Tuesday, February 18, 2014

1980 81 82 Tampa Rowdies Police Sets - How to Tell the Difference

The Tampa Rowdies soccer club was the subject of three police sets in the early 1980s. All three sets utilized a design format that was typical for safety sets of the time, with the fronts of all three being exactly the same. Here's a look at a card front from each:

I don't know about you, but I can't see much of a difference on the fronts. The key to discovering the year of issue lies on the backs of the cards, as there are subtle but unmistakeable differences. Each of the three years features a different set of sponsors listed on the back bottoms of the cards. Here they are:

You'll immediately notice that the 1980 set features two logos near the bottom, with the circular logo representing the Exchange Club of Tampa. This is the only year that the Exchange Club was a sponsor. In 1981, the two sponsors listed were the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Law Enforcement Council. Luckily, between the printings of the 1981 and 1982 sets, the Law Enforcement Council changed their name to the Community Security Council, with the 1982 set reflecting the name change accordingly.

We will spend more time detailing these sets in the future. These really are some great oddball cards that feature cards for players, cheerleaders (Wowdies), the band (Loudies), the stadium, and even mascot "Krazy George."

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