Category Archives: Frank Buncom
I posted recently after learning a bit about the 1967 Milton Bradley football cards. Since then I’ve picked up more information about another AFL trading card, one which I thought that I already knew all about – the 1969 Topps Frank Buncom.
Those that have been visiting this site for a while know that I have a particular fondness for Frank Buncom. While living, Buncom was a great linebacker, and by all accounts an even better person. I have come to know his grandson, Frank Buncom IV, who now plays for Stanford, and I can say without hesitation that he is an equally special individual. My interest in Buncom the ballplayer naturally (for me, anyway) translated into an interest in Buncom the collectible, and while he is pictured on five 1960s Topps cards, I needed one of each for my autographed sets.
This summer has been busy for me, and I’m sorry to say that it had a direct effect on my AFL postings. Youth lacrosse, freshman football, and much more have had my head swimming. But I’m here today, with a fun, feel-good AFL collecting story that occurred over the course of my summer.
I’ve been collecting sports cards for 37 years now, since getting an unopened box of 1978 Topps baseball cards as a gift from my father at the age of five. Since then I’ve been fortunate to have several interesting card-based experiences in my life, though perhaps none have been as unexpected as a situation leading up to my obtaining an autographed copy of Frank Buncom’s 1967 Topps football card.
We have spent several posts over the last year touting the research and writing of Finding Frank, a wonderful new book about former AFL star, Frank Buncom. As many of you know, the book was the culmination of a promise made to Buncom’s memory by Chargers ball boy-turned-author, Buzz Ponce, some 40+ years ago. It is a truly fantastic story that goes well beyond the confines of a typical football biography. Along the lines of The Cookie That Did Not Crumble, by Chris Garbarino, Finding Frank is a gripping human interest story cloaked inside a football wrapper.
Back in October I was asked by a local news station to meet Frank James Buncom IV, the grandson of the former Chargers and Bengals linebacker, and show him some memorabilia that pertained to his grandfather. It was a wonderful experience to meet this young man, who is upholding his grandfather’s high standards by being an outstanding football player while maintaining a high grad point average, and being a very respectful young man. The news clip aired in the Fall of 2012, but I was just recently able to view it. I have a feeling that we will one day be hearing the name “Frank Buncom,” in NFL stadiums throughout the country.
Author Buzz Ponce treated Tales from the American Football League readers to excerpts from his upcoming book, Finding Frank: Full Circle in a Life Cut Short. Now Ponce is treating us again, this time to an opportunity to order author-signed copies of his fantastic tale, and at a rate lower than you will find in stores or anywhere on the internet!
AFL fans can now get their own author-signed copies of Finding Frank for just $7.99 + shipping. That is a whopping $6.00 off the cover price!