I have been a collector of sports memorabilia since the age of five, when my father bought me a box of 1978 Topps baseball cards to entertain myself on a motor home trip to Montana. My various collections have evolved over the years, developing into what they are today. With only the slightest of exceptions, I focus on collecting memorabilia pertaining to the Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers of the American Football League, with random pieces that relate to other AFL players, teams or themes. I also enjoy collecting autographed football cards from the Fleer and Topps AFL sets of the 1960s, and have a nearly-complete collection of signed Fleer (1960-1963) and Topps (1961, 1964-current season) cards of Chargers players.
Below is a sampling of some of the items in my collection. Most pertain to the Chargers during their time in the American Football League, though some are related to other teams or the league itself.
San Diego Chargers and AFL Memorabilia
The American Football League produced some of the most collectable of football game programs. From the cartoon covers of the early 1960s to the real photo covers of the mid-decade and ultimately the slightly psychadelic covers that led into the 1970s, there is something for most every collector’s tastes.
San Diego Chargers Game Programs
The 1963 Fleer football set is, in my opinion, one of the premier AFL sets of the 1960s. Hall of Famers Lance Alworth, Len Dawson and Nick Buoniconti have their rookie cards in this set. Tough short-print cards are Charles Long, Bob Dougherty and the unnumbered checklist. Here is my signed set, missing only Charles Long to be complete.
1963 Fleer Set
The 1965 Topps set is the second of what I believe to be the premier AFL sets of the 1960s. The tallboy design makes the cards a bit tougher than most to find in nice condition. The overall star power, combined with Joe Namath, Willie Brown and Fred Biletnikoff rookie cards makes this set truly special. Here is my signed 1965 Topps set, missing only Jim Perkins and Bobby Jancik for completion.
1965 Topps Set
In 1998, I began a collection of autographed cards of the San Diego Chargers. Initially, I only hoped to collect all of the cards from the AFL era, 1960-1969. However, a few years later I decided to extend the collection through the most current football season. Now this collection consists of the following autographed Los Angeles and San Diego Chargers team sets – Fleer: 1960-1963 and Topps: 1961, 1964-Current Season.
Autographed Chargers Team Sets