Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sorting Completed from All Sportscaster Decks - Packs - Sets

I decided to focus on sorting and then later go back and check for variations.

The number I don't have isn't bad considering I made no effort to purchase anything but sportscaster lots and sportscaster track lots.  The only card I paid for at a show was Babe Didrikson Zaharias.  Of course getting the last three cards will probably be a challenge - Bird, Johnson and Gretzky.

Here are the number of cards that I am missing from each range of sets.

01 - 09           0 cards

10 - 19           0 cards

20 - 29           2 cards   (Dave Kingman; Walter Payton)

30 - 39           1 card     (32-01 Baseball 3,000-Hit Club - Roberto Clemente pictured)

40 - 49           0 cards

50 - 59         13 cards

60 - 69         21 cards

70 - 79         39 cards

80 - 88         41 cards

101-103       13 cards

Total          130 cards

Time to get back to looking for variations on the front and backs of these cards.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Found Out More About Phil Ford - Artis Gilmore Sportscaster Error Cards

As I continued to sort the cards I found out that the Artis Gilmore and Four Corner Offense cards have the wrong pictures in some of the print runs.

I can't imagine Artis was involved in many four corner offense schemes.  After he left Jacksonville, they became the first team to average 100 points in a season the next year.  No slow-down offense for them.

Card #36-08 is Artis Gilmore's card.  There are no changes on the back that I can see in the blank print run or in print run "A".  The blank print run and some of the "A" print runs have the Phil Ford photo that I showed yesterday.  Oddly, I also have a print run "A" which properly shows Gilmore in his Chicago Bulls uniform.

I don't have any of this card from print run "B".  I will assume that it is Gilmore.

Card #36-12 is the Four-Corner Offense card.  The blank print run and some of the "A" print runs have the Artis Gilmore photo.  I also have a print run "A" which properly shows Ford on the front.

Both "A" cards give photo credit to Focus on Sports.

The "B" print run card shows Ford but the photo credit changes to Focus on Sports Jerry Wachter.

Ford is mentioned on the bottom of the Four Corner Offense card

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Who Else is on the Sportscaster Card? - Post #004

Whose Sportscaster card is this?

Or Maybe Who Isn't on This Sportscaster Card?

I'm going to guess that the North Carolina guard shown here is Phil Ford.  Since I asked whose card this is you can probably guess that it isn't Phil Ford's or whoever is pictured here.  That leaves the defender. 

I wonder what the player thought when seeing this card.  Not only is the defender not pictured, I don't think that the player named on the card is even this defender.  The full card is shown below.

Does the defender play for Wake Forest?  Does anyone have a better idea?

I found a few pictures of Jacksonville's uniforms and they don't look like the one shown above.  The stripes are quite different.  Also the guy doesn't seem talk enough to be Gilmore.  

Artis Gilmore last played collegiately in 1970 and Phil Ford began at UNC in 1974.   I didn't find Jacksonville playing against UNC in either of the two years that Gilmore played basketball for the Dolphins.  

Here is the back of the card.  It leads me to believe that Gilmore is the defender.  Is he?  This is card #36-08.  

Maybe I am totally wrong about all of this.  Let me know if this is the case.

Monday, December 26, 2016

More Sorting Complete - Sets 50 - 59

I got through these ten sets.  I have at least one version of each card in sets 50 - 55.  Here is what I am missing in the next four sets.

Set 56 - Marvin Webster (#11), Football's Longest Passes (#18)

Set 57 - Willie Lanier (#01), Dave Winfield (#02)

Set 58 - all eight ballparks - Shea (#01), Busch (#02), Fenway (#05), Memorial (#12), Yankee (#14), Candlestick (#18), Veteran's (#21), Dodger (#23)

Set 59 - Frank Robinson, Manager (#20)

Does anyone want to trade me for these?  If not, at least having this on the blog makes it easy for me to track my want list without being tied to a device or cloud service.

This Sportscaster card has nothing to do with my post today.  I just like the picture and the players depicted - Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.

Once all sets are sorted I will continue looking for any variations from these sets.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Baseball Hall of Fame or Sonia Lannaman - Why The Switch?

Sorting my Sportscaster cards continues.  For most lower-numbered track and field cards I have 5-10 since I've purchased numerous lots of track and field Sportscasters.  It surprised me to find only one Sonia Lannaman.  I quickly checked the back to see if it was from the UK series (13 064) instead of the North American set (003 05).  Nope it is 003 05.

When sorting I got 10-06 from print "A" as the Baseball Hall of Fame.  In print "B" it is Sonia Lannaman.  Why did the Hall of Fame get bumped?

I don't have the blank print run of either card but I do have the blank print run from the UK series and it is the Baseball Hall of Fame.  I expected it to be Sonia since she ran for Great Britain.  Does anyone have anything to add about this one?

