boyd Dowler, Bill Forester, Bob Jeter, Ron Kostelnik, Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Ray Nitschke, Elijah Pitts, Dave Robinson, Bob Skoronski, Fuzzy Thurston, Lloyd Voss, Vince Lombardi, Dan Currie
The 1963 Packer season was another outstanding display of football excellence but their two losses to the Champion Bears showed that the loss of Paul Hornung (suspended for gambling) was indeed crippling.  The Packers 11-2-1 record didn't earn them a playoff berth but was a sign that there was plenty of talent for years to come.  Surprisingly, the 1964 season proved to be a step backwards before the Packers got it together to win three championships in a row from 1965-1967.  Their 8-5-1 record was only good for second place tie with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL's Western Conference.

This new RetroCards sets add 18 more players in that familiar Philadelphia card design from 1964.  Players include:  Lionel Aldridge, Ken Bowman, Zeke Bratkowski, Lee Roy Caffey, Boyd Dowler, Bill Forester, Bob Jeter, Ron Kostelnik, Ron Kramer, Max McGee, Ray Nitschke, Elijah Pitts, Dave Robinson, Bob Skoronski, Fuzzy Thurston, and Lloyd Voss.  There is also a special linebacker card featuring Dan Currie, Dave Robinson, Ray Nitschke, and Lee Roy Caffey PLUS a Vince Lombardi card.

Friday, November 13, 2015

A Cookie Factory Welcomed the Braves In Style

hank aaron, mel roach, bob thorpe, harry hanebrink, welcome braves arrive milwaukee

The Johnston Cookie Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin treated baseball fans to more than delicious cookies in 1953.  They debuted a 25-card baseball set in 1953, the Braves first year in Milwaukee after their move west from Boston.  It was to be the first of three sets of Braves cards (the other two sets came out in 1954 & 1955) and fans ate them up.  Spahn, Mathews, Burdette, Crandell, Logan, and Adcock were a few of the player cards that made up the original set.

RetroCards adds a few more players as well as some some of the events involving Milwaukee fans welcoming the Braves to town.  Featured are Sam Jethroe, Bob Thorpe, Mel Roach, Joey Jay, Harry Hanebrink, and an up-and-coming Henry Aaron.  Some of the special cards show a packed Milwaukee County Stadium in 1953, a spring training team card, a welcome parade for the team in downtown Milwaukee, and a card showing the Braves players arriving in a Milwaukee Road train car!  Order yours here.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Dallas Texans, The AFL's Forgotten Team


Sherrill Headrick,  Tony Romeo, Ray Collins, Paul Rochester, Jerry Cornelison, Jon Gilliam, E.J. Holub, Doyle Nix, Frank Jackson, Duane Wood, Dave WEbster, Al Reynolds, Curley Johnson, Dave Grayson, Hank Stramm, Smokey Stover, and Jerry Mays.


The AFL got off to a surprisingly strong start in 1960.  Several of the owners had been refused NFL expansion franchises or had minor ownership of NFL teams and saw the potential to expand pro football beyond the NFL’s meager 12 markets in 1959.  The AFL started by signing 75% of the NFL’s first-round draft choices in 1960 and began a competitive run through the first few years of the new league’s existence.  Though the AFL had ups and down, it only took six years before talks of a merger with the NFL became realistic.

One of the leaders of the upstart league was Lamar Hunt.  Wealthy from his father’s oil inheritance, Hunt applied for a NFL franchise in Dallas but was turned down.  He also attempted to purchase and move the Chicago Cardinals to Dallas with no luck.  He was successful founding the Dallas Texans who immediately fielded a competitive team, going 8-6 in their inaugural season. 

This AFL RetroCards set features 18 cards based on the 1961 classic design and features a team card and Hank Stramm.  You’ll find Sherrill Headrick,  Tony Romeo, Ray Collins, Paul Rochester, Jerry Cornelison, Jon Gilliam, E.J. Holub, Doyle Nix, Frank Jackson, Duane Wood, Dave Webster, Al Reynolds, Curley Johnson, Dave Grayson, Smokey Stover, and Jerry Mays.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The 1976 Knicks Almost Got Their Doctor

Harthorne Wingo, Bob McAdoo, Dean Meminger, Julius Erving, Lonnie Shelton, Mel Davis, Dr. J Hawthorne


What would the 1976 New York Knicks team have been like if they signed Julius Erving?  They would have been an instant contender.  But sports history is one "what if" after another.  The Knicks actually had the inside track on signing Dr. J but in the end, they couldn't see the value in signing him and they let Erving slip through their fingers.

RetroCards, in a moment of extreme fantasy, created a 1976-77 Julius Erving Knicks card depicting the botched pursuit of the ABA's biggest star.  Other players are Bob McAdoo, Mel Davis, Dean "the dream" Meminger, Lonnie Shelton, fan favorite Harthorne Wingo, and a team card checklist.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Love Them Cowboy Blues

Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Robert Newhouse, Pat Donovan, Preston Pearson, Butch Johnson, Billy Joe Dupree, Drew Pearson, Danny White, Jethro Pugh, Bob Breunig, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Aaron Kyle, Harvey Martin, Cliff Harris, Thomas Henderson, Rafael Septien, Tom Landry


The 1978 Cowboys were a dominating team that had speed, strength, and finesse.  Their final Super Bowl appearance of the decade ended in a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and 1979 would be Roger Staubach’s last season.  That team was packed with big contributors, fan favorites, and characters who spent many years with the Cowboys. RetroCards has several sets honoring that mid-late 70s Cowboy team with NHL, MLB, and NBA card designs.  This one, a great design from a 1979 Hockey set, showcases the Cowboys in their blue away jersey’s, which seldom happened with their cards during this era.

Players include: Tony Dorsett, Roger Staubach, Robert Newhouse, Pat Donovan, Preston Pearson, Butch Johnson, Billy Joe Dupree, Drew Pearson, Danny White, Jethro Pugh, Bob Breunig, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Aaron Kyle, Harvey Martin, Cliff Harris, Thomas Henderson, Rafael Septien, and Tom Landry.  Get them here.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Milwaukee Brewers Only World Series Team Honored

Don Sutton, Sal Bando, Pete Ladd, Doc Medich, Doug Jones, Kevin Bass, Mike Parrott, Bob Skube., Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Robin Yount, Bob Uecker, Bill Bucker, Rollie Fingers, Harvey Kuenn, Buck Rodgers, Ted Simmons, Gorman Thomas
Since 1970 the Milwaukee Brewers have entertained the baseball town of Milwaukee to various degrees, but none was more thrilling than 1982 when they won the American League pennant.  It was strange year as the Brewers underachieved during the first half of the season which led to the firing of Manager Buck Rodgers in favor of long-time coach Harvey Kuenn.  That lit a spark and the team finished strong to win their first A.L. Pennant.

