Category Archives: AFL

Maynard, Don

Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home*
Sent:  8/4   Received: 8/20    (16 days)
* Donation enclosed of $10 per flat

Don Maynard is considered the best receiver in Jets history, one of the best receivers in AFL history, and one of the best receivers in NFL history.  At the time of Maynard’s retirement he held the NFL record for career receptions and yards. He was the first player to crack the 10k barrier in receiving yards. An amazing feat considering it was still during an era where the passing game had not fully developed yet. Don epitomized consistency and longevity. (Oddly enough he never led the league in catches at any time but his sheer numbers made up for it en force.) 

Maynard was originally drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but only played one lone season for them before bolting North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He’d return shortly thereafter to the fledgling AFL in 1960- becoming the first signee of the then New York Titans (later Jets). Over the next 10 seasons in the AFL he’d be named to the All-AFL team 4 times. In the final season before the AFL NFL merger, he’d help the Jets win Super Bowl III and notably graced the cover of the big game’s program guide as well. 

Don joined the Rams in 73, but ultimately ended up on the St. Louis Cardinals for a lone season, retiring after a bout with the WFL playing for the Shreveport Steamer/ Houston Texans. 

Maynard played college ball for Rice, and later Texas Western (UTEP). He was a proven runningback and defensive back, but was unpolished gold at receiver. His number has been retired by the Jets,  got his gold jacket along the way, and has been a Grand Marshall for UTEP at one of their parades. He lives outside of the El Paso area, in relative anonymity. 

I had been wanting Don for sometime but I thought he was out of reach. I really liked these cards of his and always wanted to get them signed so I went ahead and took a shot with a small donation. In the end I also had a Pro Set Super Bowl III card that I opted to send to Matt Snell instead (because he should’ve been MVP). Still the Topps 1970 is iconic, while the Upper Deck Legends 1997 hits all the marks for perfection. 

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Snell, Matt

Cards: Topps 1970, Pro Set SuperBowl III
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 7/16 Received: 7/24 (8 days)

Matt Snell played for the New York Jets from 1964 to 1972 during the wildcatting days of the AFL NFL rivalry, when the leagues used to poach each other’s talent. Matt was drafted out of Ohio State where he had a prestigious career playing fullback, halfback, and defensive end.

The quandary was, who to play for, as both the New York Jets (AFL) and the New York Giants (NFL) had selected Matt. Matt in the end was offered substantially more to play fullback for the Jets than the Giants so he joined the AFL, where he literally ran away with Rookie of the Year Honors in the young league and captured a Pro Bowl berth. In 14 contests he’d rush for 948 yards and 5 TDs on 215 carries. He’d also be a threat out of the backfield catching 56 passes for 393 yards and a TD, and lead the league in touches that year with a combined 278. Snell had equally impressive campaigns in 1965 (763 yards rushing, 1027 yards from scrimmage) and 1966 (644 yards rushing, 48 receptions, 990 yards from scrimmage, 8 total touchdowns), earning a Pro Bowl nomination in the latter. In 1967, Matt played in only 7 games due to a knee injury, but he quickly returned to form in 1968 with 747 yards on the ground and a career high 6 TDs rushing. He’d have another exemplary season in 69 with 695 yards rushing as well, earning both Pro Bowl and All-AFL Honors.

His crowning moment came in the final game before the AFL-NFL merger-Super Bowl III. After Joe Namath made his ‘guarantee’, the Jets had to figure out a way to come through on it against the vaunted Baltimore Colts. Snell ran for 121 yards on 30 carries, and the Jets only TD- good enough to help the Jets win the Super Bowl 16-7. Despite Snell’s record setting performance the MVP honor would be bestowed upon Namath. 

Matt played for the Jets for 3 more injury riddled seasons, retiring after the 1972 season. Since his playing days, Snell shrewdly invested his money in different ventures. He has been named into the Jets’ Ring of Honor and Ohio State All-Century Team.

I almost went for Don Maynard on this Super Bowl III card strictly because he’s on the image, but then I remembered how Snell didn’t get the MVP and would make a better selection for the card. I really like Snell’s Topps 1970 card. It is a bit funny because you can see his watch clearly in the snapshot. Matt is great to the TTM community and responded in no time flat to my request.

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Frazier, Charlie ‘Razor’

Autographed Texan Ambassador Memorabilia
Acquired: 2016, Detroit Lions @ Houston Texans

So before the Texans game I spied a few autographs I wanted to get. As usual there was a last second booking change and Charlie was put on the schedule. I was willing to pay the price to get a card of Charlie ‘The Razor’ Frazier expedited, but apparently nobody ever made one. Frazier had some good seasons in there, including a 1,000 yard plus effort there, that earned him AFL All Star honors- so I was really surprised.

Going undrafted out of Texas Southern in 1960, Frazier caught on with the local Houston Oilers in 1962.  He scored his first touchdown that year in the 3rd game of the season against the Bills on a 73 yard bomb.  The Razor’s best season came in 1966 when he logged 57 receptions for 1,129 yards, a robust 19.1 yards per reception, and 12 touchdowns. These all stood as career highs for Charlie.  Frazier joined the Boston Patriots in 1969 and was a dangerous endzone target. Of his 19 catches, 7 of them went for touchdowns.  After the 1970 season, Frazier retired.  A dangerous long bomb threat, Frazier had 6 seasons with a long catch of 50 yards or greater.

Currently Charlie lives in the Houston area. He’s a big Texans fan and a member of the Houston Texans Ambassador program.

When I got to the game, I could not get to Charlie. I had already found my seats and the stadium had a policy that if you wanted to do events outside you could not re-enter the stadium. The head scratching thing is, the autograph table was located on the concourse inside the stadium and stadium gates, but outside the ticket gates. With a little finagling the ticket manager gave me an exception and let me through. It was a very hot day and long walk to get to Frazier who was seated with Bubba McDowell. We talked about the Oilers and he too was miffed as to why nobody made a card of him.

Note: Charlie signed his name ‘CHARLIE’ but his given name is listed as Charley.

G/GS  110      REC 207     YDS  3452     AVG 16.7      TD 29      LG 80T