Cards with Asterisks

There are eight cards in the 1962 Post cereal football set that feature an asterisk next to the red line in the biography area detailing the player's team and position. Usually the asterisk is placed at the end of the line after the position, but in two cases it is squeezed between the team and position. There are also two cards that feature a red and black asterisk for a player. The asterisks were assigned to players that had been traded after Post finalized player selections and in this way were notated as being on their new teams.

Card Trade Date Player Team Traded To Players involved Asterisk Location
22 3/31/1962 Cliff Livingston Giants Vikings For Dick Pesonen After position
46 3/29/1962 Howard Cassady Lions Browns With Bill Glass and Jim Ninowksi for Milt Plum, Tommy Watkins and Dave Lloyd After position
49 3/29/1962 Bill Glass Lions Browns With Howard Cassady and Jim Ninowksi for Milt Plum, Tommy Watkins and Dave Lloyd After position
57 3/29/1962 Jim Ninowski Lions Browns With Howard Cassady and Bill Glass for Milt Plum, Tommy Watkins and Dave Lloyd After position
67 12/14/1961 Bobby Mitchell Browns Redskins Traded for the right to draft Ernie Davis After team name
70 3/29/1962 Milt Plum Browns Lions With Tommy Watkins and Dave Lloyd for Howard Cassady, Bill Glass and Jim Ninowski After position
74 12/30/1961 Sam Baker Browns Cowboys For Tom Franckhouser After team name
181 3/31/1962 Dick Pesonen Vikings Giants For Cliff Livingston After position

Mitchell and Baker were traded in December 1961 and both had asterisks positioned after the team name. This may have been Post's original location. The other six players were swapped in two separate trades, all near the end of March 1961. Faced with what was most likely an impending deadline for mock up panels to be finalized, rather than move the team name on each of the six players' mock up board, it appears Post decided to place the asterisk at the end of the team and position line.

There were also a number of players in the set who moved to new teams between February and May of 1962 that did not receive the asterisk designation.

Card Date of Trade Player Team Traded To Players involved
25 2/9/1962 Dick Nolan Giants Cowboys For draft pick
27 4/16/1962 Kyle Rote Giants Retired
31 3/19/1962 Billy Ray Barnes Eagles Redskins With Bobby Freeman for Jim Schrader and Ben Scotti
44 3/26/1962 Chuck Weber Eagles Redskins Claimed off waivers
83 4/23/1962 Jim Mutscheller Colts Retired
101 5/7/1962 R. C. Owens 49ers Colts Free agent
107 4/4/1962 Ed Brown Bears Steelers For draft picks
123 4/3/1962 Bobby Joe Green Bears Steelers For draft pick
129 3/24/1962 John Nisby Steelers Redskins For Ray Lemek
158 5/9/1962 Ralph Guglielmi Cardinals Giants For Bill Triplett

R. C. Owens had refused to sign a 1961 contract and, as was the rule at the time, played out his option year in 1961 making him a free agent for 1962. When the 49ers didn't meet his salary request, he signed with the Colts in May. The other May transaction involved Ralph Guglielmi who was traded. Neither card received an asterisk. Kyle Rote and Jim Mutscheller both retired in mid-April and Ed Brown and Bobby Joe Green were traded for draft picks in early April. None of their cards were marked with an asterisk. Billy Ray Barnes, Chuck Weber, and John Nisby all switched teams in March without asterisks being applied. Dick Nolan was traded to the Cowboys in February and his card went unchanged. Why the cards in the top chart were designated with asterisks and why the cards in the lower chart were not is anybody's guess.

What we can learn from the asterisk dates is the date of Post's deadline for finalized artwork. It appears that the end of March 1962 was as late as Post would make substantive changes to any of the cards. In his book on the 1961 Post cereal baseball set, "CARDBOARD, CRUNCH, MILK & SCISSORS," Dan Mabey presents "a speculative milestone schedule" in which the start of pairing card art with panels takes place four months prior to the completion of printed cartons. Projecting a similar schedule on the 1962 Post cereal football promotion would produce a similar schedule. As shown on the Newspaper Advertisements page, Post cereal boxes with football cards were in stores at least by August 21, 1962. Assuming a reasonable two to three week period for shipping, that would make the time when the boxes were ready to leave the warehouse around August 1, 1962. Finally, accounting for the four months from the time the card art and panels were being put together, the time frame works back to the first of April.

Red and Black

Jim Ninowski and Sam Baker each had cards with red and black asterisks. Ninowski's card number 57 had a black asterisk on the AB13/CC13 double print pair and a red asterisk on the PT18. Baker's GN11 asterisk was black and his P10 was red. Why are they the only two cards with a red asterisk in the whole set? The asterisks were placed in a line of print that was red. Could it be that all eight cards were created with red asterisks to begin with and then later replaced with black asterisks to make them stand out and the Ninowski PT18 and Baker P10 with red asterisks escaped notice? We'll probably never know.