1974 Little Caesars Sport Calendar All-Stars Trading Cards
From 1970-1975, Little Caesars Pizza issued a series of Sports Calendars highlighted by an athlete each month with artwork by caricaturist Tasco. The early years were dominated by local Detroit athletes, while the later started to include national favorites. For golf card collectors, 1974 is the key calendar since it includes none other than Jack Nicklaus, representing September that year.
In addition to the full color calendar pages, collectible in their own right to some, between June and July within the calendar is a page of 12 mini versions of the calendar page images. Included there is a bio for each athlete and intended to be cut out as trading cards. 1974 was the first year these cards were also full color, in prior years they were just black ink on a blue background sheet.
In case the bio is difficult to read from the image, the text for Jack is as follows:
Dominating golf as no man has for 40 years, Jack Nicklaus compiled a record which reads like a golf duffers most outrageous daydream. Fourteen major championships which has earned him more money than any golf pro in history, shattering all fiscal standards for the sport.
While not his earliest card, this is one on many a Golden Bear collectors wantlist, at least those who are even aware of it’s existence. As of this writing, I’m only aware of approximately 20 that have traded hands publicly (eBay, Amazon, and Worthpoint) or privately in the past decade or so, in either full calendar or individual single form. Of those, some could have been the same copy traded multiple times. Since the major TPGs do not currently recognize this for grading, there’s no way to trace by Cert Number.
If finding a copy at all isn’t difficult enough, there’s a variation. I’m guessing this is from either a test run of the calendar or a very brief early printing before the color version came out. This is very similar to the prior years trading cards, but on a slightly lighter blue back. I’m only personally aware of two of these in existence, but would not be surprised to find there are at least a couple others out there tucked away in collections or someone’s Michigan attic, long forgotten.
Size: 2 7/8 x 1 5/8″ (approximate as this can vary due to the hand cut)
Country of Origin: USA