Friday, 30 August 2019

Modern Bobbles

Most vintage CFL memorabilia collectors are familiar with the ceramic bobblehead figures issued in the early sixties in a bewildering array of styles that are yet to be properly evaluated, categorized and catalogued (one day...). Newer versions (probably unlicensed) were created in the seventies and near the turn of the last century generic CFL player resin bobbleheads were produced.

Starting in the 2000's CFL teams began to issue custom bobbleheads to honour a specific individual and provide a sponsored promotional tool for distribution to fans. These were usually given away on game days or in the case of lesser produced versions made available at special team events. Collecting Canadian Football Volume II lists nineteen different team specific bobbleheads (mostly players) issued up to the end of 2012.



2016 B.C. Lions Adam Bighill bobblehead box &
2018 B.C. Lions GM/Coach Wally Buono bobblehead box


Since the publication of CCF V2 at least 27 new bobbleheads have been issued and in this digital age where you can order a bobblehead of yourself on demand, the trend shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Therefore this post will catch you up on the known new items.




2017 B.C. Lions Jonathon Jennings bobblehead &
2017 B.C. Lions Emmanuel Arceneaux bobblehead



B.C. Lions are by far the most active at issuing the more or less standard sized bobbleheads (somewhere around 6" to 8" high) with six distributed to fans on specific game days over the last couple of seasons. In addition to those shown above a Solomon Elimimian figure was also produced in 2016.

Unless you are highlighting the end of a glorious career (like Wally Buono's) then you run the risk that your current day players honored with a bobblehead might soon be playing for your rivals. In fact all of the players above (plus Elimimian) are still playing in 2019 but none are B.C. Lions anymore.




2016 Montreal Alouettes Anthony Calvillo bobblehead & 
2019 Montreal Alouettes John Bowman bobblehead game advertisement

Anthony Calvillo was honoured with his bobblehead for his career services to the Alouettes in 2016 and he became only the second player with two different bobbleheads, having had an earlier one issued in 2003 to commemorate the 2002 Grey Cup victory.

On September 21st of this year Alouette fans will be able to grab a career appreciation figure of long time defensive line standout John Bowman.




2008 Calgary Stampeders Henry Burris bobblehead specimen box &
2019 Calgary Stampeders Jon Cornish bobblehead box


In 2008 the Calgary Stampeders had planned to distribute a limited amount of Henry Burris bobbleheads as Burris was receiving his second of three consecutive President's Club ring awards. But Chinese manufacturing quality control had a long way to go back then, as reportedly the whole shipment had to be trashed for production problems and misspelled words on all the figures.

A very few reasonably OK figures were apparently salvaged with one showing up on ebay for $500 a few years back and while I would have liked to have it for my collection, I did not want it anywhere near that bad...

More recently the graphics for the new Jon Cornish bobblehead distributed at the August 17th Stampeder game are considerably more upscale.





2017 Toronto Argonauts Doug Flutie bobblehead & 
2019 Toronto Argonauts Derel Walker bobblehead


The Argonauts have been fairly active with commemorative bobbleheads issuing a Grey Cup MVP highlighting Doug Flutie bobblehead a couple of years ago, and a Derel Walker this season which is the players first with the team.

Damon Allen was the first player to have had more than one bobblehead when the Argonauts produced one in 2013 whereas his first was as a B.C. Lion. The Argonaut figure is about 2/3 the height of the B.C. one.




2019 B.C. Lions Mike Reilly bobblehead & 
2019 Edmonton Eskimos Trevor Harris bobblehead


The recent off season free agency carousel resulted in a lot of players changing teams and so what better way to introduce your prized new quarterback acquisitions than to have them immortalized in miniature three dimensional form.

Mike Reilly figures were handed out in B.C. (some Lions promotional products are only distributed to fans below a certain age, although I am not certain if this was one of those). Trevor Harris was available for direct purchase by Edmonton fans or in combination for donating a ticket to a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.



