Monthly Archives: November 2014
Since unloading the majority of my collection this past summer, I have been very hesitant to jump back into collecting. I have picked up a few signed AFL cards, my old standby, but I haven’t purchased any memorabilia. I suspect the main reason is that I once had such a large collection that it is an odd feeling to start almost completely over. Still, I love the old AFL, and routinely look around for items that I would enjoy.
I recall speaking with Lance Alworth one day, discussing his football career. We talked about the 1963 Chargers, his teammates, opponents, different occurrences during his career, and his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978. At one point I asked Lance what the greatest moment was during his career. His response was quick, concise, and without room for argument.
“The greatest moment of my career,” he recalled, “was when Namath and the Jets won Super Bowl III because it was a win for the entire AFL.”
George Blair was a Chargers defensive back and kicker from 1961-1964. He was a member of the Chargers “Seven Bandits” defensive backfield that set a record with 49 interceptions in 1961; Blair had two himself that season, and five in his career.
In 2007, the field at Laurel high School in Laurel, Mississippi, was renamed “George Blair Field.” An article was recently written about Blair, the field, and Blair’s post-playing career as a high school football coach at his alma mater.
Every so often I will get a request from a reader to post a guest article to Tales. Some articles are stat-driven, others are simply fond remembrance pieces. This story by Jim Tal Evans is more of a football biography of his friend, and former AFL quarterback, Val Keckin. Like with many other journeyman players, Keckin’s story is fascinating in all of the areas of football history that he touched. Sit back with a cup of coffee, and have a look. It’s a long one, but well-worth the read!
As a collector of autographed card sets, there is little opportunity for me to be creative with my collection. Basically, if a former player or coach is pictured on a card, then I try to get it autographed. I have had better success that I could have honestly hoped for in this endeavor, and I am missing fewer than 25 cards out of a possible 1,278.
Yet even with this rate of completion, there are literally hundreds of AFL personalities that never had their own card produced. It seems a shame for men such as Sonny Werblin, Lamar Hunt, Al Davis and Mack Lee Hill to not be represented in an AFL collection simply because of a lack of trading cards. This is where the 1964 Topps team cards become so valuable, and allow for my collection to be grown exponentially.