Monthly Archives: May 2012

Channel 10 News talks to about Tales from the American Football League

A few weeks back, Steve Smith, sports anchor at Channel 10 News in San Diego came out to view my AFL collection and talk about Tales from the American Football League.  He put together the video clip above that ran on a 6:00 news broadcast.  Enjoy!

San Diego’s Balboa Stadium

Balboa Stadium

The stadium as it looked in November, 1961.

Balboa Stadium, on the campus of San Diego High School, was built as part of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which was held in nearby Balboa Park.  The stadium officially opened on May 31, 1915, and was originally called City Stadium, a name that stuck through 1939.  Fans had wanted a flashier name for the stadium, and “Balboa” stuck after ’39.  In addition to the sporting events that were tied to the high school, Balboa Stadium hosted civic events, concerts, midget auto racing, barnstorming baseball tours, semi-professional football games and countless other public displays.  Some of the highlights included a speech by President Woodrow Wilson, a celebratory event honoring Charles Lindbergh, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig visiting during their famed 1927 barnstorming tour, and concerts by The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix. read more

Earl Faison & Curtis McClinton – 1963 AFL All-Star Game MVP’s

All-Star Game MVPs

Earl Faison (86) and Curtis McClinton (32) receive their All-Star Game MVP Awards from Bob Breitbard.

On January 13, 1963, the AFL’s Eastern and Western Division All-Star Squads met on a chilly 49-degree afternoon in San Diego’s Balboa Stadium.  The squads, filled out with the best that the American Football League had to offer, fought to a 21-14 end, with the West winning their second consecutive all-star match.  The Most Valuable Player honors went to the Dallas Texans running back, Curtis McClinton, and San Diego Chargers defensive end, Earl Faison. read more

What are your Favorite AFL Football Cards?

I have long been a collector of bubble gum cards.  Yes, I said “bubble gum” cards, and not trading cards, because most of the cards from the eras that I collect came with a stick of bubble gum.  I was born in the early 1970s, so I didn’t have the opportunity to open packs of AFL cards when I was a kid.  The first football packs that I ever opened were from the 1979 Topps set, and living in San Diego, if you got a John Jefferson card in a pack, then that gave you some serious street cred for at least a few days. read more

Big Tom Sestak of the Buffalo Bills

Autographed 1963 Fleer Tom SestakThe Buffalo Bills selected Tom Sestak with their 17th-round choice in the 1962 AFL draft.  Sestak had played tight end at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, but when he arrived at his first training camp weighing 275 lbs of pure muscle, the Bills coaching staff moved him to defensive tackle.  The shift in position proved to be a wise move, as Sestak became an instant force on the Bills defensive line, where he was equally adept at rushing the passer and playing against the run. read more