All posts by Lee Bolton

Collins, Todd

Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: TTM 1993, c/o New England Patriots

A powerful hitter who was considered a top 5 linebacker in the 1992 draft.  He transferred from Tennessee to tiny Carson-Newman and was incredibly fast, running a sub 4.3 after rehabbing from knee surgery.  Collins was eventually drafted by the New England Patriots and played for them from 1992-1998, and the Rams through 2000 starting in a Super Bowl once for each team.  Injuries shortened his career and he retired briefly for a season in 1995, but Collins was a ferocious competitor who fought through pain including a separated shoulder, a bum knee, a broken foot, and a strained neck over his tenure in the sport.  In a quirky side note, before a big games Todd practiced a superstition of rubbing stones and charms over previous injuries he’d sustained. Teams even began selling an incense before the game that he apparently liked to use to profit off of his behavior.

In 1992 I began sending out for autographs bulk through the mail to teams. I’d write a letter with 20-30 cards included with it trying to get a bunch of autographs at once. Most of the time I’d get letters back saying I needed to send cards to specific players, but on the rare occasion I’d get lucky with a bulk autograph return. I focused on the really bad teams, the 1-15s and 3-12s of the year because I theorized that they’d probably get less fan mail and Todd was one of my successes during one of my Patriot blitzes.

G  106      Tac  329      Sac  3.5      Fum   4      Int  2      Yds  15     Td 0

Mitchell, Scott

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Score 1990, Ultimate WLAF 1991, Wild Card WLAF 1992.
Acquired: In Person, 1992. San Antonio Riders v. Orlando Thunder. TTM 2010, c/o  Springville High School, UT.
Sent:  3/12   Received: 7/10  (120 days)

Scott Mitchell was drafted by the Dolphins in the 4th round of the 1990 draft from Utah. Mitchell would ride the Dolphins bench for the next three seasons, preparing to be the heir to Dan Marino.  He was loaned to the WLAF in 1992 in an attempt by both the NFL and the WLAF to drum up the talent of the league by showcasing young and promising talent, while providing them ‘game live’ experience. (The Thunder’s drafting of Mitchell was slightly surprising because they already had a talented run ‘n shoot gunslinger in Kerwin Bell.) Mitchell played well that season and led the team to World Bowl II where they lost to the eventual champion Sacramento Surge. Scott returned to the Dolphins and saw starting duty for Miami in 1993- playing so well that he would bolt in free agency for Detroit in the off-season that year.  Initially struggling upon his arrival, Mitchell adjusted to the offense and reclaimed the starting position with a vengeance in 1995. He was with the Lions when they made the playoffs in 1994, 1995, and 1997.  Mitchell would play for the Ravens in 1999 and then finished his career in Cincinnati (2000-2001).  Scott continued to be involved in football and was hired in 2010 to coach for Springville High School in Utah.

I wandered onto the field before the game and picked up Scott’s autograph on his Action Packed 1990 and Score 1990 card. It was a lazy day, and the security didn’t care. As the team hadn’t even started warm ups, I thought it would be okay. Scott rolled his eyes at me as he signed, but then again he may have been looking down at me as he is 6″6′.

After I read his Wikipedia entry, I was able to do the rest of the research to locate Scott at Springville High School. It only took about 4 months for a response from him which was at that time during my return to collecting- quite a wait.

NFL      Games 99   Att  2346   Comp  1301  Pct  55.5
Yds  15692  TD 95  Int  81

WLAF  Games 10   Att  361      Comp  201    Pct  55.7
Yds    2213  TD 12  Int 7

Rentie, Caesar

Card: Proset WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o New York/ New Jersey Knights

For all of the football junkies out there Caesar Rentie is famous because he was the first player drafted in the WLAF.  Originally a 7th round choice of the Chicago Bears, Rentie played 5 games for the Bears in 1988, and then went Plan B to the Bills and Colts before being taken by the WLAF.  The son of deaf-mute parents, Rentie has faced adversity all his life. Playing for the Knights, Rentie provided valuable protection and excellent run blocking for Eric Wilkerson in 1991. He’d play part of the season for the Knights again in 1992, finishing up the season on the squad of the Birmingham Fire.

After the league restructured in 1992, Caesar felt a higher calling and decided to leave football where he then became an intern in pastoral care at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center and as of this post is affiliated with Arcadia Park UMC in Dallas as a Senior Pastor. I sent off for Caesar’s autograph during the 1992 season to the NY/NJ Knights. I got a fairly quick response and was pleased to get his autograph on his Proset card.