This RetroCards set contains: Don Sutton, Sal Bando, Pete Ladd, Doc Medich, Doug Jones, Kevin Bass, Mike Parrott, Bob Skube.  High-energy In Action cards of Paul Molitor, Cecil Cooper, Robin Yount, and Mr. Baseball, Bob Uecker in his broadcast booth.  RetroCards fills in gaps with a league leaders card of Cecil Cooper & Bill Bucker, who led each respective league in doubles, MVP and Cy Young cards featuring Rollie Fingers, highlights of the Brewers first playoff appearance in 1981and a "Kuenn Replaces Rodgers" card, three All-Star cards (Fingers, Ted Simmons, Gorman Thomas),  a checklist, and finally a special commemorative card of Rickey Henderson breaking Lou Brock's single season base stealing record in Milwaukee that season.  Order here!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

1967 Bears, Better Than Their Record?

Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Doug Atkins, Joe Fortunato, Ed O’Bradovich, Roosevelt Taylor, Joe Taylor, Larry Rakestraw, Bill Wade, Austin Denney, Dick Evey, Randy Jackson, Bob Wetoska, Curtis Gentry, Charlie Bivins, Bobby Joe Green, Brian Piccolo, Jack Concannon, Don Croftcheck, Randy Jackson, Bob Jones, Ralph Kurek, Loyd Phillips, Mike Rabold, Mike Reilly, Rosey Taylor

Another Bears set comes your way as RetroCards has created an extension to the popular and attractive 1967 football set.   The 1960’s were lean years for the Windy City, and the 1967 Bears team was coming off a disappointing 5-7-2 record the year before.   However, they still had a solid defense, and their two great future Hall-of-Famers Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus were in the prime of their careers.

The Bears roster was much more than just these two great players, though.  RetroCards presents many of those players known to Bears fans, and students of pro football history.   Two more future Hall-of-Famers, veterans Doug Atkins and Joe Fortunato represent the “Monsters of the Midway” in this set.  Other integral members of the Bears defense include Ed O’Bradovich, Roosevelt Taylor and Joe Taylor.

Veteran quarterback Bill Wade rounds out his career in this set, while his heir apparent Larry Rakestraw is also featured.   Other veterans and youngsters include Austin Denney, Dick Evey, Randy Jackson, Bob Wetoska, Curtis Gentry, Charlie Bivins, and Bobby Joe Green among others.   Lastly, the highlight of this set is Brian Piccolo, the subject of the poignant film “Brian’s Song”, the Bears halfback who died of cancer in 1970.  If you are a rabid fan of the Bears, or just liked the look and style of the 1967 bubblegum cards, this set will be a great addition to your collection.  Order yours here.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cowboy Underdog Shares Secret To Success

Robert Steele Dallas Cowboys
Former athletes often time become more successful after their playing days are over.  They get into business, become motivational speakers, invest well, etc… Such is the case of long-shot wide receiver Robert Steele who elbowed his way onto arguably the most talented NFL roster in 1978, the Dallas Cowboys.  His book, Steele Here: An Underdog’s Secret To Success (Brown Books Publisher Group, 2011) depicts his unlikely road to playing on a Super Bowl team as well as his success after football. 

His former receiver coach Mike Ditka said of him, “The best thing I remember about him is that he practiced as hard as he played.  Robert would catch any ball thrown his way, run as many routes for our quarterbacks as their arms would throw, and sacrifice his body on special teams.”  After his time on the Cowboys, he moved on to the Minnesota Vikings and briefly, the Denver Broncos. 

Steele Here outlines his experiences in making it in the NFL and the journey after his playing days which led to an even greater success.  The book includes comments by Roger Staubach, Dan Reeves among others.  Check out the 5-star ratings on Amazon

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The 1966 Packers On Their Way To Three In A Row

Donny Anderson, Ken Bowman, Tom Brown, Tommy Crutcher, Carroll Dale, Marv Fleming, Gale Gillingham, Jim Grabowski, Doug Hart, Hank Jordan, Ron Kostelnik, Red Mack, Elijah Pitts, Bob Skoronski, Fuzzy Thurston, Phil Vandersea, Jim Weatherwax, Steve Wright.
The last Championship to be played in the NFL before the advent of the Super Bowl was the Green Bay Packer vs. the Cleveland Browns, January 2, 1966.  It was played in the mud at Lambeau Field in Green Bay after several inches of snow had fallen.  The Packer defense, who always had Jim Brown's number, held the NFL's leading rusher to 50 yards in a 23-12 victory, the 9th title for the Green Bay Packers.

Perhaps more interesting was the prior playoff game, the Western Conference Tie-breaker of the Packers vs. the Baltimore Colts.  The Packers narrowly beat the Colts, who were playing without John Unitas or Gary Cuozzo and had to settle for a running back, Tom Matte, to play quarterback.  Packer backup Zeke Bratkowski played most of the game when the Colts forced Bart Starr to the sidelines with an injury. A questionable field goal by Don Chandler that some say sailed wide right, was kicked so high above the upright that the league lengthened the height of the goal post as a result!

This 1966 set supplements the existing 1966 Philadelphia Gum card set with 18 more players: Donny Anderson, Ken Bowman, Tom Brown, Tommy Crutcher, Carroll Dale, Marv Fleming, Gale Gillingham, Jim Grabowski, Doug Hart, Hank Jordan, Ron Kostelnik, Red Mack, Elijah Pitts, Bob Skoronski, Fuzzy Thurston, Phil Vandersea, Jim Weatherwax, and Steve Wright.  Coming Soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Herb White: Dunker Extraordinaire

"elevator from decatur" Atlanta Hawks NBA ABA

One of the best sport magazines I ever read was Sports Illustrated's The Most Overrated And Underrated (August 27, 2001).  This very entertaining feature  approaches some sports figures and events from a different perspective and dispels some sports myths in the process, rating the most overrated and underrated quarterbacks, sports rivalries, baseball player, sports flake, heavyweight champion, quote, etc…

One interesting category is for the Most Overrated / Underrated Dunker by Alexander Wolff.  This of course refers to dunking a basketball which has become that sport's “homerun."  The Overrated Dunker award was not a surprise.  It was awarded to “the Chocolate Thunder,” Daryl Dawkins, who was not only an overrated dunker, but an overrated player;  an NBA center who the Philadelphia 76ers realized they had to upgrade to win a championship (which they did in the form of Moses Malone).

More interesting was the Underrated Dunker Award which went to the person Wilt Chamberlain considered to be a better dunker than anyone.  Images of  "the best dunker ever” probably don’t conjure up a slight, 6’2” white guy, but that is exactly who Herb White of the Atlanta Hawks was.   Chamberlain recalled,  "You know, there was a white boy who played for Atlanta around 1970. Never got off the bench, but in warmups he could dunk better than anyone I've ever seen.” 

