November 15, 1964 - The Chargers defense swarms over Chiefs running back, Curtis McClinton.
November 6, 1964 - George Blanda drops back against the Patriots defense in Fenway Park.
November 23, 1967 - Daryle Lamonica and the Raiders facing the tough Chiefs defense in Kansas City Municipal Stadium.
I made a significant addition to my card collection recently when I located and purchased an autographed 1965 Topps Jim Perkins card.
Ok, so maybe Jim Perkins isn’t significant to 1965 Topps (or the AFL in general) in the same way as Joe Namath, but for autographed card collectors, this comes along, well… so far, once-in-a-lifetime.
Jim Perkins was born in Loyalton, California, on June 16, 1939. According to the 1964 Denver Broncos media guide, Perkins earned 12 varsity letters at Loyalton High School. He studied business administration at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he was a member of CU’s Big Eight championship teams, and was drafted in the 7th round of the 1962 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and by the Denver Broncos in the 24th round of the AFL Draft of the same year. Perkins earned a starting spot on the Broncos offensive line as a rookie, was single (at least in 1964), and worked as a realtor in the off-season. Beyond that, nothing.
As most everyone has heard by now, the Chargers have been granted the NFL’s blessing to follow the Rams back to Los Angeles. Whether they follow through with that move is up in the air due to Chargers owner Dean Spanos not being granted the opportunity that he had hoped for in Carson. Either way, the possibility of the Chargers leaving San Diego, their home for the last 55 years, has had a profound affect on fans of the team.
George Blanda was one of the great stories of professional football. Twenty-six years in the AFL & NFL will do that. But not only did Blanda endure, he succeeded and late in his career, inspired 40-somethings all over the country with his physical exploits while playing against men literally half his age. While the video above doesn’t necessarily focus strictly on the AFL, Blanda talks about some of his inspirations, and what football meant to him.
I reserve a late post each year for us all to remember those AFL personalities who passed away in the past year. Sadly, we lost many great athletes and men in 2015. Please take a moment to remember the following men, and if you have a story about one-or-more of them, please share it in the comments section below.
January 1 – Bill Keating – Defensive Tackle – Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins – 1966-1967
It has been several years since I’ve received any AFL-related gifts for Christmas, and this year was no different. However, I purchased an autographed trading card on eBay recently, and it arrived in the mail on Christmas Eve, so I’m counting it as a gift to myself.
Collectors of vintage football cards are familiar with the fact that a large number of the players featured in the 1960 Fleer set never actually played in the AFL. The set was produced and released early in the football year, during the AFL’s inaugural season. As a result, player selection for trading cards was a very speculative process, and roughly 25% of the players featured on cards never made their team’s final rosters.