Is this a great football card, or what? …

   Right around 1962 or so, I got out of the football card collecting end of things, trading my entire stash at the time, maybe four years worth of cards, to a friend who lived nearby. The deal was he got all of my football, and I got all of his 1960 Topps Baseball. Since he wasn’t as enthusiastic about his cards as I was about mine, his 1960s were a lot more pristine than my cards, so unlike so many of the cards that I owned back then, many of them have never felt the indignity of an upgrade.
   But after doing a story in SCD last week about 1961 Topps Football, it sorta made me wish I still had those beauties around nearly a half century later. I’d forgotten what a great set of cards that is, and few things work better to get you re-involved with a card issue than researching and writing about it.
   I won’t rehash the article (SCD May 22), but I will say it’s maybe one of the best vintage Topps sets ever, with the reasons more elaborately enumerated in the article. But I have a kinda grim rule of thumb for cards: they are winners if they would work well with an obituary for the individual, meaning essentially the the image on the card nicely (dare I say elegantly) illuminates something about the player and his personality.
   By that morbid rule, I’d say about half of the issue fits the bill. Hard to pick a favorite, though I could contend that it starts right off with the No. 1 Johnny Unitas gem, but for pure, unadulterated joy, I gotta go with Leo Nomellini’s No. 64.
   It probably wasn’t used with his obituary (the Hall of Famer died in 2000), but it should have been. If there is a better card that says “1950s-60s football” than this one, I’ll eat my beret. I also assume that he was the inspiration for the comic strip character Tank McNamara, but of course I can’t prove it.

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4 thoughts on “Is this a great football card, or what? …

  1. Please, let’s get back to discussing what’s really important: Why is Coach’s Corner Auction destroying SCD. The former readers are upset, the advertisers are upset (I know this because I have asked them), people who get ripped off are upset, People who love the hobby are upset. The only person who seems not to be upset is you T.S. Can we please discuss Coach’s corner?

  2. T.S. on said:

    Mike, I’m really getting tired of this childish bickering, but I do believe you need to find something else in your life than my blog entries.

  3. T.S. – Thank you for the advice. I feel my life is find and balanced: I am a good father, a reputable person and I have decent morals. Please show me that you do too. Instead of deleting all my posts, can’t we discuss Coach’s corner? What about your life? How do you feel knowing that CC is ripping people off. Kids and grownups who proudly display their cc winnings on their walls and in their collections basically have wasted their hard-earned money on worthless junk. Please, respond, Please???

  4. Tom Tom on said:

    Hey Ring Boy —

    The entire sports collectible community is corrupt. Why bash one guy and hold him to such unrealistic standards? If you really were in tune with the hobby, you’d know the truth.

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