The numbers on the back seem to get smaller each year for me but I did check to see that it isn't 10-05 (Tobogganing), 10-08 (Bill Tilden) or 10-09 (Mario Andretti).

Friday, December 23, 2016

Father-Son Bonding Gave Me This Post Idea - Sportscaster Bobsledding

It hasn't snowed here in four days but we had about 4-6 inches of snow at that time.  With the clear skies and decent temperatures (30s) all of the side streets near me are free of snow and ice.  That's why I was so surprised to see a car off the road yesterday on a side street with a speed limit of 25 mph.

My son and I stopped.  I was not sure what type of person would be behind the wheel since the tire tracks showed that this car somehow when about 20 feet off the road when there was no snow, ice or every turns in the road nearby.

A couple was in front and there was probably their high school/college daughter in the back of this big SUV.  It looked like the kind of vehicle that could just drive out of this amount of snow.  When I asked if we could help push them out they seemed a bit confused.  It turns out they were from southern California so (a) they didn't know what I was talking about with pushing and (b) it was a long story how they ended up in the snow.  I believed them about being from California when the two females asked if they should get out of the car before we push it.

It took about three seconds for us to get the car out and I thought nothing of it.  I'd done that so many times as a child and many times one day when I was in four feet of snow in Colorado.  What I didn't realize until my son and I chatted later was that he had (a) never done that before and (b) had never seen anyone push a car out of snow before.

He is a track star so maybe he could switch to bobsledding like Herschel Walker.  Oh, wait he runs distance so I doubt he'd have the power they'd want.  Who would have thought that my son and I were talking about bobsledding today without watching Cool Runnings?

I didn't see a card picturing the athletes pushing off at the start of the run.  It appears as though there isn't one showing that.  Too bad.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Who Else is on the Sportscaster Card? - Post #003

Sportscaster card 87-01 has the title "Olympic 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 Meters".  The sub title on the back is "A Race to Glory".  Somehow they chose not to include a picture of any of those races in the Olympics.

It was a lot easier to track down the competitors in the first few cards that I reviewed.  Why?  The back mentioned either the race contested or the competitors.  The race shown here is (a) not an Olympic race and (b) the useless caption title is "All-out in a distance run".

The photographer is Paul Sutton Duomo.  They have an archive but it doesn't seem to help.

Luckily, I recognize the race leader, Jim Stinzi.  He was an assistant coach for my team one year in college.  He also was the collegiate coach for one of my high schoolers.

He didn't graduate from college until 1981 which means he was still a collegiate runner.  So, this race was probably a USATF/AAU Championship meet around 1978 - 1979.

It is also noticeable that Stinzi isn't wearing a race number.  He must have been the rabbit.  That is a normal thing for a star college runner to do.

USA Track and Field lists event winners from National Championships.  Does anyone know where complete results can be found?

I recognize the Athletic Attic runner, the Wisconsin Track Club guy (Donakowski?) and #753 whose sponsor is quite small on his singlet.  On further inspection, that logo looks like it might just be a Frank Shorter sportswear logo.

I did poorly on this one.  I will try to see if one of his former runners can get Coach Stinzi to share more about this picture.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

When Did Customers Stop Subscribing to Sportscaster Cards?

Has anyone ever read statistics regarding when customers stopped purchasing Sportscaster cards through the subscriptions?  I don't even remember when I stopped getting them, but I probably got no more than 10 of the packs.

Why do I ask?  As I sort the cards I'm going to see if there are some sets that are lacking star power.  Would that be enough to get people to stop purchasing future packs.  Which pack caused this most?

Somehow I am sorting packs numbered 50 - 59 out of order.  Why?  They just ended up at in front of the other unsorted stacks.

Even though I like baseball, I could see how lots of people wouldn't want to keep buying packs after getting #58.  There are no major stars from any sports and eight of the 24 cards in the set are baseball stadiums - Shea, Busch, Fenway, Memorial (Baltimore), Yankee, Candlestick, Veterans (Philadelphia) and Dodger Stadium.  I don't have any of these cards.

While sorting the cards in this range my cards match what I read about sets 56+ being in shorter supply.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

I've Finished Sorting Sets #001 - #029

I've finally gotten through the first 29 packs of Sportscaster cards.  While I don't have every variation, I am only missing two different cards from all of these sets.

Walter Payton - I think that this card is somewhere in a top loader somewhere in my storage locker.

Dave Kingman - I know that I don't have this card because when I looked it up online I didn't even recognize it.

Getting all of the variations is not a short-term goal, but getting one of each card certainly is my plan.  If you've got these two to trade let me know how we can make a deal.

I'm done sorting decks #60 through #103 since I have a lot less cards from these decks.  I assume that I will have most cards from sets #30 - #59 since I have lots of cards.  My guess is that I will be missing major stars and probably some baseball cards.  More later.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Search Capabilities Added

There is a search function now available for this site.  One can search for a favorite team, sport, athlete, country or anything else that makes sense for you.

