1961 Golden Tulip San Diego Chargers

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The complete set of 1961 Golden Tulip Chargers cards consists of 22 cards.  The cards, which measured 2″x3″ and were distributed in the San Diego area, came inserted into bags of Golden Tulip Potato Chips, one card per bag.  Though the cards were housed in a cellophane sleeve, most are found today with oil stains from the greasy chips.

The two most-prized cards in the set are of quarterback Jack Kemp, and hall of fame tackle, Ron Mix.  The other players in the set are Ron Botchan, Howard Clark, Fred Cole, Sam DeLuca, Orlando Ferrante, Charlie Flowers, Dick Harris, Emil Karas, Dave Kocourek, Bob Laraba, Paul Lowe, Paul Maguire, Charlie McNeil, Ron Nery, Don Norton, Volney Peters, Don Rogers, Maury Schleicher, Ernie Wright and Bob Zeman.  Botchan, Ferrante, Laraba, Schleicher and Zeman were never featured on regular-issue Topps or Fleer cards, and thus the Golden Tulip issue represents a rare opportunity to find them on cards.

The backs of all Golden Tulip cards are identical, and advertise a contest to win tickets to Chargers games.  Additionally, they speak of an opportunity to receive an 8″x10″ photo of Chargers players.  By mailing in five cards of a particular player, you would then receive back your 8″x10″ photo of the same player.  These blank-backed photos, now referred to as Golden Tulip Premiums, are exceedingly rare, and amongst the most desired of all regional AFL issues.

Todd Tobias (766 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.


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