Friday, September 22, 2017

1964 Houston Oilers: Philadelphia Style

Topps, 1964 Philadelphia football cards, custom cards

After three years at the top of the Eastern Division, the Oilers dipped to 3rd place in 1963 after winning the AFL Championship in 1961. Despite the downturn in fortunes, the Oilers still fielded a formidable team with George Blanda, Billy Cannon, and the AFL's top receiver, Charley Hennigan.  Unfortunately, 1963 was not an anomaly as the Oilers lost 9 straight games in the middle of the 1964 season.  The highlight of their 4-10 season was Charley Hennigan's 101 receptions.

RetroCards uses the attractive 1964 Philadelphia Gum card design to create a brand new Oilers set that includes: Don Floyd, Charley Frazier, W.K. Hicks, Larry Onesti, Sonny Bishop, Bob MacLeod, Rich Michael, Walt Suggs, Bob Talamini, Charley Tolar, Charlie Rieves, Sid Blanks, Bud McFadin, Donny Brabham, Doug Cline, Sammy Odom, Scott Appleton, George Blanda.

Order your 1964 AFL Houston Oiler set here!

Friday, September 15, 2017

More '87 Strike: Keanu & Gene's Excellent Adventure

1987 Topps football cards, custom cards that never were

All of this Strike talk recalled the 2000 film The Replacements starring Keanu Reeves and Gene Hackman.  It's a fun romp that shows the humorous side of the strike.  For a more realistic view, watch ESPN's 30 For 30 Year Of The Scab, which premiered on September 12th.  Here is the trailer.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

1987 Replacement Cowboys Plus Some History...

1987 Topps football cards, custom cards that never were

In the dying days of the Tom Landry era, the 1987 strike season offered some brief optimism.  Some of us thought, “perhaps the Cowboy replacement players can outplay other NFL replacement players and pad their record?”  Lord knows the Cowboys needed padding as the strike replacement players actually had a higher winning percentage (2-1) than the regular Cowboy players (5-7).  But to be fair, even those strike victories were padded in a rare instance of players crossing the picket line to play in the replacement games.  This is were the story gets interesting.

Tex Schramm, never one to pass up an opportunity make/save a buck, forced the hand of several players who had long annuities that Schramm snuck into player contracts in anticipation of the strike. In short, if those players didn’t play, they lose the money.  Schramm held this over several players head and players begrudgingly crossed the line rather than lose years of contributions.

Randy White, Tony Dorsett, Ed “Too Tall” Jones were the highest profile players affected by this and crossed the line.  Danny White, in an effort to move CBA talks along……  also crossed the line, creating even more team derision.  Dorsett begged not to be played in these games but Tom Landry played him anyway.   (See part one of 1987 Strike Cowboys here).

The aftermath of the strike was difficult for the Cowboys.  Tex Schramm’s level of involvement in the strike earned him the nickname “Commissioner of the Replacement Players,” which made the Cowboys a marked team even after the strike was over.  A quarterback controversy developed when Danny White crossed the line and Tom Landry chose to start him over the exciting Kevin Sweeney (a move that almost got Landry fired) , who was having success in the strike games.  The opponent was the Philadelphia Eagles coached by All-Pro yahoo Buddy Ryan, who resented Landry using union players against his Eagles.  This started a feud by the next game where Ryan ran up the score on the flailing Cowboys.

• The replacement players earned $4,000 a week,
• Cornell Burbage reached into the stands during a road game at New York, grabbed a package and placed it under the bench. It was a box of laundry Burbage’s sister had washed for him.
• In union towns, the replacements were shunned. In places such as Dallas, some fans loved their grit and nicknamed them the “Rhinestone Cowboys.”
• Nearly every replacement team wound up with new fan-given nicknames: The Chicago Spare Bears. The Seattle Sea-Scabs. The New Orleans Saint Elsewheres and the Rhinestone Cowboys.
• New York Jets star defensive end Mark Gastineau, who claimed he needed the money to pay alimony. Gastineau would end up scuffling with a teammate who spat in his face as he crossed the picket line one morning.
• Other stars that crossed the line: Howie Long, Joe Montana, Steve Largent, Lawrence Taylor, Roger Craig, Tony Dorsett, Dwight Clark, Danny White, Randy White
• 37-year-old Jim Zorn, playing in the Canadian Football League, contacted the Seahawks, whom he had QBed for many years, but ended up in Tampa as backup to another 37-year-old, John Reeves, who had started for the Eagles and Bengals in the 70s. 
• Sean Payton, future Saints Coach of the Year, played QB for Mike Ditka’s Bears. 
• The Bears traded QB Doug Flutie to New England while he was on strike. Doug led his new team to a 21-7 win over Houston during the third week of replacement games.
• Lionel Vital, who ran a grocery store in Louisiana before the strike, became the starting RB for the Redskins.
• The Giants signed 12 players from the semipro Connecticut Giants.
• QB Vince Evans had been out of football since the USFL folded. He started the first replacement game for Oakland despite the fact that former starter Mark Wilson suited up. Vince passed and ran for 311 yards in total offense.

