Category Archives: AFL

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

Little, Larry

Cards: ProSet WLAF 2014 hack, Majestic 2010
Acquired:  TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 5/31    Received: 7/14      (43 days)

I remember vividly back when the Riders played the Glory, how the fans swarmed Larry for his autograph. The former NFL Great guard was kind and signed as much as he could after the game. Little was one of the few black head coach at the professional level of football in many years, and it was a big deal- even if it was the WLAF in 1992.  While the Glory finished with a dismal 1-9 record, the team was competitive in many contests. While Wild Card and Ultimate both contributed cards to the World League family in 1992, none outside of ProSet made any cards that showcased coaches- and ProSet bailed out on the WLAF market by 1992, so I made my own.

Larry played offensive line in college at Bethune-Cookman, but was not drafted in 1967. (It’s not known whether it was an issue of scouting or lack of film, but it was obvious that Larry was overlooked not only by the NFL but the AFL as well.) He’d sign as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers of the AFL. In 1969 Larry was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he quickly distinguished himself.  Larry was a key cog of the Miami Dolphins 1970’s dynasty, blocking up front for Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris, and Larry Czonka. He’d be named to the Pro Bowl 5 times (1969, 1971-1974,) and earn All-Pro 5 times (1971-1975) over his career.

After retiring from the NFL in 1980, Larry coached at his Alma Mater Bethune-Cookman from 1983-1991, before joining the WLAF with the Ohio Glory. Little was primarily known as a player’s coach. He returned to college after the WLAF went on hiatus, and coached at North Carolina Central from 1993-1998.

He’s earned numerous accolades from his playing career as well, being named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, and The Sporting News 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999.

Larry signed these 2 cards for me through the mail. I should’ve actually included the Ultimate WLAF Ohio Glory Checklist but, maybe that’s for another time. I sent him the rest of the WLAF cards that I made for him to keep and he returned two of them, one inscribed with 17-0 and the other with HOF 1993.  The photo is of him from his interview with the WLAF Gameday Magazine from 1992 and it makes a solid, if not stoic impression of the former Glory coach. I really have warmed up to the Crown Royale Majestic line of cards from 2010.  While the card is very busy design-wise, it almost has a carnival appeal to me, emphasized by the typeface used for Majestic. How Majestic is lined up and off center within the marquee drives me a bit nuts, but otherwise the patch and autograph tie up this card nicely.

G/GS  183/157

Taylor, Lionel

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 6/4/14  Received: 8/13/16  (801 days)

Lionel Taylor had an amazing career that began in 1959 playing for the Chicago Bears.  He didn’t record a reception for the team during his rookie year and opted to join the upstart American Football League during its inaugural season in 1960 for the Denver Broncos. Taylor went on to endear himself as one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the league, leading the AFL in receptions 5 of the next 6 years.  In 1961 he set a modern era record with 100 receptions (which was broken in 1964 by Charlie Hennigan at 101). He played for the Broncos through 1966- joining the Oilers for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.  Lionel retired from the gridiron in 1969.

Taylor established himself quickly as an up and coming assistant coach with the Steelers as a receivers coach in 1970.  He’d remain there through 1976, cultivating a reputation as a Super Bowl winning positional coach.  He joined the Rams from 1977-1979, where he was offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.  Lionel then applied his trade at the college level for Oregon State, and then as head coach at Texas Southern through 1988.  Returning to the NFL in 1989, Taylor worked with the Cleveland Browns tight ends and as a pass coordinator.

Taylor joined the World League of American Football in 1995 as offensive coordinator to the London Monarchs. As the league rebranded to the NFLE, he’d take over as head coach of the franchise in 1996 and shepherd the franchise through to become the England Monarchs. It was a tough run for Taylor as head coach at the end, as his team was a vagabond franchise playing all over England looking for a new home. Since there was no established fan base, this gave the Monarchs no home field advantage.  The Monarchs finished with a 3-7 record during their swan song season.

Taylor has fully retired from the sport and lives in New Mexico.  At a clip over 800 days, I had fully given up on getting a response from Lionel, so this one came as quite a surprise to get back. It’s a shame, as with many American Football League players, Lionel has gotten little to no traction in Hall of Fame circles, despite his impressive numbers.

AFL
G/GS 121/NA      REC 567     YDS  7195    AVG 12.7   TD 45    LG  80T

NFLE
W  11     L 17       PCT .393