Known as “the Elevator from Decatur” Herb White so impressed Hawks players during a workout prior to White's senior season at Decatur, that coach Richie Guerin invited him to a tryout.  The Hawks made him the 133rd player taken in the draft that year (1970, 8th round) and he made the team as a backup to a more famous rookie, Pete Maravich.  White and Maravich were roommates on the road and were reportedly drinking buddies.  White would put on a dunk show in pre-game warm ups and once received a standing ovation from the New York Knicks crowd at Madison Square Garden.  He and Claude English (another prolific dunker) of the Portland Trailblazers faced off in 1971 and English conceded after White did a 360 dunk with two balls.  White left the NBA after that single season due to an ankle injury and then continued to play professionally in Mexico and Europe.

RetroCards honors Herb White with a 1970-71 card complete with that groovy Hawks jersey with the curvy blue and lime green striping.  Coming soon.

The Sports Illustrated article can be found here.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Cowboys Get One Step Closer To A Championship

Margene Adkins, Richmond Flowers, Ike Thomas, Gloster Richardson, Roger Staubach, Claxton Welch, Rayfield Wright, Herb Adderley, Lance Alworth, George Andrie, Mike Ditka, Dave Edwards, Cornell Green, Forrest Gregg, Pettis Norman, Jethro Pugh, Lance Rentzel, Don Talbert

1971 is the year the Cowboys finally made it to the Super Bowl, following a 10-4 season in 1970.  It seems strange now to think that Cowboys were the NFL's most prolific losers, having lost the Championships in 1966 and 1967 to the Green Bay Packers, losing the Conference Playoff game against the Cleveland Browns in 1968 and 1968 and finally, losing Super Bowl V in 1970 to the Baltimore Colts, a game they had no business losing.  The 1971 cards reflect the 1970 season that led to that horrible last game called the Blunder Bowl, played on January 17, 1971.

After that loss, the franchise decided that there was no way in hell they were going to lose the following year so they continued stacking their roster with new talent and future Hall Of Fame veterans.  This RetroCards 18-card set features quite a few familiar names from that 1970 season and some new additions for the 1971 season, the ones that would help put them over the top.

Young players like Margene Adkins, Richmond Flowers, Ike Thomas, Gloster Richardson, Roger Staubach, Claxton Welch, and Rayfield Wright are joined by vets Herb Adderley, Lance Alworth, George Andrie, Mike Ditka, Dave Edwards, Cornell Green, Forrest Gregg, Pettis Norman, Jethro Pugh, Lance Rentzel, and Don Talbert.  This 18-card set is available now... order here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Moses' Move To The NBA Commemorated By RetroCards

Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Spirits of st. Louis
The first player to enter Pro Basketball straight out of high school, Moses Malone was one of the great proto-typical centers in the NBA.  Having signed a letter of intent to attend the University of Maryland in 1974, he was drafted by the ABA's Utah Stars, who he signed a $1 million contract with.  The Stars folded the following year and Malone signed with the exciting Spirits Of St. Louis, where he played for one season as well.  At that point the ABA-NBA merger happened and Malone was placed in the dispersal draft despite his NBA rights being owned by the New Orleans Jazz.  He was selected by the Portland Trailblazers and had an impressive pre-season but he was traded to the Buffalo Braves prior to the first game of the 1976-1977 season.  After two games with Buffalo, he was traded again, this time to the Houston Rockets where he would spend the next five seasons.

His first two MVP awards were with the Rockets in 1978-79 and 1981-1982 but it wasn't until he was traded to the Philadephia 76ers for the 1982-83 season where he was MVP of the League and of the finals where he won his first and only championship.  RetroCards honors the recently deceased Moses Malone with three cards for the 1976-77 season: The Spirits of St. Louis, who he played for the prior season, the Buffalo Braves and the Houston Rockets.  Coming Soon!

1976-77 Card, though he never played a regular season game for Portland.









Wednesday, September 9, 2015

1967 Raiders Go To The Super Bowl

George Blanda, Willie Brown, Eugene Upshaw, Pete Banaszak, Tom Keating, Gus Otto, J.R. Williamson, Dan Birdwell, Bill Miller, Warren Wells, Jim Harvey, Rodger Bird, Bill Laskey, Howie Williams, Richard Sligh, John Rauch, Carlton Oats, Ken Herlock, Warren Powers


After toiling for seven year with no post-season appearances to date, the Raiders finally put together that championship team, by posting a 13-1 record.  1967 would be the year the Raiders would win the AFL Championship, and represent the league in Super Bowl II.

The attractive 1967 AFL Raiders team set is one of the most popular in the hobby, and Retrocards now supplements that set with an 18-card set of its own. Superstars represented in this set include George Blanda and Willie Brown, in their first years as Raiders, and Eugene Upshaw, in his would-be rookie card. Other well-known competitors of Raider lore include Pete Banaszak, Tom Keating, Gus Otto, J.R. Williamson, Dan Birdwell, Bill Miller and Warren Wells.

Furthermore, Raider historians will be pleased with these players finally given their due on a card, namely Jim Harvey, Rodger Bird, Bill Laskey, Howie Williams, and the tallest player in pro football history, the 7'0", 300-pound Richard Sligh.  Whether you are a fanatic of the Silver-and-Black, a fan of AFL history, or anyone who enjoyed the color and style of the 1967 set, this team set is for you. Coming soon!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Black Borders Are Back in 1985

Kurt Petersen, Anthony Dickerson, Dextor Clinkscale, Timmy Newsome, Glen Titensor, Howard Richards, Brian Baldinger, Ron Fellows, Gene Lockhart, John Warren, Doug Donley, Duriel Harris, Jesse Penn, Steve DeOssie, USFL John Williams, CFL star Waddell Smith, Crawford Ker, Tom Landry

The 1985 Dallas Cowboys season marked the last time in the Landry-era the team had a winning record as well as made the playoffs.  Fans hoped that many of the younger players would step up to become perennial Pro Bowlers but unfortunately for Cowboys fans, that never happened.  This RetroCards set features many players from the 1984 team and a couple of new comers.

