Category Archives: CFL

Anderson, Gary (RB)

Cards: Skybox 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/29   Received: 9/14  (16  days)
Failure: 2014, C/o Home

Arkansas runningback Gary Anderson has had quite a long career in many leagues. He played from 1979 to 1982 for the Razorbacks, compiling 1,999 yards rushing on 392 carries, scoring 10 TDs, and displaying soft hands catching 94 passes for 1,075 yards and 8 TDs. Selected in 1983 by the San Diego Chargers- Gary opted to play for the upstart USFL instead.

After the New Jersey Generals traded Anderson’s rights to the Tampa Bay Bandits, he became the go to back in Steve Spurrier’s Banditball offense. He’d finish 4th in the league with 2,731 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time in the league before it folded up shop.

By the time Anderson got around to the Chargers, San Diego wasn’t really sure what to do with him, when they had a West Coast attack powered by future HoF QB Dan Fouts. Gary in the meantime handled kick return duties and posted sub-400 yard rushing seasons. Gary also caught a lot of passes, earning his only Pro Bowl berth in 1986 as a jack of all trades when he had 80 catches for 871 yards and 8 TDs along with 442 yards rushing, 482 yards kick returning, and 227 yards punt returning. He later posted a career high 1,119 yards on 225 carries in 1988. After an acrimonious holdout that wiped out his 1989 season, Gary was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He had a pretty decent 1990 season in which he posted 1110 total yards from scrimmage, and although the rest of his career in the NFL was largely injury riddled, Gary was enshrined into Tecmo Super Bowl lore- as an extremely underrated back. He’d split time with the Bucs and Lions in his final year in the NFL (1993).

After a year off Gary returned to football to play for the CFL USA initiative and the Memphis MadDogs in 1995. He’d be released in camp the following year by the Roughriders.

In 2006, Gary was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Of note, if you calculate all of Gary’s time between the three leagues, he has over 14,500 yards from scrimmage.

I had tried to get his autograph a few years ago. He checked many of the odd boxes that I liked: 80s runningback, Action Packed Rookies card, and a player on Tecmo Super Bowl. I missed out on him because in his hometown there is a Court and a Cove that have the same street name but are in totally different places. Thankfully after a second attempt I was able to knock the former elusive back out.  This Action Packed card, like many in the set, was quite common, but it is a good action shot and the emboss shows up well on it. The SkyBox 1992 was another one of my favorite sets of that era. With the large name at the top and crystal clear photography, it really set itself apart from the competition.

USFL  54      RUSH 641    YDS 2731    AVG 4.3     TD 39     LG N/A
REC 167    YDS  1707    AVG 10.2    TD  6

NFL   111/61      RUSH 869      YDS 3409       AVG 3.9     TD 16    LG 64T
REC 302    YDS 2999     AVG 9.9     TD 15    LG 74T
KR  143      YDS 2779    AVG 19.4   TD 1       LG 98T
PR  48         YDS  385      AVG 8.0          TD 0      LG 30

CFL 14        RUSH 66     YDS  250     AVG 3.8     TD 3
REC  28      YDS 273      AVG 9.8        TD 0

Fernandez, Mervyn ‘Swervin’ (2)

Cards: Action Packed 1990, Score Supplemental 1989, Topps 1990 1,000 yard club, ProSet 1989
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 1/23     Received: 4/14   (83 days)
See Also: ‘Swervin’ Mervyn Fernandez

Ah, Mervyn Fernandez, such an underrated receiver. After proving his worth in the CFL for the BC Lions, Fernandez showed up to the NFL in 1987.  A shrewd selection by Al Davis in the loaded 1983 draft, Fernandez was picked by the Raiders in the 10th round.  After a few years with the Raiders, he returned to the BC Lions to finish out his career in 1994.  Always well remembered by the CFL, he’s received numerous accolades from the league since retirement.

Fernandez has some great cards. His Score 1989 Supplemental is really nice. The color on this card is outstanding, even without adjustment.  The Action Packed 1990 card was a really solid shot of Mervyn. It’s a dynamic action shot of him although the framing was typical of most cards of that era with the color framing in gold.  The ProSet 1989 was really the card set that blew the doors off of Topps stranglehold on the market. It’s a great card through and through however it suffers from the offset cutting issues that plagued ProSet throughout most of its print cycle. Topps inserted a nice glossy 1000 yard club card at the top of every pack which all had solid action shots of their players. After I ran out of Action Packed cards to buy at the 7-11 everyday after school, I’d slowly soak in the Topps cards. Mervyn’s autograph certainly stuck out nicely on this canvas.

Humphery, Bobby (2)

Cards: Topps 1985, Topps 1987, Pro Set WLAF 1991 Update
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  5/31   Received:  6/14  (15 days)
See Also: Bobby Humphery

Bobby Humphery was an enforcer for the San Antonio Riders during their 1992 season. Selected in the 11th round of the WLAF draft, he really provided veteran leadership to the young defensive backs. The Riders pass defense was ranked first in the league that year, and they were one of the few teams that could go toe to toe with the eventual World League Champion Sacramento Surge and a key reason for that was Bobby.

It was a shame that Pro Set pulled the plug on their WLAF set for the 1992 season. While Ultimate and Wild Card filled the vacancy as best as they could peppering  their sets with veterans and rookies, for some reason they both omitted the highly decorated Humphery.  I had to look hard to find any photography of Hump from his days in the WLAF.

Apparently he noticed that too, so when Bobby received the custom card I created he wrote me an extremely nice thank-you note.

Thank you Lee, for the Rider cards. I always wanted these cards but I could never find them. I will honor these.” – Bobby Humphery

The custom WLAF 1991 entry that I made of him was based off of a Gameday Magazine I had from that 1992 that was sold during the season finale. In the team notes, frequently they’d have a photo or small blurb about a player who has really made a difference on the team. The last one had this grainy black and white shot of Bobby. Although I have found other images on the web, I have not been able to find a suitable enough image, so I decided to go ahead and work with this image in Photoshop.  It came out decently enough for a colorized and fuzz adjusted image.  While I wasn’t entirely happy with my printer, it was satisfactory enough that I thought Bobby would appreciate it.  He also included a signed copy of his Topps 1985 rookie card as well as thanks for the additional copies of the Riders cards I gave him.

Among Bobby’s greatest NFL accomplishments is that he led the NFL in 1984 with 22 kick returns for 675 yards and a 97 yard touchdown. He also had 8 kick returns for 234 yards and a touchdown against the Bengals during the season finale in 1986.