Friday, September 13, 2019

1966 Eagles - Bonus Cards

Recently I posted the 1966 Eagles cards from Philadelphia Gum Co. Here are additional 1966 Eagles, printed and sold by RetroCards.

RetroCards makes vintage cards (mostly football) of players who were missing from the Topps or Philly Gum series. Although their focus seems to be on Cowboys, Packers, and Bears, they have made cards for all the NFL teams in 1963 and 1966.

These were the first cards I bought from them. Subsequently, I also bought the '67 Cowboys and Packers, '68 Eagles and Packers, and '71 Cowboys.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Mike Morgan - LB

Mike Morgan was the Eagles' 17th-round pick in 1964. He played for the Eagles for 4 seasons, starting at left linebacker each year. From 1966 to 1970, he started just over half of his team's games.

He had no interceptions as a rookie, but did return a fumble for a touchdown. He had one interception in each of his other 3 seasons with the Birds.

Morgan was traded to the Redskins after the 1967 season, and then played for the Saints in 1969 and 1970.

He passed away in 1996 at age 54.

Morgan only had one Topps football card (1971, after his career was over. Retrocards has recently included him in their 1966 "Third Series" set.

Where's Waldo Mike?

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ike Kelley - MLB

Dwight "Ike" Kelley was a middle linebacker by trade, but was used almost exclusively on special teams. (Maybe his 5'11" height had something to do with that?)

He was a 17th-round pick in 1966, and played in 67 games over the next 6 seasons.  He played every game in '66, '67, '69, and '71, and 11 games in 1970. (Ike missed the entire 1968 season, and 3 games in 1970 due to injury.)

He only had 7 career starts - 3 in each of his first two seasons, and 1 in his last season.

Kelley spent the entire 1972 season on injured reserve, and was cut during training camp in 1973.

Being a special teams player, Kelley never had a football card. Apparently Topps changed their thinking in 1971, since that set includes a number of kick returners who rarely started games (including the Eagles' Billy Walik).

Where's Waldo Ike?

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Harold Wells - LB

Harold Wells was an undrafted free agent from Purdue when he signed with the Eagles in 1965.

He played in every game for the Eagles for the next 4 seasons, including starting every game at right linebacker from 1966-68.

After 3 seasons as a regular, he was cut during 1969's training camp. That seems a bit odd, given the shortage of linebackers the team had during 1968.

The record shows he was quickly picked up and released by the Giants. The Falcons also took a look at him in 1970, but he never played again after his Eagles' career.

Wells had no football cards made by Philly Gum or Topps. This is a custom card by RetroCards that I just got last month as part of their 1968 Eagles set.

Where's Waldo Harold?

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Ron Medved - S

Ron Medved was drafted in the 14th round by the Eagles in 1966, after a 3-year career at the University of Washington as a running back and punter.

With the Eagles, he was a backup safety for 5 seasons (1966-70), playing behind Nate Ramsey and Joe Scarpati (and in 1970, Ramsey and the newly-acquired Steve Preece). He started 3 games in each of his first two seasons.

For part of the 1968 season, he was a starting outside linebacker, as injuries devastated the linebacking corps that year.

Medved started 6 games in 1970, which was a lucky break for him. (Long-time free safety Scarpati was traded to make room for 2nd-year man Bill Bradley, but Bradley missed most of the season with injuries. Safeties Ramsey and Preece each started 10 games, but Ramsey missed the final 3 games after being shot on the streets of Philadelphia.)

Despite his increased playing time in 1970 (and Ramsey moving to cornerback in 1971), Medved was waived during training camp in 1971, ending his career.

After reading recent accounts of Tim Rossovich following his death, it sounds like Medved may have been Tim's wingman for their off-field adventures.

As a career backup, Medved had no football cards.

Where's Waldo Ron?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

1966 Eagles

Previously, I posted the Eagles cards for 1967, 1968, and 1969. I didn't start with the 1966 set because last year I only had a few of them, but I recently completed my Eagles' sets for 1964-66.

I didn't collect any kind of sports cards in 1966 - that all began in 1967. Prior to that, I was collecting Batman, Beatles, Combat, World War II, McHale's Navy, and Green Berets cards. A few Munsters, Superman, and Monkees cards may have also made their way onto my radar. My brother and I also made our own cards - cutting pictures of monsters out of magazines and comic books, and gluing them onto small pieces of cardboard to make "Castle of Frankenstein" cards! 

The Eagles finished in 2nd place in the 8-team East Division with a 9-5 record in 1966. It would be their last winning season until 1978. Meanwhile, they were winning 2 games in '68 and '72, and 3 games in 1970.

The Birds had ONE All-Pro player on the 1966 team - tackle Bob Brown. In addition to Brown, DT Floyd Peters also made the Pro Bowl.

Tight end Pete Retzlaff played the final season of his 11-year career, and Timmy Brown was on the last of his 5 productive seasons as the team's top running back, a string that included 3 Pro Bowl appearances.

What could also be considered a highlight is that QB Norm Snead threw an Eagles-career low 11 interceptions. That number would spike up to the 20-24 range for his last 4 seasons as an Eagle. On second thought, it's probably because he only played 10 games. 2nd-string QB King Hill and 3rd-stringer Jack Concannon each started 2 games.

After the season, the Eagles acquired All-Pro tight end Mike Ditka from the Bears. They offered Chicago their choice of either of their 3 quarterbacks, and the Bears chose 3rd-string Concannon!

Here are all the 1966 Eagles' cards. From 1964-67, Philadelphia Gum (not Topps) made the NFL cards. (Each team had 11 player cards, plus a team photo card and a play card.)

Split end Ray Poage missed the entire season with injuries, and was replaced in the starting lineup by Fred Hill. Poage was traded to the expansion Saints after the season.