This set was striking with a solid black border and horizontal style.  The large-scale lettering for the player name is a real change from most other designs where the focus was the team name.  Starters such as Kurt Petersen, Anthony Dickerson, Dextor Clinkscale, Timmy Newsome, Glen Titensor, Howard Richards, Brian Baldinger, Ron Fellows, Gene Lockhart are all here.  Other contributors include punter John Warren, Doug Donley, Duriel Harris, Jesse Penn, Steve DeOssie, USFL standout John Williams, and former CFL star Waddell Smith.  Draft choice Crawford Ker, coach Tom Landry, and a team card are also included.  Coming soon!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Electric Football Beats Any Video Game For Some Diehards




In a time long ago, before video games, there were artifacts know as "board games."  They came in colorful boxes, had pieces and playing cards, and you played them with other people in the same room.  Above are the football board games I grew up with and I am proud to say I introduced my two boys to my original electric football set (which was given to me by my much older neighbor when he tired of it).  Ebay is loaded with this kind of stuff and there has been a run on these types of games for not only nostalgia's sake but play with something that is not digital!

Thankfully, a book devoted to these wonderful game is now available, Steve Anderson's Retro Football Games: A 90 Year Pictoral History.  Check out the website here to order your copy!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Baby Bull in Royal Blue

Kansas City Royals


The much heralded career of Orlando Cepeda saw him win Rookie of the Year, MVP in 1967, a World Series Championship in 1967, the Outstanding Designated Hitter 1973, and finally induction into Baseball's Hall Of Fame.  Like so many athletes, the great ones seldom go out on top and in the case of Cepeda, he finished up his final season playing a mere 33 games with the Kansas City Royals in 1974.

His final baseball card during his career was as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 1974.  Though he signed with the Kansas City Royals in 1974, a "Traded" card might have worked that year but since he technically wasn't traded (he signed with the Royals as a free agent) that wasn't ideal.  So RetroCards did a Royals card for Cepeda in a 1974 and 1975 design. Get the one you feel he should've had (or just get both!)  Coming soon.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

1963 Baltimore Colts Looking Sharper Than Ever!

Ordell Braase, George Preas, Joe Perry, Lamar McHan, Tom Gilburg, Alex Hawkins, Jackie Burkett, Palmer Pyle, Wiley Feagin, Don Thompson, Butch Wilson, John Diehl, Bob Clemens, Willie Richardson, Jim Colvin, Dan Sullivan, Wendell Harris, Bill Saul
After winning championships in 1958 and 1959, the Baltimore Colts were going into some lean seasons for the franchise in the early 1960’s.  Coming off a 7-7 season, the team was starting to rebuild.  Many old hands were still around, but some future stars had joined the team and were starting to emerge.

Retrocards presents our extension of the Colts portion of the attractive and popular 1963 football set with a new 18-card set.   Some familiar old hands are featured here, such as Ordell Braase, George Preas, Joe Perry and Lamar McHan. Some younger, but established players are also included, such as Tom Gilburg, Alex Hawkins, Jackie Burkett and Palmer Pyle.

This set also includes players not yet to be featured on a bubblegum card, such as Wiley Feagin, Don Thompson, Butch Wilson, John Diehl and Bob Clemens. Still, the highlights of this set just may be the would-be rookie cards of future Colts stars Willie Richardson and Dan Sullivan, among others.  A great set for Colts fans, as well as anyone who loved the look of the 1963 football set.  Order yours now!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

More Monsters From RetroCards: 1960 Chicago Bears

Fred Williams, Joe Fortunato, Larry Strickland, Bob Kilcullen, J.C. Caroline Johnny Morris, Angelo Coia, Roger Davis, Charlie Sumner, John Aveni John Mellekas, Bill Bishop, Justin Rowland, Jack Johnson, John Adams, Willard Dewveal, Zeke Bratkowski
After a heart-breaking second place finish in the NFL’s Western Division in 1959, the Chicago Bears were ready to make a run for the Championship in 1960.  Although that did not come to be, the Bears still had one of the most feared defenses in the game.

RetroCards is now making available our earliest Bears team set, featuring many of those great “Monsters of the Midway” players.   Pro-Bowl competitors Fred Williams, Joe Fortunato, Larry Strickland, Bob Kilcullen and J.C. Caroline are the main features of this set.   Other popular players among Bears fans also include Johnny Morris, Angelo Coia, Roger Davis, Charlie Sumner and John Aveni.

The special treat for Bears historians is the several players not before featured on a card.   Among them are John Mellekas, Bill Bishop, Justin Rowland, Jack Johnson and the namesake of our Nation’s second president, John Adams.   Furthermore, early cards of Willard Dewveall, who would achieve notoriety in the AFL, and future Packers super-sub quarterback Zeke Bratkowski are also included.   This is a great set, not only for loyal Bears fans, but for any students of the game.  Order your set here!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bill Pellington, Dick Szymanski, Don Shinnick, Ordell Braase, George Preas,  Don Joyce,Ray Brown, Jackie Simpson, Billy Pricer, Art DeCarlo, Cotton Davidson, Sherman Plunkett, Johnny Sample
The 1958 NFL Championship between The Baltimore Colts and New York Giants is considered by many to be the “greatest football game ever played.”  Many recall the Colts winning in overtime, 23-17, on a short-yardage plunge by Alan Ameche, ending the game that put pro football into the national spotlight.   Many also remember the brilliant play of their young field general Johnny Unitas, or lineman Gino Marchetti watching the end of the game from the sidelines with a broken leg.

However, not many remember the great supporting cast around these superstars that put pro football on the map.   Now, RetroCards presents a history lesson on this iconic team of NFL Championship history, giving their due to popular Colts stars of the day, such as Bill Pellington, Dick Szymanski, Don Shinnick, Ordell Braase, George Preas, and Don Joyce.

Young role players are also featured in this attractive 18-card set, such as Ray Brown, Jackie Simpson, Billy Pricer, and Art DeCarlo, among others.  Players who would later become established stars in the AFL, but got their starts in Baltimore, include Cotton Davidson, Sherman Plunkett, and Johnny Sample, who would come back to help the Jets beat the Colts in Super Bowl III.   Make this set a great supplement to the attractive and popular 1958 football set.  Order yours now!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Herb Adderley, George Andrie, Larry Cole, Dave Edwards, Cornell Green, Cliff Harris, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan, D.D. Lewis, Bob Lilly, Jethro Pugh, Mel Renfro, Ike Thomas, Pat Toomay, Charlie Waters, Ron Widby,

Here is Series Two of the 1974 baseball style design.  This set features: Herb Adderley, George Andrie, Larry Cole, Dave Edwards, Cornell Green, Cliff Harris, Chuck Howley, Lee Roy Jordan, D.D. Lewis, Bob Lilly, Jethro Pugh, Mel Renfro, Ike Thomas, Pat Toomay, Charlie Waters, Ron Widby, a coaches card, and a team card.  Get your here!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Brian's Cards Are Something to Sing About

Chicago Bears  Brian's Cards Song
Not only has a lot been written about Brian Piccolo, but two films have been made outlining his courageous and tragic story.  As an undrafted free agent, Piccolo made the Chicago Bears out of will and determination. Though he spent 1965 on the taxi squad, he slowly worked his way into the starting line up and was a close friend and roommate of Gale Sayers.  Unfortunately embryonal cell carcinoma took him quickly and from the time he voluntarily removed himself from a game in 1969, he was gone within a year.

