Monthly: May 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.


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.


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.