Thursday, 19 July 2018

Random Cool New/Old Collectibles From the West

This month I thought I'd highlight some of the cool newly discovered collectible items from the Western CFL teams, most of which were issued a long time ago and none of which were known to me at the time of the original publications of the Collecting Canadian Football Volume I & Volume II catalogues. As I have noted many times, it is this near constant stream of discovery of previously unknown items that makes collecting CFL and Canadian football material so intriguing.


Late Seventies Photo Sports Large Format Photograph of RB James Sykes  

First up a fabulous Calgary Stampeders recent find snagged from an ebay auction by a local dealer who always has interesting CFL items and prices them very reasonably. This was advertised as a poster but in fact it turned out to be a much higher end glossy photograph on thick quality Kodak photo paper measuring 16" X 20". The issuer name is embossed with gold lettering on the photo at bottom right. The item is too big for my scanner so the picture above has a shadow from when I photographed it and some shrink wrapping plastic wrinkles at bottom.

I believe this was issued in 1979 as a local Calgary newsprint sport magazine from that season had a cover image that looks very much like it was produced from the same photo session. Something like this may have been made available to the general public or it may have been produced for the team itself, in any case it is very rare and obviously not many survived.

The same magazine cover image also features Stampeder standouts of the era RB Willie Burden and WR Willie Armstead leading me to suppose that they might also have received the 16" X 20" glossy photo treatment so there may be more players out there than just Sykes. The item has a few scratches and defects in the grass margins but otherwise is in superlative shape and as any experienced CFL collector knows, team issued items from the seventies (especially colour ones, extra especially large colour ones) are damn near non-existent. 


Early Sixties Trudeau's Cleaners Coloring Page Drawing of G Larry Fleisher 

Next up a fantastic Edmonton Eskimos item that is part of a set of 35 according to the item itself! This beauty was unearthed and the image sent to me by serious Eskimo collector and team history buff Mike Smith-Knutsen. The item is obviously highly disposable as it was targeted at kids and was  designed to be colored with crayons or coloring pencils, but 35 would seem to be a pretty high number in those days of much more limited rosters and perhaps this included some coaches as well.

Mike indicates the drawing is interesting as it is listed as Larry Fleisher, but Al Ecuyer wore 53 in those years, Fleisher wore 21 in 1960 and 52 from 1961-1963. Either way the spiked brass knuckles are a nice touch.  Trudeau's was a very well known Edmonton dry cleaning business and was a regular supporter of the team issuing and distributing team logo stickers from 1968 through 1971.
Their main location at 142 Street and 111 avenue was right next to a Stanfields underwear store which was cause for some amusement for the locals during the late sixties and early seventies national elections.

These items are obviously not going to be very easy to come by, good luck finding the remaining 34 Mike!


Early Seventies Clayton's Hairstyling Postcard of QB Don Jonas 

This nifty item was spotted at an online Winnipeg antiques dealer's website if I recall correctly, but it looks to have been since scooped by a savvy collector. Hairstyling and football don't normally intersect very often but here we see exactly that, with star Bomber QB Jonas endorsing a local business with the slogan "Hairstyling for men on the move".

There were probably fewer than 500 of these printed and most would have been long ago destroyed. Jonas' Schenley win for Most Valuable Player in 1971 is referenced on the card so it is no older than  1972 and his last year with the team was 1974 although the message (which may be printed on the postcard, or may be a actual autographs) seems to indicate some sort of past tense sentiment.

As always the primary directive when seeing something like this, if you are interested in it, is to buy it immediately, because it will be gone the next time you go back to see if it is still there, and the chances of finding another one are minuscule.


Mid Sixties Team Issue Picture Card of Lineman Ron Atcheson  » Atchison

This fine item of Roughrider Hall of Famer Ron Atchison was found and the image sent to me by super Rider collector and preserver of team history Barry Shefernack. It looks to be a printed picture (as opposed to an actual photograph) on thinner stock and is 3 1/2" X 5 1/2" in size. The item appears to be from 1965 as there is no mention of the 1966 Grey Cup win and Atchison's awards from the 1964 season are noted.

The most unusual thing about the piece is the misspelling of Atchison's name as Atcheson getting through proofing onto the finished product. The signature on the front is an actual autograph and not part of the printing process. Whether or not this was a single item produced for the local Saskatchewan product or there were more similar informational cards for other players is unknown.

From my experience these sort of small print run obscure issues are significantly less common to stumble upon for the Roughriders than any of the other western teams. Perhaps because for most of the decades from the fifties through the nineties the team operated on very tight budgets and extra production of memorabilia was low on the priority list.

British Columbia

Well for B.C. I was planning to feature a very unusual and rare crest that looked to have been issued in 1954, the first year of the Lions franchise (not the well-known but also rare 1954 QB Club crest) , but when I went to my image archives to find it, it appears to have vanished.

After much searching I came to realize that when moving files between folders and expressly indicating to keep BOTH files when filenames matched, Windows was instead overwriting the files, causing me to lose somewhere around 100 or so pictures of rare vintage things. Oh, and somewhere along the way one of the incessant Windows 10 updates decided to turn OFF my scheduled backups too, so the files are not there either. So thanks Windows - burn in hell you steaming pile of putrid garbage.

Early 2010's 7-11 Plastic Mug of SB Geroy Simon 

Instead I have had to settle for something considerably more recent, but not well known and probably fairly difficult to get your hands on today, just a few years later, anyway.

At some point during Geroy Simon's storied career on the west coast a promotion was held featuring his likeness and facsimile autograph on an industrial size plastic slurpee mug. I am not sure of the year of issue but I believe this was towards the end of his time in B.C. so 2010, 2011 or 2012 possibly. These might have been advertised in what passed for game programs in those years (probably more like an informational flyer) in Vancouver and probably via posters and window glass displays at 7-11 outlets.

But unless you lived in the lower mainland area, and happened to have seen the product during the promotion, and wanted to drink a gallon of slurpee so you bought one and kept it, good luck finding one now.   

Finally for good measure something previously uncatalogued from one of the Western American CFL teams.


1993 Coors Gold Miner Schedule Poster

Pictured above is a Coors sponsored schedule poster for the first year of the American experiment with the expansion Sacramento Gold Miners. While it is not player themed it is still an interesting artifact of the era.

That's all for now, at some point in the future I will provide a similar post covering random cool new/old things from the East.

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