Saturday, June 22, 2024

1987 Fleer Baseball Stickers Mystery - Yankees in the National League?

I received an email from Jeff asking about a sticker he came across while looking through some 1987 Fleer cards he has from when he was a kid, and this sticker caught his attention:

He wrote asking me if I had any information on this variation since he couldn't find anything about it.  I've never seen it before, and have never heard of it.

The back has the Cardinals logo:

While it would be helpful to have a high-resolution scan, from what I can see of the die-cut, it doesn't look like anything has been tampered with like sticking a Yankee logo baseball on a National League base.  It certainly appears to be one sticker.

If this variation was released, I'm surprised no one has ever come across it until now. Has anyone ever come across one of these?

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Now Boarding...United Airlines NFL Ads from the 1960s

With the news that American Airlines and United Airlines have added Flight 1989 from Kansas City to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl to take advantage of the Taylor Swift - Travis Kelce hysteria surrounding Super Bowl LVIII, it made me think of some of the great United Airlines NFL ads I have come across:

Throughout the 1960's and into the 1970's, United Airlines was the official airline of most NFL teams, which they publicized through a number of ads using NFL logos and helmets.

The earliest example I have found likely dates from the early 1960s, which shows a collection of team logos on the side of a plane where they promote that they serve 13 of the 14 NFL teams:

It looks like the Vikings were the one team that used another airline.  The logos in the shape of the NFL shield were one of the ways the NFL was promoting the league at the time, as these color patches show:

Next, we have an ad using helmets, with is likely from the early 1960's as well:

Again, it looks like Vikings were the lone team to not use United.

Later in the decade, we have an ad which is likely from 1967 which includes the NFL expansion teams Falcons and Saints:

Once again, the Vikings are the odd man out.

After the NFL-AFL merger, we now get both NFL and AFL teams in a fantastic poster:

The next ad is likely from 1970 or 1971 based on the Redskins helmet which they only used for those 2 seasons:

Again, no Vikings, and the other missing team is the Dolphins.

Speaking of the Super Bowl, here is an ad where United congratulates the NFL and AFL champions from the 1967 season and indicates they will be getting both teams to the Super Bowl:

The fact that the ad refers to the game as the Super Bowl is interesting, as the NFL was still calling the game the World Championship Game:


The NFL did not start referring to the game as the Super Bowl until the following year in Super Bowl III

Finally, we wrap up with one last airline related item - a 1978 United Timetable for flights which just happens to feature Arrowhead stadium:

If you are interested, here is a collection of all available United Airlines commercials (35 in total) that were contained in the yearly NFL Films team highlight shows from 1965-1970:

Many of the images came from Vintage Airliners, which has much more information on the connections between airlines and professional football:

Saturday, January 27, 2024

1980 Carnation NFL Stickers

I wanted to share a set that I was not aware of until recently.  In 1980, collectors could get NFL helmet stickers when buying a box of Carnation Hot Cocoa Mix:

Most of the stickers are blank backed, but a few do have a coupon for a free box of hot cocoa mix.  The coupon has a 1980 copyright.

Friday, January 19, 2024

1977 Sunbeam NFL Stickers

One set that I was not aware of when I did my original review of Sunbeam's NFL items from the 1970's was the set of helmet stickers from 1977:


The stickers do not mention Sunbeam on the back, but  are produced by A. Harris Assoc Inc in Cherry Hill, NJ

which is the same company that produced the 1976 Sunbeam issues, so these small helmet stickers are commonly referred to as 1977 Sunbeam stickers given the copyright on the back.

Here are the backs of the 1976 Sunbeam issues:

1976 Sunbeam NFL Stand-Up Football

1976 Sunbeam NFL Football Pennant Stickers

I really miss the days when you could have some collecting fun when picking up a loaf of bread!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

1973 / 1974 Fleer Baseball Big Signs Variation Helps Answer Question Regarding When These Were Issued

Thanks to Mike from the great Baseball Card Variations Guide Book Vol 2 for alerting me to the fact that there are 2 versions of the California Angels Fleer Baseball Big Sign.

One version has the Angels name with a lower case "a"

and the other version has an upper case "A", along with a darker shade of red

The signs are sometimes referred to as being from 1973 and sometimes from 1974.  Perhaps they were issued in both years.  One clue is that there are different colored boxes that the signs came in, which perhaps indicates that the signs were issued twice:

Unfortunately there is no date on the bottom of the box to help confirm:

The boxes appear to be exactly the same, including the item #. It would make sense that the different colored boxes indicate that these were issued at different times, and help explain why they are identified as being from either 1973 or 1974.

In checking through old pictures of ebay listings I had saved, I did find a picture of a set with the small "a" with a blue box

 I also found a picture of the set with a red box, but unfortunately the Angles card isn't showing:

Based on the information provided by Mike on the Angels variation, along with the different colored boxes, I believe the sets were issued in both 1973 (blue box) and 1974 (red box). 

Thanks Mike for passing this information along and helping shed more light on this set.

Friday, October 28, 2022

Fun with Astros vs Phillies Programs

 As we get ready for the World Series, here are a few fun Astros programs where the Astros played the Phillies from the 1960's:

I miss the days when some teams would publish programs that poked a little fun at their opponents, like in this case where they have some fun with Phillies manager Gene Mauch:

Not quite sure what is going on here, other than I assume the space capsules refer to their current positions in the standings:

I think this sums up the fact that neither team was having a good year and that they were looking forward to the offseason:

Even before they became the Astros, the Colt .45s had some fun with their programs:

By the way, love the Colt .45s merch:


As some other bloggers have pointed out, this feels like an odd World Series matchup for those of us of a certain age.