Who Else is on The Sportscaster Card? - Post #002

I went through a few an unsorted stack of cards to come up with my second post about others on a Sportscaster card.  It is allowing me to learn more about the player listed and the others in the pictures.

Track and field used to be on television frequently in the 1970s.  As a result, I know most of the runners from that era and many who have had Olympic success after that.  For athletes who starred before that I don't know a lot.  Reading these great bios should be fun and informative.  Hey, I sound like the Sportscaster commercial!

Martin Lauer was a West German sprinter, decathlete and hurdler.  Quite the athlete, he ran a relay (gold medal winners), did the hurdles and the deacathlon in the Olympics.  

The card back tells a great story about the Zurich meet and its suspect timing.  I didn't realize that automatic timing was already being used in 1959.  I know that automatic timing has its own Sportscaster card so I will need to read up on that.  

Hand timing has always been suspect due to inconsistencies.  That is mentioned on the card.  Well, one can still manipulate automatic times.  I don't want to get into the details of that here. 

Laird is shown racing Willie May of the USA.  May won seven Big Ten titles while at Indiana.  He also won a silver medal in the hurdles at the 1960 Olympics as Lauer finished fourth.

The picture doesn't appear to be from the Olympics since May ran the 110-meter hurdles in Rome.  These hurdles are slightly staggered so the event pictured must have included turning.

May coached high school in Evanston, IL for a long time.  He's been regarded as one of the state's best coaches.  I ran against his teams when I was in school and I coached against him in his last year before retiring.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Who Else is On The Sportscaster Card? - Post #001

I like the cards that show more than just the player pictured.  I decided to learn more about the photos to try to figure out who else was depicted on the card.

I was reminded of that plan today while sorting some of my new Sportscaster cards.  I was reading Peter Snell's card and about his three gold medals in the 1960 and 1964 Olympics.  The photo showed him finishing a race and the caption mentioned that it was in the 1964 Olympics.

I decided to figure out who the other two guys in the photo were.  The back of the card didn't mention it so I went online and found out that it was a first-round race in the 1500m.  Snell was fourth behind Tom O'Hara of the USA who was third and Stig Lindback of Sweden was fifth.   Volker Tolzer of Austria was 6th.  Only the top four qualified for the semi-finals.  Neither O'Hara nor Lindback appear on their own card in the USA set.  

Wait, Tom O'Hara?  He's one of the few famous athletic alums from the school that employs me.  He was a former world-record holder in the mile (3:56.4 indoors), having held that record for just over 10 years.  A few years ago he accompanied the boys' team to a meet in Washington, DC.  

For those who might be interested in running progressions, O'Hara was only a 4:20 miler in high school.  I don't know if he ever held the high school's record in the mile, but by 1981 the record was 4:14 (1600m, which is just over 1 second shorter).  In the last four years three more runners from that team, which I don't coach, have run under 4:14.  

Without doing any more research it appears as though O'Hara is no better than fifth on his high school's list of top milers.  And he went on to set a world Record!  I will try to see if the current coaches know where he stands on the all-time list. 

Update - earlier this year the same high school had another alum break 4:00 for the mile.  I don't know how many other schools have two guys on that list, but it can't be many.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Sportscaster Card Commercial

I'm not much of a YouTube user but I did search for a Sportscaster card commercial.  I don't remember seeing this commercial as a kid but I was a subscriber for about a year so maybe I did see it.

Here is a link to one commercial for these cards.  I don't know if they created others.

1978 Sportscaster Commercial

"For all of you youngest out there", as Steve Stone likes to say, when the dad got up, walked to the television and turned it off there was a reason for it.  The reason - that's how televisions worked.  One also had to get up and walk to the television if you wanted to change channels.

Monday, December 12, 2016

My Second Sportscaster Autograph

Fosbury appeared at the National more than once.  I was able to give autographed Sportscaster cards to all of the people I coach with who are old enough to appreciate the cards.  

The second time there was an Olympic pavilion at the National Bob Beamon was also present.  We waited to talk with him until there wasn't a crowd.  That allowed us to talk with him for a while and get a few autographs.  

FYI - I paid for the Beamon autograph but that allowed me to get a few items signed.  That $10 now stands as the most I've ever paid for an autograph.  There was no charge for the inscription - "29-2 1/2 1968" which I didn't even ask for anyhow.  I do like that he included it.  

This is the picture that really captures the amazing feat.  Beamon broke the World Record by over 21 inches and won the event by well over two feet.  Even if altitude and wind were considered to assist his jump it still is amazing that no one else took advantage of the conditions - it was the Olympics and no one was boycotting!