The story is well-told in the made for TV movie Brian's Song (1971) and its remake (2001).  Sadly, he only was represented on a trading card in 1969 but RetroCards fills in the rest of his career with seven more cards spanning his rookie year in 1965 to 1970.  The 1970 card is a special "In Memorium" card and he gets three Philadelphia Gum Card in that classic style.  A new Retrocard design is also featured here with the 1968 Philadelphia Action card, which showcases players in a color action photo instead of the traditional posed shot.  Look for more of those 1968 Philadelphia Action to be released by RetroCards in the near future.  This Brian Piccolo set is coming soon!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

1963 Vikings....Still Up And Coming

Bill Brown, Larry Bowie, Steve Stonebreaker, Lee Calland, Don Hultz, Ron Vander Kelen, Bill Butler, Gordie Smith.  Jim Battle, Ray Poage, Dave O'Brien
The Vikings' third season in the NFL was a respectable one.  With a record of 5-8-1 under head coach Norm Van Brocklin, the Vikings started to put the rest of the league on notice that they could be taken for granted as "the expansion Vikings."

RetroCards introduces it's first Minnesota Vikings set with this 1963 classic design. Starters like Bill Brown, Larry Bowie, Steve Stonebreaker, Lee Calland, and Don Hultz are featured in this set plus young back ups like Ron Vander Kelen, Bill Butler, and Gordie Smith.  Rookies Jim Battle, Ray Poage, and Dave O'Brien make first appearances in this extended 1963 set.  Order your set here!




Wednesday, July 8, 2015

71-72 Cowboys Get A Baseball Look

Roger Staubach, Craig Morton, Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill, Lance Alworth, Bob Hayes, Mike Ditka, Ralph Neely, John Niland, Blaine Nye, Dan Reeves, Rayfield Wright, Walt Garrison, Dave Manders,  Mike Clarke, Ron Sellers, Billy Parks, Jack Concannon

Cowboy collectors will get a treat with RetroCards second "baseball" design for a football set.  This set features a 1974 baseball design, which has long been one of my favorites - the first year I began collecting cards.  I always loved the "traded" players and the clean design.  Although this is a design from 1974, it features Dallas Cowboys spanning the 1971-72 seasons.  Series one includes the Cowboys offense in action or sideline shots.  Popular players like Roger Staubach, Craig Morton, Duane Thomas, Calvin Hill, Lance Alworth, Bob Hayes, Mike Ditka, Ralph Neely, John Niland, Blaine Nye, Dan Reeves, Rayfield Wright, Walt Garrison, Dave Manders, and Mike Clarke.  Other more obscure players include Ron Sellers, Billy Parks, and taxi squad member Jack Concannon.  Series two features 18 more cards of defensive players.  Order your set here!







Monday, June 22, 2015


Herb Mul-Key, Mack Alston, Bill Brundige, Bob Brunet, George Burman, Speedy Duncan, Alvin Haymond, Terry Hermeling, Ken Houston, Mike Hull, Jon Jaqua, Jimmie Jones, Sonny Jurgensen, Harold McClinton, Clifton McNeil, Jack Pardee, Jeff Severenson, Manny Sistrunk, Roosevelt Taylor, Rusty Tillman, Ted Vactor, Sam Wyche, George Allen
The Washington Redskins had toiled in futility with only two winning seasons in the combined decades of the 50s and 60s.  The arrival of George Allen in 1971 marked a turning point where the franchise quickly rebuilt themselves with a collection of old veterans and also-rans that were soon dubbed the “Over-the-Hill Gang.”  Allen had the 'Skins in the playoffs in his first season and quickly had them atop of the NFC in 1972 after beating them “goddamn Cowboys.”

Unfortunately for the Redskins, they were going up against the undefeated Dolphins and lost to them in a close contest in Super Bowl VII.

This 24-card 1973 Washington Redskins set features that fabled 1972 season and fills in some players who didn’t have a Redskin card for that year.  One of my favorite players to never have had a card, Herb Mul-Key, is here along with: Mack Alston, Bill Brundige, Bob Brunet, George Burman, Speedy Duncan, Alvin Haymond, Terry Hermeling, Ken Houston, Mike Hull, Jon Jaqua, Jimmie Jones, Sonny Jurgensen, Harold McClinton, Clifton McNeil, Jack Pardee, Jeff Severenson, Manny Sistrunk, Roosevelt Taylor, Rusty Tillman, Ted Vactor, Sam Wyche, and of course, George Allen.  An NFC Champions team card is the final card in this fun set.  Get yours here!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Cowboys Make First Super Bowl Appearance in 1970

Duane Thomas, Roger Staubach, Jethro Pugh, Mike Ditka, Herb Adderley, Pettis Norman, Dennis Homan, Reggie Rucker, Tom Stincic, Ron Widby, Larry Cole, John Niland, Blaine Nye, Walt Garrison, Claxton Welch, Mike Clark, Richmond Flowers

The  1970 season was a tumultuous one for the Cowboys.  Star running back Calvin Hill was lost for the season with an injury, Bob Hayes was benched by coach Landry, Craig Morton and Roger Staubach began their quarterback controversy.  Nonetheless, the Cowboys found themselves in the Super Bowl and lost a very odd game to the Baltimore Colts.  The game is sometimes called the "Blunder Bowl" because it was filled with poor play, a missed PAT, penalties, turnovers, and officiating miscues.It is more notable for the MVP to be from the losing team (Chuck Howley was the winner of the dubious award.)

This RetroCard set shows several Cowboy stars and some up-and-comers too.  Duane Thomas, Roger Staubach, Jethro Pugh, Mike Ditka, Herb Adderley, Pettis Norman, Dennis Homan, Reggie Rucker, Tom Stincic, Ron Widby, Larry Cole, John Niland, Blaine Nye, Walt Garrison, Claxton Welch, Mike Clark, and Richmond Flowers.  Order yours here.






Monday, June 8, 2015

RetroCards Focuses On The Great National Pastime

"1974 topps George Brett" "1974 Robin Yount topps" "1976 reggie jackson topps traded" "1967 topps nolan ryan" "1974 Frank tanana" "1977 Dick Ellis topps"

One of my favorite pitchers from my childhood was Frank Tanana.  Many times I watched him beat the Brewers at County Stadium and I always followed his career - 21 years in the majors!  In the mid to late 70s he was the number 2 pitcher behind Nolan Ryan and played in three All-Star Games (1976-1978) but he was just another durable pitcher with a tireless arm...rare these days.

