Friday, March 24, 2017

1970 Rams: Almost, But Not Quite

George Allen, Topps football Cards 1970, 1969 Los Angeles Rams

When George Allen arrived as head coach in 1966, the franchise immediately turned around, producing what was their first winning season since 1957.  But having double-digit winning seasons from 1967-1969 with no Championships, tempers were boiling over and Allen was fired after 1968 only to be re-hired after an outpour of support from his players.  After losing to the Vikings in the 1969 post season and missing the playoffs entirely in 1970, the Rams ownership fired Allen a second time. 

This was one of the top teams of the era but unfortunately couldn’t get to the Championship.  RetroCards honors the 1970 Rams with an 18-card supplemental set in that great beige design.  The set includes Kermit Alexander, Coy Bacon, Charlie Cowan, Pat Curran, Ken Iman, Tommy Mason, John Pergine, Jim Purnell, Jack Reynolds, Rich Saul, Joe Scibelli, Nate Shaw, Larry Smith, Pat Studstill, Karl Sweetan, Diron Talbert, Wendell Tucker, and Clancy Williams. Order now!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

1959 Packers: The Dynasty Begins

1959 Topps football cards, custom cards, Packers Dynasty

After a 1-10-1 record in 1958, the worst in franchise history, Packer fans were disheartened, the players were dispirited, and the fans enraged.  The viability of the franchise surviving became a concern of the NFL.  Few expected the unbelievable turnaround that would ensue with the hiring of Vince Lombardi as head coach and general manager in early 1959.  Lombardi’s punishing training and expectations of complete dedication resulted in a 7-5 record for 1959.  Players began to jell and realize their potential.  Future Hall of Famers Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Jim Taylor, Jim Ringo, Forrest Gregg, Ray Nitschke, Hank Jordan, and Emlen Tunnell were on this team and poised to make a stand.  The prompt turnaround in 1959 earned Lombardi Coach of the Year honors and raised expectation for 1960.  

RetroCards has designed an 18-card supplemental set that includes: Ray Nitschke, Jim Taylor, Bob Skoronski, Ron Kramer, Timmy Brown, Fred Thurston, Forrest Gregg, Norm Masters, Emlen Tunnell, Tom Bettis, Don McIhenny, Boyd Dowler, Bill Quinlan, Gary Knafelc, Lamar McHan, Bill Howton, John Symank, and Vince Lombardi.  This set includes a card of Jim Taylor with the correct photo for a change!  Coming soon.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spotlight on Timmy Brown: Running Back, Singer, Actor

Topps football cards 1959, 1960, 1961, 1968, 1962, Fleer, Philadelphia Gum Cards,

As an actor, Timothy Brown is seldom recognized as a former star football player.  Over shadowed by other football players-turned actor like Jim Brown and Fred Williamson, “Timmy” Brown was one of the stars of the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1960s.

After graduating from Ball State in Indiana in 1959, he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.  With a glut of fine running backs already on the roster, it is hard to blame Vince Lombardi for letting Timmy Brown get away.  But I will blame him anyway.  Imagine a “speed back” running behind the famous Packer sweep.  No other Packer running back that followed or backed up Taylor and Hornung ever threatened becoming an All-Pro through the decade of the 60s.   Brown was signed by the Eagles where he played eight seasons racking up Eagle team records, Pro Bowl appearances, and All-Pro honors.  With the Eagles, Brown rushed for over 3,700 yards, caught 231 passes for 3,346 yards, and amassed nearly 5,000 return yards, while scoring 63 career touchdowns.  He flirted with a music recording career releasing one 45 in the Imperial label, but settled into acting full-time after a final season with the Baltimore Colts in 1968.

Now billed officially at "Timothy Brown," he is most notable for his role in the 1970 film M*A*S*H, which led to him being cast in the TV show of the same name as Dr. Oliver Harmon “Spearchucker” Jones (a role that was eliminated upon finding out there were no black surgeons serving in Korea).  While appearing regularly in various television shows, he found a niche in Blaxploitation films of the 70s as sort of a B-version of Fred Williamson. RetroCards recognizes the multi-talented Timothy Brown with a smattering of cards filling out his fine career.  Many of these cards will be available in future sets.  Check back frequently for updates!

Timothy Brown Films:
M*A*S*H
Sweet Sugar
Black Gunn
Bonnie’s Kids
Girls Are For Loving
East Meets Watts (The Dynamite Brothers)
Nashville
Zebra Force
Black Heat
Gus
Midnight Ride

Timothy Brown TV Appearances:
Wild, Wild West
M*A*S*H
Mission: Impossible
I’ve Got A Secret
Adam–12
Mary Tyler Moore Show
S.W.A.T.
Cannon
The Rookies
T.J. Hooker
Mobile One
Benson
Gimme A Break
Remington Steele
The Colbys

Saturday, March 4, 2017

1962 Colts: Aging Gracefully

Topps football cards, John Unitas, Raymond Berry


Having won consecutive Championships in 1958 and 1959, the Baltimore Colts struggled in the following years to mount successful seasons.  Despite boasting several NFL stars (John Unitas, Ray Berry, Lenny Moore, Jim Parker) and adding key veterans like Joe Perry and R.C. Owens, and moving key veterans out like Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb and Johnny Sample didn’t translate into more championships.  Having dropped to 6-6 in 1960, the Colts made strides in 1961 by going 8-6.  But with a limp running game and aging offensive line, the Colts fell back to 7-7, costing head coach Weeb Ewbank his job.

This RetroCard set features the very attractive 1962 design and has some fine stars that didn't make it into the original card set of the same year.  Players include: Jimmy Orr, R.C. Owens, Jim Parker, Lenny Lyles, Lamar McHan, Palmer Pyle, Art Donovan, Dick Syzsmanski, Tom Matte, Dee Mackey, Val Kecklin, Aubrey Linne, Marv Matuzak, George Preas, Dave Yohn, Bobby Boyd, Billy Ray Smith, coach Weeb Ewbank, a Memorial Stadium card, plus a Highlight card of the retirement of Art Donovan.  Get yours here!