Wednesday, September 21, 2016

1963 Football Cardinals a Much Better Showing

1963 was the Big Red’s 4th season in STL and they were able to bounce back with a 9-5 record which didn’t qualify them for the playoffs.
This would be the 15th consecutive season the Football Cardinals failed to make the playoffs. The ’63 team included Hall of Fame rookie Larry Wilson who spent all 13 years of his career with St. Louis, former Heisman Trophy winner and Hall of Famer John David Crow, who had problems at birth which left him with the left size of his face paralyzed, fellow Texas Aggie Bobby Joe Conrad, rookie and 4 time Pro Bowler Ernie McMillan who played 14 of his 15 years with the Cardinals, and rookie and fan favorite and Hall of Famer Jackie Smith who played 15 of his 16 years with the Big Red, however he didn’t have a Topps card in 1963.

There was only one player in the NFL football card game and that was Topps. This would be Topps last NFL issue until 1968.  The most well known oddball issue of 1963 is that of Kahn’s Wieners which consisted of 5 cards.

Topps issued 12 Cardinal cards (#146-#157) with two variation cards. Topps really threw a touchdown with this design. Each team had the same color frame and in this case it was light blue. Players were framed in blue with a yellow-framed mini box at the bottom with player’s name, team name, and position.

The reverse was pretty straightforward with a light red print on plain cardboard. The card number in the top left corner with the usual information to the right. The reverse also contained a “secret” that was revealed by placing red cellophane over the cartoon that would provide an answer to the question asked.

A few interesting tidbits about the 1963 issue. Charley Johnson’s name was misspelled on the front as Charlie.

There is also the “purple sky” variation, which is thoroughly reviewed and covered at rbwoodenpuzzles.com. The author, whom I can’t identify or give credit to, posted an advertising panel he/she found that happens to show this variation and happens to be Cardinals! There are two Cardinals with this variation-#148 Bobby Joe Conrad and #149 Sonny Randle.

The only oddball issue for 1963 was from Kahn’s Wieners, which were issued in hot dog packages in the Cincinnati area. These “cards” look like team issues, they consist of B&W pictures of players with a facsimile auto  on the front, with Complement’s of Kahn’s “The Wiener the World Awaited”, the reverse has basic player info. St. Louis players in this issue were Bobby Joe Conrad, John David Crow, Jimmy Hill, Sonny Randle, and Bill Stacy.


1963 Completion Stats 3 cards of 12 and two purple sky variations owned.

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