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Old 12-03-2013, 07:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???

I know when a couple people saw my post about the Buddy Rogers card that I picked up were interested in the origins and checklist on these. Some of the details aren't a 100 percent clear still, but I believe I have picked up and completed at least the 16 card complete 1952 set (which would make it the first known produced cards of Buddy Rogers and Lou Thesz). The cards were mirrored by the calendars for each year, but were not produced or cut from them, rather they were apparently distributed as a unique item in and of themselves in factory set/pack form to people (how is still not clear as in was it part of a mailer or sent out or was it something that people ordered or bought at shows???). The actual cards, as opposed to anything that would be cut from a calendar, are shaped more like a credit card rather than cards with square corners. I have not yet obtained any of the cards from the 1953 or 1954 sets, but do now possess the calendars from those years that show who the cards were supposed to be of from which years.

Anyway, I am attaching pictures of what I picked up. (minus the Buddy Rogers card which was pictured earlier). It I'm sure will be of interest to any vintage wrestling collector.
Attached Thumbnails
1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-1953-main.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-pack-front.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-pack-back.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-first-four.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-second-four.jpg  

1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-fourth-four.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-fifth-four.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-calendar.jpg   1952-1954 Al Haft Wresting Promotions Cards Solved???-1954-ok-439x400-.jpg  

Last edited by bullingham; 12-03-2013 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Here is the Buddy Rogers card again though for those who missed it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great find.

I believe the calendars were given to retail stores to be displayed. I think my sheet had once hung in a storefront window, if I remember correctly.

I would guess the (die-cut?) cards were distributed/sold at the wrestling events.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks. That's a good guess as to how they were distributed though don't know. Obviously there are not many people still alive from back then that would know for certain how the cards were given out, let alone who would post that info to an internet forum about sports cards. That part may die a secret unfortunately. I hope I can track down from some source out there all of the remaining cards from the (apparent) 1953 and 1954 just to complete the set. It's unfortunate this era of wrestling is not celebrated a bit more by the WWE, but have to think this is one of the rarest card sets in any sport from that era. I paid more than I probably should have to get what I did, but unlike the more modern sets where it's really the condition that's the extremely rare part, as opposed to the cards themselves, I didn't think I'd see many of these around again. I wonder if PSA would grade these??? It shouldn't be that way, but PSA really validates a set to most collectors these days.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try getting the cards listed on wrestlingtradingcards.com and then PSA should follow. I think it is within reason to have the cards listed as 1952, 1953, and 1954 in conjunction with the calendars. I sold some of the ones from the set but kept the key cards. In retrospect I should have just kept them all.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the suggestion. Do you just email them or whats the deal on wrestlingtradingcards.com? Did you have the cards from the 1953 and 1954 sets as well?
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Old 12-03-2013, 05:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've had some of the cards checklisted: (just one complete sheet though)

1950-1959 Wrestling Cards (Vintage Wrestling Card Archive)
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah saw your site, I think it can be safely updated with years now based on my purchase. I can give you the run down of the 16 cards pictured on each calendar if you need them. Presumably the 1953 and 1954 calendars were also based on cards that were produced and distributed in pack/set form.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds great.

With the info we now know, I think it is safe to assume one card sheet for each given year, and that the cards with round corners correspond to the cards of each sheet (same year).
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm inclined to think the card were distributed (given away) as promotional items given out by the promotor or the wrestlers themselves. It's possible they were sold at events. I haven't seen any indication of mail order distribution.
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Checklist Request

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullingham View Post
I know when a couple people saw my post about the Buddy Rogers card that I picked up were interested in the origins and checklist on these. Some of the details aren't a 100 percent clear still, but I believe I have picked up and completed at least the 16 card complete 1952 set (which would make it the first known produced cards of Buddy Rogers and Lou Thesz). The cards were mirrored by the calendars for each year, but were not produced or cut from them, rather they were apparently distributed as a unique item in and of themselves in factory set/pack form to people (how is still not clear as in was it part of a mailer or sent out or was it something that people ordered or bought at shows???). The actual cards, as opposed to anything that would be cut from a calendar, are shaped more like a credit card rather than cards with square corners. I have not yet obtained any of the cards from the 1953 or 1954 sets, but do now possess the calendars from those years that show who the cards were supposed to be of from which years.