2007? Winnipeg Blue Bombers Doug Brown bobblehead & 
2019 University of Saskatchewan Huskies Coach Brian Towriss bobblehead


Winnipeg does not appear to have been very active at all in bobblehead production, although there was a Doug Brown figure made in the last decade that did not get listed in the CCF V2 catalogue. This was branded on the box as a Pro Players product which would lead one to believe that perhaps more were issued by the CFLPA players association marketing arm.

One of the more rarely produced CIS Canadian university football figures, issued this year is legendary University of Saskatchewan Huskies head coach Brian Towriss, available at the Huskies Sept. 14th home game.




2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders Mike McCullough bobblehead & 
2013 Saskatchewan Roughriders Ron Lancaster mini bobblehead


One would think that Saskatchewan would have lots of incentive to make bobbleheads to be snapped up by their fan base but the only one I have been able to document is the Mike McCullough which is labeled as a Roughrider Alumni Bobblehead on the box, again raising the possibility that more retired players would have been so commemorated.

Corby Distilleries produced a set of eight Roughrider mini bobbleheads in 2009,  catalogued in CCF V2, and they produced a new batch of eight for the 2013 Grey Cup year in Saskatchewan. Players included Lancaster, Reed, Ridgway, Schultz, O'Day, Davis, Greene and Makowsky.




2017 Ottawa Redblacks Big Joe mascot bobblehead &
Early 2010's Hamilton Tiger-Cats Stripes mascot bobblehead


Ottawa and Hamilton have not issued any player specific bobbleheads in the last eight years to my knowledge, but they have each produced a mascot figure as shown above.




2019 Hamilton Tiger-Cats retro bobblehead game advertisement
with image of an authentic early sixties CFL generic ceramic bobblehead


This upcoming November the Tiger-Cats are celebrating their 150th (!!!) anniversary by doing a promotional giveaway with retro bobbleheads bringing us back full circle to the original generic novelty items from almost 60 years ago.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Flip Fluctuations

Recently a question was asked on the blog about the Flip series of CFL football cloth dolls and since I had a huge amount of information and images on these (almost all thanks to advanced collector Joe Gill) waiting to be compiled into a post, here it is.

The product was naturally originally issued as NFL dolls (and advertised as AFL as well) in 1960 and there are a number of variations and oddities relating to those items but of course this post is going to just deal with CFL specifics. The CFL themed dolls were most likely initially issued the following season.



Type I 1961? Columbia Flip Dolls, Hamilton & Calgary
(The Calgary doll face and helmet was amended with felt pen by the original owner, the Hamilton face is definitive for type I)


What I am designating Type I dolls are easily distinguishable by numerous features. If the football patch is still on the doll it has stitches at top and the city and team name are used. There are circular protrusions on the sides of the helmets and no team logos or insignia. Some of the helmets feature a center stripe that is painted on the flat surface.

The face has a significant indented profile, the mouth is black and the iris is at the 10:30 position of the pupil. The chin strap is white and the buckle is on the left side of the head. The fingers are detailed and the thumb on the left hand is bent. The pants are a corduroy style of fabric and the feet face forward.



Type I 1961? Columbia Flip Doll box front, sides and top.
The back and bottom of the box is blank.


Type I dolls were apparently packaged in the same boxes used for the American dolls and were likely produced and distributed from Kansas City where Columbia Toy Products was based. These dolls came with a strip of vinyl numbers so you could personalize your doll. At the present time it is unknown if any of the Type I dolls ever came with garment tags that should have indicated manufacture in the USA.




Type I 1961? Columbia Flip Doll reverse with vinyl numbers applied
and unused vinyl number sheet


Subsequently in 1962 a Type II Flip Doll was issued. Differences with the Type I dolls are easy to spot. Only team names (no city, except to differentiate Ottawa and Saskatchewan Riders) are on the football patches. There are circular indentations on the sides of the much more rounded shaped helmets with a raised molded center helmet stripe. Some teams have their 1962 helmet design features, such as the horseshoe for Calgary, the lightning bolts for Winnipeg & Ottawa, the wings for Montreal and so forth.

The face has a a flatter profile, the mouth is red and the iris is at the 12:00 position of the pupil. The chin strap is brown and the buckle is on the right side of the head. The fingers are less detailed and the thumb on the left hand is not bent. The pants are a canvas style of fabric and the feet face forward.




