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.