Don Trull played football for the Baylor Bears from 1961 to 1963 where he was one of the top quarterbacks in the SWC, if not the nation. He set SWC records for completed passes (174) and yards (2,157) in one year. He capped his 1963 season with 2,157 yards and 22 TDs (which led the nation) and a 14-7 win over LSU in the Bluebonnet Bowl. A smart and alert quarterback, Trull excelled at calling plays and audibles at the line of scrimmage.
Don was selected by the Houston Oilers in the 1964 NFL Draft. He’d be groomed to be the heir apparent of the Oilers behind ageless George Blanda for the next 3 years. In 1966, Don saw action in 5 starts, posting 1200 yards and 10 TDs to just 5 picks, however he finished 0-5. He also rushed for 7 TDs on 38 carries. After 3 more games in 1967, he’d be traded to the Boston Patriots for the remainder of the season.
Trull returned to the Oilers in 1968, where he really had the best season of his career as a starter- posting a 3-1 record, with 864 yards passing, and 10 TDs and 3 interceptions.
After a down year in 1969, Don played in the Canadian Football League the next two years for the Edmonton Eskimos. Allowed to take the starting reins for the Esks, he threw for 2455 yards and 12 TDs on 364 attempts to 185 completions. After one last season in the CFL, Don was off the football grid coaching at Arkansas until he was lured back by the WFL in 1974, where he saw limited action for the Houston Texans/ Shreveport Steamer.
Don lives in Houston now where he is an ambassador for the NFL Houston Texans organization. In 2013, he was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame, and he was involved with the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show for many years. I got Don’s card after I found out he was an ambassador for the Texans. I hoped to catch him at one of the team functions where they sign for fans, but since nothing every popped up, I just went ahead and sent this out right at the beginning of the COVID crisis.
Card: Fleer 1990, Action Packed 1991, GameDay 1992 Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 3/17 Received: 4/5 (18 days) See Also: Andre Ware, Air Ware
Andre sure got in a lot of great cards in his short amount of time on the starting stage in the NFL. Even after this third stab at a few more autographs, there are a few more cards I could probably nab him on.
I loved Action Packed and GameDay’s sets. Action Packed 1991 was a pretty well designed set, with that simple swoosh that goes through the left side of the image- it maximized the canvas area to focus on the player image. I also really liked the flat helmet image at the end. It’s a really underrated set, and despite the slight smudging is great to get autographed. Most of the images are indeed- action packed. This Gameday image is really nice, however one of the set’s design flaws comes forward a bit when the silver blends against the gray, the image looks a bit more flat. The Fleer 90 card was one of 4 (technically) that had a college photo of Andre in it. (The others being Topps, ProSet, and Score.) We always laughed at the fact that Fleer didn’t find a shot of Andre actually throwing the ball- but instead chose to get a shot of him pitching the ball out. All of these cards were distant set needs for me in my never ending autograph quest.
About the time that Coronavirus broke loose and some stay at home notices were put into place, Andre started signing his TTM mail after a 5-6 year absence from the game. He was initially playing catchup and then started signing some newer requests. I always liked Andre, and I hadn’t TTMed him since 2012, I decided he was ripe for the picking.
As of 2020, Ware remains the steady voice as the color commentator for the Houston Texans game day radio show.
Cards: ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed Whizzer White Award 1991, ProSet 1991 WLAF Inserts Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 10/5 Received: 10/17 (12 days)
Reggie Williams played college football at Dartmouth, and was a 3 time All-Ivy League selection from 1973-1975. Reggie was so dominant that he caught the attention of pro scouts, parlaying his efforts to become a 3rd round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976.
Over the next 14 seasons, Reggie went on to become one of the Bengals best draft picks. He played in an unheard of 206 games (one short of Ken Riley for the franchise record), and virtually owned the entire Bengals record books at linebacker for every statistical category including: career tackles, sacks, interceptions, and fumbles. He also earned the Whizzer White Award in 1985, the NFL Man of the Year Award in 1986, and SI’s Sportsperson of the Year in 1987.
He’s been at the frontlines of visionary ideas leading sport and NFL initiatives and then working with Disney overseeing their recreational and sports divisions since then. In the final years of his time with the Bengals he also served as a city councilman, and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
Still despite all this, and being virtually an icon with Cincinnati, Reggie has been largely unheralded by his former franchise. A true warrior, he’s had over 25 knee surgeries since his career concluded, and it has taken its toll on his leg. He’s written a book about his life, ‘Resilient by Nature’, where he gives a great wealth of insight into his life, and shares his dedication and willingness to overcome whatever obstacles he faces.
I had wanted to get Reggie’s autograph for sometime. He is the epitome of who I like to get an autograph from and for whom I like to write about. He has had an interesting journey both in and out of the sport- and I feel that he is someone who doesn’t get enough accolades for all he’s done. I wrote him an email through Facebook and he was kind enough to respond to me. We talked briefly about his foray into the World League- where he told me, “He loved the travel.” I sent him some old photos of magazine clippings from Gametime magazines as well that he enjoyed very much. He was doing a book signing in the area, so I sent him a stack of extra cards for his personal collection and to hand out to fans. A man of his word, Reggie signed these cards in no time flat for me.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.