Thursday, May 16, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series Three

Topps NBA basketball

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

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

This set is coming soon!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series Two

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

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

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

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

Thursday, April 25, 2019

1978-79 NBA: Series One

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, April 12, 2019

1968 Dallas Cowboys: One More Philadelphia Set

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

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

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

Thursday, April 4, 2019

1978-79 Milwaukee Bucks: Green & Growing

Topps basketball cards 1978-79

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

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

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

Thursday, March 28, 2019

1968 Baltimore Colts: Hard Luck Season

1968 Topps football cards

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

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

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spotlight On: Marques Johnson

Topps, Star Company Basketball cards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 7, 2019

1984 Cowboys: Baseball-Style!

Topps football cards
One of the many fun projects RetroCards has undertaken has been creating new football team sets using the corresponding year's baseball card design. Here, RetroCards uses the 1984 baseball card design to make this special Dallas Cowboys set. 

This design has always stood out because it combines a sharp action/sideline photo with an attractive headshot in a colored box, giving collectors a clear picture of who this player is and what he does on the field. This 18-card set uses period photos showing some of the Cowboys aging stars: Bill Bates, Danny White, Everson Walls, Tom Rafferty, Tony Dorsett, Doug Cosbie, Ed Jones, Drew Pearson, Rafael Septien, Randy White, Tony Hill, Michael Downs, Butch Johnson, Ron Springs, Harvey Martin, Gary Hogeboom, Dennis Thurman, and Tom Landry.  Get your set here

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Lynn Swann: When Receivers Had Class


Lynn Swann is among the most beloved Steelers in team history and as a Hall Of Famer, he has been one of the most noticeable players to NOT have cards during the majority of his playing career. His first card came in 1975 but ended with the 1977 card. Presumably it was a contractual matter with the card companies of that time.

Now, RetroCards is proud to add Swann cards from 1978 to 1983, including a special 1974 card!  Like the previous Joe Namath Retrocards set, the Swann set adds all the cards he could have had but didn't. Other cards shown are a part of another set or from forthcoming sets. Get yours here.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

1977 Cowboys Solidified the "America's Team" Moniker

Topps football cards

The 1977 Football set is arguably the most attractive football set of the decade.  With bright primary colors replacing the pinks and avocado greens of the 74-76 football sets, the 1977 set has long been a fan favorite.  It is the first RetroCard set to feature this year and the Cowboys are again in the spotlight. 

It contains many players who were big contributors to the Cowboys run at Super Bowl XII when they defeated the Denver Broncos 27-13.  Players in the set included: Benny Barnes, Bob Breunig, Larry Cole, Doug Dennison, Bill Gregory, Thomas Henderson, Randy Hughes, Jim Jensen, Aaron Kyle, Burton Lawless, D.D. Lewis, Jethro Pugh, Jay Saldi, coach Tom Landry, a pre-rookie Tony Dorsett, and All-Pro Rayfield Wright card!  Free agent QB Steve Deberg and future Giant Beasley Reece also get their Cowboy debut in this new set.  Order your set here!

Friday, February 15, 2019

1961 Fleer: Series Five

Series five of RetroCards 1961 Fleer update continues with 24 more cards.  This series features AFL players from eight teams.

Players include: Chuck Gavin, Roger Ellis, Rommie Loudd, Tony Teresa, Jack Rudolph, Jerry Helluin, Bud McFaddin, Willie Smith, Don Chelf, Keith Lincoln, Ron Sabal, Larry Grantham, Chuck Shonta, Johnny Pyeatt, Mark Johnston, Jim Sorey, Wayne Hawkins, Bob McNamara, Corky Tharp, Don Norton, Orville, Trask, Jim Lee Hunt, Tom Louderback, and Emil Karas. Coming Soon!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

1963 Bears...A Championship Team Commemorated

The 1963 NFL season was dominated by the Chicago Bears and their stifling defense. One of the only defenses in history to lead the league in fewest rushing yards, fewest passing yards, and fewest total yards, as well as fewest points allowed. Offensively, they only averaged 3.4 yards per rush and Bill Wade's "wounded duck" passes continued the tradition of hapless quarterbacking for the franchise. Nonetheless, they deserve recognition for being one of the best teams ever. The team finished with an 11-1-2 record and defeated the favored New York Giants on a frigid December day 14-10.  