While the strikers lost an average of $15,000 per game (approximately $80 million in salaries altogether), the average owner’s profit per game actually rose from $800,000 before the work stoppage to $921,000 during the strike. However, this gain was wiped out by the fact that the league had to refund $60 million to the networks over the next two seasons for the missed weekend of play, the reduced ratings, and the resulting decline in advertising revenues.

On the day the strike ended, the NFLPA filed an antitrust suit in Federal Court challenging the college draft, restraints on free agency, and other practices alleged to be anti-competitive. (The NBA players had filed a similar suit one month earlier.) The Court of Appeals ultimately rejected the suit on a technicality. NFLPA disbanded, then reformed in 1989 in order to file a new suit that ultimately prevailed at a jury trial. This led to a labor agreement that permitted less restrictive free agency in return for salary caps tied to a formula based on players’ share of total league revenues. So the union, while losing the 1987 battle in the short run, won the war in the long run.  This fun set is coming soon!


Friday, September 1, 2017

RetroCards Strikes Back! 1987 Cowboys

1987 Topps Football Cards, Custom Cards that never were, replacement players

1987 was a trying year for the NFL.  A Players Strike interrupted the season resulting in teams fielding replacement players for three games. At best, the play of the replacement players was fun, at worst, farcical.  The Cowboys, with their superior scouting, fielded one of the league’s strongest “Strike Teams” and, had the NFL replacement players played all season, the Cowboys may have won the Super Bowl!  Back in reality the Cowboys posted a 5–9 record in regular “union” games, helping to bring an end to the Landry era. 

That year started off with two disasters before the season even started: first was the arrest of Rafael Septien for the allegation of sexual assault of a minor, followed by young star Mike Sherrard breaking his leg in a scrimmage.  Then the strike happened after week two of the season and week three games were cancelled.

Cowboys management was anticipating the strike and kept close tabs with players who were the final cuts of the preseason.  The always shrewd GM Tex Schramm inserted clauses into several veteran’s contracts stating if players missed a game or practice due to something other than a football injury, players would lose a large annuity built into their pay structure.  This caused veterans like All-Pro Randy White to cross the picket line, starting a rift between White and the rest of the striking players.  Tony Dorsett referred to him as “Captain Scab,” only to pathetically join White across the picket line when Schramm reminded him of his soon-to-be lost annuities (Dorsett was referred to as "Captain Stab").

Discord grew when Danny White crossed the line. He couldn’t afford to give up the paycheck as his manufacturing business was in debt $250,000 and he was under investigation for mail fraud.  "Too Tall" Jones crossed due to the lost annuities situation and a lawsuit was threatened by players against the Cowboys. Only Doug Cosbie and Everson Walls didn't cross though they stood to lose annuities.

The ever-detached Tom Landry coached his newfound players for the three strike games to the best of his abilities while player representative Doug Cosbie stood helpless as he watched 21 veterans cross the picket line.  Seven of the replacement players showed promise and stayed on the roster after the strike was over.  In the second last game of the season Danny White coached the team briefly against Rams while coach Landry dealt with a threat on his life – an omen if there ever was one. Sadly, the strike experience and the losing carried into the 1988 season where the team dipped to an embarrassing 3-13 record.

RetroCards gives focus to this strange season with two Cowboy 18-card sets.  The first (pictured above) contains players that did not have a card in 1987: Gordon Banks, Vince Albritton, Nate Newton, Garth Jax, Reggie Collier, Gene Lockhart, Ray Alexander, Doug Cosbie, Johnny Holloway, Roger Ruzek, Ron Francis, Danny Noonan, Mark Tuinei, Ron Burton, Everson Walls, and Todd Fowler.  There is also a team card and a yellow bordered “box bottom” card of Herschel Walker.


The second series (to be shown in a separate blog entry) focuses on the replacement players and players who crossed the picket line who did not have a regular card in 1987. First the replacement players: Kevin Sweeny, Kelvin Edwards, Tommy Haynes, Cornell Burbage, Mike Dwyer, and Robert Williams.  Players who crossed: Randy White, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Mike Renfro, Johnny “Lam” Jones, Robert Lavette, Paul McDonald, Kevin Brooks, Kelvin Martin, and Karl Powe.  A Cowboys management card featuring Schramm and Landry gets a special place in series two along with a Strike Team card, and a yellow bordered “box-bottom” card featuring “Co-Captain Scab,” Tony Dorsett.  Both are coming soon!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hall Of Fame Hopeful: Jerry Kramer

