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Newsome, Ozzie (2)

Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  Received:   (days)
See Also: Ozzie Newsome
* Possible Autopen*

When I first restarted the TTM hobby about 10 years ago, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I just thought I’d hit some of the most memorable players that I remembered. Ozzie was a thorn in the side of the Oilers ‘back then’, and while I only had the pleasure of witnessing the tail end of his career, Ozzie had earned my respect by the end of it all. I had a lot of cards of his, and when I started collecting again, I just fired the first two out I could find, not knowing that there were so many other cards out there in the dark corners of the web.

Ozzie has a lot of good cards. The ProSet 1991 Legends card was a gimme. I had to do that since this was a really nice Merv Corning illustration. I didn’t really respect these cards back then but now, being there and seeing the hard work involved, I really like how this one turned out. The autograph- well that’s another thing.

The Upper Deck 1997 Legends card was a set need. I had no clue he was in this set until much later. It’s a great card and photo. Each being immaculate. The backs of these cards- well they leave much to be desired and are stuffed with a bit too much busy information.  Again the autograph is just sorta… there… but I really can’t complain can I?

The 3rd entry is possibly my favorite of the bunch is Ozzie’s Action Packed 1990 entry. It is just a beautifully framed action shot, and it is one of these rare straight on photos, so you see him making the grab from the view of a quarterback. I had to get it signed and it was the first one on the list after I got him the last time.

His 1991 Action Packed card just barely missed the cut. Again, another amazing shot. Also I saw his Upper Deck 2011 College Legends card, but it was a bit too late to send that one out. Still I am happy that he spent the time to autograph these three cards for me- or did he?

Ozzie has been dogged on and off for a few years as a stamper. These are not stamped. If they were, pooling would occur on the cards, and be extremely obvious on the Action Packed one. When I opened the return envelope I was just entirely too suspicious. Something was just off about the autographs. After tediously overlaying them up in Photoshop, all of the signatures nearly matched. There were just some very small differences between the autographs, but the height, weight, angle, and length from card to card were consistent. While there were distinct difference between all the autographs, I just had a hard time believing that he could nail them so closely without consciously knowing he was.

Later when I discussed this was others on a message board, they informed me that Ozzie’s autograph has changed over the year due to a possible health issue. He went back to apparently hand signing after it happened- and he hand signs everything. The other collectors presented similar signatures that had passed JSA and other authentication benchmarks, so I guess I can not look these gift horses in the mouth.Later when I discussed this was others on a message board, they informed me that Ozzie’s autograph has changed over the year due to a possible health issue. He went back to apparently hand signing after it happened- and he hand signs everything. The other collectors presented similar signatures that had passed JSA and other authentication benchmarks, so I guess I can not look these gift horses in the mouth.

Cracraft, River

Card: Sage 2017
Acquired: 2017, Box Breaker

River. Cracraft. What a memorable and original name! The WSU wide receiver went on to slide into second place on the career receiving charts for the Cougars with 218 receptions, 2,701 yards, and 20 TDs, despite suffering a season ending ACL injury during his Senior campaign.  Teams shied away from River during the 2017 Draft, and he’d go unselected.

Cracraft rehabbed and got a nibble from the Patriots who brought him in for a workout in September of 2017. In October he was added to the Broncos practice squad.  A few days later he was waived by the team due to an undisclosed injury, but by the end of the year, he was back on Denver’s practice squad for a second go-round. He’d again not make the squad in 2018, but earned another shot at Denver’s practice squad.

 

Brunell, Mark

Cards: TNT Signature Select, Classic 1993, SP Game Used 2002, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2006
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 9/12    Received: 10/11     (26 days)*
*donation enclosed

Mark Brunell was one of these ageless wonders. He put in 19 seasons under his belt of solid to workmanlike/ journeyman quality work. In the annals of pro football, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, but his arrival in Jacksonville heralded an era of respectability in Jaguars football. The owner of all of the passing records in the franchise’s record books when he departed the Jaguars after the 2003 season, Mark earned 3 Pro Bowl nominations, including MVP honors of the 2000 Pro Bowl. 

Originally a 5th round pick out of Washington State by the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 draft, Brunell didn’t see much action playing for the Pack, sitting behind Brett Favre and Ty Detmer.  He’d be eventually traded to the Jaguars in 1995 for a 3rd and 5th round pick before the team’s inaugural season began. After his banner time in Jacksonville, Mark was traded to the Redskins and provided stability to the quarterback position in Washington from 2004 to 2007. During that period he’d break the NFL record for most consecutive completions in a game with 22. In 2008, he signed with the Saints- winning his lone Super Bowl Championship (XLIV) as Drew Brees’ backup. 

Brunell played 2 more seasons for the New York Jets (2010-2012), before retiring. Since that time Mark has gone into coaching starting at the High School level, and as of 2019 is coaching in the Jacksonville area. Mark has made the news otherwise for all the wrong reasons financially, and at one point needed to file for bankruptcy. Those are always the most humbling moments- so it was not a big deal to send him the requested donation.

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