Well before the Pandemic card boom, I observed that my vintage football cards were not selling nearly as well as they had in the past. There was a time when vintage football cards sold well 12 months out of the year but especially well during football season.
Unfortunately, I can no longer sell vintage football cards 12 months out of the year. Surprisingly, they don't even sell much during football season. I do not understand why the card collecting world has lost interest in vintage football. I really have no explanation.
The big rookies still sell but the rest of the stuff just sits. If I was smart and more of an investor rather than someone who just loves vintage cards, I would stop buying vintage football cards. But I just can't help myself, I keep buying them and buying them. I have a silly amount of vintage football cards. So the last two weekends, I have brought out a display-case set up filled with vintage football cards. I sold a handful of vintage football cards at the Rockford show last weekend but did not sell one card today at the Woodstock show! I am just dumbfounded.
I have some really great stuff like 1948 Leaf Sid Luckman, Bulldog Turner, Johnny Lujack, George Conner, and Charlie Trippi -- a really great selection of Hall of Famers from 1948 through 1980. I just love this stuff! I am going to keep buying it and I guess I will just end up stockpiling it because it is not selling.
Rather than complain about lack of sales, I would rather talk about the great players depicted in these wonderful pieces of history. Below are pictures of some of my vintage football cards that are for sale along with a little write up about these heroes of yesteryear.
1950 Bowman Sammy Baugh
Hall-of-Famer Sammy Baugh was the quarterback for the Washington Redskins during their championship years of 1937 and 1942. He regularly lead the league in passing. He threw for six touchdowns against the Lions in a game in 1947. He was pretty much the first modern-day quarterback who passed first instead of handing the ball off to a running back. When he retired in 1952, after 16 seasons with Washington, he held ALL of the NFL passing records.
Back in Baugh's day, players played both offense and defense. Baugh was an excellent defensive back and was the first NFL player to intercept four passes in one game. He also was probably the greatest punter of all time. He still holds the record for highest average in a career -- 45.1 yards per punt.
1956 Topps Norm Van Brocklin
From the April 1961 Sport Magazine:
Not too long ago, word circulated through the football world to the whispered effect that Norm Van Brocklin was finished. It happened in 1958 when Norm was traded from the Los Angeles Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles. But in three seasons, Norm moved the Eagles from the bottom of the National Football League to the top.
On December 26, 1960, he steered the Eagles to a 17-13 victory over the Green Bay Packers, a victory that carried with it the National Football League championship. In the title game, Norm baffled the Packers with his passes, booming punts and play-calling. He sent his running backs poking through holes and he hit his receivers with carefully calculated passes. One of the passes -- a 35-yard throw to Tommy McDonald -- was good for a touchdown. Another -- a 41-yeard throw to Pete Retzlaff -- set up the Eagles' field goal. A third -- a key screen pass to Billy Barnes -- was blended beautifully in a series of Van Brocklin-engineered running plays that brought Philadelphia the winning touchdown.
When it was over, Van Brocklin had earned Sport's third annual award as the top performer in the NFL's title game. Like Baltimore quarterback Johnny Unitas, who won the award in 1958 and 1959, Norm was the owner of a fire-engine red Chevrolet Corvette.
Sport Magazine gave Norm Van Brocklin a brand new Corvette after he lead the Eagles to the NFL title in 1960.
1948 Leaf Sid Luckman
In 1940, Luckman lead the Bears to the NFL championship by demolishing the Washington Redskins 73-0. From 1940 to 1946, Luckman lead the Bears to the NFL championship game five times, winning four. In 1942, Luckman's Bears posted a perfect 11-0 record.
Luckman is still the greatest Bears quarterback of all time and remains one of the NFL's greatest quarterbacks of all time.
1948 Bowman Bulldog Turner
For the Bears, acquiring Turner in the first round of the 1940 draft proved to be a masterstroke. For both, the 1940 season marked the beginning of a period of dominance of their particular specialties, the Bears in winning championships and Turner in becoming the best all-around center in pro football. As a linebacker who was blessed with halfback speed, Turner in 1942, lead the league in interceptions with eight.
On offense, he was a flawless snapper and an exceptional blocker who could also play guard or tackle. Never was his versatility more evident than in 1944 when he was asked to fill in as a ball carrier in an emergency situation. He consistently grinded out long gains, including a 48-yard touchdown romp. Three years later against Washington, Turner came up with what he called the favorite play of his career, a 96-yard interception for a touchdown.
1951 Bowman Charley Conerly
Giants Chronicles: The incredible story of Charlie Conerly
While my sales at the October Woodstock show were negative, there were plenty of people at the show... they just don't realize yet that they need to start focusing on vintage football cards!
One of the young whippersnappers at the show came over to my table to show me a 1969 Topps Ernie Banks that he bought from me several months ago raw and just received it back from SGC in a 7 holder. He was set up across from me and had some sort of high-definition electronic video microscope that he uses to analyze cards and determine a grade. He said he charges $5 per card for the service.
"I have an eye for these things," he told me.
I politely passed, thinking I have toe jam older than him and am not going to pay $5 so so he can guess the grades of my raw cards. He can keep buying them and send them in, if he likes.
As I have said before, I really like the Woodstock show and will continue to set up whether or not I have any sales. I am just stubborn that way. Though, I probably won't be back until February as I have other things going on. So look for me at the February Woodstock show. I might be at the January show but I am thinking it is probably the same day as my Oak Creek show. If not, I'll be at the Woodstock show.
In the meantime, I am working on my Orland Park blog and should have it done soon. Next weekend, I am setting up at two shows again. I'll be at the Sheraton Madison Hotel, 706 John Nolan Drive, Madison, on Saturday, October 23; then I'll be at the Buenavista Banquets, 7507 W. Oklahoma, Milwaukee, on Sunday, October 24. I'll have some great vintage football cards! Come see me this weekend!!!