Friday, December 30, 2011


In addition to NFL Helmets and NFL Magnets, The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) also offered team placemats from all four major sports leagues which were used to not only promote the local professional sports team, but also promote the local IHOPs in the area as well.

Lets take a look at the examples I've been able to find.

Major League Baseball:

Based on the fact that this placemat honors the 1969 World Champion Mets, I think its most likely that these would have been found in IHOPs in 1970.

I like the fact that they added "This IS Next Year" on the Cubs place mat:

I came across another version of the placemat that features color photos:

I think this version of the placemat is from 1969 as it features Dick Selma who pitched for the Cubs in 1969, but played for the Phillies in 1970. Here is another example of this version where someone was able to get some player autographs:

While the placemat above shows that LA had a ton of IHOPs, the Phillies placemat shows that Philadelphia only had 2:


Its interesting that while IHOP and the NFL partnered together on other promotions during the 1970s which allowed IHOP to use NFL logos, for these 1970 placemats, they only had the license from the Players Association so the uniform on the placemat is somewhat generic.


There were even placemats for ABA teams:


I am sure there are a number of other team placemats besides the ones I've been able to find, but obviously most of these didn't survive, so they don't seem to show up for sale very often.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

IHOP NFL Football Helmet Magnets and Standings Board

In addition to the miniature NFL football helmets promotion at the International House of Pancakes during the 1970's, IHOP also had a promotion featuring NFL team football helmet magnets that were available with a magnetic standards board:

The copyright on the bottom of the standings board shows that this was produced in 1977, so it appears that the plastic helmets promotion was an early to mid 70's offer, while the magnets were offered in the late 1970's.

Just as with the NFL plastic helmets, the magnets were sold individually so you had the choice of picking which team you wanted.

I remember trying to get as many magnets as I could each time we went to IHOP. Unfortunately as you can see from the picture of my board, I wasn't able to find all the teams.

The magnets were produced by Sports Magnets, Inc. who also sold the magnets with a nearly identical standards board:

As you can see, the boards are almost identical except for the top the board which added IHOP's name and replaced one of the NFL shields with an IHOP logo:

To this day, I can't help but think about collecting the helmet magnets any time I pass by an IHOP, and the fun I had keeping track of the standings with my board each week that season.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IHOP NFL Football Helmets and Standings Board

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) was definitely the place to get your football fix as a kid growing up in the 1970s.

Whats not to like about getting to eat on a placemat with football helmets on it and having the the chance to buy your favorite team's mini helmet!

If you were lucky enough to come across this IHOP ad, you could get a coupon to buy one helmet and get one free!

The IHOP helmets are just the regular gumball helmets that we all remember collecting, but its still great to think that you could go to the restaurant and have your pick of which team you wanted to buy as opposed to just taking whatever came out of the gumball machine.

Recently someone had up for auction a nearly complete set of the helmets in the original IHOP packaging:

As the header card has a hole in it, it seems like these were probably hanging on a rack near the register so you could search for teams while mom or dad was paying the check.

In addition to offering the helmets, IHOP also sold a standings board which held the gumball helmets:

Here is a view of the back of the board:

Based on the helmet designs on the back, I would say this board dates from 1972 or 1973 as it shows the white Chargers helmet (which changed to blue in 1974).

Here is a picture from the side to show how the board stood up:

It would be great if the NFL and IHOP would consider bringing back this promotion in the future as it would be fun to see ads like this

as well as it would provide a great excuse to go out for breakfast!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving with the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers

As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and enjoy the tradition of watching football while getting stuffed, here are a few programs from previous Thanksgiving meetings between the Lions and the Packers:





I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Was Terry Crowley Safe or Out on his 1973 Topps Card?

One of my favorite cards in the 1973 Topps Baseball set is the Terry Crowley card where he is coming in to home where Thurman Munson is waiting for the ball to make the tag:

Last year Chris from the great blog 1973 Topps Photography did an in depth analysis to pinpoint the day this photo was taken, which he determined was June 29, 1972 based on the fact that was the only date that Crowley played against the Yankees in NY where he was able to reach base.

I've come across a photo which appears to be another shot of this same play:

and checking the back, it confirms that the picture was taken on June 29, 1972! Great detective work Chris!

According to the information on the back of the photo, Terry Crowley was out at home on Brooks Robinson's hit to the 3rd baseman Celerino Sanchez who made the throw home in time to get Crowley.

And now you know the rest of the story.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Many Faces of the Orioles Cartoon Bird

As a followup to the news that the Orioles are bringing back the Cartoon Bird on their caps next season, Trevor did an excellent post showing all the cap variations of the Orioles Smiling Bird logo over the years, with a great shot showing all the different variations together (with one of the batting helmet versions in the middle):

Trevor also did another great post on the batting helmet logo variations, which seem to have a lot of variety due to the fact that for a while the logos were painted on the helmets

until they were later replaced by decals.

If you like the O's cartoon bird, I recommend checking out Tevor's posts as he has done a great job documenting the many subtle different looks of the Orioles cap logo.

The Orioles had 19 winning seasons during the bird's 23 year span in which they were the winningest team in baseball over that stretch. The bird was around for 7 ALCS appearances, 6 AL pennants and 3 World Series titles.

Here's hoping that the Orioles can get back to their winning ways now that they will once again be sporting the look that they wore during their glory days.