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.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Bird Is Back!

According to this item in the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles are bringing back the Smiling Cartoon Bird on their caps next season!

My response - ITS ABOUT TIME!

I've never been a big fan of the "ornithologically" correct cap since the Orioles switched to it back in 1989. It was a change of pace at the time and was a nod back to the original Orioles cap they wore when they started playing in Baltimore, but to me it lacked the personality of the Smiling Bird. I have grown tired of the look, even though they have made minor changes to the bird every couple of years.

The Cartoon Bird was on the caps that the team wore during its glory years from 1966 through the 1980's, and is the uniform I think of when I remember those great World Series teams from that time. I know my preference is heavily influenced by what I grew up with

since to me, the Cartoon Bird is what the Orioles are supposed to wear.

The information indicates that the "cartoon bird will be a combination of the 1970 logo and the 1983 one, but may resemble the older logo a bit more."

As these scans show, the bird's appearance did change slightly over the years, so the designers have a few different styles to work with.

Unfortunately the team will be keeping the ridiculous "O's" cap as an alternate. Given the team is going back to the Smiling Cartoon Bird, I can think of a much more appropriate alternate cap:

The official announcement is expected sometime during the middle of November.