Blog RSS

2017 June, 2020 October -

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...

Read more

2020 September -

The future viability of sports cards collecting looks cloudy. A pandemic has pushed professional and collegiate sports to the point of extinction and one has to wonder what this means for sports card collecting in the future. The soaring prices at every conceivable level of pro sports was easily absorbed by sports fans until now. Will sports complexes be closed? Will there only be virtual fans at games? Who will pay for these billion dollar venues if no fans are in them? Will sports return to normal after the pandemic? If there are no professional sports, will there be sports...

Read more

2020 August -

By the late 1980s, it was understood that the modern football era began in 1960. This made some sense because in the 80s we had the hindsight to recognize that 1960 was the beginning of pro football’s main expansion with the advent of the newly formed American Football League and the beginning of Pete Rozelle’s 30-year reign as NFL Commissioner. Looking back from the 21st century, 1960s football seems charming if not ancient. But the decade of the 1960s was the first real growth period in football’s modern era. There were two football card sets in 1960, one taking the NFL players and the other dealing exclusively with the...

Read more

2019 July, 2020 August -

An earlier RetroCard post discussed the innovative “3rd down back” receiving position revolutionized by the Dallas Cowboys and Preston Pearson in the 1970s. But there was another less talked about receiver, also pioneered by the Cowboys. That was the “All-American Handsome Blond Receiver” position. The string of pretty-boy wide receivers that passed through the organization is interesting if not peculiar. Possibly foreseeing the marketing benefits of combining the long ball and good looks, the Cowboys began their quest and formulated a look becoming of “America’s Team.” The blond syndrome began in 1964. Despite having a rising star receiver in Frank Clarke (who from...

Read more

2017 April -

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...

Read more

2017 March -

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...

Read more

2016 June -

The 1958 season was definitely a low point in the storied history of the Green Bay Packers.   After a disappointing 3-9 season, and a sixth place finish in the NFL’s Western Division in 1957, head coach Lisle Blackbourn resigned after four seasons.   Enter Raymond “Scooter” McLean, who had been a Packers interim coach for two games in 1953, to take over the mantle of command for the 1958 season.   Although hope springs eternal, the Packers would sink even deeper with a 1-10-1 record and a last place finish. As the saying goes, “it is always darkest before the dawn.”   Despite...

Read more

2018 February -

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...

Read more