Fenerty, Gill “Gill the Thrill”

Cards: Topps 1992, GameDay 1992, ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 5/10   Received: 10/26   (169 days*)
*Slight delay. Forwarded from old address.

One of my longer waits this season, Gill Fenerty responded in roughly 6 months to my autograph request. I had given up on this one, so to get it back, especially when I had newer stakes in the fire, and on top of the problems with my forwarded mail, it was a nice charge to my slower than normal month. I like guys like Gill- a real blast from the past. I love his Topps card. Even though he’s in a two point stance, Gill looks ready to launch off the line like an armored tank.

It’s safe to say that Gill Fenerty is probably tiny Catholic College Holy Cross’ most famed football graduate. The Crusaders’ do it all runningback would be drafted out of college in 1986 in the 7th round by his hometown Saints, after finishing as the school’s all-time leading rusher but opted to play in Italy of all places instead. He’d sign with the Argonauts of the CFL in 1987, and tear it up North of the border posting 625 carries for 3094 yards, a 5.0 average and 32 touchdowns over the next 3 season. Gill also contributed 140 receptions for 1190 yards and 7 touchdowns. With a short career in the CFL, he left a lasting legacy by setting team marks for rushing yards in a season (1247), in a game (215),  CFL Rookie of the Year Honors, in addition to CFL All Star Honors for every season he played in the gridiron league.

In 1990, The Thrill would return home to his native New Orleans Saints. Raised in NO, Fenerty came into a runningback corps that had proven 1,000 yard talents Reuben Mayes and Dalton Hilliard in the backfield. -Even the fullback, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward could’ve been a featured starter on many squads. Undaunted, Gill joined the squad and quickly endeared himself to fans as a hometown favorite that did it all for the Saints rushing, receiving, and kick returning.

With Bobby Hebert sitting out the 1990 season, the team went to bat with Steve Walsh and John Fourcade as starters at quarterback. Both Reuben Mayes and Dalton Hilliard suffered season ending injuries allowing Fenerty to step into the lineup as a key contributor for the team.  He’d finish with 355 yards rushing, 209 yards receiving, and 572 on kick returns.  In 1991, Thrill started 12 games for the team, as Hebert would return to the starting lineup and guide the team to its first division title. Fenerty had excellent hands. He’d lead all runningbacks out of the backfield with 26 receptions in 1991 but was not retained by the squad for 1992.  After his playing time with the Saints, Fennerty signed with the Shreveport Pirates and played one season for the expansion CFLUSA franchise before retiring.  Most notably Gill is immortalized as one of the better return men in Tecmo Super Bowl.  He currently lives in the Atlanta area and is a successful CPA.

G/Gs 31/12     Rush 212     Yds  832        Avg 3.9        Td 5      Lg 60t      |
Rec  44   Yds 444    Avg 10.1    Td 2    Lg  50
KR   30    Yds 600    Avg 20.0    Td 0     Lg  58