Foster, Barry

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Pittsburgh Steelers

Barry Foster. Quite an interesting player and career, but first a segway. I started playing fantasy football way back in 1990, so when my friends ‘discovered it’ in 1992, they casually omitted me from the league draft for some reason. The commissioner allowed me to join the league after their draft and I quickly assembled a competent group of free agents and players that included Barry Foster and Gary Clark into a team called the ‘Pennsylvania Pinto Beans’. I would dominate the first two weeks of the league until complaints from other owners arose, and the commissioner unceremoniously disbanded my team, stating that my team was ‘stacked unfairly’- even though my team was built from street free agents and no draft choices. Whatever.

I sent off for Barry during that season, partially because of my fantasy football success and also because I am enamored with the Action Packed series of football cards. The embossed figures and gold lines really felt- well manly, and were just exemplary cards to get autographed.  I thought that Barry’s autograph was a fake- because it is so ‘pedestrian looking’ but after researching his signature it does appear to be this simple. Barry Foster was a fullback from Arkansas drafted by the Steelers in the fifth round of the 1990 draft.  After a rough start in a game I saw on TV where he was assigned to the kickoff team in his rookie season and let a live football bounce past him on a kickoff, Foster would slowly improve and eventually find himself inserted into the starting lineup. By 1991, Foster had become a bruising powerback and after an injury plagued year, really turned on the jets in 1992 with 390 carries, breaking Franco Harris’ team rushing record. Barry was voted to the Pro Bowl after the season and was the AFC offensive player of the year.  Unfortunately injuries limited his effectiveness the rest of his career. Barry would start off strong each season, but his body frame couldn’t sustain the 16 game schedule. In 1995 he was signed by the Carolina Panthers, but failed the physical- to which he was quickly signed by the Bengals and retired. (He appears I believe on Tecmo Super Bowl Final Edition as a member of the Panthers, even though he never played a down for them.)

Barry had always been looking ahead, and loved coaching. He had been budgeting his money for retirement. At one point I had heard a rumor that he was a cop, but this turned out to be untrue. Foster would become a part of the NFL’s minority coaching fellowship and by 2003 was coaching in the NFLE for the Rhien Fire. He also participates in junior sports and football camps for kids.

G/Gs   62/44   Att 915   Yds  3943  Avg 4.3  Td 26   Lg 69 |  Rec 93   Yds 804   Avg 8.6  Td 2   Lg 42