Type II 1962 Mondrich or Allied Flip Dolls, Toronto & Saskatchewan



Production of Type II dolls was shifted to Canada where the product is known to have been available in Mondrich Sales and Allied Toy specific boxes (with the Mondrich likely considerably more common), both companies based in Toronto. The vinyl numbers were no longer offered and dolls are known to have been issued with blue tags (Mondrich) and white tags (Allied) but perhaps most frequently can also be found with no tags at all.




Type II 1962 Mondrich Flip Doll box front, sides and top. Winnipeg Blue Bomber version.
The bottom of the box is blank except for a box manufacturer insignia.



Evidence that the toys were issued in 1962 comes in the form of the official 1962 Grey Cup Kickoff by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Standing to the left is Miss Grey Cup (Miss Ottawa Rough Rider) from 1962, Renata Pikelis and she is holding a Type II Ottawa Flip doll. The Mondrich Sales box has a series of referee calls illustrated on the back including No Yards bottom left affirming that this was a Canadian football specific product.







The probably much rarer Allied Toy box does not have anything printed on the box back but the doll inside in this case is a Type II.



Type II 1962 Allied Flip Doll box front and back. Ottawa Rough Riders version.


Mondrich apparently used A. T. & C. Novelty Co. for manufacturing, whereas Allied did their own manufacturing.



Type II 1962 Mondrich Flip Doll blue tag and Type II Allied Flip Doll white tag 



A third variant designated Type III has also been identified, and these were known to have been issued by Mondrich (at least) and probably represent a second production run after the first run was fully distributed. In the absence of any other information these are also considered to have been issued in 1962.

Type III can be differentiated from Type II by the eyes which have a larger pupil and the iris is at 2:00,  by the feet which face outwards instead of forwards and some minor dimensional differences in the legs. Type III dolls are also 9" wide at the shoulders while Types I & II are 8" wide.




Type III 1962 Mondrich? Flip Dolls, B.C. & Hamilton


Here are some comparison pictures of all three Types of dolls.



Type I Hamilton, Type II Edmonton & Type III Hamilton


The box for Type I indicates that the dolls were 17 1/2" tall, but they are actually only 16" tall (all three Types, I believe). Also they are probably stuffed with different material because Type I dolls weigh 16 ounces, Type II dolls weigh 18 ounces, and Type III dolls weigh 24 ounces.



Type I Hamilton, Type II Edmonton & Type III Hamilton


At least one promotional doll is known, this one produced by Allied for Carling breweries which was involved with the CFL for many years. The doll is likely a lot rarer than the regular team dolls and looks to be a Type II.



Type II 1962? Allied Flip Promotional Doll and indeterminate (Type III eyes) fuzzy leg doll


Additionally there are some dolls that are purported to be CFL that have the fuzzy jersey material used for the legs instead of the canvas cloth. Above is a doll signed by Bud Grant and claimed to be Winnipeg, but without the cloth football emblem on the front (or evidence of a Canadian made tag) it can't be definitively classified as such. Therefore I have not identified the fuzzy leg dolls as a distinctive Type IV.

They (I have also seen one presented as Hamilton, without the football emblem) may just be versions of the generic dolls issued in the USA or they could represent the factories using up the last of their material at the end of a production run. Boxed and preferably tagged dolls would need to surface in order to confirm whether the fuzzy legged specimens are actually Canadian or not.

One thing is for sure, putting together a complete set of Flip, Your Personal Football Hero dolls of either mixed or identical Types would be a flipping formidable undertaking.
 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Upper Deck CFL e-pack : e-ssential? or e-relevant? (definitely e-xpensive)


Upper Deck 2018 CFL Box Front and Upper Deck CFL 2018 e-pack website image   


In 2018 Upper Deck issued their 5th set of CFL trading cards which marked the fulfillment of their original five year deal with the CFLPA to produce football cards for the league. As an added bonus (maybe, depending on your point of view) it was also the first year that CFL cards were part of Upper Deck's e-pack program.