Topps, 1962 Topps, 1963,1965, 1968, 1969, 1966,

One popular discussion in sports is who should or should not be in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame.  Perhaps the most deserving name on the list of who should be in is Jerry Kramer, Packer guard from the Lombardi era.  He was a modern era finalist from 1974-1987 and eligible as a senior inductee since 2002. There have been websites and surveys to help get him voted in but induction to the Hall has been elusive.  The most glaring fact is that he is the only member of the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team who is not in the Hall. Even the NFL Network listed he at #1 as the top player never inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Here are the quick look has his accomplishments:
•  5-time 1st Team NFL All-Pro
•  2-time 2nd Team NFL All-Pro
•  3-time Pro Bowler
•  5-time NFL Champion
•  NFL 60s All-Decade team
•  NFL 50th Anniversary Team
•  Green Bay Packers Hall Of Fame
•  All-Super Bowl Team
•  Kicked winning field goal in 1962 NFL Championship
•  Threw the most famous block in NFL history helping Bart Starr score the winning     
   touchdown in the 1967 NFL Championship

Pretty impressive considering there are not a lot of NFL guards that can claim these lofty accomplishments.  Here are some speculative reasons why he may not be in the Hall with a response for each:

1. Voters are loathe to vote in another Lombardi Packer.  Not true. Twenty-four years after Willie Wood was inducted in 1989, teammate Dave Robinson was inducted in 2013. 

2. The inclusion of Dave Robinson in 2013 now makes it even harder for Kramer to get in. Paul Hornung disagrees, “Hell, we won more than anybody.  Why shouldn’t we have more? We won more championships.”

3. Voters don’t want to vote a third offensive lineman from the same team in (Forrest Gregg and Jim Ringo are the other two).  Not true. Three lineman from the Oakland Raiders made it: Jim Otto, Gene Upshaw, and Art Shell.

4. Kramer struggled playing against Alex Karras and Merlin Olson.  Who the hell didn’t?

5. Kramer’s tiff with Green Bay Press-Gazette sports editor Art Daley, who represented Green Bay with the Hall of fame.  Kramer gave Daley an interview late in his career just after being chewed out by Lombardi on the practice field.  Kramer was in a bad mood and he “blew up,” saying things “I shouldn’t have said.” 

Decades later, Kramer says, former New York Giants linebacker Sam Huff called him to share a rumor. Huff heard a Green Bay sportswriter wasn’t adequately arguing Kramer’s case for induction.  “Sam just said, ‘Your guy in Green Bay isn’t supporting you,’”  Packer historian Cliff Christl knew Daley well and denies this.

6. Some writers didn’t like Kramer’s book Instant ReplayDid Kramer break the taboo of letting the press into the locker room?  I can’t see any of today’s voters caring about this unless they were in the press themselves, which would seem to help Kramer’s case.

7.  Fellow Lombardi-era guard Fred “Fuzzy” Thurston was as good as Kramer.  Thurston was All-Pro once and had no where near the physical abilities Kramer had.  Kramers was at the top of his game longer than Thurston.

9. Gale Gillingham, the guard who came in toward the end of Kramer’s career and replaced Fuzzy Thurston after he retired, was a better guard, and is therefore more deserving.  Does this logic mean that Brett Favre shouldn’t go in because Aaron Rodgers follows him and he was “better?”

10. Canton is a money-making enterprise and adding another small market player from a team that already has 11 is not desirable.  Then why did Dave Robinson get in in 2013?

More than 40 former NFL players, including 34 Hall of Famers, have endorsed Kramer. It started informally with Sam Huff in ’97. The former linebacking great, inducted in 1982, went around and collected seven other letters of recommendation.  Merlin Olsen explained, “Jerry earned my respect as we battled eye to eye in the pits on so many long afternoons. Jerry Kramer belongs in the Hall of Fame.”  Players like Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Frank Gifford, Bob Lilly, Chuck Bednarik, Doug Atkins, and Alan Page have also supported Kramer’s cause.

One explanation is given by Ed Bouchette, Hall of Fame Voter, “I vote in the baseball Hall of Fame too and it’s easy.  You’ve got every stat you want.  We’re still trying to figure out a stat for right guard.”  Ray Didinger, former Hall of Fame voter, offers, “Of all the players not in the Hall of Fame, the one that mystifies me the most is Jerry Kramer.  I don’t know how he isn’t in the Hall of Fame."

Scout Chris Landry, doesn’t have a good answer but suggests that many of the sportswriters that vote may not have the understanding of how good a lineman was during that era - particularly an offensive lineman.  There are no stats for their performance and film footage doesn’t reveal enough.  He also states that more personnel (players and coaches) from that era should be consulted in the process to ensure oversights.  The 46 media members that vote may not be the best judges of seniors.  Kramer has been a Seniors finalist 10 times.  Maybe it is time to have some current inductees weigh in on the process.  

