Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Sportscaster Series #01 Variations that I Have Found So Far. Please Pass Along Other Information That You Have

I found it!  After a long search of the house I finally found my notebook that documented my Sportscaster card checklist.  I won't computerize it until after I've gone through all of the set.

Sorting my thousands of Sportscaster cards is taking forever.  They don't sort as easily as baseball cards because these cards are so thin.  Having the numbers being really small doesn't help either.

For now I'm only looking at the set sold in the U.S.A., otherwise known as the American set or the North American set.

Here is what I found for the 24 cards in Series #1 so far.   It looks like the print run can be either 'A' or blank where there is no letter in bold.  For the blank print run I'm finding then printed in either Japan or Italy.  So I'm working on getting all there versions for Series #1.

I have every card from print run 'A' and every card from the blank print run printed in Japan.  Here are the back variations I've seen.  I have yet to check for variations on the front of the cards.

1-01 Roger de Coster - 'A' has updated awards
1-02 Bobby Orr - 'A' has more text, less awards
1-03 Muhammad Ali - 'A' has updated awards
1-04 Jesse Owens
1-05 Guy Drut
1-06 Faina Melnik
1-07 Mark Spitz
1-08 Michael Rousseau
1-09 Fanny Blankers-Koen
1-10 Bernard Thevenet - 'A' has updated awards and text
1-11 Michel Broillet - 'A' has more text
1-12 Nordic Skiing (person pictured?)
1-13 Fishing (person pictured?)
1-14 Frank Shorter
1-15 Johnny Unitas
1-16 Anton Geesnik - 'A' has different text
1-17 Pele - 'A' has added text
1-18 Jimmy Connors
1-19 Fencing
1-20 Jets vs. Colts (people pictured?)
1-21 Tom Seaver - 'A' has updated awards
1-22 Lasse Viren
1-23 Alberto Juantorena - 'A' has updated awards
1-24 Pete Maravich - 'A' has updated awards

Please let me know if you have seen other variations.  I'm sure I will find out who is in the Jets/Colts picture once I put in an effort.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Can You Relate to My Sportscaster Card Dilema?

I'm working on a master set of Sportscaster cards.  My goal was to post once a week or so and show some cards and some variations.   I've got one problem that is hindering my progress - I can't find my binder that I'm using as a checklist.

This is embarrassing since I am quite an experienced Excel user.  I hope to find this binder over the holidays.  Injury doesn't allow me to search for it in my basement any time soon.

I hope that my next post will mention all of the variations that I've found in the first series of Sportscaster cards.  I just need to find the binder.

More soon I hope.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

More Track and Field Cards - This Time From Sweden

I'm trying to get all of the Sportscaster cards from each country.  Even if that isn't possible, I at least want to get all of the Track and Field cards from these sets.

This week I received my first cards from Sweden that were included in this set.  These cards all start with the number 47-021 before the deck and card numbers.

I have no way to read what is being said about Bruce Jenner.  Imagine what they would say today?

From what I've read, the set from Sweden has 76 decks.  That means I am going to be missing lots of track and field cards.

I still have no cards from France, Italy, Germany, Belgium or Denmark,  Where are they hiding?

Does anyone have a checklist of these cards from all countries?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Are These Sportscaster Card Samples?

I've gotten a bunch of these Sportscaster cards that have a different number scheme on the back than I've seen elsewhere.  The code is 03-993 with a number after it.

Are these sample or promo cards?

How many are there?

Do these exist for the sets created for other countries?

Is there anyone with a complete history of these cards?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sportscaster Cards from the United Kingdom Set - More Sorting For Me!

I picked up some Sportscaster cards from the UK set recently.  How can you determine the country that they were sold?  Check the bottom right of the card.  In a previous post I linked to a site that details the codes for each country.  Here is a picture of the bottom right of a UK card.  The 13 064 is the code for the UK set.

Now I will need to decide if I am going to collect this set.  I haven't seen a checklist, but I do know that there are many different players than in the North American set.  More information when I find it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Track and Field Cards Keep Coming - Even With Some Prefontaine Sportscaster Cards

I haven't been buying many lots of Sportscaster cards lately.  Why?  I have some many piles that I am sorting but it is a long process.  I've divided the cards into groups of 10 sets (1-09, 10-19, etc).  I'm through sorting about half of the lots but now I'm coaching so free time doesn't exist much.

I couldn't resist buying a few lots this week.  One lot was just track and field cards, so I certainly grabbed that one up.  It had both Prefontaine cards and most stars other than the really high-numbered ones.  Great condition too.

Another lot that I purchased looked to contain lots of the stars that I usually get with low-numbered cards.  We'll see what shows up in that lot.

A third lot is expected soon.  500+ cards for about $15.  More when I see these cards.

Monday, August 3, 2015

My Four Hours at the National Card Show - Where are the Sportscaster Cards Hiding?

On Wednesday I was able to spend all four hours looking around at the National Card Show in Chicago.  I did see a few Magic Johnson and Larry Bird cards but no Gretzky.  I wasn't really looking for these three since I knew the price would be out of my league, but it was nice to see a few.

I only found one display that had a solid stack of Sportscaster cards for sale.  This table had two different stacks, each with at least 500 - 1000 cards.  The more common stack had a price tag of $3.00 each so I didn't spend any time looking through them.  I think the other stack was $5.00 but it didn't have big-name players either.

I made no purchases of Sportscaster cards at the show this year.  It takes forever to sort and document the variations in this set, so I will keep working on that until I can get a complete list of the cards that I need.

