Category Archives: San Diego Chargers

Swapping Stories with Charlie Charger, an American Football League Mascot

charlie charger

George Gross, Scott Appleton, Ron Billingsley, Houston Ridge and Steve DeLong clown around with Paul Fisher (Charlie Charger).

charlie charger

1968 Chargers ticket with Charlie Charger character.

It has been a week since the Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles.  San Diego has been very anti-Chargers since, and understandably so.  But while I can easily write off the current ownership, I cannot cast away the organization in its entirety.  Nor would I want to.  The (first) Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers were the flagship organization in the early years of the American Football League, and while they won fewer games later in the decade, they were no less entertaining.  Hadl to Alworth, Hubbard and Post, hard-hitting Kenny Graham, and the acrobatics of Paul Fisher.

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The Chargers Have Left the Building…

I was born in San Diego.  I grew up with Dan Fouts throwing to John Jefferson, Chuck Muncie diving over piles into the end zone, and Louie Kelcher eating quarterbacks for lunch.  In later years I watched some very good, and also some very bad Chargers football.  I have written books about the team, collected their memorabilia, reorganized the team photo archive (twice), redecorated the team offices, interviewed more than 100 former players, authenticated their game used memorabilia for NFL Auctions, answered questions about team history for their own PR office, contributed to their 50th Anniversary DVD, and more that I have likely forgotten.  Needless to say, the Chargers leaving my hometown has made an impression on me today.

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Chasing Bambi – Collecting the Chargers’ Lance Alworth

Sports cards and memorabilia have played a large role in my life, and I consider myself fortunate to make a living working in and around my hobby.  This past year has been spent writing a lot about trading card sets and athletes of all sports, though my favorite subjects remain AFL-related.

Last month I wrote a piece about collecting cards and memorabilia of Chargers great, Lance Alworth.  The article ran in our company magazine, The Sports Market Report.

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So Long, George…

George Pernicano, minority owner of the San Diego Chargers, and personality extraordinaire, passed away last week at age 98, after a long illness.  For those that knew him, George Pernicano was larger than life – all five-foot nothing of him.  But what he lacked in stature, he more than made up with in personality, fun, stories and food.  George Pernicano was a legend in these parts, and his shoes must just be put away forever, as they could never possibly be filled.

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A Frank Buncom Discovery – 1969 Topps

frank buncom

1965 Topps

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.

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