Maxie Baughan and cornerback Irv Cross were both traded to the Rams in separate deals prior to the 1966 season.

Earl Gros is tackled before crossing the goal line.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ron Goodwin - FL/SE

Ron Goodwin was the Eagles' 16th-round draft pick in 1963. He played 6 seasons for the Eagles, the first 4 as a starter.

Goodwin played 10 games in his rookie season, starting them all. He was the team's split end for that one year, and wore #31.

In 1964 he changed numbers (to #81) and positions (to flanker, but was it really that much different?)

(I just noticed that in 1966, Goodwin started 9 games at flanker, while Fred Hill started 8 games at split end. Rookie Ben Hawkins started 12 games, presumably at both positions, so it seems Hawk made more starts that season than the "starters", but still was #4 among the four ends, with slightly less receptions and yards than the #3 end Goodwin.)

In 1967 Hawkins took over the flanker spot (with newly-acquired Gary Ballman and Mike Ditka manning SE and TE), so Goodwin spent his final 2 seasons as a bench player.

After retiring from the Eagles, he earned his law degree and began practicing law.

He passed away in 2013 at age 72.

Goodwin's only football card came in the 1964 Philly Gum set.

Where's Waldo Ron?


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Dave Recher - C

Another backup Eagles' offensive lineman named Dave, without a football card...

Dave Recher was the Eagles' backup center from 1965 to 1968, playing in 46 games but starting none. The first photo is from his rookie season, when he wore #51.

After playing all 14 games, he was selected by the Falcons in the 1966 expansion draft.

Dave never played for the Falcons, and must have been released as there is no record of a trade. He returned to the Eagles in 1966 and played in 10 games, now wearing #50.

Recher also played every game in 1967, and 8 games in 1968. His roster spot was taken by rookie Mike Evans, who played 6 games (4 starts) in 1968.

Where's Waldo Dave?

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Dave Graham - T

Dave Graham was an offensive tackle for the Eagles. He was the team's 13th-round pick in the 1960 draft, but did not play until the 1963 season. It seems he was drafted as a future (but 2 years early?), because he was still playing college ball in 1961.

Graham played 6 seasons in the NFL, all with the Eagles (1963-66, 68-69). He missed the '67 and '70 seasons due to injuries.

He played in 83 games, starting 31 of them.  Graham was the starting left tackle during his first 2 seasons, playing in 27 of the 28 games, and starting 22 of them.

Before the 1965 season, the Eagles acquired tackle Lane Howell from the Giants. With Howell taking over the LT job, and All-Pro Bob Brown already on the right side, there was nowhere for Graham to go but to the bench.

Dave played every game in '65, '66, '68, and '69, but only started 9 games after 1964, split between the '65 and '66 seasons.

He hung on as a backup for several more seasons, but was waived injured at the end of training camp in 1970, ending his career. His spot was taken by rookie Dick Stevens, also an Eagles' 13th-round pick (in 1970).

Graham did not appear on any Topps or Philly Gum football cards.

Where's Waldo Dave?

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Vince Papale - WR

Vince Papale's Eagles' career was after the time period of this blog, but I'm going to make an exception.

I knew of Papale before he became famous as an Eagle. Back then I was on my high school's track team, and one of our opponents was Interboro High School, where Vince was the track coach. Later, he played for the Philadelphia Bell in the WFL, and yadda yadda yadda.

 (Some of his Philadelphia Bell teammates included ex-Eagles Ben Hawkins, Tim Rossovich, Ron Porter, and Vern Winfield.)

Papale never had any Topps football cards, but RetroCards has made these custom cards, which I bought last year:

"Invincible" is one of my favorite movies of the past 20 years, and I have watched it several times. (I actually have it on DVD, but it is broadcast so often that I think I've only watched the DVD once.)

I realize that "Hollywood" has jazzed up the movie somewhat, but here are some errors I noticed while watching:

1. Papale was from Glenolden, PA, not South Philadelphia.
2. The movie completely ignores his time in the WFL.
3. The touchdown he scored on a fumbled punt in his 2nd game (also seen in "real" footage in the closing credits) was called back.
4. His eventual friend Dennis Franks was also a rookie in Papale's 1st season, not a veteran like he implies in the movie ("Coach is putting each rookie with a veteran").
5. Besides Franks, the movie shows (as actors in non-speaking roles) Roman Gabriel, Mike Boryla, Tom Sullivan, Art Malone, Mike Hogan, Harold Carmichael, Charlie Smith, Guy Morriss, Jerry Sisemore, Wade Key, Dennis Nelson, Horst Muhlmann, Manny Sistrunk, Carl Hairston, Pete Lazetich, Bill Dunstan, Bill Bergey, Frank Lemaster, Terry Tautolo, Bill Bradley, and Larry Marshall, but there were no actual Eagles named "German" or "Banks" (two of his tormentors in the movie).
6. A white player named "Hogan" is shown sitting on the bench, but Mike Hogan was black.
7. "Bergey" is shown lining up on the kickoff coverage team, but I seriously doubt the team's starting middle linebacker would be playing on special teams.

8. I also read somewhere that Papale's wife Janet was not a bartender, but was an Olympic diver. Also, they married more than 10 years after his playing career was over. Meanwhile, he married another (2nd wife) while playing for the Eagles.

Ahh... Hollywood screenwriters.

Other stuff you may already know:
The real Vince Papale is shown briefly as a coach in the background during the 1st training camp workout.
The dude in the green cape at the public tryout is Tony Luke Jr, of Tony Luke's Steaks in Philadelphia.

I always knew I had a card of Dennis Franks with the Lions, but I thought it was from the 1973 set.