For those unaware the e-pack framework is a well thought out and implemented digital card acquisition web application (no sign of the promised mobile apps that I could see) whose killer feature (from a collector's perspective) is that you can have all of the premium cards that you buy digitally, shipped to you physically. Additionally the folks at Upper Deck very wisely integrated purchase based incentives into the system to acquire multiple card types that are only available through e-pack.



2018 Upper Deck CFL numbered 200 base cards and four different parallel sets all available in physical boxes/packs as well as digitally online through the e-pack site.
2018 Base Cards (200) with Silver borders
2018 Red Parallel (200) with Red borders numbered to 150
2018 Gold Parallel (200) with Gold borders numbered to 50
2018 Purple Parallel (200) with Purple borders numbered to 15
2018 Blank Back Parallel (200) with Silver borders on front (not shown)


You cannot access any of the base cards that you buy digitally, and presumably as a collector you don't care because you are after the premium parallels, autographs, memorabilia and e-pack exclusive rarer cards. This then highlights the killer feature (from the manufacturer's perspective) in that you are actually buying product, of which some large majority percentage of the total cards bought, the seller does not have to deliver (or even produce?).



Also available in both physical boxes and digitally online were autograph parallels in two different scarcity groupings, with company checklists providing a different ratio than that printed on the box bottoms. The only way to get the Blue e-pack parallels was by digitally accumulating 5 copies of a regular base card which could then be exchanged for one blue card.
   
2018 Autograph Parallel Group A (9) with Black borders 1:267 packs (but box says 1:575)
2018 Autograph Parallel Group B (93) with Black borders 1:8 packs (but box says 1:16)
2018 e-pack Parallel (200) with Blue borders (not serially numbered) front & back shown


Now there are stated odds of each type of chase cards produced for every set, and I have read online that the cards that are opened digitally on e-pack were withheld from being physically distributed, thus maintaining the stated number of chase cards in the total population. But logistically speaking the speed with which the system "delivers" your digitally purchased cards indicates that the whole operation must be digital. How that would then be accurately accounted for and synched with a theoretical monumentally huge accumulation of non-packaged held back cards, is something of a questionable mystery.

Whether Upper Deck actually holds back cards or whether their product legalese related to the scarcity of particular chase cards fully allows them to add as many different sources of the same types of cards as their business interests deem prudent, I don't really know or care. I'm just trying to inform collectors of what was once (potentially) made available to collect.



Among the higher profile rare cards that were available on e-pack for completing defined achievements (ie; buying enough e-packs to get all cards of certain specified card groups) were the two Johnny Manziel SP0 cards. Too bad Manziel was such a monumental bust in the CFL.
   
2018 SP1 Johnny Manziel (1) with Silver border 1:320 packs 
2018 SP1 Johnny Manziel Autograph (1) with Black border ?:? packs
2018 e-pack SP0 Johnny Manziel (1) with Silver border (? issued unknown)
2018 e-pack SP0 Johnny Manziel Autograph (1) with Black border (5 for achievements)


So signing up for e-pack is simple and then the next step is to buy digital packs, boxes or cases (for the latter two there are very skimpy discounts).  As the packs are priced in US dollars I am pretty sure the cost is significantly more that buying the physical product. At least where I bought my boxes they were $105 CAD if I recall, and since I got them at a card show, no shipping charges. With the US $ exchange rate hovering near 1.35 at $91.99 per box that would translate to about $124 CAD. Many of the digital products have occasional sale pricing but I have not seen the CFL cards reduced as of yet.

One of the best things about e-pack is the capability to trade with other collectors. Most collectors specialize in certain teams or players or card types, so they generally have a lot of premium cards that they would rather exchange with others for their own specific wants. Once you have some cards (and they can be cards from the free pack a day of certain fringe card sets) you can examine others holdings and suggest trades, and they can do the same.



