1960 was a great year for football cards as it ushered in a decade where collectors could buy two different football card sets. Two football leagues were now vying for fans across America as the fledging American Football League brought their wide open play to the Gridiron that fall. And two different card manufactures, Topps and Fleer each has a small 132 card set for the season. Fleer's first venture into the football card market produced a colorful American Football League set of players and coaches. The 132 card set is driven by some great football Hall of Fame players which include the legendary Jack Kemp and his rookie card with the Los Angeles Chargers, Head Coach of the New York Titans, Sammy Baugh and the ageless Houston Oiler George Blanda. The set also has the Texans/Chiefs Coach Hank Stram's rookie card in it along with Charger great Ron Mix. Since the set is small and affordable in my opinion it can be completed in Excellent-Near Mint condition at a reasonable price with some searching. The packs also had an insert of a decal which pictured the logo of all nine teams. This insert set is tough to find as how many collectors actually kept them rather than sticking them to their notebooks back then. American Football league fans love this set as it was the initial pure football card set for the league. It brought to life this new league and in my collecting opinion help to give the new league credibility and attention to the kids buying the five cent packs of cards made by Fleer.
The Topps set that year featured 132 card also but of the National Football League players. All of the established NFL teams were featured along with a team card, except for the new Dallas Cowboys, that pictured each team and a card checklist on the back of the card. Great NFL Hall of Fame players are featured in this set. They include the classic #1 card in the series, Baltimore Colt Quarterback Johnny Unitas and his flattop crewcut, Ray Berry, Cleveland Browns Running Back Jimmy Brown, Packer legends Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, New York Giants Frank Gifford and the San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Y.A. Tittle. Also we saw the first cards of the expansion Dallas Cowboys and their players in their former team's uniforms. Again since the set is small and affordable in my opinion it can be completed in Excellent-Near Mint condition at a reasonable price with some searching. Your big money cards in this set are the Unitas, Brown and Starr cards. NFL fans also enjoy this set for its great photos and simplicity in design. Topps also had an insert in their packs, a metallic sticker of all of the NFL teams along with select college teams showing the teams logo and name. These are also hard to come by as they have become brittle and stained with age
1960 was a great time for football. Two leagues playing each weekend. Wide open offenses in one league with tough defenses in the other league. If you had a dime you could get a pack of five cards from each league and collect to your heart's content. Until next time, good luck with your collections.