Kramer has come to terms with the fact that he is not in the Hall.  He feels it is part of his legend and would rather be a man everyone believes should be in the Hall as opposed to being a Hall Of Famer no one believes is worthy.

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/JerryKramer4HOF/
Petition - http://www.greenbaypackernation.com/jerrykramer4hof/

You'll find many Jerry Kramer cards in RetroCards' Packer set section here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

1962 Bears: Clawing Their Way Back

Topps 1962 Bears, custom cards that never were

The Bears were slowly climbing back up in the ranks going from a 5-6-1 record in 1960 to a 9-5 record in 1962.  The football world would have to wait another year to see if the Bears had the firepower to win a Championship.

On the surface, it didn't seem like the Bears were going to do much but that changed with the arrival of tight end Mike Ditka in 1961 who helped make Billy Wade look like an actual NFL quarterback!  The Bears staunch defense was still tough as nails and the Bears took 3rd place in the Western Division in 1962.

RetroCards focuses on the 1962 Bears for this 22-card set.  Like several past sets, this one includes a stadium card, and a "Bears play" action card along with 20 players that didn't make it in the original set released in 1962, including Mike Pyle, J.C. Caroline, Ed Brown, Bo Farrington, Dave Whitsell, Bennie McRae, Bob Wetoska, Bobby Joe Green, Roosevelt Taylor, Bob Kilcullen, Joe Fortunato, Fred Williams, Harlon Hill, Herman Lee, Earl Leggett, Charlie Bivins, Rudy Bukich, Maury Youmans, Joe Marconi, and the old man himself, coach George Halas.  Get your set here!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dodgers Finally Do It! Expanded 1982 Set

Topps, RetroCards, baseball custom cards that never were, 1982 Topps baseball

The most memorable thing about the 1981 Major League Baseball season was the players strike which lasted from June 12 through August 9, splitting and shortening the entire season at the same time.  However, Dodger fans remember that year with a smile because it was the franchise’s first World Series title in 15 years.   

Having been a great team with great players for a decade, this Dodger team couldn’t win the big one. And with guys like Cey, Russell, Lopes, Baker, Hooten, Johnstone, Monday, and Garvey getting old, time was running out.  They had lost three World Series in the 70s and narrowly missed the playoffs in 1980, losing a tie-breaker in the 163rd game of the season.  It appeared the curtain was almost closed.  Realizing this, perhaps, manager Tommy Lasorda sent each player a personal letter over the prior winter challenging and encouraging the players.  They knew what was at stake.

Winning 29 of their first 40 games, the Dodgers looked like the hottest team in baseball.  But the strike interrupted their momentum and they stumbled in the second half finishing only one game over .500.  No matter.  They were a veteran team with bright young players like rookie Fernando Valenzuela and they played loose and played smart.  Rick Monday remembers, “I know we were desperate because a lot of us, (we) were not necessarily at the end of our careers, but we were approaching that area, and there was an influx of younger talent. There was an immediacy of wanting to get things done and get things done in a hurry.”

In the playoffs, things got exciting with a comeback win over the Astros after being down 2 games to none.  A second 2-0 deficit against the Expos was erased and won with a dramatic Rick Monday homer.  And finally, the Dodgers got their revenge on the New York Yankees after losing successive World Series in 1977 and 1978.  Again down 2 games to none, the Dodgers kept their poise and won the next 4 games!

This 24-card RetroCards set fills in some gap of players that were missed in the regular and updates sets of 1982 such as: Manny Mota, Tom Niedenfuer, Ron Roenicke, Mike Marshall, Jerry Grote, Jack Perconte, Bobby Mitchell, Dave Sax, Ted Power, and Candy Maldonado.  Also featured are an All-Star card of Burt Hooten and a Cy Young and Rookie Of the Year winners showcasing Valenzuela.  It also has cards of every playoff series including three fun World Series cards and other highlight cards featuring Tommy Lasorda being interviewed by Vin Scully, and the very fun card of Rick Monday shoving a cream pie in Jay Johnstone’s face.  Those were the days!  Coming soon.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Non-Sport Special: Rush

1978 Topps Football Rush

RetroCards’ foray into the non-sport world is typically restricted to 70s television.  Stepping outside of our norm slightly, we made a special gift for a friend.  This set features one of rock music’s greatest treasures: Rush!  Few bands have earned the respect that Rush has over their long career and although they look to be retired at the moment, the 40+ year old band's last tour was still packing arenas everywhere. 

In the 70s, bubblegum cards of rock bands were limited to groups like the Osmonds, KISS, the Bay City Rollers, and the Partridge Family.  So maybe it was time for RetroCards to offer trading cards of a band with a little more substance.  Not that some of us don’t enjoy listening to the Osmond’s Crazy Horses, or watching KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.  And who doesn’t enjoy Danny Partridge putting Ruben Kincaid in his place?