Memorabilia cards make up the remainder of the chase cards in the set, 
and there are definitely a lot of confusing groupings of these. Some players (like Charleston Hughes) that changed teams appear with their old team on some of the memorabilia cards, and not in his old uniform designated with his new team like on most of his cards
2018 Game Jersey (35) with Shield shaped swatch 1:10 packs
2018 Game Patch Parallel (35) with Shield shaped swatch numbered to 25 ?:? packs
2018 O-Pee-Chee Jumbo Jersey (17) with Jumbo shaped swatch 1:92 packs
2018 Game Jersey Autograph (10) with Shield shaped swatch 1:350 packs
2018 epack Game Patch Parallel Autograph (10) with Shield shaped swatch (? issued unknown)
2018 epack O-Pee-Chee Jumbo Jersey Parallel CP Patch (17) with Jumbo shaped swatch numbered to 2


Another approach is to look for sellers on ebay offering the e-pack exclusive cards and either buy them outright, or purchase them from their digital holdings. But be careful with the latter as the cards can be transferred to you for free, but you will need to pay the Upper Deck shipping costs to get them actually mailed to you, and while this is a small amount per card, it adds up quick.



Specially designed CFL Logo Patch cards are the last e-pack specific offering, featuring a few with the older league logo, and with the Montreal logos in French (new and old logos). These cards are all individual one of one's and you will find a few on ebay at very high asking prices. 
2018 epack CFL Logo Patch (33) with Logo shaped swatch numbered to 1


You can also transfer your cards to ComC which is a giant trading card sales agent conglomerate operating online and on ebay, and consign your cards for sale if you wish. While ComC may work out OK for sellers maybe, for buyers their shipping costs to Canada are outrageous, sometimes quoting near $25.00 CAD to ship one card! I guess what with all the dog sleds and igloos involved with delivering anything north of the border, you can't really blame them...



And finally we have the individual printing plates in all four offset CMYK printing colours (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) also segregated by those with the autograph and those without. 
These were made available as 16 different achievement awards on e-pack and as of this blog date eight of them had yet to be achieved by anybody.   
2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Cyan Autographed (103) 1 of each

2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Cyan (97) 1 of each
2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Magenta Autographed (103) 1 of each

2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Magenta (97) 1 of each
2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Yellow Autographed (103) 1 of each

2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Yellow (97) 1 of each
2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Black Autographed (103) 1 of each

2018 epack CFL Base Printing Plate Black (97) 1 of each



So what is the net effect of the e-pack program on the available CFL cards to collect? The physical product contained 1000 different versions of the base cards, 102 Autographs, 2 Manziel shortprints and 97 memorabilia cards for a grand total of 1201. The e-pack cards added 200 Blue versions of the base cards, 2 Manziel shortprints, 60 memorabilia cards and 800 printing plates for a grand total of 1062 additional distinct items to potentially collect.

But do you really need a sixth different version (Blue) of all of the same cards in the set? And almost all of the remaining 862 e-pack cards are short printed to 5 or less copies with 833 of those being singular 1/1 items, so only one person gets to acquire each card. In order to get any significant amount of these 862 rarities a person would have to spend a LOT of $$$ on e-pack (as some have), which from the manufacturer's perspective is of course the whole point of the platform. 

Upper Deck is returning with a 6th set of CFL cards in 2019, and we will soon know whether or not collectors will be blessed with more e-cards this time around. For some that will be good news and for others it may be re-diculous.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Union Rules Plot the History of the Game

While records are meant to be broken, rules are evidently meant to constantly evolve and to ultimately transform an adopted sport into something uniquely specific to Canada. When English immigrants began to play British sports, including rugby in Canada in the 1860's, inevitably local changes to the rules gradually crept in. This process resulted in three distinct games; Association Football (soccer), British Rugby and "rugby with local Canadian rules" or what eventually came to be called Canadian Football being established.






Initially the latter of these three sports, which was for decades interchangeably called just Rugby, Rugby Football or Canadian Football, was split among competing Unions with their own specific rules codifications (one of the first apparently being issued by the Canadian Rugby Football Union in the early 1880's).





 
The well known Spalding's sporting good company issued a large series of guides covering many sports over many years and most likely used the designation Canadian Football to differentiate the sport from the other popular Football games (for which they no doubt had separate volumes).






