Old Detroit Tigers Collectible Brings Back Fond Memories of 1966

While surfing the Internet the other day, I came across a vintage 1966 souvenir Detroit Tigers drinking glass that featured a colorful artist’s rendering of Norm Cash.

I can remember as an eleven-year-old in ’66 that the Sunoco gas stations sold twelve different Detroit Tiger glasses that featured Cash, Don Wert, Mickey Lolich, Joe Sparma, Dave Wickersham, Bill Freehan, Willie Horton, Denny McLain, Don Demeter, Al Kaline, Dick McAuliffe, and Hank Aguirre.

Each plastic glass has a portrait of the player with a facsimile signature and on the back a much smaller image of the player in action. The Cash glass shows Storm’n Norman twirling two bats over his head as he always did on the on the deck circle before approaching home plate.

One summer day in 1966 a family friend and physician from Oregon who was in town for a medical convention (in fact the Doctor who delivered me) drove me to the Sunoco station on Ford Road in Dearborn where he bought me the Al Kaline glass. I was thrilled to say the least.

I decided to check out eBay and some other Internet sites to find out more about these glasses and stumbled upon an old original advertising banner with Aguirre’s image. The advertisement stated that the glasses sold for 39 cents each with a minimum fill up of five gallons. I also discovered that in 1966 the average gas price was 32 cents per gallon. I guess we have to put it all in perspective.

The 45-year-old drinking glasses now are very collectible and it appears they typically go for $25 each with the Kaline often much higher. A complete set of the Tiger glasses was listed on eBay for $350.

As it turns out, the renowned portrait artist Nicholas Volpe produced these colorful images and in the mid 1960s the drinking glass tumblers of several sports teams were sold as premiums at gas stations and super markets.

I would guess that most kids who may have had one or more of these cool Tigers tumblers as a kid in the 1960s no longer have them since they were probably lost long ago in a move or clearing out of an attic. I know my Kaline glass somehow disappeared years ago.

However seeing them again nearly a half century later is a pretty nice memory of a special time and place.

14 replies on “Old Detroit Tigers Collectible Brings Back Fond Memories of 1966

  • Ron

    Bill, I enjoy every story of the Tigers, RedWings, and Lions you post here on the DetroitAthletic blog.
    I also have the Kaline tumbler in my “6” collection, along with a Hank Aguirre.

  • Bob Leathley

    Bill, thanks for this great article, I just happened to win the banner shown in your story in a recent internet auction. It’s just about the coolest thing in my collection of 1968 Tigers memorabilia. I also have the set of cups with most signed. My biggest problem now is how to display this gigantic piece! Thanks again and keep the articles coming! Bob

  • Hank

    I still have 11 of the 12 tumblers. I never bought Don Demeter because he was traded. I also have a complete set of the Red Wing Volpe tumblers.

  • Kathy

    I would love to get a Norman Cash glass.
    My brother-in-law who is 57 years old with stage 4 colon cancer was talking about the Norman Cash glass yesterday and wondered what ever happen to the one we had as kids. Does anyone know where I can get one. I live in the Detroit area

  • kathy


    Any chance you would be willing to sell the Norman Cash glass. I am looking for one for my brother-in-law that has stage 4 colon cancer. He remembers coming to our house and drinking out of the glass. He never had one and he is a die hard Tiger Fan. Even went to game 4 of the World Series just 2 weeks after getting out of the hospital.

  • Todd Lurvey

    I have a set of clear plastic cups from around 1968, they have for example Al Kalines face and autograph on them, does anyone know anything about these? I have 12 of these with all the big names from the champs…

  • Pam Aguirre

    Bill! We have my dads sitting on the kitchen counter and a few others in a box here at home. I better dig them out and check which players I have. Great memories for sure!

  • sean O"Toole

    i have a 1966 detroit tigers baseball signed by the whole team. igot it at a yard sale in rhode island some 20 yrs ago,i’m a red sox fan, but held on to this.

  • William

    I have a full set from around 1966 or 1967 I bought when I was a cub scout just curious if any knows about them

  • Alan T Haugabook

    I have some of them. Got them with my mother in Baldwin, MI Sunoco Station when I was a kid. Have to find them.

    • Mike V.

      Would like to find a Dave Wickersham cup. Would be willing to purchase or possibly trade one of the following for a Wickersham cup: Freehan, McLain, McAuliffe, or Demeter.

  • Mike V.

    Would like to purchase a Dave Wickersham cup. Also, I have the following cups of which I’d be willing to trade one for a Wickersham cup: Freehan, McLain, McAuliffe, & Demeter.

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