The fact of the matter is, Rush nerds are approaching Star Trek nerds in number and in fervor, so it seemed appropriate to do a special set for my friend who, is not only a Rush nerd, but a rare FEMALE Rush nerd, of which there apparently are only seven.  This RetroCards set (12 cards) is from a 1978 football card design (for no particular reason) and features the band during their first decade.  Get your set here!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

1967 Cowboys: Beautiful In Blue

1967 Topps football cards, Dallas Cowboys. RetroCards, custom football cards

The Dallas Cowboys officially arrived in 1966 with a 10-3-1 record and won the Eastern Conference by a 1.5 game margin.  Coinciding with their rise in stature and popularity was their first Thanksgiving Day game in 1966.  Every other franchise was uninterested and the shrewd Tex Schramm jumped at the opportunity to foist his young franchise in the TV-friendly world of pro football. Though the Cowboys lost the NFL Championship to the Packers, the Cowboys were the exciting team on the rise.

This somewhat familiar 1967 design was used for a full set of your favorite Cowboys stars.  You may recognize this design that was initially used for AFL players (while the NFL players were contractually obligated to appear on the Philadelphia Gum cards), this design still looks fresh and here the Cowboys are sporting their sharp blue away uniforms.

The 1967 RetroCards set features:  Don Meredith, Bob Lilly, Buddy Dial, Bob Hayes, Tony Liscio, Willie Townes, Ralph Neely, Pettis Norman, Leon Donohue, Obert Logan, Lee Roy Jordan, Mike Gaechter, Jim Colvin, Dickie Daniels, Walt Garrison, John Niland, Cornell Green, and Craig Morton.  Order here!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Kidney Donor Match Told With Custom Card


A woman from Knoxville, Tenn., is being called the perfect catch after using a baseball card to tell her husband she is a kidney donor match.  Steve Winfree goes through a pack of baseball cards before coming across his own customized baseball card. He burst into tears after learning he would be a "rookie recipient at Vanderbilt Transplant Center" and his wife would be the donor.  Video Link

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Autograph Alley: Earl Campbell

Topps 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, football cards

Many RetroCard collectors use their new custom cards for autographs.  As you saw in a blog post last month, a former player (Amos Bullocks) received a RetroCard of himself for Father's Day from his daughter.  We have been in contact with many players who still supplement their income by signing autographs and RetroCards aids many players in the autograph industry.

RetroCards has many team sets (along with a few player sets like the Earl Campbell set you see here) available.  Some single cards are offered so make sure to ask about availability.  We like hearing from you so send us your feedback. Contact

More great cards are on the way check back often and browse the many custom RetroCards here.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

1962 Packers Series Two!

Topps football cards, 1962 custom cards

If you liked the 1962 Packer RetroCards set, you'll love this addition to an already nice set.  This completes the 1962 Packers in more way than one.  You'll see more players that were not in the first set and you'll get some highlight cards that focus on the Packers 1961 Championship victory.  A special Paul Hornung card honor NFL players that served military duty during the playing season back in 1961.

Players include: Dan Currie, Bill Quinlan, Tom Bettis, Lee Folkins, Dave Hanner, Gary Knafelc, Hank Gremminger, Ben Davidson, Lew Carpenter, and Nelson Toburen.  Other cards include the Packers Play - Sweep, three Championship cards vs. Giants, Packers Win, Paul Hornung Military Service, and a handy Checklist. Coming soon!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

1962 Packers: The Next 18 Cards

RetroCards, custom cards that never were, Topps, Green Bay Packers

Those small football sets of the 1960s just left collectors wanting more.  This special Packer set gives sports fans and additional 18 cards that were not in the original 1962 set.  This set is considered one of the finest sets of the 60's with it's sharp black borders, colored posed shot, and black and white action photos. 

Players included are: Herb Adderley, Gary Barnes, Ed Blaine, Willie Davis, Ken Iman, Ron Kostelnik, Jerry Kramer, Ron Kramer, Norm Masters, Ray Nitschke, Elijah Pitts, John Roach, Bob Skoronski, John Symank, Emlen Tunnell, Jesse Whittenton, Willie Wood,  and coach Vince Lombardi are all featured in this set. You can get your set here.  

This set turned out so well, RetroCards has begun production on a 1962 Packers series II with an additional 18 cards!  That's a total of 36 more cards you can add to your collection.  Coming soon!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Spotlight On: Amos Bullocks

Topps, Southern Illinois, NFL, CFL, Pittsburgh Steelers

Early Cowboys fans probably remember a 20th round draft pick in 1962 from Southern Illinois named Amos Bullocks.  He gained almost 2,500 yards rushing and scored 32 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons.  He was also named All-Illinois Intercollegiate Conference three times and back of the year in 1960.  Drafted simultaneously by the Buffalo Bills of the AFL, he chose signing with the Cowboys, adding depth at the halfback position behind Don Perkins.  Bullocks' size and speed made him a valuable player running the ball, catching passes out of the backfield, and returning kick offs.

