Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sports Logos

As the primary focus of my blog has been the various Fleer issues that contain team logos, I wanted to add a link to a website that is dedicated entirely to sports team logos.

Chris Creamer's Sportslogos.net is a fantastic site with a library of logos from MLB, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL. In addition, there are logos from defunct leagues like the American Basketball Association (ABA), the World Football League (WFL), the United States Football League (USFL), and the World Hockey Association (WHA). There is also an extensive section on College and Minor League teams.

Here's a sample of some MLB Logos from the site:

There is also a section on All Star Game Logos:

NFL Logos:

NBA Logos:

NHL Logos:

The site is a great resource for looking up your favorite teams to see the history of their logos. You can even review all the team logos for a given league by year to see how all the teams logos looked from any year you choose. If you like the type of material I've been covering in my blog, I think you'll really enjoy this site.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Uncut Sheet

After completing the review of all the Fleer Baseball Cloth Patch variations over the last 2 months, I've got one final item to share as we wrap things up - an uncut sheet!

To get a better look, click on the picture to open a bigger picture in a new window.

I believe this is either a 1974 or 1975 sheet. The logo patches with the dark borders (A's,Pirates, Expos & Rangers) have the "Peel Here" instructions in white instead of black, so this sheet is from one of the later printings. Unfortunately the sheet isn't dated so I can't confirm the year.

For those of you who have been following along with my posts on the Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches, thanks for reading, and for sharing your comments with me. I hope you've found the look back at these patches interesting and informative.

I'll be doing a similar review of the Fleer Football Cloth Patches a bit later in the year as we get closer to Football season. In the meantime, I've still got many more Fleer as well as some other oddball items to cover!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Team Pennants

As we wrap up our review of the 1969 - 1977 Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches, there is a different set of patches that I haven't covered yet - the 1975 Team Pennant patches. These patches were issued along with the regular patches that I've just finished reviewing in packs of 1975 Baseball Patches.

The pennants were only produced in 1975, and were mentioned on the front of the box as "New Team Pennant In Every Pack!":

The pennants are smaller than the regular Baseball patches, and have a very thin strip on the left that says "PEEL HERE" with the pennant on the right:

Most of these that I've seen for sale do not have the backing and do not have the small "PEEL HERE" strip as these pennants come off the backing very easily. In many cases, the backing and the little strip have long since been discarded. The only reason I have a complete pennant for this scan is because this came out of an unopened pack.

The scans below do not have the "PEEL HERE" strip and do not have the backing.

Here are the 24 team pennant patches that comprise the set:

If you are wondering what the little circles are by most of the patches, its the Ultra-Pro logo on the penny sleeve that I'm using to store the patches.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - MLB Logo

Even though we've finished the team reviews, there is one more patch that I haven't covered yet which was issued as part of the Fleer Cloth Baseball Patches - the MLB Logo.

There are 4 variations of this patch as seen below:

The patch on the top right is the first patch that was issued in 1969 which commemorated Baseball's 100th Anniversary. The following year the patch on the top right was issued which included the heading "American / National Leagues".

Later that heading was dropped, as seen on the patch on the bottom left. The final version of the patch on the bottom right changed the font on the lettering and added a (R) .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Washington Senators

We finish up our team by team review of the Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches with the Washington Senators.

The Senators had 2 versions of the City / Logo patches which are distinguishable due to color variations as seen below:

There are also 2 Cap / Team Name patches which also have color variations as well as the fact that one has a blue "W" with a white outline while the other patch has the opposite color combination:

I'm afraid Fleer Baseball Cloth Patch Month actually turned out to be a 2 month review. I hope those of you who have been following along have enjoyed the look back at these patches.

I've actually got 3 more Cloth Patch items to cover over the next few days before we move on to the next Fleer issue, so we're not quite finished yet. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Love 1974!

All I can say is "I Love 1974"!

Check out the 6 and possibly 7 wax boxes of 1974 Topps Baseball, not to mention the 3 boxes of Wacky Packages Series 6! Don't forget to pick up a couple of packs of Kung Fu cards along with your Gold Rush and Bozo Bubble Gum.

You can tell this is 1974 based on the Topps Baseball Wax Box:

I'm guessing this has to be some kind of Topps marketing photo since the shelves seem to be full of nothing but Topps products, perhaps from an annual report.

And all I can say to this is "WOW"!

Here is a picture from the Topps factory from 1974 as they are putting together Wax and Cello boxes of 1974 Baseball Cards. I guess I never realized what a manual process it was packing the boxes. I would have figured the packs would have been put in the boxes by a machine.

I found these pictures on the Vintage Non-Sports Chat Board, which also has pictures of the OPC factory, and shows a number of steps in the process of making Hockey cards. Fascinating stuff and definitely worth a look if you have any interest in the process of how cards are made.

Its great to have a chance to peek behind the curtain!

