Cards: ProSet 1989, Topps 1990, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 8/3/18 Received: 1/17/19 (167 days)
Failure: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Matt Millen comes from a long pedigree of great linebackers to come out of Penn State- and was an All-American in 1978. He was selected in the second round of the 1980 draft by the then Oakland Raiders. He’d go on to be the Raiders leading tackler in 1981, 1982, and 1988- earning a ProBowl nomination in the latter, and All-Pro Nominations in 1984 and 1985. Over this period Matt also won SuperBowls XV and XVIII. A vicious hitter, player, and run stopper, Matt was unceremoniously cut by the Raiders right before the 1989 season began. He’d be snatched up by the San Fransisco 49ers and go on to win another Super Bowl. Two seasons later he’d round out his career with a final Super Bowl win with the Washington Redskins.
Matt moved into the broadcast booth where he honed his skills and then later joined the Detroit Lions as their General Manager. While Matt’s tenure there was rightfully much maligned- he was also placed into a difficult rebuilding situation. A tireless worker, it is said that he essentially lived at the team’s complex working non-stop for the franchise. After being dismissed from his time with the Lions, Matt was offered a job with the Oakland Raiders but he declined, and has returned to broadcasting.
A few years ago I had shot a few cards out to Matt who was a very reliable and consistent signer. At about the same time another greedy collector sent out a request- that included 23 cards. Viewing the successes on sportscollectors.net it was incredibly frustrating to see this other person get their request completely filled- while mine never was.
When I heard that he was diagnosed with Amyloidosis- the same disease as Lions LB Mike Cofer– and that he needed a heart transplant, I thought I should send Matt another letter. I didn’t really expect anything back, and I had hoped that he’d find some small comfort in what I wrote. He was really struggling and needing a heart transplant. Six months or so later I heard he had a successful heart transplant and was already recovering from the surgery. Within a few days, I got back all 3 of these cards signed.
I was genuinely shocked, but it’s quite a credit to Matt that he’d bother to send these autographed cards back out to me and I will always treasure them a bit more than I will admit.