 Gradually as all of the unions were merged under the oversight of the Canadian Rugby Union the rules were standardized. The field diagram above is from the 1918 Ontario Rugby Football Union rules book and illustrates the standard size of 110 yards with two 25 yard endzones by 65 yards wide. These dimensions remained in force for around 100 years until facility limitations instigated a shortening of the endzones to 20 yards each, or less in some American stadiums in the nineties.






Once the majority of the unions were affiliated with the C.R.U. the standard rules and constitutions were issued during the twenties, thirties and forties in colorful booklets like those shown above. These yearly resources are the best historical source available for charting the history of all of the various (confusingly overlapping) organizations that governed the sport across Canada, and their constituent teams.






While these publications might not be considered the most compelling Canadian football collectibles, there is no denying their historical importance. Usually only one photograph was in each guide (N.J. "Piffles" Taylor of Taylor Field fame graced the 1946 edition) but many of these gentlemen were Hall of Fame member builders of the sport. The booklets also contain many very hard to find obscure trophy winners and championship team results. Where else could you find out that the Saskatoon Saskawins went to back to back Gillespie Trophy Western Junior championships, winning in 1922 but losing in 1923?





\
Several years ago the estate of Gord Walker (Hall of Fame football reporter who initiated proper statistical record keeping in the east in 1954 and was first president of the Football Reporters of Canada in 1958) was auctioned off on Ebay.  A lot of the material I am illustrating here came from Gord's meticulous collection, although the CFL Hall of Fame probably also has the majority of it in their archives. From roughly 1949 through to 1958 Spalding sponsored the official rule books in the updated format displayed above, sometimes with a nifty C.R.U. logo with a football, a beaver and a mystery shape.







Besides the standard rules volumes there were many other associated publications in different sizes and formats made available to help officials execute their duties on the playing fields. Some unions or organizations also published their own specific guides for many years as well during this era. Once again obscure historical information, such as the existence of the Sir Winston Churchill Trophy awarded to the Senior Intercollegiate Champions since 1953, can be ascertained from certain booklets by interested researchers.






In some cases rules for official versions of the game that no longer exist can be found, as well as rules on how to properly track the play result statistics of the games. The "Manual On Statistics" is distinct from the actual yearly statistical and official records compilations that comprise a different sub category of Publications and Ephemera related to Canadian Football.







Such was Jackie Parker's influence on the league in the 1950's that he is the only player known to have ever been featured on the rule book cover in 1959. Spalding also took the opportunity to feature him on their current sporting goods catalog in 1958-59 along with a hockey player who was just a generic drawing.






Also in 1959 the Canadian Football League finally gets a mention on the rule book cover. The league was technically constituted in 1958 but the reality is that the history of the individual franchises is intertwined with the history of the various unions and can be traced just about as far back as the earliest origins of the game!






Wilson Sporting Goods somehow managed to grab the sponsorship rights for at least one season in the early sixties but by 1962 through 1966 Spalding was back in their customary position on the guide covers. 1966 was also the final year where the old CRU results were included in the guide so it was your last chance to impress your friends at parties by relating that the old Ontario Fort William Redskins (of the Western Interprovincial Football Union!) lost the Intermediate final in 1953, 1955, 1956, & 1957 before finally winning it all in 1958 and that the poor Port Arthur Mustangs never even got a title game sniff.     







The booklet format changed again in 1967, the same year that the C.R.U. officially became the Canadian Amateur Football Association (subsequently branded as Football Canada in 1986). Presumably these rule books continued to be issued as separate publications until 1985, after which from 1986 forwards the rules were incorporated as a section of the CFL's Facts Figure and Records annual guides.

These fascinating relics are just another example that shows that you can approach collecting Canadian Football historical materials from many different angles that span almost 160 years of competition.




Saturday, 27 April 2019

End Of An Era - (Volume 2 Additions)

Recently over the last couple of years an enterprising Ebay seller has made available the physical media photo football remnants of a once thriving Montreal Newspaper's (La Presse) Sports department. The newspaper that was founded in 1884 printed its final edition on December 31st, 2017 transitioning to a fully digital/mobile publisher from that point onwards. As a result of this the old archives were deemed irrelevant and luckily this provided an infrequent opportunity for collectors to snap up the rare and evocative photos.

