Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 Certified
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, EBay 2019
Sent: 4/11 Received: 5/3 (22 days)
When the different AAF groups were talking about what players they were impressed by, I was surprised that they brought up the lumber laying Orion Stewart. He was apparently really impressing in camp for the Commanders. He quickly proved to me during that first game what a force he was for SA in the secondary, laying down the law against the Fleet. In that first game he hauled in a pick, deflected two passes, and made 6 tackles. At the end of the game, he and a gaggle of players came over to the visitor’s endzone and mugged my sister and me for hugs… well primarily my sister- but still it was a great memory to make- and Stewart became one of my favorite players.
Orion was a 3 time All-Big 12 safety at Baylor, playing in 49 games while starting 36 of them. He recorded 12 interceptions over his time playing for the Bears, and ended up third on the school charts with 227 career interception return yards.
Stewart was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft- and saw brief stops with the Broncos, Redskins, Giants, and Bills. In 2018 he signed with the Commanders and he and Derron Smith made the most fearsome safety duo in the league. He also came up with a nickname for the secondary (- which was one of the league leaders in creating turnovers), calling their group “Area 51”. In fact at the last game, I brandished a homemade sign with it on there as well.
After the league collapsed, Orion signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019. He signed his base card in 22 days- which was a day after his certified arrived in the mail. I got an incredible deal on the certified autograph. I got 4 for about half the price of a hobby box, and a hobby box typically comes with 3 autographs, so you do the math.