Anyway, I am attaching pictures of what I picked up. (minus the Buddy Rogers card which was pictured earlier). It I'm sure will be of interest to any vintage wrestling collector.
We would love complete checklists of all three sets plus usable scans to add to WTC. Let me know if you can help us out. Please either responder here or at card.info@wrestlingtradingcards.com.

Thanks, David
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have one sheet checklisted, and photos of the other 2 sheets. The names are hard to read though, but I might be able to identify the wrestlers when I get the chance.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:34 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That would be great, please keep me posted.

David
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Here's the list for the 3 sheets. Cards are listed left to right starting from the top.

1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Honest Johnny Valentine
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Buddy Rogers (sitting) (w/belt)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Jackie Nichols
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Marvin Mercer
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Frankie Talaber (sitting)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Professor Roy Shire (muscle pose)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Eagle (facing right)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Gene Stanlee (Mr. America) (muscle pose)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Lou Thez (SIC Thesz) (w/belt)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Arnold
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Edmund Francis (black background)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Argentine Rocca (wrestling stance facing right)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Luther Lindsey
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Ruffy Silverstine (w/belt)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Joe Scarpello (floor not showing)
1952 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Big Bill Miller
Note: Above cards printed on 16-card poster containing 1952 calendar pages staples to the bottom of the sheet.

1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Buddy "Nature Boy" Rogers (with belt)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Vern Gagne
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - "Ruffy" Silverstine (w/belt)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Louis Thesz (w/belt) (arms on legs)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Luther Lindsey
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Argentina Rocca (w/belt)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Lewin
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - "Daffy" Ed Francis
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Bob Geigel
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Frankie Talaber (standing)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Eagle (facing right)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Joe Scarpello (floor showing)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Marvin Mercer (w/belt)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Roy "Professor" Shire (wrestling pose)
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Dr. Big Bill Miller
1953 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Arnold
Note: Above cards printed on 16-card poster containing 1953 calendar pages staples to the bottom of the sheet.

1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - June Byers
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Buddy "Nature Boy" Rogers
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Vern Gagne (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - "Ruffy" Silverstine (w/belt) (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Nell Stewart
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Carol Cook
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Great Scott (w/belt)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Argentina Rocca (w/belt) (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Jack Pesek
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Mary Jane Mull
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Joe Scarpello (floor showing) (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Bob Geigel (wrestling pose)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Frankie Talaber (standing)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Don Eagle (arms crossed)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Ed Francis (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Louis Thesz (w/belt) (arms on legs) (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Al Kashey (wrestling pose)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Roy "Professor" Shire (wrestling pose) (same photo as 1953 card)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Dr. Big Bill Miller (arms crossed)
1954 - Al Haft's Sports Stars of the Mat - Andre Drapp (siting pose)
Note: Above cards printed on 20-card poster containing 1953 calendar pages staples to the bottom of the sheet.
Cards with rounded corners exist from above sheets (unverified if all cards in this form exist). Cards are unnumbered. Back of cards are blank.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Seems like with this theory that a lot of the cards are repeats from one year to the next, how do you really know???
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:51 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Many of the wrestlers were repeated, but only 2 cards used the same photos.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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There are three Thesz cards listed for 1952, 1953 and for 1954 but I only see two poses???
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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There are three Thesz cards listed for 1952, 1953 and for 1954 but I only see two poses???
You're right. The 1953 & 1954 Thesz cards have the same photo. I forgot to make note of that.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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There appears to be two lines for Verne Gagne for 1953 and 1954 but only one card......
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
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There appears to be two lines for Verne Gagne for 1953 and 1954 but only one card......
Good catch. 1953 card and 1954 card have the same photo.
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I know there are others as well.........
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:06 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrestlingcardki View Post
I know there are others as well.........
List updated.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:32 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks for the checklists sthoemke!

David
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