RetroCards presents this 26-card set in the 1963 design collectors love.The set features eight players who never had a Bears card, and six of those players never had a card at all. Bears collectors will love to see cards of Bob Kilkullen, Larry Glueck, Dave Whitsell, Bo Farrington, Tom Bettis, Charlie Bivins, Rick Casares, Mike Pyle, Willie Galimore, Ronnie Bull, Art Anderson, Bob Wetoska, J.C. Caroline, Rudy Bukich, Stan Fanning, Angelo Coia, Maury Youmans, Bennie McRae, Ed O'Bradovich, Fred Williams, Bobby Joe Green, Rosey Taylor, Jim Cadile, Stan Jones, Joe Marconi, and of course the old man -  Papa Bear Halas!
Order yours here!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Spotlight On: Johnny Robinson

Topps, Philadelphi football cards

Kansas City Chiefs great Johnny Robinson has been selected as a Senior Finalist in the 2019 Pro Football Hall Of Fame class. Thought by many to be long over due, the former AFL star may be joining other Chiefs from that era that include linebackers Bobby Bell and Willie Lanier, defensive tackles Buck Buchanan and Curley Culp and cornerback Emmitt Thomas. Quarterback Len Dawson, kicker Jan Stenerud, coach Hank Stram and founder Lamar Hunt are the other Chiefs figures already enshrined.

His talents may have gone to waste early in his career as a Dallas Texan where he was originally used on offense running and catching the ball. On offense he tallied 1886 yards total yards and 15 touchdowns. Thankfully, he was moved to defensive back where he racked up seven All-Star game trips and 57 interceptions between 1962 and 1971.

The fact that Robinson was jilted six times as a finalist in the 1980s, is a “disgrace,” as former head coach Hank Stram once put it. Back then, though, there remained some conflict about how to process the AFL years, some backlash against it and a perception that too many Chiefs on that defense already had been honored. Robinson’s interception totals are impressive with 57 interceptions over 10 years at the safety position. But since the AFL was a “pass-crazy” league where the passing and receiving numbers are gaudy, so too are the interception totals as compared with the more run-oriented NFL during the same time period.  But teammate and Hall of Famer Bobby Bell says, “he was like a quarterback back there, and a coach. He put us all in the right places.”

Here are some highlight from his brilliant career:

• Named All Pro eight times
• One of only 20 players who were in the AFL for the its entire 10 year run
• Member of a Chiefs team that won three division titles and one Super Bowl
• Played with three broken ribs in Super Bowl IV vs. the Vikings
• Had a pivotal pickoff against Buffalo in the 1966 AFL title game, returning a Jack Kemp pass 72 yards
• Member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
• Named to the AFL’s All-Time Team
• Chiefs had a 35-1-1 record in games where he intercepted a pass

Look for these RetroCards in current and upcoming sets.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Stan Mikita: Master Of the Game

Topps, O-Pe-Chee

The three-part post of “Those We Have Lost in 2018” attracted lots of attention, due to the large number of deaths last year. Though we covered quite a few people, there was a noticeable omission that was brought to our attention. Stan Mikita, arguably the greatest player in Chicago Blackhawks history, had passed last year and was on my list to include, but was accidentally missed. 

In 21 seasons, "Stosh" set franchise records that still stand with 1,396 regular-season games, 1,467 points, 926 assists and a plus-329 rating. His 541 goals rank second behind his junior hockey and Hawks teammate Bobby Hull’s 604. Bobby Hull has said of Mikita, “Pound for pound Stan had to be one of the greatest who ever played, and he was a player who always came to play.”

The 20-year-old Mikita and 22-year-old Hull led the Blackhawks to the 1961 Stanley Cup championship, Mikita scored six goals and led all players in the playoffs with 15 assists and 21 points in 12 games.

