Foreign football cards
While trying to find a Turk Schonert football card (and failing…do any exist?), I made an interesting discovery. I stumbled across this article on boston.com mentioning Schonert, and displaying this non-Schonert card, which looks like a 1987 Topps issue, but there are some small differences.
Underneath the team banner, there is a small strip that says “1000 Yard Club,” and the Patriots logo is shown in a circle in the bottom right corner. I have never seen a card like this before, and I hate not knowing stuff, so I started scouring the internet for information. A Google image search for “1987 Topps Stanley Morgan” produced two main results: Morgan’s 1987 base card with a different photo, and Morgan’s 1987 glossy 1000 Yard Club insert card with the same photo as the card to the right. Surely no one went to all the trouble to switch out the photos, add a strip under the team name, and add the team logo to the front of the card, did they?
In 1987, Topps released a set of American football cards for the UK market with these variations and a slightly smaller size. There were only a few cards per team (88 cards total) and some of the cards do feature the same photo as their North American counterparts, while others trade out the regular photo for the glossy insert photo. The card backs are different as well, showing only the previous year’s statistics, facts about the player, and some information about the game of football. For instance, Rueben Mayes‘ card educates the UK collector about the “power sweep” play.
You can pick up a complete set on eBay for only $69.99, or hand-pick your favorites from sportlots.com; many of them can be had for as low as eighteen cents plus shipping (click on the “football” radio button and search for “1987 Topps American/UK”). Had I made this discovery a week ago, I would have purchased the four Bengals included in the set: Boomer Esiason, James Brooks, Cris Collinsworth, and Tim McGee.
But no Turk Schonert.
I feel a “fun card” coming on.