One of the many joys of  making custom RetroCards is the feedback we get from customers.  One very special one was Krista Weaver, daughter of Amos Bullocks.  She had contacted us about acquiring some cards of her dad, since he never had a card.  We had a couple of his cards in some Cowboys team sets and we gladly furnished her with a stack.  She presented them to her Dad on Fathers Day and she received a great big smile from her Dad.

Amos Bullocks had his best years in the NFL with the Cowboys from 1962-1964 where he piled up 537 yards rushing, 116 yards receiving, and 737 yards on kick off returns. In a strange occurrence, the Cowboys traded Bullocks to the Canadian Football's British Columbia Lions because the Cowboys had drafted a guy named Bill Frank, who happened to be under contract in the CFL.  Bullocks' 1965 season ended with a broken ankle after rushing for 215 yards.  After a brief signing with the Montreal Alouettes, he returned to the NFL for a final season with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1966.  A back injury in 1967 spelled the end of his playing career, but in 1981 he was honored by being inducted into the Southern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame.

RetroCards honors Fathers on this Fathers Day, 2017 with a special tribute to Amos Bullocks.  Check back for more Spotlight Features and the best custom cards being made today!

Monday, June 12, 2017

1962 Browns: Filling Major Gaps W/new Set

Topps, football cards, RetroCards, custom cards that never were, Cleveland Browns

The 1961 Cleveland Browns season was lucrative and exciting but their 8–5–1 record was only good enough for third place in the NFL Eastern Division and they missed the playoffs.  Offensively they cruised behind leading rusher Jim Brown and leading passer Milt Plum.  Of note was the sale of the team to group led by Art Modell in March of 1961.  1962 would garner another mediocre season  (7–6–1) as the Browns would trade away star runner/receiver Bobby Mitchell for newly drafted Ernie Davis, who would die of leukemia before every playing a down in the NFL.

Nonetheless, the Browns fielded a formidable team with the likes of key offensive linemen John Wooten, John Brown, and Mike Mccormack, who helped Jim Brown become the greatest in the game.  These and others are the subject of this RetroCards set. Rookies Mike Lucci, Gary Collins, and Fred Cox are included plus Galen Fiss, Mike McCormack, Gene Hickerson, Leon, Clarke, Walt Michaels, Frank Ryan, Bobby Mitchell, Don Fleming, and Len Dawson. There is even a card of newly drafted John Havlicek who opted for the world of basketball after attending the Browns training camp in 1962.  Like other 1962 sets by RetroCards, a team stadium card is included, a highlight card of Jim Brown welcoming rookie Ernie Davis,  as well as a coach card for Hall of Famer Paul Brown. Coming Soon!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Spotlight: The Johnstone-Monday Connection

Topps 1973, 1974, 1980, 1977, 1982, baseball cards

Two old school baseball players from the 70s and 80s that I grew up admiring were Rick Monday and Jay Johnstone.  Neither played for my hometown team but as I collected baseball cards, those two players always stood out to me.  When the Los Angeles Dodgers made their World Series run in 1981 I had fun watching Monday and Johnstone make big contributions on the road to the Dodgers World Series victory.   I’ve always been partial to role players and Johnstone and Monday were unlikely heroes on a team chock full of stars and great players.  That Dodger team seemed to be having fun and didn’t take things too seriously and Johnstone in particular, added humor along the way with his many pranks in the clubhouse. 

Both players seemed like brothers and I was surprised that they had some interesting things in common: 
• they were born on the same day (November 20th)
• both served in the Marine Corps Reserve
• both bath left
• they each played for the A’s, Cubs, and Dodgers
• started MLB careers in 1966
• their pro baseball-playing careers lasted 2 decades
• they had similar career batting averages (Johnstone: .267, Monday: .264)

1981 Game Winning Efforts
Rick Monday: In the deciding Game 5 of the NLCS in Montreal vs. the Expos (played on a Monday afternoon due to an earlier rain out) he smashed a 2-run homer to win the game.  This was the closest the Montreal Expos ever got to winning a pennant and to this day is known in Canada as “Blue Monday.”
Jay Johnstone: Hit a pinch-two run home run in Game Four of the 1981 World Series against the New York Yankees, the home run rallying the Dodgers from a 6–3 deficit to win 8–7. The victory also enabled the Dodgers to tie the Series at two games each; they won the next two games to win it all.

