Saturday, March 30, 2013

SCORING IN THE FINAL: World Cup Heroes # 2

In this second installment of heroes who have scored in the World Cup Final, comes cards from the underrated German BERGMANN FUSSBALL series.
The heart of these early Bundesliga sets is the nucleus of German and Bayern Munich stars. The current German professional league only began in 1963. One of the first card sets was the 1965-66 Bergmann Fussball series.
The cards are on heavier stock and sized very close to modern standard baseball cards.
The making of a dynasty - the 1965 Bergmann Bayern Munich Team card.
The set contains mostly player portrait pictures with a few posed action shot. Also included are some excellent team photos (see above). The set marks the cardboard debut of Germany's finest generation in Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier (Bayern) and Berti Vogts (Borussia Munchengladbach).
Another Bayern youngster that would go on to stardom was "Der Bomber" GERD MULLER.

Gerd Muller makes his card debut in the 1965 Bergmann.
Muller would set the world on fire by becoming the top scorer at the Mexico 1970 World Cup - with 10 goals.
He would amass 68 goals in just 62 appearences for Germany.
He broke all records in European and club scoring with 487 tallies in 555 top division matches.
He scored the winning goal for Germany in the 1974 World Cup Final.
1974 World Cup Star.
Here are some high lights of Der Bomber - complete with "um-pah-pah" music.
The 1970 European Footballer of the Year held nearly every scoring record in the World Cup and European Club play until the Brazilian Ronaldo and the Argentine Lionel Messi's recent successes.

I was able to pick up 4 of these Bergmann cards, all featuring Bayern Munich, for a very small price.
Notes: Last week's entry - PELE' - and this week's candidate - GERD MULLER, both finished their careers in America. Pele with the New York Cosmos, and Muller with the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. Both clubs currently compete in the USA's 2nd professional division - North American Soccer League.

Monday, March 25, 2013


As my pursuit of the Football League 100 greatest players nears to completion, I am acquiring other "subsets" that reflect the glory of the game. Nothing is more famed then those player cards that depict the heroes that come through on the biggest stages - The Championship Final.
One of the Greatest who appeared in 4 World Cups including scoring in two of them was PELE'. The Brazilian was one of the early Latin American stars to appear on trading cards OUTSIDE his country.
Pele was featured on the series of cards produced by  Swedish Magazine REKORD. The cards were initially part of the front cover and designed to be cut out. The backs have a short biography and a dotted line space for an autograph re-enforcing the concept of being collector cards.
Pele is pictured on the cover of this 1960 issue while other players on the trading card.
Pele shares one of his earliest cards with another Brazilian legend Garrincha. Both superstars are identified with their full give names - not their adopted footballing name. However, Pele's name is correctly - (Edison Arantes do Nascimento).

Garrincha shares Pele's debut international card.
The original cover that included the Pele card had a boxer on the cover.

I recently acquired the Rekord Pele card to begin a collection of players that scored in a World Cup Final.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Epic Fail: Upper Deck Blows History

Sometimes you only have one chance to record history. So when the opportunity arrises, you better be ready.
When Upper Deck produced their first soccer cards in 1993, like many American collectors, I was excited. The Preview set was followed up with the 1994 issue which was released the year that the USA hosted the Men's FIFA World Cup.
1994 Upper Deck Team card of the World Champion starting XI.
The beginning of a practice of including women's soccer cards as a subset to the men began in 1994. What better subject to include than the reigning Women's World Cup Champions - USA ?
Fast forward almost 20 years to 2013 and the 100th anniversary of US Soccer. At a recent Women's National Team match I met up with one of the World Cup winners - LINDA HAMILTON.

Linda Hamilton with the inaugural set of Women's soccer cards. 
Hamilton, know as the "Terminator" for her tough defensive play,  had already stamped her mark on the game by the time the actress with the same name starred in the Terminator movies.
Linda was one of the last cards in the subset that I had not gotten signed. I now only need April  Heinrichs (below) to autograph her card.

