The purple and yellow pennant containing the player name and position is at least a different color combo than what the Colts had been getting. Sideline and pregame shots dominated. The Bert Jones card is one of my favorites if I don't think too hard about the era it represents.
The card backs were fairly easy to read with the blue and gold motif. The players got stats, a fact blurb, and vital info. Some cards also had a team stat or record depending on whether or not the player stats allowed for the space.
The team leader card didn't have a checklist in the back this time. They listed the team's 1981 game-by-game results. Not pleasant reading for Colts' fans. On a positive note the Colts beat the Pats to open and close the season! The checklists were now back to being the traditional kind with the entire set listed on four cards which were the finals numbers in the set.
Another year, another set of Fleer. By now everyone knows the drill....two cards showcasing the team, one for each of the Super Bowls they played in.
Topps produced another sticker set in '82. this one had yellow borders. Nothing out of the ordinary here.
This is my favorite '82 Colts item. I wasn't aware of these until I began this project. The players are 'generic' but the artwork is pretty good. The poster unfolds to about 8x10 inches.
I've scanned and posted the back of the poster even though it's hard to read. There is a Super Bowl 'Sweepstakes' that takes up most of it. These posters were issued for all the NFL teams (I assume) and can be found for less than $10. Mine was very cheap because it has a stain. But from the front you really don't even notice it as it appears to be part of the artwork.
The last set of Baltimore Colts as issued by Topps were simple and, at least to my eye, attractive. No more pennants or banners. Just the team name that didn't overwhelm the photo and a name/position box. Red and yellow returned as the Colts' accent color. There were just eleven Colts cards including the leaders card. Topps had cut the set back to less than 400 cards. No Colts were featured on league leaders or season highlights cards. The checklists were once again at the end of the set and were not team specific.
The End of the Line
The spring of 1983 had brought the John Elway draft fiasco to Colt fans and it cast a pall over the season. But Colt fans hadn't seen the worst of it. Not by a long shot. Fulfilling the rumors that had swirled through Baltimore for years, in the early morning of March 29, 1984 the Colts snuck off to Indianapolis in Mayflower vans packed by members of U of Maryland's Sigma Chi fraternity. The amazing story of that move is chronicled here. And thus ended the life of my revered Baltimore Colts. I was working nights at the now defunct Houston Post in those days. I'll always remember my wife waking me up to watch the story as it was being reported on the Today Show.
This Baltimore Colts' card history project was conceived as a two post 'epic'. I was going to show one card from each year's set and be done with it. But after picking up so many interesting cards, particularly from the 50s and 60s, I knew that I wanted to do more. And along the way I kept coming up with inserts and oddball issues that grabbed my attention. I included them even if no one else had much interest.
I'm not done quite yet. I have added quite a few additional items to my Baltimore Colts binder and I'll post them in the future.