Friday, December 28, 2007

1960 Fleer Football Decal Stickers

In addition to the Baseball decals that Fleer produced in the early 1960's, Fleer produced a set of Football decals for their initial 1960 Football card set. As Fleer only had the license for the the newly formed American Football League in 1960, the only teams represented on the decals are the original 8 AFL teams as well as the AFL Logo for a total of 9 decals in the set. There are no decals for NFL teams.

Here is a picture of the entire set of AFL decals that were recently up for auction on ebay:

Now for some closeups. First the AFL Logo:

The Boston (later to be renamed New England) Patriots:

The Buffalo Bills:
The Dallas Texans (soon to relocate to Kansas City as the Chiefs):

The Denver Broncos:

The Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans):

The Los Angeles Chargers (soon to relocate to San Diego):

The New York Titans (later to be renamed Jets):

Just for fun, here is a picture of the Jets playing in their Titans "throwbacks" this year:

And the Oakland Raiders:

Finally, the back of the decal:

For anyone interested in more information about the AFL, there are some great websites:

In addition to the AFL team decals, there were also decals for College Football pennants. There were 2 pennants per decal, with 19 different decals comprising the set.

Here is the wrapper for the 1960 Fleer Football cards with the mention of the decals on the front and an offer for college pennants on the back:

Finally, here is an example of what the 1960 Fleer Football cards look like with a very young Jack Kemp:

Considering that 1960 was the inaugural year for the AFL, its actually pretty amazing that the players were even represented in a card set. While Football was certainly gaining in popularity at the time (The Greatest Game Ever Played having only taken place a few years earlier with the 1958 Championship between the Colts and the Giants that went to "sudden death" which is widely considered the point when Football started its climb to become king of the US sports world), it still seems surprising that a start up league would have its own card set before the teams had ever played any games. Perhaps Fleer was looking for any way to get into the new card market given that they couldn't produce cards of current baseball players, and the AFL seemed like a way to get in the game.

Fleer produced a Football set in 1961 with both AFL & NFL teams, and then went back to AFL only sets in 1962 & 1963. Topps also produced an AFL/NFL set in 1961, and then went back to NFL sets for 1962 & 1963. Fleer apparently lost their football license as in 1964 the Philadelphia Gum Company took over the NFL sets for 1964-1967 while Topps had the AFL (and was able to end up with Joe Namath's iconic rookie card).

Fleer did not produce any team logo stickers or decals for the 1961 - 1963 sets, so 1960 is the only year that team decals/stickers were produced. Fleer would return to Football in 1968 with their "Big Signs" (stay tuned for more information), but it would not be until 1972 that Fleer would issue any more football stickers - at which point they went on a great 17 year run which I will be getting to shortly.

Before we get to the Football stickers from the 1970's & 1980's, we'll be moving back to Baseball as we move forward to 1967. Fleer produced a number of different Baseball items in the late 1960s through early 1970's, so we'll start trying to sort through everything when we pick back up after New Years!

1 comment:

doublenoughtspy said...

That Boston Patriot looks like he's had too much Sam Adams or something.