Late in August, I got an email in the evening from the Ricky Williams Foundation. When I opened it up I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Foundation was holding Ricky’s First Tailgating event, for only a small donation of $25.00. Included in the price was BBQ, beer, games, meeting Ricky, and getting a few autographs. It was a no brainer for me, and I bought two tickets immediately, so that I could drag Josh along this time. We arrived a bit after twelve, and parking was a hassle because of the pregame stuff going on for New Mexico. After a lot of blind wandering, we located his event that was being treated very low key. The BBQ was great, and eventually we got Ricky’s autograph on a few items. I was really pleased to get him on these 3 cards this time.
Ricky was very friendly with fans and many of them he was happy to speak to or allow to pet his Heisman. He allowed everybody to take photos and grab autographs. I got to share Ricky’s Heisman with him which is a bit unwieldy. I’d guess the trophy was about 20 pounds or so, and there was some nicks and tears to the foundation of the base. Still it was very kind of him to let me do it, since I have been getting into doing poses with players other than the normal conventional, ‘stand there and smile pose’. Overall I think it was a great PR move by him and his team, and since I had a great time volunteering at a Christian Okoye Foundation event, I volunteered to help Ricky Williams Foundation at other events, if they needed assistance.
A bit about these cards. I really like the treatment that the Rookies & Stars went through for 2009. It still remains one of my favorite modern day sets and this card is exceptional. I got an idea after witnessing a Texans fan at a Mario Williams signing last year toting around jersey card, that I should consider getting a few of them signed. The red cards, are jersey cards and they are absolutely beautiful with it placed right below the player’s image on the card. It’s a very well integrated design, even if they use the type font ‘Birth of a Hero’.
With the UT Upper Deck Monumental Moments cards, we have two cards that frame Williams’ contributions to the history of Texas football. First
up is the card in which he broke Tony Dorsett’s career rushing record against A&M. It’s not a bad card at all. The action is framed well and you get the point of the card in its summation of his achievement. The second card, which highlights his school record 350 yard stomping of Iowa State,(which broke the record previously held by Roosevelt Leaks) is an equally nice card with the same warts. It really showcases how hard Ricky as to take down as 4 defenders are frantically in frame trying to catch him. I did have to use the baby powder on both cards to remove the sheen, but it worked like a charm so there was no marker loss there. I did not like how
they used the ‘fat T’ logo on the right hand side of the card. It feels too University of Tennessee. (Any well minded UT fan would’ve used the combined UT logo to differentiate from the Volunteers.) In the meantime, I had a great time and look forward to going to and or working other events and getting a few more cards signed by Ricky in the future.