All posts by Lee Bolton

Jeffires, Haywood

Cards: Score 1990, Fleer 1993 LL, Action Packed 1991 Braille, Skybox 1992-1993
Acquired: In Person 1991, 1992. TTM courtesy Houston Oilers 1993.
See Also: Jeffires, Haywood (2) , Jeffries, Haywood “Freakwood” (3)

Outside of Warren Moon, Jeffires was probably my favorite player as we both shared the same birthday. I got his autograph the first time at training camp in San Antonio in 1991 where he autographed my Score 1990. We exchanged pleasantries and it turned out that he knew somebody who was standing next to me and had to go. I got him again in 1992 and mailed off  an additional 2 cards in 1993,  with a drawing I had done for him from his Pacific 91 card.  Jeffires stood head and shoulders above the rest of the “Fab Four” and I felt on more than one occasion they should have been called “Jeffires and the Smurfs” playing with smallish receivers Drew Hill, Ernest Givins, Curtis Duncan, and Webster Slaughter.  An emotional receiver who tried to motivate his teammates, Jeffires had a penchant for making sideline catches and ran patterns extremely well. I remember the game against the Chiefs when Haywood caught this pass and rolled off the back of a DB then ran 87 yards for a touchdown. It was on that day when they went on the road and played a team that they lost to 30-0 a year earlier, and socked them solidly in the mouth. I knew the Oilers had turned a corner at that exact moment.

Haywood Jeffires or ‘Jeffries’ as it is pronounced, but incorrectly spelled, was the number one rated receiver off the board in the 1987 draft to the Oilers out of NC State at 6′ 2, 200 and is considered a by product of the Jim Everett Trade. It would take Haywood time to work his way into the lineup, but once given a fair chance to flourish in the Red Gun and Run and Shoot, he’d go on to notch 60 or more catches in 6 straight seasons, cracking the 1,000 yd mark in 90 and 91 and grab 100 catches in 1991 and 90 1992, which led the AFC in all 3 seasons. He was a  3 time Pro bowler and 2 time AP but his contributions are largely dismissed because people feel he played in a gimmick offense.  After diminishing statistics and playing time took their toll on his career, Jeffires would play one final season in 1995 for the New Orleans Saints.

Jeffires from what I’ve learned is now considered quite an elusive autograph to attain TTM. Unfortunately I only found this out after sending 4 more cards to him.  At last glance Jeffires is a consultant for the Bay Area Pearland Gamblers, a minor league team near Houston.

Games 123         Rec 535      Yds  6,334       Avg   11.8      TD 50     LG 87T

Dickerson, Eric

Cards: Pro Set 1989, Pro Set 1991.
Acquired: In Person, Cowboys Training Camp 1992.

Back in the days of the Los Angeles Raiders, I would actually get excited when I heard they signed somebody like Eric, because I knew that player would be at the Cowboys training camp later that year.  I don’t think I missed a day at Cowboys training camp that summer, and I never wanted to miss an opportunity to double my chances when the Raiders came to town. Eric was much maligned in the media by now because of frequent contract disputes with the Colts over the last year or two but he was more than generous signing 2 cards for me during camp that year.

Dickerson would play 11 seasons in the NFL for the Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons.  A spectacular runner at SMU where he formed the “Pony Express” with Craig James, Dickerson was drafted by the LA Rams in 1983 and went on to set rookie records across the board, and finished as the ROY that year. In his second year, Dickerson established the record for most rushing yards in a season with 2,105.

In ’87 he was traded to the Colts where he continued his streak of 1,000 yard seasons playing until he signed with the Raiders in ’92, and finished with a brief stint in ’93 with the Falcons. Eric’s career totals included: 6 pro bowl selections, 5 first team all pros, named 1980s all decade team, 1986 offensive player of the year, having his number retired by the Rams, and elected to the HOF in 1999.  Post football Dickerson has been both a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football and also on KCBS in LA.

GM 146          ATT 2,996           YDS 13,259         AVG 4.4        TD 90

Official Autograph Souvenir

Acquired: 1989, In Person.

I remember my mother suffered through that hot and humid day at SWT for Josh and me, so that we could get some autographs. After practice the team set up tables and gave out signatures. On the way out to the parking lot we caught Highsmith, and then we followed behind Zendejas (who was driving his Lamborghini,) over to the team dorms.  It was there that Josh was infamously run over by Bruce Matthews, who then effortlessly picked him up by one arm, dusted him off, and profusely apologized with a hearty smile.

Autographs:

Jerry Glanville would go on to coach the Oilers to another playoff appearance, then move on to coach the Atlanta Falcons. He then went into the broadcasting booth and then back into coaching for a few years at Portland State.

David Williams, T was drafted out of Florida in 1989, and played primarily for the Houston Oilers during his 9 year career. He’s best known for an instance called ‘babygate’ where he skipped a game in favor of seeing his wife through the child birth of their first son and then grabbed the ire of his coaches who fined him and then the ensuing media storm that followed.

Alonzo Highsmith, FB was drafted in 1987 from Miami. A powerful inside runner, Highsmith would have had a stellar career if not for multiple knee surgeries that shortened his career. After football he went on to be a professional boxer and now is a scout for the Green Bay Packers.

Patrick Allen, CB nicknamed ‘doc’ was an all-pro honorable mention who had 16 breakups in 1987. He played for 7 years and had 7 INTs, which was highly misleading considering he was pretty good in the Oilers man to man coverage system.

Eric Fairs,LB was a backup LB who started 3 games in 1989, notching 2.5 sacks and 2 FR that season. He played for 6 years for the Oilers and 1 for the Falcons in 1992.

Tracey Eaton S played for 5 seasons in the NFL notching 3 picks in 1989 for the Oilers, and a pick of Jim Kelly that year in the playoffs, then fled in the Oilers mass exodus of  free agency in 1990. Also had a spectacular  highlight where he was flipped by the receiver right after he makes the interception that is making the rounds about Youtube.

Kenny Jackson was a former 1st rd pick of the Eagles in 83 who had a one year stint with the Oilers. He finished his career with 126 receptions for 2,170 yards and 11 TDs. Coached WRs at Penn State and now is a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network.

Tony Zendejas was originally a K in the USFL that came to the team in 1985 when the league folded. Zendejas leaving the Oilers in 1991 via free agency particularly stung as he would go on to kick the first perfect season in FGs for the Rams and five more years while the Oilers would struggle to find his replacement until they landed Al Del Greco.

Jay Pennison C, another former USFL refugee played for the Oilers from 1985 to 1990.  He started all five seasons that he was with the team, which happened to be some of the Oilers best offensive lines. Did acting in a movie or two after his days were over and then focused on his sports pub in Houston.

Billy Bell DB played for the Oilers in 1989 and then Chiefs in 1991 where he intercepted 1 pass.