RetroCards will be featuring several new baseball-style cards with some familiar faces that should have had cards certain years.  Look for team sets and single players in the coming months.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Last To Play For Papa Bear: Doug Buffone

"cards that never were" Topps

I remember the first three sportscards I ever owned.  An older neighbor girl knocked on our front door and I opened it and she ask if I “wanted these cards.”  I said “sure, thank you.”  Even at a young age I was aware that she went out of her way to walk down the block just to give me 3 lousy football cards.  One of those cards was a 1970 card of Doug Buffone.  I couldn’t read in those days but I hung on to those bent up cards and they still grace my collection today.

With the passing of Doug Buffone in April, 2015, I was reminded of that first card and thought he would made a nice RetroCard feature.   He is notable for his games played as a Bear, and was the last active player to have played for Papa Bear, George Halas. Though he was not an All-Pro or even a Pro Bowl player, he was as steady as they come; retiring in 1980 after 15 seasons as the franchises leader in games played.  He out lasted several other notable Bear linebackers to amass over 1,200 tackles during his career.  Here are some of his highlights:

·         Played 186 games as a Bear, the third most among Bears.
·         Had a career-high 158 tackles in 1972
·         Had 11 solo tackles vs. New Orleans (10/6/74)
·         Holds the Bears record for most career interceptions at linebacker (24)
·         Holds the Bears record for most sacks in a season (18 in 1968)
·         Was voted into the Louisville Hall of Fame with Johnny Unitas in 1979
·         National Italian American Sports Hall Of Fame member since 1992
·         First interceptions were against Hall Of Famers Bart Starr and John Unitas

He remained in Chicago after his playing career and went into broadcasting where he continued to serve Chicago by doing TV and radio for several local teams as well hosting The Doug Buffone Show on Fox Sports Net.  RetroCards pays tribute to this under-rated player with a set of cards filling in his missing years.  Coming Soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

RetroCards features the 1957 Milwaukee Braves

Jack Dittmer, Red Schoendienst, Nippy Jones, Bob “Hurricane” Hazle, Joey Jay, Mel Roach, Hawk Taylor, Toby Atwell, Harry Hanebrink, Carl Sawatski, Bob Trowbridge, Fred Haney, Hank Aaron, Lew Burdette, shoe polish incident,  "1957 topps baseball wrapper"

Books have been written about Milwaukee’s love affair with the Braves and the heartbreak the city went through when they left for Atlanta in 1966.  The arrival of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970 quelled the pain but there is still a very special spot in the hearts of many Wisconsinites for their Braves.  Milwaukee’s only World Series Victory came in 1957, when they toppled the mighty New York Yankees and RetroCards fittingly has chosen the ’57 Braves as their first Baseball set with a special 20-card collection.

New cards in the 1957 baseball style include Jack Dittmer, Red Schoendienst, Nippy Jones, Bob “Hurricane” Hazle, Joey Jay, Mel Roach, Hawk Taylor, Toby Atwell, Harry Hanebrink, Carl Sawatski, Bob Trowbridge, and Fred Haney.  There is also a special card for radio announcer Earl Gillespie sporting a Braves uniform!  Other highlight cards feature World Series moments including Hank Aaron’s home run that clinched the pennant, The Shoe Polish Incident, Lew Burdette MVP, Bushville Wins, 1957 Champions Team Card, Braves Celebrate, and a special “wax pack wrapper” card with checklist.  Get your set here!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Milwaukee Bucks 1968 Team Gets The Spotlight Treatment

Wayne Embry, Jon McGlocklin, Greg Smith, Bob Love, Don Smith, Len Chappell, Guy Rodgers, Flynn Robinson, Bob Warlick, Dick Cunningham, Fred Hetzel, Charlie Paulk, Sam Williams, Dave Gambee, Larry Costello, Eddie Doucette
The Milwaukee Bucks have a storied history that began in 1968.  With the toss of a coin in 1969, the Bucks found themselves with one of the most dominating players of all time in Lew Alcidor, who soon officially changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  Their only Championship happened almost immediately in the 1971 season,  the franchises third season.  A lot went into building that team and RetroCards has created a 1968 inaugural set commemorating the franchise’s first season.

Since NBA cards were sporadic in the 1960s, many fine players never appeared on a card.  This 18-card set covers a lot of ground and features:  Wayne Embry, Jon McGlocklin, Greg Smith, Bob Love, Don Smith, Len Chappell, Guy Rodgers, Flynn Robinson, Bob Warlick, Dick Cunningham, Fred Hetzel, Charlie Paulk, Sam Williams, and Dave Gambee.  Other cards include coach Larry Costello, Voice Of The Bucks Eddie Doucette, a team card, and a logo card with checklist.  This set is a fine example of RetroCard’s dedication to special teams and players that made a difference in the sport – no matter how big or how small.  Get your set here!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Kennedy Assassination Impacted Cowboys in 1963

chuck howley, frank clarke, george andrie, harold hays, ray schoenke, tony liscio, jim ray smith, sonny gibbs, lee roy jordan, pettis norman
Hopes were high for the 1963 Dallas Cowboys fourth NFL season as they were expected to build on their 5-8-1 record in 1962.  The offense that was explosive in '62 disappeared in 1963 as the Cowboys struggled to a 4-10 record.  Making matters worse, the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas cast a black cloud over the city of Dallas and the Cowboys as well.  Their game in Cleveland immediately following the assassination was marred with problems for the team.  The players had to unload their equipment from their charter plane at the Cleveland airport and were greeted with hostility.  This dampened an already dismal season.  (For more info on the events impacting the Cowboys in the aftermath of the JFK assassination, check out the excellent book Cowboys Have Always Been My Heroes by Peter Golenbock)


However, the Cowboys were building and several key players made an impact:  Pettis Norman, Lee Roy Jordan, Frank Clarke, Jim Ray Smith, Harold Hays, Guy Reese, Chuck Howley, Sonny Gibbs, Tony Liscio, Jerry Norton, Ray Schoenke, Dale Memmelaar, Ed Nutting, Lynn Hoyem, Clyde Brock, John Meyers, and Joe Bob Isbell are featured in this attractive set.  Order your18-card RetroCard set here.





Thursday, April 30, 2015

Raider Deep Threat Served In Vietnam

Oakland raiders vietnam veteral NFL Hall Of Fame

Although Fred Biletnikoff got more recognition, Warren Wells was a fantastic receiver who, from 1968-1970, was one of the top receivers in either the AFL or the NFL. While with the Raiders, with mostly Daryle Lamonica as his quarterback, he was one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the league, finishing with over 20 yards per catch in all four seasons. In 1969, he led the AFL in yards received (1260), yards per catch (a whopping 26.8), and touchdowns (14). He also led the AFL in touchdowns in 1968 (11), as well as finishing 4th in yards received (1137). He was an AFL All-Star  in 1968 and an AFC-NFC All-Pro in 1970. Wells held the career NFL record in yards per catch (23.1) up to the date of a change in NFL guidelines, currently a minimum 200 career receptions,Wells falling short at 158.