Other Notable Achievements
• Monday rescued the American flag from being burned by two fans in center field at Dodger Stadium in 1976.  He said after the game, "If you're going to burn the flag, don't do it around me. I've been to too many veterans' hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it."  Monday still has the flag he rescued from the protesters; he has been offered up to $1 million to sell it, but has declined all offers.
• While with the Angels, Johnstone preserved Clyde Wright's no-hitter against the Athletics by catching a Reggie Jackson fly ball 400 feet from straightaway center field, just in front of the wall (July 3, 1970).
• As a Phillie, Johnstone went 7-for-9 in the 1976 National League Championship Series against the Cincinnati Reds. However, the Reds swept the Series. 
• Both appeared on Solid Gold and sang their own rendition of Queen's hit, We Are the Champions with teammates Steve Yeager and Jerry Reuss.

Above are samples of cards from the forthcoming RetroCards sets.  Check back often!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

1971-72 Floridians: More Than Ballgirls

Topps basketball cards NBA ABA

The American Basketball Association has blessed us with a treasure trove of fun stories – one more unlikely than the next.  One of the better ones is that of the Miami Floridians franchise. The Floridians began their existence in Minnesota in 1967 as the Minnesota Muskies and although they had success, attendance was atrocious and the team relocated to Miami.  Unfortunately, the attendance in Florida wasn’t much better despite numerous promotions, the most memorable being the tantalizing Ballgirls, a group of cheerleaders clad only in bikinis and go-go boots.

Playing some home games in an airplane hanger, the Floridians’ players often time had to alter their shots to compensate for the ocean breezes passing through the hot building.  Some of the fans that did show up saw fit to complain that the Ballgirls, who for Halloween were dressed in a full bodied black leotard and witches hats, weren’t wearing their customary white bikinis!

Following the 1969-70 season new owner Ned Doyle “fired” the entire team and started new with a fresh roster.  They made the playoffs that season but lost in the first round to the Kentucky Colonels.  By the 1971-72 season, the Ballgirls were the main attraction and a double header in New York was offered to the Floridians ONLY if they brought the Ballgirls with them.  Fans wanted the Ballgirls but home attendance was still dreadful – even in the playoffs, and after losing 4-0 to the Virginia Squires, Doyle disbanded the team in the summer of 1972.

RetroCards pays tribute to the groovy Miami Floridians with a 14-card set featuring players that didn’t have a card that year.  Most importantly RetroCards includes a special card dedicated to the lovely Ballgirls…. Oh, and the players included are: Warren Jabali, Carl Fuller, Charles Beasley, Denny Stewart, Rick Niemann, George Tinsley, Craig Raymond, Tom Washington, Willie Long, Ron Nelson, Fran O’Hanlon, Al Tucker, and a logo card.  Order here!



Thursday, May 18, 2017

1969 Vikings: Eating Up The NFL

Topps football cards, virtual cards

After only eight seasons in the NFL, the lowly Minnesota Vikings all of a sudden didn’t look so low.  Compiling an 8-6 record in 1968 and making their first playoff appearance, the Vikes were primed for 1969.  Finishing with an NFL best 12 wins, the Vikings advanced in the playoffs by beating the Rams and Browns on their way to the Super Bowl.

Led by a defense dubbed the Purple People Eaters, the Vikings intimidated the league with sacks, interceptions, and hard tackles.  Stumpy quarterback Joe Kapp led the offense with fierce leadership and Dave Osborn piled up yardage on the ground.

The original football card set from 1969 really did a disservice to the Viking team by excluding 1968 Pro Bowlers Jim Marshall, Carl Eller, Alan Page and other stars such as Paul Krause, Gene Washington, and Gary Larsen.  The original set even used a Canadian Football Card photo from the early 60s for Joe Kapp!  All of these issues have been corrected with the new 1969 Vikings RetroCards set that includes the aforementioned players plus: Karl Kassulke, Ed Sharockman, Ron Yary, Bob Lee, Wally Hilgenberg, Ed White, Gary Cuozzo, Clint Jones, Dave Osborn, a special Purple People Eaters card, plus a team card and head coach card of Bud Grant.  Order here!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

1966 Cowboys: The First Winning Season

Pete Gent, Mike Gaechter, Jerry Rhome, Jim Colvin, Les Shy, A.D. Whitfield, Malcolm Walker, Leon Donohue, Dave Edwards, Jim Boeke Dan Reeves, Walt Garrison, John Niland, Don Bishop, Jethro Pugh, Tony Liscio, Pettis Norman, "little O" Obert Logan, Topps

The Cowboys 1965 season had a disastrous start with a 5-game losing streak in the first seven games.  They won their last five out of seven however and things looked bright for 1966.  Sure enough, 1966 gave the franchise an impressive 10–3–1 season and their first winning season in the franchise's short history.  In fact they were good enough to host the previous year's champions the Green Bay Packers in the 1966 NFL Championship and got one play away from the first Super Bowl.  It would take Tom Landry five more seasons to win the big one but 1966 was the start.