Over the past few years I bought many large lots of Sportscaster cards and none have ever contained a Magic, a Bird or a Gretzky.  Not a surprise, but I think I have almost all of the high numbers except for some of the stars.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sportscaster Cards at the National Card Show

I will be looking for Sportscaster cards at the National this week.  I've never seen promotional items, proof sheets, etc.  That is probably because this was a mail order only set, right?

I haven't run across any Sportscaster experts anywhere either.  I will keep trying.

I hope to find at least a card from each language-specific set, even though I can't read any of them.

If I see anything good that is over my spending limits I will try to take a picture of the items.  Heck, I can't even get Gretzky, Bird and Magic Johnson cards from this set at the price they tend to be sold.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What a Sportscaster Cello Pack Looks Like - What Should it Look Like?

The two pictures below show an unopened cello pack from the Sportscaster card series.  I signed up to get these cards in the late 1970s.  I think that they would send another one each month until the subscription was canceled.  Like most people, I canceled mine long before the Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Wayne Gretzky cards appeared.  Ugh.

The front of the cello has nothing at all on it.  You'd almost think that this was created by someone at a flea market.   Toni Gustafsson is card number 1 in Pack/Deck/Series 3.  

There are 24 cards in each pack/deck/series.  Dwight Stones is card number 24 in this pack.

The Control Number tells which set it is and which series it is.  03 005 denotes the North American set.  The .03 means that it is series 3.

Each cello pack contains all 24 cards in the series so there should be no surprises in an unopened pack.  

The bottom right of the Stones card also denotes the same information.  It has 03 005 03-24.  This is the same information as the Control Number plus it adds the card number (24) in the series.

It seems like it would be easy to re-seal these.  Does card #1 have to be first and card #24 have to be last?  If so, my pack with Nolan Ryan on top has been re-packaged.  Please let me know if you have an answer to this.  

Some packs have special offers or other inserts at the back, so I can't always see which card is the last one in the pack.  

More about Dwight Stones later.  They weren't impressed with his two bronze medals I guess.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sportscaster Cards are a Challenge for Player and Team Collectors

The Sportscaster cards are great with their large photos and interesting stories on the back.  They can be quite a challenge for set collectors because of the way that checklists are created.

The card pictured below is listed as "Basketball Lingo".  Some checklists might also refer to Pete Maravich since he is the focus of the photo.  None would probably mention the New Orleans Jazz or the Washington Bullets.  The Jazz moved to Utah in 1979 while this set was still in production but the picture is from a prior season while the team was in New Orleans.

How does one get around that?  The site http://sportscastercards.com/ can show you a picture of the cards from each set.

The oddity of the checklist has proven less of a challenge for me since I want to get the entire set, but it was a challenge early on when I wanted to get every track and field card.  The Beyond Sports subset leaves no mention as to what sport is being depicted.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sportscaster Card Numbering System - How to Tell Which Set You are Building

The number system on the sportscaster cards is a bit more complicated than the average card set.

What is called the USA or North American set was printed in both Italy and Japan.

The UK set is quite similar.  The backs are the same, but some players have been changed out in this set.  More about those differences in a future post.

Sets from other countries use different numbering and have text in their home language.  I could explain it well, but it is already done well on the following website -

How to Tell Which Country Your Sportscaster Card is From.  

There is also more information about the sets on this site.  I cannot confirm all of these numbers yet since I only have cards from the North American, UK and Finland sets.

The set, deck and card number designation on those above is at the bottom right of the card.  Here is a breakdown of those codes.

03 005 20-23

03 005 - This is from the North American/UK set

20 - This is from deck #20 otherwise known as a pack.  Each deck came with 24 cards in a cellophane wrapper.  I will show one soon.

23 - the card number within the set.  I will try to learn more about sealed decks in a future post.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Some Players Like Bruce Jenner Show Up on Many Sportscaster Cards - Checklists Might Not Reflect This

There are over 300 different track and field cards in the Sportscaster set.  The entire set is well over 2,000 cards not counting variations.  There are cards for individuals and cards for different track events.  In order to track down your favorite athletes, one needs to see a great checklist or look at each card to determine whose picture is on the card.

Only one of the cards below is actually listed on the checklists as Bruce Jenner.  One needs to really check the cards to see that all four cards picture Bruce Jenner.  Usually there is a caption on the front that will name the persons pictured, but sometimes the caption is generic.  I am still researching some of the captions without names.  If I complete this I plan to create a master checklist which will include all pictured athletes.

The back of one of the cards refers to Jenner as Mr. Track and Field.  I couldn't make this up.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sportscaster Card Variations - An Overview of Some of the Variations

I've been tracking variations in the Sportscaster set that was released in the late 1970s.  There are some variations that don't follow the pattern below, but most do follow it.

As can be seen on the cards below, the print runs can be tracked by where they were printed - Italy or Japan.  Each print run also has a letter to denote the print run - I've seen A, B, C, D and none noted (I call it blank).  For blank I will use the code b.


The following card had no differences in the print runs other than the date listed and the print run letter shown on the back.  Some wouldn't find that to be enough of a variation that would warrant collecting it.

The type of change show above was common in cards that discussed sports in general terms and in cards of people who were no longer active in sports.  I plan to collect those as variations.


Some cards, like the ones shown below, have updated statistics that reflect the long-term release of each print run.

I like that they took the time to update the winners of certain events.  They didn't do this with every individual, but they did a good job with events.


Sunday, May 31, 2015

Welcome to My Sportscaster blog

This blog is being used to help organize an i-book that I will be creating for Sportscaster cards.  As I learn more about the cards I plan to post some of the more interesting things here.

I have no plan or direction for these stories and there might not be any pattern to what is discussed.  I hope to post at least a few times a week.