Here are a partial list of Stan’s achievements:

• Ranked 14th all-time in points, 18th in assists, 31st in goals, and 40th in games played (at end of 2017-18 
  NHL season)
• Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as MVP in 1967 and 1968
• Won the Art Ross Trophy as leading scorer in 1964, 1965, 1967, and 1968
• Won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1967 and 1968
• Stanley Cup champion (1961)
• Named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, and 1968
• Named to the NHL’s Second All-Star Team in 1965 and 1970.
• Played in NHL All-Star Game in 1964, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, and 1975
• Won the Lester Patrick Trophy in 1976
• The only player in NHL history to win the Hart, Art Ross, and Lady Byng trophies in the same season, 
  doing so in consecutive seasons, in 1966–67 and 1967–68
• Was named to Team Canada for the 1972 Summit Series, but only played two games due to injuries
• In 1998, he was ranked number 17 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 greatest NHL players
• The Blackhawks retired #21 on October 19, 1980; Mikita was the first Blackhawks’ player to have his 
  number retired
• Mikita was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983
• The ice rink in Ru┼żomberok, Slovakia, is named after him
• In 2011, statues of Mikita and Bobby Hull were installed outside the United Center, where the Blackhawks 
  currently play
• Mikita and teammate Bobby Hull are credited with inventing the curved stick
• He also was an exceptional golfer. 

Mikita was offered $1.5 million over five years to play for the Chicago Cougars of the World Hockey Association — much more money than he was making in the NHL — but he accepted what he described as “a nice raise” and stayed with the Black Hawks.

“He was more prepared than anybody I ever played with,” said Dale Tallon, executive vice president and general manager of the Florida Panthers, remembering the seasons they spent together skating for the Blackhawks from 1973-74 to 1977-78. “His preparation was impeccable. His style of play was unique. He had great skills and drive and passion. He was hardworking. He was unselfish.”

In 2015 he was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia, a progressive disease with symptoms similar to those of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. He passed on August 7, 2018 at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife, Jill, and their four children, Meg, Scott, Jane and Christopher.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

1961 Fleer: Series Four

Series four of RetroCards Fleer 1961 Football cards continues with 24 more NFL players. Series one and two each had 24 players and series three focuses on AFL players.  This is the fourth in five series of this cool and clean-looking sixties set.

Player in this set include: Willie West, Bob Boyd, Bob Waters, Ed, Meador, Dick James, Ray Wietcha, Mike Henry, Mike Rabold, Marion Campbell, Ed Culpepper, Dick Moegle, Frank Varrichoine, George Preas, Gene Hickerson, Jim Katcavage, Clendon Thomas, C.R. Roberts, Bert Rechichar, Charles Sumner, Larry Wilson, Andy Nelson, Andy Stynchula, John Whittenborn, and Jim Ray Smith. This set is coming soon!

Series Five will be next so check back often!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018: Those We've Lost, Part Three

RetroCards' tribute continues with a final post with Part Three of Those We Lost in 2018. Some of these cards you see here have already been released in team sets, while others are yet to come.  Here are the honorees for part two: 

Sports figures we lost in 2018: Isaiah Robertson, Bob Barton, Ron Thomas, Ray Kubala, Dwight Clark, Warren Wells, Oscar Gamble, Dennis Claridge, Jim Wiste, Tony Cloninger, Bobby Walden, Kurt Walker, Wayne Krenchicki, John McKenzie, Don Testerman, Gabe Rivera, Jack Patera, Art Williams, Marty Pattin, Roy White, Ron Johnson, Ed Charles, Dan Grimm, Paul, Naumoff, Wes Hopkins, Tim Rossovich, John Hill, Doc Edwards, Jim Houston.  TV & Pop Culture figures we lost in 2018: President George H.W. Bush, Harry Anderson, Katherine Macgregor.

We didn't get them all, but sympathies go out to family and friends of our fallen heroes. See the stars and the obscure at