Now although Collecting Canadian Football Volume II documented for the first time ever the known media photo sets of the Montreal Alouettes, the information is far from complete and the La Presse archives have filled in some gaps in the knowledge quite nicely!



 Chester McCance & Virgil Wagner of the newly identified set:
1949 ALOUETTES BERMINGHAM ACTION 

Those of you that are familiar with CCF VII will know that almost all classic Alouette team photography was done by Ed Bermingham. Here we see that his involvement with the team started at least as far back as 1949 in this great photo set with the players wearing their nifty crotch-defining two-tone pants.

Sometimes additional mimeographed information sheets were attached to the photos with an exact date, other times there are photographer date stamps on the reverse and sometimes you need to derive a year for an item from the combination of player, uniform and photographer's stamp info. Having CCF VII provides a reference of how the photographer's stamps changed over the years to help with the dating process. Some but not all of these photographs featured the photographer's logo horizontally on the front margins.







The era that I am referencing as ending in the blog post title, is of course the old Newspaper paradigm of maintaining physical copies of images and even producing actual physical newsprint editions. The era of actually issuing physical media photos with one player per item by CFL teams already ended generally over 45 years ago in the early seventies, overtaken by the eight per sheet head photos from about 1975 to 2000 with some straggler individual sets still being produced up to the late eighties or early nineties maybe.




 Rod Pantages & Gordon Ross of the newly identified set:
1950 ALOUETTES BERMINGHAM ACTION 

In 1950 Bermingham was still using the same stamp with both black and violet inks. Some but not all of these photos featured the photographer's logo vertically on the front margins, although it is probably likely that both placements occur sporadically in both season's sets. Thankfully the team went to a one colour pant design for this year.








Of course newspapers have gone out of business periodically (The Ottawa Journal and the Winnipeg Tribune, for example) well before this transition to the digital world we are currently experiencing. When they did their archives were liquidated and much of that material also found its way into the hand of collectors but it does not often get recirculated so that modern day collectors can acquire parts of it.




 Tom Hugo & Ron Murphy of the newly identified set:
1959 ALOUETTES BERMINGHAM ACTION

Here is another newly identified set, I believe the photographer's stamp (which was obscured on the reverse scans) is the version shown below. The Hugo photo illustrates an important point in that sometimes a date stamped on the reverse of a photo could mean when a certain department received it for use and is not necessarily related to when the photo was actually produced. Hugo's last year with the Alouettes was 1959 so he was long gone by 1965.








The photos in the La Presse archives were naturally predominantly of Montreal players but there were also many photos from players of the other eight CFL teams. Newspapers would be sent images of players from other cities' teams regularly so that they could use them in their sports pages stories as well. In addition to the newly identified sets there were plenty of additions to sets already listed in the existing guide that will need to be updated at some point.



 
 Bob Bednarz & Hal Lewis
1967 Bermingham photos


This particular set of 5 X 7 portrait photos utilized the year dated stamps below, again in two different ink colours. But the uniforms are definitely not Montreal Alouettes and that is because these were media photos for the Montreal Beavers of the Continental Football League. While these photos will not be catalogued in any potential further update to CCF VII (because they are not Canadian Football) they do help solidify the timeline as to which Bermingham stamps were active during which periods for the photos.







It is somewhat ironic that La Presse was responsible for the first known team specific Montreal football themed collectible in 1928 (Clary Foran of the Montreal Athletic Association). And now 91 years later the dissolution of the paper's archives has enriched the amount of information about Montreal football history considerably.



 Peter Paquette & Barry Randall of the newly identified set:
1969 ALOUETTES TEAM ISSUE


The final newly identified set is one of the classic late sixties CFL photo sets with the combined head and action photo along with a write-up and team logo graphic. All photo sets illustrated in this post except the Montreal Beavers portraits are 8" X 10" in size.

The appearance of these previously uncatalogued vintage photo sets into the collectible marketplace is just another example of how there is always more new/old stuff to discover with Canadian football collectibles.