Thursday, January 30, 2014

1987 Buffalo Bills Police Uncut Sheet

We love us some uncut sheets here at the Oddball Card Collector blog. These sheets allow us to see the details of a set that may have been previously unknown, such as which cards were double-printed. Sometimes sheets will feature scarce cards that were distributed in limited quantities (often because the player left the team). And maybe, if the planets happen to align, a sheet may contain a card that was withdrawn from the set altogether; undocumented cards of this nature are a "holy grail" for a small segment of hardcore collectors.

The uncut sheet we have chosen to highlight today contains the 1987 Buffalo Bills Police set. The sheet has nine rows of eight cards each, as shown below:

You can quickly see, based on the photo above, that each row contains an eight-card complete set. And what a great set this is. Defensive end Bruce Smith, head coach Marv Levy and quarterback Jim Kelly are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and we have a feeling that wide receiver Andre Reed will be joining them shortly (Edit: he did). While not a superstar, tight end Pete Metzelaars played 16 seasons in the NFL, ten of them with the Bills, and retired with the most games played by a tight end in NFL history (235). Punter John Kidd lasted 15 years in the league, linebacker Eugene Marve eleven, and defensive tackle Joe Devlin thirteen (all with the Bills). 

Here's a look at the full sheet... And yes, those are cassette tapes holding down the corners:

Ok, wait a minute.... Did you see that? On the top row?

Yep, that is indeed a solid row of nothing but glorious Jim Kelly cards. So, on a sheet that has nine rows, eight rows each feature a complete eight-card set, while one row features eight additional Jim Kelly cards. This is a classic example of a star card being "double printed." A way to visualize this would be to take the row of eight Kelly cards from the top of the sheet, and drop it to the right of Pete Metzelaars. Each of the eight rows would now have two Kellys per set -- hence, the double print.

The Kelly card has always seemed to be more plentiful than the others in this set, and this sheet confirms why. (One can find numerous Kelly singles on Ebay now, even as I type this.) Another classic example of a double-printed card from a police set is the Hank Aaron found in the 1981 Atlanta Braves set.

The focus of this post has been split between the set and the sheet itself, so we won't go into all the fine details regarding these cards. We will say, however, that this was the first of several Bills Police sets and is a must-have for football collectors. Sets should sell in the $7 to $10 range.

Click here to find 1987 Bills Police Cards on eBay

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