In the world of football card collecting, many sets have become legendary among collectors over the years. One such set is the 1960 7-Eleven Dallas Texans football card set, which, we all presume, was issued by 7-Eleven convenience stores in the Dallas area in 1960. While this set is relatively obscure compared to some of the more well-known football card sets of the era that included cards from the upstart AFL (1960 Fleer, 1961 Fleer, and 1961 Topps), it has garnered a dedicated following among collectors due to its rarity and unique design.
The 1960 7-Eleven Dallas Texans football card set consists of 10 unnumbered cards, each measuring the standard size of 2 1/2″ by 3 1/2″. The fronts of the cards feature posed sepia-toned photos of the players with no border, and the player’s name, position, and school are listed below the picture in small print.
There are a few differences between the cards as Boydston, Burford, and Haynes cards use an ~50% larger font size, Ray Collins is missing the team name, and Cotton Davidson has the team name printed along the top of the card.
The backs of the cards include biographical information running the length of the card in typewriter-style print. It’s worth noting that a Paul Miller card is rumored to exist, but after years of research trying to verify its existence, Beckett, and others, have removed it from the checklist. But you will find some out-of-print guides and current websites include it.
Now, just how scarce are these cards? PSA has only graded 68 cards, and SGC has encapsulated 91, and if you check out the PSA Auction Prices Realized page for the set, it’s got NOTHING in it; talk about illiquid.
And, when it comes to those PSA cards, if you look at the registry, it appears that a collector named Gil Dickens owns most of them.
Given the scarcity and illiquidity, the cards are pricey; for example, Heritage Auctions sold a lot of 18 (a near-set with some duplicates) for $2629 in April 2011.
In trying to figure out where these cards came from, I made two discoveries. First, I ran across this 1960 Dallas Texans vs. Houston Oilers AFL Texas Championship Football Program on eBay (It’s still listed for $567).
And it turns out that the program featured the same images of the Texans used for the 1960 7-Eleven cards.
From these photos, we can presume what that missing Paul Miller card would have looked like along with Walt Corey.
The eBay seller also featured a picture of the page of Oilers players; imagine a George Blanda 7-Eleven card!
While there is no concrete evidence linking the game day programs to the 7-Eleven cards, I think it’s probable that the images used on the cards were obtained from the same folks who put together the game day programs, which I figured could have been the team itself.
So I did some more digging and found that the Buffalo Bills, another AFL team, issued a team set in 1960 and figured there must be others. I found a photo of a Houston Oilers Team Issued George Blanda photo that looked identical to the picture taken from the game day program.
Well, the second discovery related to the 1960 Dallas Texans 7-Eleven football card sets is that the Texans did issue a set of 12 cards featuring some of the same players as the 7-Eleven set. The team issue set is similar in design to the 7-Eleven set, with posed photos of the players and biographical information on the backs.
Becket writes, “These photos were issued around 1960 by the Dallas Texans. Each features a black and white player photo with the player’s position, name and team name printed below the picture. They measure approximately 8″ by 10 1/4″ and include a brief player bio on the unnumbered cardbacks.”
The checklist consists of 12 players, but not the same as the 7-Eleven set: Boydston, Branch, Burford, Davidson, Haynes, Jackson, Johnson, Miller, Robinson, Spikes, Stram (Coach), and Swink.
While it’s unclear whether the team issue set was released before or after the 7-Eleven set, the same images were used across both and for the game day program. Here you can see all three Jack Spikes items:
Wrapping up, the 1960 7-Eleven Dallas Texans football card set, along with the related game day programs and team issue set, offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of football card collecting in the 1960s. While much about the origins of these sets remains a mystery, including the relationship between the Texans and 7-Eleven, their rarity and unique design have made them sought-after by collectors today. As the search for the missing Paul Miller card and the true origins of these sets continues, they will undoubtedly continue to capture the imagination of football card collectors for years to come. Happy collecting, and be sure to subscribe to The Post War Cards Newsletter for more hobby news.
P.S. The 1960 AFL Yearbook has a few more photos that might be relevant to this conversation; if you have a copy, take a look, and please let me know.