Mike Powell now holds the record, having surpassed Beamon by jumping 29-4.4 in 1991.  No one else has surpassed Beamon's mark.  

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Gold Medal and A Flop - All in One

I was driving to a running trail recently and I saw something I've never seen before and I doubt that I will see again.  At a stoplight a cyclist crossed in front of me.  She appeared to be quite serious - nice bike, appropriate clothing and helmet and she was riding on a trail normally used by serious weekend warriors.

Everything seemed normal except that there was a 16-inch parrot or similar bird on her handlebars.  I assumed that it was just a stuffed animal of some kind until I saw it start moving around.  Was it really a bird?  I probably will never know but my next thought was "why isn't it wearing a helmet"?

I enjoy watching the Tour de France but I don't have any autographs of Sportscaster cycling cards.  My first autographed card from this set came from a few promotions done at the National Card show.  In an effort to pump up the Olympics the National had a separate wing of the show for dealers who focused on Olympic memorabilia.

There was lots of cool stuff both times that the National had this wing dedicated to Olympic memorabilia.  The problem was that there weren't many customers walking through that section.  My son and I walked through there a bunch of time and bought a few cheap items.

One of their best promotions was having Dick Fosbury show up and sign autographs.  For those who don't know, Fosbury revolutionized the high jump by jumping over the bar while facing away from it.  I realize that he wasn't the first one to do this, but the style of jumping is called the "Fosbury Flop" so I will say that his technique is what made the jump standard operating procedure at all levels of track and field.

Since there was rarely much of a line for his autograph we waited until he wasn't busy so we could chat with him for a while and get him to autograph a few Sportscaster cards.  Not only did he let me son hold his gold medal from 1968, he also had his original jumping shoe that was designed by his coach.  What made the shoe interesting was that Fosbury quickly admitted that the shoe design did not work at all.

The shoe was odd since there was just one spike in the spike plate and it was in the middle of the shoe.  I think I have a picture of it, but I will need to search for this since it was about eight years ago.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

My Sorting Challenge - Sportscaster Cards

These cards are slow to sort.  They are so much more condition sensitive and the thin stock makes it difficult to move through cards quickly.

Did I mention how small the card number is on the back?  Without good light I've got to work hard to see the numbers.  Sixes look like eights frequently.

These boxes are full of Sportscaster cards.  By a quick estimate, I must have between 15,000 - 20,000 cards.  Lots of these thin cards fit into size 12 Nike boxes.

I will keep updating the variations that I find, but this might not end until I retire someday.  Maybe I should stop buying them so that I can get organized?  Not likely.

Update - this picture is missing all cards that I haven't gotten to sorting the first time.  That would be sets 30 - 59, which take up another four boxes.  I also am missing a box with some unopened packs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Has Anyone Seen a Sportscaster Card Like This?

I've got thousands of these cards and this one stands out as unique in my collection.   Rosie Mittermaier won three medals at the 1976 Olympics including two gold ones.  Her Sportscaster card sure makes her look like a world champion.

That's great, but that's not the reason I am showing this card.  Check out the back of the card.

 Somehow the image from the front got printed on the back and it is behind the text.  It looks great.  They should have done this with the entire set to make the back more interesting.  Would that have been too costly?

I have multiples of her cards and no other ones show this print defect.  Has anyone else since cards like this?  I would love to get some of the track and field set with something like this on the back.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Baseball Was Certainly Sportscaster King in the 1970s

With Sportscaster cards everyone wants to know about Bird, Magic and Gretzky.  No other cards seem to grab that much attention.  That is fine, but when buying lots or trying to assemble sets it becomes apparent that baseball was king in the late 1970s.

I'm still sorting these cards and I probably will be forever since they are slow to sort for a variety of reasons.  Most of what I have came from bulk purchases.  In every set (pack/series) I have far less baseball cards than any of the other sports.  

In the high-numbered series I am still missing most of the baseball players.  I'll need to come up with a checklist so I can find a way to trade for these cards.  

A few of my cards come from packs that I got in the 1970s when I subscribed for the first year or so.  Others come from packs I purchased recently, like the Musial above.  Rarely when I bought in bulk did the cards include baseball ones.  Luckily the track ones tended to all be there.

Does anyone have extras of the baseball cards?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I Love Sportscaster Cards...I Hate Sportscaster Cards...I Love Sportscaster Cards

I can't resist buying cheap lots of Sportscaster cards, especially when there are lots of track and field cards.  This lot of about 200 cards was all track and field so I grabbed it.

This was a great lot with lots of high numbered cards.   I new in advance that the three most popular cards weren't included but that was okay.

What is not to love?  Now I've got probably two thousand unsorted cards and I'll need to sort them and see which ones are (a) from different print runs that I am chasing and (b) variations from previous print runs.

I still haven't finished sorting the cards that I'd accumulated before 2016 so I'm guessing it will go on forever.