I'll never completely get used to the fact that the Astros are an AL team, even if they have represented the AL in 4 of the last 6 years.

In my mind, this is how the NL is supposed to look since this is what I grew up with:

Heck, even the first official regular season game played in the Astrodome was against the Phillies:

Looking back at some of these old programs shows how much more interesting they were when the home teams handled their programs.  These programs have much more personality than what we have for this year's World Series program:

Once MLB took over the World Series programs in 1974 with this program, the covers have been very generic
I miss the days when each team put out its own program for the Series, as they were a lot more interesting:

Thursday, March 11, 2021

1972 Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches Uncut Sheet - Another Piece of the Puzzle

Here is a picture of what I believe to be a 1972 Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches uncut sheet:

The reason I believe it is from 1972 is that there are no Senators or Rangers patches, so this would most likely be from the season when the Washington Senators moved to Texas to become the Rangers:
This sheet comes from the same person who provided a picture of a framed uncut Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches sheet from 1974 which I profiled previously:

I dated that sheet as being from 1974 due to the lack of Padres patches as this would have most likely been from the year that they were planning to move to DC.

In comparing the 2 sheets, we can see that the Orioles replaced the Rangers on the 1972 sheet for both the logo patch as well as the cap patch. Presumably the Senators would have been in those positions on the earlier sheets.  The 1972 sheet also allows us to see the Padres, which were replaced on the 1974 sheet by a Yankees logo and a Cardinals cap patches, making those effectively double prints.

Other than these changes, the positions of the other teams all remain the same between the 2 sheets.  We can also see some of the logos that changed, such as the Indians logo and cap, the Braves cap (from a capital "A" to a lower case "a") and the Angels (from the lower case "a" in 1972 to the capital "A" in 1974.

I would like to thank the person who reached out to me and provided these pictures as they greatly enhance our understanding of these cloth patches and some of the changes that occurred over the years.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Amazing Topps 1967 Video Shows Boy On Top of Millions of Dollars Worth of 1967 Baseball Cases

If you haven't seen the 1967 Topps promotional video entitled "The Hidden Treasure", you are in for a treat.  Topps posted this on YouTube a few weeks back, and it is an amazing time capsule:

This is a fantastic look back at kids collecting baseball cards during 1967 as well as look at the new Topps factory in Durya, PA.
We get to see kids opening packs of 1967 Topps Baseball:
Looks like these are 1967 High Numbers based on the Don Clendenon (# 535)!
We see more high numbers in the packs his sister opened!
We see kids flipping their cards.  STOP!  Those are '67 High Numbers!!!!

What are the odds that one of those cards on the ground is a Seaver or a Carew rookie!

I also like the Topps poster in the widow behind the kid with the blond hair.  I have never seen that before.

The "story" of the "Hidden Treasure" is that the kid who is flipping cards loses all his cards to the "new" kid who for some reason has a diabolical laugh.  After losing his cards, and not being able to get any cards from his sister to use to win back some of the cards he lost, he goes fishing to "brood all alone", at which point he discovers a Treasure map:

The map directs him to the new Topps factory in Durya, PA which had started operations a few years before:
He plans to sneak in to the factory, and then when everyone goes home for the night, dig for the hidden treasure.

Once inside, he starts exploring, and comes across rolls of wrappers:
He starts playing with the equipment, including the machines that pack the baseball cards:

Here we see the gum getting added to be packaged with the cards as we now see a stick of gum on top:

The cards then get put into wrappers.  This is where things get confusing.  The video shows a roll of 1966 wrappers, so presumably this was footage that had been shot a year earlier:

We also see what appear to be 1966 packs coming off the assembly line:

Our treasure hunter then falls asleep and dreams of being caught by the factory workers and being turned into a baseball card.

Once again, we see a 1966 wrapper as the factory workers cover him up with a mock up of the 1966 design.
He doesn't realize it, but he has found the treasure and he is laying on top of it!  Those appear to be 1967 Topps Baseball cases.
Here is a picture of a 1967 Topps Baseball shipping case (right under the Football case).  Note the baseball player in the bottom left corner - these appear to be similar boxes:
They also share a similar design to the 1967 wax box:
There appear to be 4 rows of 9 cases, or 36 cases.  We see from the picture of the case that there are 24 was boxes in a case, so that would mean he is laying on top of 864 wax boxes!
I have no idea what an unopened box of 1967 Topps might go for (especially if these were the High Numbers that he was opening earlier), but just throwing some numbers together if you could get $12k per box, you are looking at over $10 million, and that is likely a low estimate!

He didn't need that shovel to dig for treasure!  All he needed was to take one of those forklifts and take the pallet of those 36 cases home!
The story ends with our treasure hunter getting punished by his parents for breaking into the factory (double the chores and no baseball cards) while his sister mocks him with more cards:

Its not really clear who the audience would have been for this film.  Presumably Topps was hoping it could be shown in schools, perhaps from the angle of showing how candy gets made and factories operate.
Here is the video so you can travel back to 1967 and see what it was like in the Topps factory: