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Archive for the ‘Classic Sports Card of the Day’ Category

Classic Sports Card of The Day

23 Jan

51bowmanderogatis

1951 Bowman football card of former pro football player and broadcaster Al DeRogatis, who played four seasons at defensive tackle for the New York Giants. He was named an All Pro in 2 of those seasons, 1950 and ’51, but a knee injury cut his career short. He moved into the broadcast booth after that, calling Giants’ games with Marty Glickman on radio. From 1966 until 1975, DeRogatis served as color analyst alongside Curt Gowdy on NBC’s national television broadcasts of AFL (and after the merger AFC) games. He died of cancer in 1995.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

19 Jan

52parkhurstBernie_Custis

In honor of the recently celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, here is a 1952 Parkhurst football card of the very first African American to play quarterback in pro football, Bernie Custis. Although Willie Thrower (Chicago Bears, 1953) is the first black to play QB in the NFL, Custis played the position in the Canadian League beginning in 1951 with the Hamilton Tiger Cats. His career totaled 6 seasons, split between Hamilton and Ottawa. After his playing days ended, he had a long, distinguished career as a coach at various Canadian colleges. While playing college ball at Syracuse, his roommate was future Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

17 Jan

60fleerkinard

1960 Fleer football card of an original member of the American Football League’s Buffalo Bills, defensive back Billy Kinard. He played 3 seasons in the NFL for Cleveland and Green Bay in the late 1950s before joining the Bills for their inaugural AFL season in 1960. Kinard was a mainstay in the defensive secondary for that season, playing all 14 games, but he retired after just the one year. He held various coaching positions in college and the NFL for years after retiring, stretching into the 1980s.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

14 Jan

65toppsbuncom

1965 Topps football card of former pro football linebacker Frank Buncom, who played 7 seasons, all in the American Football League. He was a three-time AFL All Star with the San Diego Chargers, and played on the team’s 1963 AFL championship team. He was chosen by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1968 expansion draft, and played one year for them. However, on the morning of opening day of the 1969 season, Buncom died of a pulmonary embolism. His grandson, Frank Buncom IV is a safety on the Stanford University football team.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

28 Dec

61fleerjhjohnson

1961 Fleer football card of former pro football fullback John Henry Johnson, who played 13 seasons of pro ball, including a one year stint in the Canadian League. He also played 11 years in the NFL for 3 different teams, and closed out his playing days with a year in the AFL. He was a member of the San Francisco 49ers’ “Million Dollar Backfield” in the mid-1950s, and helped the Detroit Lions win the NFL championship in 1957. Johnson was a four-time Pro Bowler, 3 of those honors earned while playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1960s, and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

21 Dec

73toppsplunkett

1973 Topps football card of former NFL quarterback Jim Plunkett, a 16 year veteran of the league. Although he was a prize top draft pick of New England, he struggled there and later with the San Francisco 49ers before catching on with the Oakland Raiders. Plunkett then came into his own, guiding the Raiders to a pair of Super Bowl wins. Born in New Mexico, he was the first Latino quarterback to win the big game. Always considered underrated or perhaps because of the failures of his early career, Plunkett is the only two-time Super Bowl winning QB not to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

14 Dec

66philapatfischer

1966 Philadelphia football card of former NFL defensive back Pat Fischer, a 12 year veteran of the league who split his playing days between the St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Redskins. A three time Pro Bowler, he was a ballhawking cornerback, intercepting 56 passes in his career. He was also known for his tackling ability, despite his diminutive size (5’9). After retiring, Fischer was a stockbroker and owned a successful real estate business.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

07 Dec

68toppscarrolldale

1968 Topps football card of former pro football flanker Carroll Dale, who played 14 seasons in the NFL for 3 different teams. Drafted in 1960 by the Los Angeles Rams, he spent 5 years there before being traded to Green Bay, where he spent the bulk, and most successful, years of his career. He was a major contributor to 3 Packer championship teams, including the clubs that won the first 2 Super Bowls. The football stadium at his old high school in Wise, Virginia is named after him.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

30 Nov

65toppsgogolak

1965 Topps football card of pro football’s first soccer-style placekicker, Pete Gogolak. Born in Hungary, he came to the U.S. and developed his then unique style in college at Cornell. He was drafted by the American Football League’s Buffalo Bills, where he did the kicking for the team’s back-to-back AFL title teams in 1964 and ’65. Gogolak signed with the NFL’s New York Giants after that, sparking a bidding war for players between the 2 leagues. Gogolak spent 9 seasons with the Giants and is a member of their Ring of Honor. His younger brother Charlie was also a kicker in the league.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

23 Nov

72toppsalanpage

1972 Topps football card of former defensive lineman Alan Page, who played 15 seasons in the NFL, mostly as a member of the Minnesota Vikings’ vaunted Purple People Eaters defense of the late 1960s and 1970s. He was a nine time Pro Bowler, voted to the All Decade team for the ’70s and was the league MVP in 1971, a rare accomplishment for a defensive player. Considered one of the best defensive linemen to ever play the game, Page was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Page obtained a law degree while he was still an active player, and after retiring served as an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1993 until 2015.