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Texas Rangers

Even though the Texas Rangers didn't have any patches until 1972, they were still able to end up with a few variations between 1972 to 1975.

Just as we saw with other teams that had a dark blue border, the Rangers can be found with the directions printed in black (and almost impossible to read) and also with the directions in white:

In addition to the different colored directions, there is a slight color variation in the blue border as well as a difference between the red lettering on the left and the more pinkish letting on the right. The patch on the left is the earlier version.

Those same color differences can be found on the Cap / Team Name patches:

In addition, the earlier patch did not have a colored outline around the "T".

We're almost to the end of our team by team review of the Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches. Tomorrow we'll review the final team on our list which was the team that ultimately became the Texas Rangers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals have 4 different City / Logo patch variations. The earliest patch on the top left had an orange border which then turned to yellow:

Later versions of the patch removed the baseball background and the blue circle around the logo. This design can be found with 2 different versions as there is one very subtle difference between the two patches on the bottom.

Take a close look at the cap on the Cardinal:

The bird on the left has a completely red cap while the bird on the right has the STL monogram on the cap.

For the Cap / Team Name patches, there are 2 versions:

The earlier version of the patch has a brighter red background, and thicker lines around the interlocking STL monogram versus the patch on the right.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Seattle Pilots Official Theme Song

As a follow up to my post from a few days ago on the history of the Seattle Pilots, here is a video showing pictures of Sicks Stadium during the time the Pilots were playing there as well as what became of the stadium after they left set to the music of the "Official Team Song of the Seattle Pilots":

Here is a picture of the 45:

They might not have had a local TV contract to give the team much exposure that first year, but after hearing "Go, Go, You Pilots" on Seattle radio, how could you not want to catch a few Pilots games!

If you'd like more information on the Pilots, in addition to the books I previously mentioned in my earlier post ("The 1969 Seattle Pilots" and "Ball Four:), you might want to check out this web site which is dedicated to the Pilots.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sticky Saturday - Guest Host Edition

This week's Fleer "Sticky Saturday" has been moved from The Worldwide Leader in Sports (Card Collecting) to "The Deuce" as Cardboard Junkie's Sticky Saturday had to preempt coverage of this week's Fleer sticker review for the world premiere of Dinosaurs Attack!

If you've never seen the Dinosaurs Attack! set, you owe it to yourself to check out Dave's review of one of the stickers from the set as well as his post about picking up the set.

The timing actually couldn't have been better for Dave to take a break from posting his weekly Fleer sticker since I had been planning on posting the stickers he sent me this week to help me complete 2 Fleer sticker sets that I've been trying to finish.

Let me start with a little backgound:

Cardboard Junkie was the first site to give my blog a nice writeup shortly after I had gotten started. To say thanks for the kind words, I sent Dave a number of Braves stickers, which became the impetus for his weekly "Sticky Saturday" post where he planned to spotlight a different sticker from that collection each week.

One week he posted the 1986 Braves Mini Sticker which I had sent:
and I commented that I had ended up with an extra due to purchasing 3 mini sets trying to complete a set of all 26 team stickers. While you get a complete set of all the cards in each mini box set, you don't get a complete set of team stickers as there are only 18 stickers included with the cards. After buying 3 sets I was one sticker short - I still needed the Texas Rangers. Dave said he'd keep an eye out for me.

A few weeks later, Dave picked up a 1986 mini set, and it had a Rangers sticker which he posted for his weekly Sticky Saturday review - but alas not the one I needed! For some reason, the 1986 set he picked up had a different background design on the stickers. His 1986 mini set had the 1987 stickers.

The following week he posted the stickers from the 1987 set he had also purchased, and the stickers had the same design as he found in his 1986 set - with one very odd difference - different Mariners logos with the same background:

Dave uncovered a previously undocumented Fleer variation!

A few weeks later, Dave picked up another mini set, and this time struck gold for Fleerfan - the Rangers sticker I've been trying to track down:

I got in touch with Dave and asked if we could work out a trade for the Rangers sticker. Since I also realized that he had pulled the remaining 1987 stickers I still need to complete my set from his posting on the 1987 box break, I figured it wouldn't hurt to see if we could work those into the deal as well. And since I'm obviously obsessed about this stuff enough to blog about all the different Fleer variations I can find, I inquired about the Mariners variations as well.

Dave being the super great guy that he is said no trade necessary - I'll be glad to pass along what you need. This week, I received the 1986 Rangers star background sticker, the 1987 Mariners variations, and the other 1987 stickers I needed to complete that set:

Besides helping me complete these 2 sets, Dave threw in a pack of 1988 Fleer Star Stickers as well. Many Thanks for helping me finish off these 2 sets Dave!

Programing note: Sticky Saturday will return to its regular channel next week. On ESPN2, we'll be showing "Bass: Battle on The Border presented by Mahindra Tractors".