During our conversations she related the story of Upper Deck and the missing card fiasco. A closer examination of the subset of the World Champion U.S. Women, we find that the company released 10 player cards and one team picture card (see top).
Of the starting 11, sadly, Shannon Higgins was omitted. There was no reason other than Upper Deck had only planned for 11 cards in the set. With the inclusion of the team card, one World Cup winner would have to be left out. Stupid.
It is no surprise that within a year Upper Deck lost the rights to print the US Women's cards.  A trend that has contunued as they have lost license after license. The company has waned in quality and service ever since.
I have been fortunate to land 9 of the 10 players autographs from the very first Woman's World Cup winners. Thanks to good penmenship, these cards look great.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mail Day: Das Post - 2013 TOPPS Fussball

The most redeeming part of blogging is connecting with fellow or new collectors. My latest connection crosses over the Atlantic to Armed Service Member - Noel.  Noel began like many of us collecting baseball cards. Today, he is an avid collector of vintage soccer and a pretty good one at that. His want list is one to drool over.
2012-2013 Topps Match Attax pack
He sent me a package with the lastest Bundesliga (German Premier League soccer) cards and stickers. I got 4 packs of Topps Match Attax (above).
A good assortment of clubs and type cards were in the packs including foil cards of the "100 Club", a "Team Crest" and "Match Winner" (all middle row above).
Two Americans - Williams and Jones
I was happy to pull two current U.S. Internationals - Danny Williams (Hoffenheim) and enforcer Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04).
There were 2 packets of Topps stickers (below) which I have not seen since the 1980's football sets. I have yet to open these as I may wait for the sticker album before I rip them.
Front and back of the Topps sticker packets.
Lastly, there were 3 packs of the Panini Uefa Champions League cards. I say you just can't go wrong with this set. They are filled with all the big club teams of Europe and there are players on the lesser known clubs whose cards you will only find in this compellation. I got at least two pack wrapper variations -
Iniesta (Barcelona) / Torres (Chelsea) / John (Nordsjaelland)
Pato (AC Milan) / Hart (Man. City) / Ferdinand (Man. Utd.)
2012-13 Panini Champions League - pack types
As I said, there are no bad packs. I drew Maicon (Porto), Zabaleta (Manchester City) ...
Sanchez (Barcelona), Ribery (Bayern Munich) and Khedira (Real Madrid).
And if I was to wish - the top player to pull in ANY pack these days ...
LIONEL MESSI (Barcelona).
Curriosly, he only rates a "90" on his card. Is there a card for "Superman" ? Because there aren't too many players I know that rate higher.
What current players would you rate higher than the above Messi ?  What number rating would you give them ?

Monday, March 4, 2013

TYPHOO TEA - International Football Stars

One of the best thrills for my generation was going up and down the food store isles and finding products that has the words" FREE inside" on the package. For sports card collectors, this was probably the most common post-war theme after the extinction of the cigarette card.
So while I was collecting Kellogg's and Hostess baseball cards, fellow enthusiasts across the Atlantic were collecting biscut and tea cards. I recently acquired two of these food issues.
TY-PHOO, the Chinese word for doctor, was a brandof tea that produced many trading cards on various subjects. For a 10 year period (1963-1973) they issued soccer cards on the side of their boxes. Like many of the sets from this era, the size of the cards were depedent on the discretion of the person cutting the package.
1969 TyPhoo Tea - International Football Stars - Bobby Charlton
The sets, which almost always consisted of 24 cards, featured the best players from England and the 2 Glasgow clubs of Scotland. Manchester United, European Champions in 1968, led the set with 4 players. Their Captain for club and country was BOBBY CHARLTON who appears as # 57 on the Football League 100 top players.
1 Mike Bailey - Wolverhampton
2 Colin Bell - Manchester City
3 George Best - Manchester United
4 Billy Bremner - Leeds United
5 Bobby Charlton - Manchester United
6 Martin Chivers - Tottenham
7 Charlie Cook - Chelsea
8 Ron Davies - Southampton
9 Mike England - Tottenham
10 Tommy Gemmell - Celtic
11 John Giles - Leeds United
12 John Greig - Rangers
13 Pat Jennings - Tottenham
14 Brian Labone - Everton
15 Rodney Marsh - Queens Park Rangers
16 Bobby Moore - West Ham United
17 Terry Neill - Arsenal
18 Keith Newton - Blackburn Rovers
19 Peter Rodrigues - Leicester City
20 Ian St. John - Liverpool
21 Nobby Stiles - Manchester United
22 Mike Summerbee - Manchester City
23 Ian Ure - Manchester United
24 Graham Williams - West Bromwich Albion
Kellogg's made the jump across the pond when they issued a set of 12 International Football Stars which also included Bobby Charlton (see below).
1961 Kellogg's - International Stars - Bobby Charlton