The group of fans and collectors that has been chronicling the World Football League’s brief, but eventful existence through new sets of trading cards, has just released WFL Football Cards Series III.
The cards capture some of the players who were part of the league during its two-year run from 1974 through 1975. The 70-card set includes Leroy Kelly, John Matuszak, Don Maynard, Marty Schottenheimer and Gary Danielson, the former WFL and NFL quarterback who is now an ESPN analyst.
Series I, released in 2013, covered the 1974 season, but photos of some players that weren’t available at the time of production were located and Series III provides an update. Series II focused on players and teams from the 1975 season with Series IV set to come out next year to include more players from ’75.
Finding team rosters wasn’t hard but rounding up photos from the players in uniform was, at times, a challenge. Color photos of some players simply haven’t surfaced. Sources have included private collectors, team photographers and even former players and coaches.
The group spent countless hours designing the cards, collecting statistics and preparing a checklist. The sets, done in a retro design carry full statistics and are priced at $70. The four backers of the project have fond memories of the short-lived league that made a splash after a few NFL players bolted for the promise of bigger paychecks, including Larry Csonka, Paul Warfield and Jim Kiick of the Miami Dolphins. However, financial difficulties plagued the league from the start and after several franchises moved or folded, the league vanished for good.
“We decided to create WFL Football Cards because there are no cardboard tributes to the league, and it was another way to help celebrate the World Football League’s 40th anniversary this year,” Franklin explained. “Willie O’Burke, Bill Jones, Greg Allred and myself are still fans of the WFL, and our cards help fill a void that we missed out on as kids who collected Topps football cards in the 70’s. We believe a lot of our customers feel the same way, as we they continue to buy every series we produce.
The group also recently released a WFL Die-Cut Cards which resemble the 1976 Sunbeam NFL set and include team logos and histories.
You can learn more about the sets and find an order page at WFLFootballCards.com.