Names like Robert Delpino- now that brings back memories. I had these cards sitting there when I first started, because Delpino is one of those names that blipped on the radar really brightly back in the early nineties. To boot Robert had some great looking cards and his strong and unique signature compliments these cards nicely. I am a big LA Rams fan and at one point the Rams were one of the few teams that could rival the 49ers during the evil reign of the red and gold. John Robinson was head coach of the Rams during this period and he was a master of the ground game, so after Greg Bell departed via free agency Robert Delpino stepped up in the lineup.
An exceptional blocker and receiver out of the backfield, Robert was drafted in the 5th round out of Missouri in 1988, and excelled his first three seasons on the stacked roster, playing at fullback for the team and on special teams. He’d be named the Rams Rookie of the year in 1988 making 30 receptions for 312 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with about 150 yards rushing. 1989 would see even more playing time for the young Ram, with 368 yards rushing and 334 yards receiving. After a fairly quiet 1990, where Delpino would make 4 receiving touchdowns, he’d take charge of the LA Rams ground game in 1991 starting 15 games.
He had another well balanced season rushing for a career high 688 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 617 yards receiving. Leading the league at some points during the season, Robert had perhaps his finest game against the Giants that season running for 116 yards on 27 carries as the team ground out a 19-13 victory in week 2. Delpino would hold down the starting position for the remainder of the season, and although he’d not rush for over 100 yards in another contest during the season as teams began to key on the Rams ground game, Robert would sneak up on them with his incredible receiving ability, finishing the season with 1305 yards from scrimmage.
Unfortunately with a changing of the guard at coach after the season Robert would find himself riding the bench again with Cleveland Gary at starting runningback in 1992. Delpino would relocate after the season to Denver playing one final season for the Broncos as their short yardage back. He’d run for 8 touchdowns and 445 yards in 4 starts and then retire after the season. Today he lives in relative anonymity in Daisy, Ca. I had to do a lot of internet sleuthing but I was extremely happy to net Robert as currently I am batting 1 success for 6 failures on ex-Los Angeles Rams. I’ve also rarely seen Delpino successes posted up on boards, perhaps due to his obscurity in Rams’ history.
While the Gameday and ProSet cards were exceptionally well designed during this point- Score 1992 cards completely turned me off. The only thing that saves this card is Delpino’s heroic pose (and by 1992 most card companies were designing their cards so that players broke the picture plane for a more dynamic effect such as on Robert’s helmet). Otherwise the Score 1992 cards completely miss their mark as their execution makes them come off as flash cards for 3 year olds. The type, color, and framing are simplistic and lack sophistication. Pro Set would follow suit into the abyss of hideous design with their Pro Set 1992 series 2 cards and with the over saturation in the market already taking place, the industry would soon collapse.
G/Gs 88/30 Rush 502 Yds 1815 Avg 3.6 Td 18 Lg 36 |
Rec 178 Yds 1769 Avg 9.9 Td 9 Lg 78 |
Kr 68 Yds 1339 Avg 19.7 Td 0 lg 49