Month: May 2014

Worst Sports Cards Ever #2: MacArthur Lane (Topps 1972)

Worst Sports Cards Ever #2: MacArthur Lane (Topps 1972)

Ephemera, Sports
In my Worst Sports Cards Ever series, I look at the good, the bad and the ugly from the long and spotty history of sports trading cards. --- I can only imagine that few things sent trading card companies into a tizzy like an offseason trade. I'm sure the lead time needed to pull off a nice-looking card is pretty lengthy; especially so in the pre-digital days. So what happens when a player switches teams and a company such as, say, Topps has to scramble at the 11th hour to reflect that change? You get a card like #151 from the Topps 1972 NFL set, for running back MacArthur Lane. It seems likely that Topps was all ready to go in early 1972 with an image of Lane with his then-current team, the St. Louis Cardinals. But then he was traded to the Green Bay Packers in February of
Pennant Fever #3: 1966 Atlanta Falcons

Pennant Fever #3: 1966 Atlanta Falcons

Auction Finds, Football Friday, Sports
Since their founding in 1966, the Atlanta Falcons have maintained a fairly consistent brand identity. Sure, colors change and logos are modified, but the basic look has remained intact. So that's why I was surprised to see this pennant on eBay, purportedly from the team's inaugural season. Almost nothing from this pennant seems to have found its way into the team's branding, apart from the shade of red. That makes me wonder if this wasn't produced before the logo and wordmark for the team was ever made public. I don't know what the lead time was for pennant manufacturing but I'm guessing this is the case. Another possible explanation is that this was a prototype logo that lost out to the now-familiar one. Either way, it's another fascinating piece of 1960s NFL memorabilia. ...
Airline Memories #1: Piedmont Airlines Ticket Jacket, 1969

Airline Memories #1: Piedmont Airlines Ticket Jacket, 1969

Ephemera
In Airline Memories, I share aviation items and curiosities from the long history of commercial flight. You'll see everything from ephemera to souvenirs and other branded items from various U.S. airlines. If you have a request or anything else to share, leave a comment or contact me directly. Today I have a circa 1969 ticket jacket from Piedmont Airlines. Piedmont was at one time one of the biggest and most successful regional carriers in the U.S., and was eventually bought by USAir in 1989.
A Gallery of Vintage Gas Pump Globes

A Gallery of Vintage Gas Pump Globes

Advertising, Auction Finds
Gas station patrons born around my time or later have probably never encountered a legitimate gas pump globe in action. But for years, these beauties adorned the top of vintage gas station pumps across the country. Each one was designed to advertise something, usually a brand of gas or an oil company, but sometimes automakers as well. They were everywhere from the early days of 20th century motoring, but began to disappear by the 1960s, as high-quality lighting and large signage was easier to obtain. What I have here is a gallery of some of the most attractive gas pump globe designs I've come across. I can't vouch for which ones of these are authentic or just reproductions, but the point here is to appreciate just how much style and thought went into something most motorists took for...
Worst Sports Cards Ever #1: Brad Mills (Fleer 1982)

Worst Sports Cards Ever #1: Brad Mills (Fleer 1982)

Ephemera, Sports
Former Montreal Expos infielder Brad Mills played in the Big Leagues for just 106 games over four seasons but has enjoyed a long coaching career since. In fact, I think it's safe to say that the most memorable thing to come from his playing career is this 1982 Fleer baseball card, capturing him in what was probably a common position. I don't know if you could consider Mills to have been an integral part of the Expos' improbably run to the 1981 NLCS, but thanks to him no gum went unchewed.
Gorgeous American Airlines 1964-65 World’s Fair Poster

Gorgeous American Airlines 1964-65 World’s Fair Poster

Ephemera
I don't think I need many words with this, other than a brief description. This is a travel poster commissioned by American Airlines, and drawn by Henry Bencrathy, for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. There's not much else to say other than that this is a stunner. Wow. Quite obviously, the focal point of this poster is the Unisphere, which I just happen to have visited recently as part of a trip to the site of the New York State Pavilion. (More great vintage ephemera awaits!)
Kodachrome Memories #2: Eastern Air Lines at Washington National Airport, 1960

Kodachrome Memories #2: Eastern Air Lines at Washington National Airport, 1960

Photography
Normally I wouldn't post such a blurry image -- and believe me I cleaned this up in Photoshop quite a bit -- but sometimes it's all about the image. In this case we have an excellent glimpse at American aviation at the mid-century point. It's a Kodachrome slide of a group of Eastern Air Lines planes on the tarmac at Washington National Airport, circa 1960. Click for a full-size version. Not being an aviation expert I couldn't tell you with 100 percent certainty what kind of plane is seen here. But based on the rather elongated, sweeping tail fin and pronounced nose cone, as well as on the types of planes likely to be in service at this time, I'm going to say we're looking at a Convair 340 (possibly a 440). If any aviation buffs care to correct me, feel free to do so!
The Sporting Life #2: Bruins vs. Canadiens, Mid-1960s

The Sporting Life #2: Bruins vs. Canadiens, Mid-1960s

Photography, Sports
One of the great rivalries in sports is set to resume tonight when the Boston Bruins face off against the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Semifinal round. It's the first time these two storied teams -- each one of the ten best NHL franchises of all-time -- have met each other in the playoffs since 2011, and the 10th time overall. Boston has yet to lose a playoff series to the Habs since their first meeting in 1929. In honor of the rivalry I thought I'd share some more great 35mm color action shots by Arthur Rickerby. I don't have an exact date for this game, but based on the uniform research I conducted here I'd say it took place sometime during the 1965-66 or 1966-67 season. The only player I can say with certainty I can identify is legendary Bruins goa