RetroCards showcases some neglected and cardboard-challenged players like Pete Gent, Mike Gaechter, Jerry Rhome, Jim Colvin, Les Shy, A.D. Whitfield, Malcolm Walker, Leon Donohue, Dave Edwards, Jim Boeke, plus some popular players like Dan Reeves, Walt Garrison, John Niland, Don Bishop, Jethro Pugh, Tony Liscio, Pettis Norman, and "little O" Obert Logan.  Get your set here.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

1982 Celtics: Building Around Bird

Topps, Fleer, baseball custom cards, boston garden,

The 1981-82 Boston Celtics finished with a league's best record (63-19) but were upstaged by the surging Philadelphia 76ers in a best of seven series in the Eastern Conference Finals.  The Celtics would win Championships in 1984 and 1986 with the Larry Bird-led team.  In a different time period, this team would have won more but the NBA was blessed with several strong teams that didn't allow the Celtics to run wild like they did in the 1960s.

Centered around the "big three," Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale, the Celtics fielded a team of stars and great role players that played fundamental basketball to a tee.  Since there were no NBA cards during the 1982-83 season, RetroCards has begun to fill this enormous gap with team sets.  Up next are the Celtics featuring: Larry Bird, Nate Archibald, Danny Ainge, M.L. Carr, Eric Fernsten, Chris Ford, Gerald Henderson, Cedric Maxwell, Kevin McHale, Robert Parrish, Rick Roby, coach Bill Fitch, plus In-Action cards of Bird AND Red Auerbach.  Finally, there are cards depicting each playoff series and an attractive team cards and checklist.

Collectors no longer will be denied our favorite players from NBA's golden era! Get it right here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

1969 Packers: Closing The Decade With Color

Topps football baseball cards, 1969, custom cards that never were

The end of the 1960s was a troubled time for America as the country struggled with war, assassinations, and a volatile youth culture.  The NFL, however, began to take off, and with the complete merger of the NFL and AFL on the horizon, the future looked bright.  Not so for the Green Bay Packers, who enjoyed the most success of any NFL team in the decade.  By 1968, the Super Bowl and Championship years were behind them, the players were aging, and the new players were not able to replace the former All-Pros.

Phil Bengston had the very difficult job of following Vince Lombardi and took over a team that was past its prime.  The results were a losing season in 1968 (6–7–1) but things did briefly turnaround in 1969 with an 8–6 record, and for a while it appeared as if the new, younger Packers may make a run of their own. Unfortunately, many losing seasons were ahead of the franchise in the 1970s through the early 1990s.

RetroCards has a new set of Packers who never had cards in 1969.  This design is a fan favorite with all the bright colors and sharp photography.  These new 18 cards feature: Jerry Kramer, Bucky Pope, Willie Davis, Gordon Rule, Don Horn, Billy Stevens, Bill Hayhoe, Dick Himes, Gale Gillingham, Ken Bowman, Marv Fleming, Lionel Aldridge, Chuck Mercein, Fred Carr, John Rowser, Doug Hart, Hank Jordan, and Phil Bengston.  Get it now!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Match Game - Leaving Nothing Blank

Topps, Fleer, baseball cards, Star Wars, Charlie's Angels

RetroCards continues its assault on nostalgic collectors with more 1970s TV frivolity:  Introducing the all-new, star-studded, big-money Match Game set!  This daring and provocative collection of cards focuses on what many believe to be the best game show in television history.  The 1970s version of the show is full of colorful characters, orange shag carpeting, and wide ties that will cause that funky theme song to play in your head for the first time in ages.  The show was a revamped version of the black and white 60’s version of the show, but this time around, the new Match Game ’73 had a distinct nod to risqué humor and subtle double entendres.  The loose atmosphere and great chemistry between host Gene Rayburn and the celebrities quickly made it the most watched show on daytime television by 1974. 

This RetroCards set focuses on the show’s celebrities and includes “stats” of total show appearances and years active on the show.  Where else but RetroCards can one obtain the Charles Nelson Reilly rookie card?  The 18-card sets includes all the show’s regulars and recurring guests such as Gene Rayburn, Richard Dawson, Brett Somers, Charles Nelson Reilly, Betty White, Fanny Flagg, Joyce Bulifant, Patty Deutch, and Marcia Wallace. Other featured stars included in this set are: Nipsy Russell, Elaine Joyce, Lee Merriweather, Debralee Scott, Gary Burghoff, Orson Bean, Jo Ann Pflug, Barbara Rhodes, Mary Ann Mobley, Bert Convy, Bill Daily, Dick Martin, and announcer Johnny Olsen. Get it here!