Even more impressive was his time served in Vietnam which caused him to miss the 1965 and 1966 seasons with his first team the Detroit Lions.  Wells is listed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, in Canton, Ohio, as one of 29 NFL players who served in the military during the Vietnam War. The HOF recognition of Wells can be seen at the Pro Football Hall of Fame website.  RetroCards is proud to offer 2 "cards that never were" for Warren Wells – 1968 and 1969 design.  Coming Soon!   





Friday, April 24, 2015

Brewer Collectors Get Their Cards For 1970!

Topps, skip lockwood, dave may, tommy harper, mike hegan, don mincher, dave bristol, floyd wicker, ken sanders, marty pattinWhen the Milwaukee Brewers were acquired by Bud Selig’s ownership team in 1970, they purchased the Seattle Pilots out of bankruptcy court.  Selig named the club the Milwaukee Brewers after the minor league team of the same name he had watched in his youth, which existed until the arrival of the Braves in Milwaukee in 1953.

Since the move to Milwaukee received final approval less than a week before the start of the 1970 MLB season, there was no time to order new uniforms. Selig was forced to simply remove the Seattle markings from the Pilots' blue-and-gold uniforms and sew "BREWERS" on the front.  As a result of this last minute city change, the Brewer fans of Milwaukee had to resort to collecting Seattle Pilot cards in 1970.

RetroCards has created an extensive inaugural 1970 Brewers set featuring a wonderful mix of up-and-coming players, cast offs, and hopefuls.  Series one includes: Tommy Harper, Dave May, Phil Roof, Skip Lockwood, Mike Hegan, Mary Pattin, Roberto Pena, Floyd Wicker, Russ Snyder, John Gelnar, John O’Donoghue, Bob Humphreys, Ted Savage, Ray Peters, Don Mincher, Ken Sanders, manager Dave Bristol, and a team card/checklist.  Get your set here!

Look for the second series for this unique set.

Monday, April 20, 2015

RetroCards Sweetens Walter's Card History

Walter payton earl campbell eric dickerson harvey martin
RetroCards commemorates the great Walter Payton with this 9-card set.  Although the main RetroCard mission has been to give players that have not been well represented on sports cards the recognition many fans feel they deserve, RetroCards also recognizes some of the biggest stars and events with custom cards that never were.

This set is book ended by a 1975 pre-rookie card and an 1988 post-retirement regular card (he only had a highlight card in 1988), plus it fills in a couple of league leader cards that were never issued.  The remaining cards are various records, awards, a Pro Bowl Card with Eric Dickerson, and a special “raspberry” card punking the 1985 Bears Super Bowl Shuffle.  Coming soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Eddie LeBaron, an undersize quarterback who was a college Hall of Famer, became a Marine Corps hero during the Korean War and then played in the National Football League for 11 seasons, died on Wednesday in Stockton, Calif. He was 85. His death was confirmed by the University of the Pacific, where he led the football team to an undefeated season in 1949.

In a position where players are now routinely 6 feet 3 inches or taller, LeBaron was 5-foot-7, and his weight never reached 170 pounds. But he had no fear of scrambling. Grantland Rice, the celebrated sportswriter, called him the most mystifying T-formation quarterback he had ever seen. In 1955, Frank M. Blunk of The New York Times called him “daring, resourceful, mercurial.”

From 1946 through 1949, LeBaron played for the College (now University) of the Pacific under Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg. As a 16-year-old freshman, LeBaron was a quarterback, a safety, a punter and a deceptive ballhandler. In his senior season, his team finished with an 11-0 record, led the nation in total offense (502.9 yards a game) and set an N.C.A.A. single-season record of 575 points. He was a three-time all-American and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1950, Time magazine described his popularity as a college athlete: “To show how they felt, admirers showered him with gifts: a new Studebaker, a $1,000 diamond ring, two suits of clothes, matched luggage, a television set, a 12-gauge shotgun and a year’s supply of ammunition.”

The Washington Redskins of the N.F.L. drafted him in 1950, but before he began his professional career, he served in the Marine Corps as a lieutenant. He was wounded twice in Korea and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor — even though, John Nolan wrote in his 2006 book, “The Run-Up to the Punch Bowl: A Memoir of the Korean War, 1951,” LeBaron “may have been the first Marine officer to go into combat without ever having fired a rifle on a range.” He joined the Redskins in 1952 and was named the N.F.L. rookie of the year that season. In 1954, he moved to Calgary of the Canadian Football League because his college coach, Larry Siemering, had been named the team’s head coach and because LeBaron was upset with the Redskins’ coach, Curly Lambeau, who had criticized his play-calling.  In 1955, with Lambeau retired and replaced by Joe Kuharich, LeBaron returned to the Redskins. He studied law at George Washington University in the off-seasons and earned a law degree in 1959.

He retired after the 1959 season to work full time as a lawyer in Texas. (“It’s time I gave my wife and children some permanent roots and a more normal home life,” he said at the time.) But the Dallas Cowboys, preparing for their first season, talked him out of it, traded for him and signed him for $20,000, arranging a partnership in a Dallas law firm. In 1960, against the Redskins, LeBaron set an N.F.L. record for the shortest completed pass: two inches, for a touchdown. He played four years for the Cowboys before turning his job over to Don Meredith.  In 11 N.F.L. seasons, LeBaron passed for 13,399 yards and 104 touchdowns. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl four times.

Edward Wayne LeBaron Jr. was born on Jan. 7, 1930, in San Rafael, Calif., and attended high school in Oakdale, Calif. Between his retirements from football in 1963 and law in 1997, he was an Atlanta Falcons executive, a television analyst, a manager of a brokerage firm and a land developer, as well as a consultant to the N.F.L. during negotiations with its players’ union.  He is survived by his wife, Doralee; his sons, Edward III, Richard and William; and five grandchildren.  LeBaron said that overcoming his lack of height was not that difficult.
“I came over the top, and I got very, very few balls knocked down,” he once told an interviewer. “The big thing was the ability to move. If you have the ability to move and the intelligence to know how to read the defenses, you can find the lanes.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

He Was Invincible: The Story Of Vince Papale




One of the fun things about being a sports fan is rooting for the underdog and one of the most famous underdogs was Philadelphia Eagle wide receiver Vince Papale.  He was a 30-year-old rookie in 1976 with no college football experience.  He made the team under coach Dick Vermeil and earned the nickname "Rocky" paralleling the Sylvester Stallone film character Rocky Balboa, which became a hit the same year.