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fleer Baseball Cloth Patches - Seattle Pilots

Even though the Pilots only existed for 1 year, they actually had patches produced for both 1969 and 1970. The reason they had patches in 1970 is most likely due to the fact that it wasn't until the very end of Spring Training in 1970 that Bud Selig was able to buy the team and move them to Milwaukee.

There are 2 versions of the City / Logo patch due to color variations. The patch on the left has a lighter shade of blue for the City, and a red captains wheel whereas the patch on the right has a darker shade of blue and a burgundy wheel:

The patch on the left is the earlier version.

For the Cap / Team Name, the differences are much more striking:

Does anyone have any pictures with the Pilots wearing orange? I don't think so. That's because they never did. This is the 1969 patch which shows a color combination the Pilots never used. I'm guessing that in late 1968 when Fleer needed the artwork for the patches the expansion Pilots were still getting things finalized and had not settled on the ultimate team colors which are seen on the 1970 patch:

We saw this same orange / blue color combination on the 1969 Fleer 3D Baseball Trophy Plaques:

Only in this case, the "S" is orange on a blue cap as opposed to the patch above which had a blue "S" against an orange background.

For those of you who are interested in learning more about the Major League team that only lasted one year, I recommend the book I just finished reading entitled "1969 Seattle Pilots: Major League Baseball's One-Year Team":

The book gives the background of how the team came into existence, a day by day account of the team's ups and downs during the 1969 season, and details of why the team ran into financial troubles which precipitated the move to Milwaukee.

A few interesting items I came across:

1) We can thank A's owner Charley Finley for the AL expansion in 1969. The AL originally had plans to expand in 1971 but because the A's moved from Kansas City in 1968 significant political pressure was put on MLB from a Missouri Senator to get a team back in KC immediately. To avoid having MLB's antitrust exemption reviewed, MLB agreed to move up the expansion timetable to 1969.

2)While on the surface the accelerated expansion would appear to have been good for Seattle, it probably caused them to end up losing the team at the end of their first season because they didn't have enough time to get everything properly prepared.

For example, even though the local paper shown above announced "Seattle Goes Big League", the Pilots weren't able to get a local TV contract for the 1969 season, which cost them both in terms of exposure to potential fans, as well as revenue that they were not able to realize.

3) One of the conditions of Seattle getting the team was that the city would begin construction of a domed stadium before Dec 31, 1970. The team's opening day program even had an artist's conception of what the stadium would look like:

However, if this condition was not met, MLB reserved the right to move the team. While the domed stadium project would eventually become the Kingdome and would allow Seattle to gain an NFL team and later the Mariners,

at the time the team ran into a number of issues with the city and almost no progress was made on the domed stadium in 1969 .

This was one of MLB's main concerns during the AL Winter Meetings in late 1969 which opened the door to the possiblity of moving the team. By the end of 1969 a site for the stadium had not even been decided upon, so it was clear there was no way construction would begin by the end of 1970.

4) The Pilots actually played a game in Milwaukee in 1969. Talk about foreshadowing! The Pilots lost to the White Sox 8-3 in Milwaukee on June 16, 1969.

In 1969 Milwaukee was trying to make a case they could still support baseball after the Braves left, so Bud Selig worked out a deal to have the White Sox play 11 "home" games in County Stadium. The White Sox went along with the plan as this would give them some leverage to get some stadium concessions from the City of Chicago. As you can see from the above program from 1969 which has the Pilots logo as well as the Brewers logo, Bud Selig already had a team name and logo ready to go.

5) With the team having run out of money by the end of the 1969 season and no domed stadium on the horizon, MLB was forced to have the team sold to Bud Selig and move it to Milwaukee. There were attempts to try to work out a way to get a local Seattle ownership group together to buy the team to keep in in Seattle which MLB apparently supported, but given how much debt the team had taken on, no buyers were willing to put together a deal. That is why the process drug on through the 1970 Spring Training.

6) To give you an idea of how much an 11th hour type of situation it was regarding the movement of the team, the moving truck with the team's equipment heading back from Spring Training in Tempe, AZ had to sit and wait in Utah until it was decided whether they were to take the equipment back to Seattle, or head to Milwaukee. Hence this is likely why Fleer and Topps were still referring to the team as the Pilots for their 1970 sets:

7) As a result of the move, the city of Seattle filed an anti-trust lawsuit against MLB in 1970 which dragged on until 1976 when the AL agreed to award a new team to Seattle for the 1977 season which is how the Mariners came into existence.

There is quite a bit of other interesting information in the book as well. If you have any interest in baseball from this time period, its a fun read.

For some additional insight into what it was like playing on that Pilots team, pick up Jim Bouton's "Ball Four":

Jim spent part of the 1969 season on the Pilots and has some great stories to tell!
The Seattle Pilots are a great "one-hit wonder" that have a special place in baseball history due to their unique situation.