After many years, I have finally found my 1971 Eagles yearbook. I made mention of this here, and also in my Eagles’ cards post over on my 1971 football card blog. That was in November 2011, and was the last time I could find the book. I used it to show the correct photos of linebacker Adrian Young and punter Rick Duncan. (Topps had put Duncan’s photo on Young’s card in 1971.)
Anyway, earlier this week I was sorting through 5 boxes of papers that contained mostly old bills, but also some lost treasures. (You know the drill - there’s a stack of papers sitting on a table to be filed, but company’s coming over, so you throw the papers into a box and say “I’ll file these later”. Ten years later, you have 20 boxes of mostly junk. I sifted through 5 boxes this week, and threw out all but one boxful of keepers, including this yearbook.) But I digress...
1971 was my first full season of following the Eagles. During the pre-season, I obtained this yearbook (for a whole dollar, apparently!) from a Merit Gas station on City Line Avenue in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia. It's a small, Reader’s Digest or TV Guide -sized magazine. Beginning in 1972, the Eagles published a larger yearbook, titled “Eagle One” (in 1972), and “Eagle Two” (in 1973). After that, I stopped buying them, so I don’t know how long that format continued.
The book is 120 pages, all black and white except for the front and back covers, which are illustrated by renowned artist Dick Perez. The front cover features a fold-out extension. The yearbook also includes profiles of the owner, GM, and coaches, as well as the 1970 statistics for all their 1971 opponents, and a box score for every 1970 Eagles game. There is also a section that includes a brief summary of each past Eagles’ season, with the scores of every game. After that is a section listing the Eagles’ all-time records, and finally an all-time Eagles’ roster.
In the middle of the book are the player profiles. Most veterans are shown two to a page, with only Gary Ballman, Pete Liske, Joe Scarpati, and Tom Woodeshick getting their own pages (due to their long career statistics charts). After the veterans, there is a section for rookie profiles. Here they cram as many rookies onto a page as they can. Only 39 of the 56 veterans included in the yearbook actually made the team. 12 of the 43 rookies also made the team, the most successful of which was Harold Carmichael.
As you will see in the sample pages I’ve posted, my trusty red pen was hard at work back then. For the veterans, those that made the team have their number penciled in. The names of those that didn’t were given the strike-through treatment. Rookies making the team were underlined, and numbered.
Eagles in the Hall of Fame. Clockwise from top left are Greasy Neale, Pete Pihos, Norm Van Brocklin, Chuck Bednarik, Alex Wojciechowicz, Bert Bell, and Steve Van Buren.