Monday, August 26, 2013

Card of the Week: 1976 SSPC Frank Robinson

Fellow baseball card collector and baseball historian/nerd/blogger, Keith Olbermann is back on ESPN Monday night with his new show, "Olbermann".  I have always enjoyed listening to him and learning about the game at the same time.  So this week's card is from a set that has Olbermann's footprint on it.
1976 SSPC

Prior to the 1980s, the Topps Co. had a monopoly on the trading card market.  The only other choices collectors had were either food issue sets such as Post or Kellogg's or regional team issue sets.  A couple collectors in New York decided to challenge Topps and released a 630 card set.  Issued as a full set or as individual team sets and used the 1953 Bowman set as an influence.  The '53 Bowman set featured a full colored picture front-no names, no words, no borders. Just a crisp clean photo.
The problem of the SSPC set is that was released unlicensed.  Topps sued the founders of SSPC set and led to the settlement to destroy all remaining cards that had not reached the market.  Topps lawsuit made the set become more legitimate among collectors.
Where does Keith Olbermann come into play? He wrote the bios of all the players on the back of the cards.

I personally only own a couple from the 1976 SSPC set.  I picked Frank Robinson because he is listed as a manager on the back of the card even though he did participate as a player for Cleveland also.  Robinson is the first black manager in MLB history.   He also is the last player/manager prior to Pete Rose in the mid 80s for the Cincinnati Reds. 

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