Monday, 25 March 2019

Sicks' Degrees of Soda Separation

This month I am going to be tracing a connective path primarily between players who have appeared on soft drink sponsored memorabilia, some of which has been catalogued already (mainly in Collecting Canadian Football Volume 2) and some of which has not. 

Calgary Stampeder 1958 game program advertisement &
Lynn Bottoms 1958 The "master touch" printed illustration
- plain paper variant and newsprint image from microfilm

This obscure issue from 1958 was previously catalogued although of the images seen here only the plain paper variant of Lynn Bottoms was illustrated in the guide. The player facial drawings used on the actual promotion were also advertised in 3 of that season's game programs, with eight different players in each ad, for Lethbridge Dry Ginger Ale produced by Sicks' Lethbridge Brewery.

Lynn Bottoms was a Calgary native who played with the Stampeders from 1954 into 1960 when he was traded to the Toronto Argonauts. He subsequently appeared as an Argonaut in the 1962 Topps panel set except since it was Topps with their craptacular non-attention to detail, his picture on the card is from training camp in Nelson B.C. with the Stampeders from 1956.

1962 Toronto Argonauts Topps Panel &
1959 Dick Fouts Toronto Argonauts 7-UP Photograph Issue
1958 Dick Shatto Toronto Argonauts 7-UP Photograph Issue

Lynn was paired (on one of the panels he appears on) with Argonaut Dick Fouts, who luckily fits our narrative by virtue of appearing on a 7-up sponsored photo set from 1959. The crappy condition of the item illustrated should give you a clue as to how hard this issue is to come by. 

Fout's teammate, Argo's star player of the era Dick Shatto, also appeared on a 7-up sponsored photo set from 1958. Both of these photo sets (what little is known about them) are also catalogued in CCF V2. While we are on the subject of 7-up, illustrated below is an even earlier ornately framed advertising piece related to football issued by the Canadian branch of the beverage manufacturer.

1953 7-up football themed advertising sign 

Returning to Dick Shatto he was one of the many American imports at the time who took advantage of the fact that Canadian football teams practiced in the evenings, allowing for the player to run a business or hold a full-time job at the same time. Shatto eventually became an executive with Canada Dry and in either 1961 or 1962 he authored a booklet called FOOTBALL FUNdamentals sponsored by the company.

Early 1960's Canada Dry Dick Shatto Booklet - two different versions

There were apparently two versions of the booklet published. One with a sticker on the front cover containing quotes of support for the book by ex-Alouettes quarterbacking great Sam Etcheverry (with the NFL Cardinals by this time) and Eskimo quarterbacking great Jackie Parker. The other with pictures of the two all-stars and the same quotes but printed as part of the front cover. Shatto's son is the child on the cover.

The two great one-time on-field rivals; Etcheverry and Parker did more than just lend their endorsements for the book, they got together to help Shatto illustrate proper techniques and drill exercises as shown in the photos within the guide. Also participating were other members of the Argonauts such as Danny Nykoluk.


Early 1960's Canada Dry Dick Shatto Booklet - internal pages

But the real killer memorabilia piece related to the Canada Dry Shatto publication is this recently discovered large store advertising poster with superb period graphics and reference to all three CFL superstars. A request form is also referenced, which may possibly have also had some graphics or a reproduction of the book on it. The poster would have been intended for point of sale display at convenience and grocery stores selling Canada Dry products.

Early 1960's Canada Dry Promotional Point of Sale Poster

Now the Eskimos also issued 3 sets of Canada Dry sponsored game program insert photos from 1964 - 1966 but Jackie Parker had been traded to the Argos (where he spent three seasons as a teammate of Dick Shatto) by that time. He did however appear in the Eskimo CFRN 1962 program insert issue along with Howie Schumm (this particular intact panel pair was one of the last two to have been identified for this set, the other pair not listed in the catalogue being Toby Deese and Ted Tully).

1962 Edmonton Eskimos CFRN/A&W Intact Panel

Howie Schumm subsequently appeared in all three of the Eskimo mid sixties Canada Dry issues. Incidentally the 1964 issue listing in the CCF V2 catalogue contains an error, a Roger Nelson insert exists and the Bruce Claridge insert noted in the listings almost certainly does not. Thanks to Mike Smith-Knutsen for the Schumm scan below and the information on the Nelson insert.   

1964 Edmonton Eskimos Canada Dry Program Insert Issue &
1965 Edmonton Eskimos Canada Dry Program Insert Page Advertisement

So there you have it, from Lynn Bottoms to Dick Fouts, linked via Shatto, Etcheverry & Parker (three of the biggest superstars of Canadian football history) and finally to Howie Schumm.  Forwards and backwards through time, with the common thread of soda pop sponsored memorabilia of some sort, much of which is damn near impossible to obtain. But that's what makes collecting this material (and even just the information about this material) such an interesting challenge.