Though much has been made by the fact he didn't play football in college (St. Joseph's University in the Philadelphia area) he was a superb athlete who attended St. Joseph's on a track scholarship where he had considerable success in the long jump, triple jump, and in pole vaulting.  In high school he lettered in football, basketball, and track and field.  After college Vince taught middle school for 6 years at his High School alma mater while working on his masters degree.  He also found time to be the track head coach, was an assistant high school football coach, AND was trying to qualify for the Olympics in the decathlon.  Though he didn't qualify, he was goaded by his buddies into trying semi-pro football.  He made the squad of the Aston Knights of the Seaboard League in 1973 and lead the league in touchdown receptions.

The newly formed World Football League put several semi-pro leagues out of business but that didn't stop Papale.  Hugh Wyatt, the Player Personnel Director of the Philadelphia Bell, brought Vince in for a free-agent tryout with 1,000 other hopefuls.  Only Vince and Dennis Lozzi of Notre Dame (who Vince referred to as "the original Rudy" in a radio interview) were signed from that tryout.

Though the WFL only lasted a year and half, Vince was a serviceable receiver mainly in a backup roll.  After the WFL folded Vince spent time as a substitute teacher and bar tender, while he prepared to go back and resume his teaching position at his alma mater Interboro High School in suburban Philadelphia. At this juncture he was invited to a free agent try out with the Eagles.  The talk of his all-out hustle was not just talk and he made cut after cut, eventually co-leading the Eagles in pre-season receptions in 1976.

He played mainly on special teams where he became Special Teams Captain, and became a role model for other players as well as fans.  The inspiring coach Dick Vermeil made the Eagles winners after years of futility and Vince became a life-long friend of Vermeil. A separated shoulder at the end of pre-season in 1979 saw him spend the first half of that season on the injured reserve after which he retired.
  
The 2006 film Invincible starring Mark Wahlberg depicts the uplifting story of Vince Papale and he continues to motivate and inspire with speaking engagements and personal appearances. RetroCards is proud to offer a 5-card set honoring Vince Papale to go along with his only card from 1977.  Coming soon!

Vince's only card circa 1977.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Start Of Lombardi's Best Run

Bill Anderson, Don Chandler, Jerry Kramer, Norm Masters, Ron Kramer, Hank Gremminger, Doug Hart, Ken Bowman, Bob Long, Lionel Aldridge, Tom Brown, Vince Lombardi, 1964 playoff bowl, Fuzzy Thurston, Bob Jeter, Lee Roy Caffey, Jesse Whittenton, Zeke Bratkowski, Carrol Dale, Marv Fleming, Ron Kostelnik, Max McGee, Dave Robinson,


The 1964 season ended with a thud as the mighty Packers lost the the St. Louis Cardinals in the Playoff Bowl, a "playoff" game that essentially decided third place.  Yes it seems foolish (it was) but the origin of the game had more to do with showcasing the best NFL teams to battle the up-and-coming AFL.  Another TV game around playoff time could show NFL stars and take market share away from the rival league.  Lombardi hated it and this loss to the Cardinals strengthened his resolve as the Packers went on the win three straight Championships (1965-1967).

The 1965 Philadelphia Gum Company had the license to produce NFL cards and of the four years they did made cards, the 1965 set rates as one of the nicest.  Because sets were small, teams were only represented by 13 players or so which left several quality players without a card.  The Packers were stacked with talent and this RetroCards set adds another 24 cards in this style.  Young players like Doug Hart, Ken Bowman, Bob Long, Lionel Aldridge, and Tom Brown get "early" cards and old vets like Max McGee, Bill Anderson, Don Chandler, Jerry Kramer, Norm Masters, Ron Kramer, Hank Gremminger are offered as well.  A special Playoff Bowl card and Coach Vince are two highlights of this fun set.  Order your custom set here!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Three Forfeits In The 70s Share One Thing In Common

Rusty Torres "Disco Demolition" "Senators Last Game" "10 Cent Beer Night" MLB forfeit

The Decade of the 1970s never ceases to amaze and amuse sports fans.  It was a simpler time, full of quaint and heart warming stories that are still told on bar stools and in the stands of many a game.  However there were a few notorious moments that involved America's Pastime that are getting the RetroCards treatment and those are the three forfeited games in that decade:  The Washington Senators final game (1971), Ten Cent Beer Night in Cleveland (1974), and Disco Demolition Night in Chicago (1979).  Each game has its own fascinating story but what links them together is that one athlete played in all three games:  Rusty Torres.

You can research the absurd and interesting situations surrounding each game and RetroCards is honoring these events with a special 4-card set; a Highlight (Lowlight?) card for each game plus a Rusty Torres Highlight card. Coming soon!








Friday, February 20, 2015

The Mid-80s Spearmint Design Featuring The Cowboys!



The Cowboys teased their fans with another Division title in 1985, their last of the Landry era.  Back-to-back blowouts by the Bears and Bengals exposed their weaknesses and their playoff loss to the Rams 28-0 was the first playoff shutout in team history.  Despite that, they had an explosive offense and a defense that recorded 62 sacks. 

The 1986 RetroCards Cowboys set is loaded with young players like Thornton Chandler, Crawford Ker, Mike Saxon, and Glen Titensor.  USFL vets like Gordon Banks, Todd Fowler and superstar Herschel Walker are also featured along with veterans John Dutton, Gary Hogeboom, Mike Downs, and Dextor Clinkscale.  Plus you get an Everson Walls Record Breaker and a very special Heisman Heaven card featuring Walker and Tony Dorsett.  Order them here!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Last Great Landry Team?

Sports fans in general experience plenty of heartbreak during a lifetime. The Dallas Cowboys have enjoyed more success than most franchises, so my guess is that few will sympathize with heartbreak of the Cowboys 1981 season.  The NFC Championship of the Dallas Cowboys vs. the San Francisco 49ers marked the end of one dynasty and the beginning of another.  Never again would the Cowboys be in better shape to snag another Super Bowl victory during the Landry era.  And during that same Championship game, the nation experienced the cool greatness of Joe Montana for the first time.  "The Catch," Dwight Clark's famous touchdown to win the game was almost a footnote as the Cowboys nearly pulled of a comeback with 51 seconds left on the clock. But it was not to be.

This custom RetroCards set features some popular Cowboys like Charlie Waters, Tim Newsome, Tom Rafferty, D.D. Lewis, Larry Bethea, and Tom Landry.  Special cards include a Tony Dorsett Record Breaker, a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders card, a league leader card, and "In Action" cards featuring Too Tall Jones and Butch Johnson doing his famous end zone dance the California Quake/Texas Six Shooter.  Order your set here.