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

Classic Sports Card of The Day

21 Sep

1967 Topps football card of former pro quarterback George Wilson Jr., who had a brief career, basically only a single season, in the American Football League with the Miami Dolphins. He was drafted by Buffalo in 1965 but never played for them, then was traded to Miami in ’66, where he linked up with the Dolphins’ head coach, his father George Wilson Jr. He played in all 14 games that year, the Dolphins inaugural season as a franchise, and his claim to fame was that he quarterbacked the first victory in team history that year. He was then traded to Denver but didn’t make the squad, so his short-lived pro career was finished. Wilson Jr. died of throat cancer in 2011.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

14 Sep

1990 Fleer football card of former pro football quarterback Jim Kelly, who played 13 years, 11 of them in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. He joined the Bills after spending 2 years with the USFL’s Houston Gamblers leading the “run and shoot” offense there. He enjoyed tremendous success in Buffalo, guiding the Bills to 4 consecutive Super Bowl appearances running the fast-paced “K Gun” offense. Kelly was a five-time Pro Bowler as well as a member of the Bills’ Wall of Fame, and his jersey number 12 is retired by the franchise. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002. He still lives in the Buffalo area, and has raised millions through his Hunter’s Hope (named after his late son) and Kelly For Kids Foundations.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

07 Sep

A custom-designed 1954 Bowman football card of former NFL player and coach Don Shula. The card never actually existed in the ’54 Bowman set, but is the artwork of that master of producing fake football cards, Bob Lemke. Shula was a 7 year journeyman defensive back as a player in the 1950s, but went on to become the winningest head coach in NFL history with 347 combined regular season and playoff wins. He coached teams to the Super Bowl 6 times, winning a pair with the Miami Dolphins that included the undefeated 1972 club. Shula was voted to the 1970s All Decade team and the 100th Anniversary team as a coach. He was a four-time NFL Coach of The Year, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

31 Aug

1989 Pro Set football card of former NFL head coach Marv Levy, who has a long and storied coaching career at various levels dating back to 1951. He was an NFL head coach for 17 years, and had his most success in Buffalo, where he led the Bills to 4 consecutive Super Bowls. Levy also coached the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian League for 5 seasons, winning 2 Grey Cup titles. A vegetarian, the 98 year old Levy lives with his wife in the Chicago area. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001 and the CFL Hall of Fame in 2021.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

17 Aug

1978 Opeechee hockey card of former pro hockey center Don Luce, who played 13 seasons in the National Hockey League for 5 different teams. He enjoyed his most success with the Buffalo Sabres, where he centered a top checking line along with Craig Ramsay and Danny Gare. After retiring as a player Luce worked in player scouting and player development for the Sabres and Philadelphia Flyers, and is currently a scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

02 May

1968 Topps football card of former pro football defensive tackle Jim Kanicki, who played 9 seasons in the NFL, mostly with the Cleveland Browns. In the years before the 2 leagues merged both the NFL and AFL held separate player drafts, and Kanicki was picked by the Browns and the Buffalo Bills of the AFL. He chose to sign with Cleveland and helped anchor their defensive line for 8 years. He was a member of the Browns’ 1964 NFL championship team, and was named one of the top 100 players in franchise history in 2012.  After retiring, Kanicki purchased the Arthur Louis Steel Company in 1985, and still maintains control of the business.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

23 Apr

1973 Topps football card of former pro football defensive end Al Cowlings, who played 10 seasons of pro ball, 9 in the NFL, with 5 franchises. A top pick of the Buffalo Bills, he flamed out there after 3 years and drifted around the league for the rest of his years. They included a season in the Canadian League with Montreal in 1978. Cowlings dabbled in acting for a brief period after retiring as a player, but his claim to fame was unfortunate, as he was best friend O.J. Simpson’s driver in the slow-speed police chase that ended in Simpson’s arrest for murder in 1995.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

21 Apr

1965 Topps football card of former pro quarterback John Huarte, who played 8 years in the AFL and NFL for 5 different teams. He was once listed as one of the top 50 draft busts of all time, but there’s more to his story. After winning the Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame, he was picked in the second round of the AFL draft as a highly-regarded prospect. The only problem was the team that drafted him, the New York Jets, had chosen Joe Namath in the first round. Despite that, Huarte kicked around pro ball as a backup and even won a Super Bowl ring as part of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl IV squad. After his playing days he opened a tile business that has grown to 30 locations and employs 1,000 people.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

17 Apr

From CheckOutMyCards.com, a 1985 Opeechee hockey card of former pro hockey winger Mark Napier, who had a long 19 year career in the sport, starting with the old World Hockey Association’s Toronto Toros. He eventually found his way to the NHL where he spent time with 4 different organizations, winning Stanley Cups with Montreal in 1979 and Edmonton in 1985. He finished his NHL career in Buffalo before playing in Italy for 3 years. After retiring as a player he coached in Canadian junior hockey and served as president of the NHL Alumni Association for 12 years.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

28 Mar

1961 Topps baseball card of former major league pitcher Jim “Mudcat” Grant, who threw for 7 different teams in a 14 year career in the big leagues. He started out in Cleveland and was traded to the Minnesota Twins, where he had his most success. In 1965 he became the first black pitcher in the American League to win 20 games, securing his place with the “Black Aces”, a group of African American hurlers who accomplished that feat. He also helped the Twins reach the World Series that year, and although the Twins lost the Series to the Dodgers, he pitched 2 complete game victories. After he retired, Grant was involved with professional softball leagues as a director, and dabbled in broadcasting with Cleveland and the Oakland A’s. He died in 2021 at the age of 85.