Sort of a subtle but clever design for the Topps set in 1974. The player is framed with a goal post and the players names were below the cross bar. Each team had a unique color combo for the team name box. And of course, we are in the middle of the 'no license' period in which Topps had to airbrush out any official team logos. They could use the team nickname though, unlike the current situation with Panini baseball that only allows the city. Topps was now fully engaged with large football sets with 500+ cards. The Colts had as many as 22 cards not including 'specials' in these sets.
There were no special cards in the set as far as I can tell other than an All-Pro subset of which the Colts had none. Parker Brothers had some sort of NFL-based game this year and it included about 50 cards based on the '74 Topps set. Some of these had completely different pictures as the Topps regular version, some were identical except for slightly different copyright lines. The Colts had one player in that set, Don McCauley whose card had the same photo.
Other than the Parker Brothers game cards I don't know of any inserts, food issues or oddballs that had Baltimore Colts included.
There is a bit more variety in the photos of the 1975 set. Sideline 'candid' shots appeared and portraits with a blue background were there, too. Others seem to be just shots taken in previous camps and holdovers from 1974. There were no horizontal player cards that I see in the set except for the leaders and All Pro cards. The Colts had no All Pros. And a few players were shown in actual game 'action' shots but again, no Colts.
The design isn't exactly inspiring but it has a charm that has had me thinking about collecting the set. It looks better in a binder than it does flipping through a stack of them. That helmet though!
The Colts got red and yellow as a theme, some other teams had crazier ones. The Oilers were stuck with orange and purple.
The backs are different than what came before from Topps. The 'tilted' elements gave them a sort of 3D feel. The info about how the player landed with his club is new as well.
There are two subsets that included a Colt. Lydell Mitchell got a Highlights card.
And he was the AFC receptions leader so he made that card as well. On a side note it's interesting how few receptions could get you on a leaders card in 1975.
Topps went pretty straightforward with the '76 design. A big football contained the team name and the position and players name were next to that. The colors used varied by team as they did each year of these 70s Topps sets. Maybe it's just my diminishing ability to pay attention to detail but these 70s Topps sets all seem to run together. I know because I inserted the '75 Dickel card into this '76 part of the post and hadn't noticed it until I was labeling them. Sigh.
The Leaders cards are horizontal, the rest vertical. A new subset of Record Breakers appeared but there were no Colts involved.
Doughty with the standard issue Afro.
The long wavy look for Bert Jones, the Ruston Rifle.
Love the Dan Dickel 'look'. I wore my hair like this. Now I wish I had some of it back.
The quiz box on some of the cards asks you to ID a player who appears on a card among that team's players. The answer is given on the back of the checklist card (see below).
This year the checklists were were back to being numbered and issued in the packs. The reverse had the team leaders for the previous few seasons.
But the offer to order all of the checklists was there on the back, too. And the line between the 'boxes' on the back solves the 'Mystery Colt" quiz. It's John Dutton, #130.
The receiving leaders card had to squeeze in three players because Lydell Mitchell and Reggie Rucker tied for the AFC lead with 60 catches each. That card had some serious Afro hair styles going on!
1976 Fleer Team Action Sticker/Cards
These 'cards' were actually stickers and you could peel the fronts off and put them on your school binder. Fleer issued these things continuously through at least 1983 which is where I end this Baltimore Colts Project. The fabulous Fleer Sticker Project Blog contains way more info than I need to present here.
Fleer could show the logos and helmets as noted, but using the names of the players was not allowed (NFLPA held the rights to those) so the cards have a very generic 'feel'.
The pattern for these things varied very little over the years. There were two 'team action' cards and one for each Super Bowl. Even the numbering on these was consistent with only the addition of expansion teams (Falcons and Saints) pushed the numbering along. I have roughly half of the Fleer cards for '76-'83.
And also from Fleer there were various and sundry 'cloth' stickers. Check-listing these things is a difficult task. Again, the Fleer Sticker Project blog delves into them and once I've completed the standard cards I'll attempt to figure out what I have. I am pretty certain that this one is from 1976.
The sticker next to a regular card to show the size.
There were a
Finally the makers of Popsicle products put these credit card-style cards into retail boxes. They are made out of thin plastic. One of each team with the Giants having a logo variation as well. Not hard to find these and they come pretty inexpensively. Obviously the license used was similar to the Fleer one and no player names are used.
The mid-70s Colts cards are fun if a bit subdued. Only the period's hair styles really jump out at you. And at least for the Colts' cards there are no expensive cards at all. "Every Colt a common!" would be a good title for this post.
Finally, this isn't a Colt card but hey, it's an awesome '76 football card being awesome!