Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

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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Newsome, Ozzie (2)

Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  Received:   (days)
See Also: Ozzie Newsome

When I first restarted the TTM hobby about 10 years ago, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I just thought I’d hit some of the most memorable players that I remembered. Ozzie was a thorn in the side of the Oilers ‘back then’, and while I only had the pleasure of witnessing the tail end of his career, Ozzie had earned my respect by the end of it all. I had a lot of cards of his, and when I started collecting again, I just fired the first two out I could find, not knowing that there were so many other cards out there in the dark corners of the web.

Ozzie has a lot of good cards. The ProSet 1991 Legends card was a gimme. I had to do that since this was a really nice Merv Corning illustration. I didn’t really respect these cards back then but now, being there and seeing the hard work involved, I really like how this one turned out. The autograph- well that’s another thing.

The Upper Deck 1997 Legends card was a set need. I had no clue he was in this set until much later. It’s a great card and photo. Each being immaculate. The backs of these cards- well they leave much to be desired and are stuffed with a bit too much busy information.  Again the autograph is just sorta… there… but I really can’t complain can I?

The 3rd entry is possibly my favorite of the bunch is Ozzie’s Action Packed 1990 entry. It is just a beautifully framed action shot, and it is one of these rare straight on photos, so you see him making the grab from the view of a quarterback. I had to get it signed and it was the first one on the list after I got him the last time.

His 1991 Action Packed card just barely missed the cut. Again, another amazing shot. Also I saw his Upper Deck 2011 College Legends card, but it was a bit too late to send that one out. Still I am happy that he spent the time to autograph these three cards for me- or did he?

Ozzie has been dogged on and off for a few years as a stamper. These are not stamped. If they were, pooling would occur on the cards, and be extremely obvious on the Action Packed one. When I opened the return envelope I was just entirely too suspicious. Something was just off about the autographs. After tediously overlaying them up in Photoshop, all of the signatures nearly matched. There were just some very small differences between the autographs, but the height, weight, angle, and length from card to card were consistent. While there were distinct difference between all the autographs, I just had a hard time believing that he could nail them so closely without consciously knowing he was.

Later when I discussed this was others on a message board, they informed me that Ozzie’s autograph has changed over the year due to a possible health issue. He went back to apparently hand signing after it happened- and he hand signs everything. The other collectors presented similar signatures that had passed JSA and other authentication benchmarks, so I guess I can not look these gift horses in the mouth.

Hanburger, Chris ‘The Hangman’

Card: Topps 1970
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 7/9 Received: 7/19      (10 days)

Chris Hanburger thought the door had closed on his attempts to get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame- so he was pleasantly surprised to get the nod as a Seniors candidate in 2011. It’s a great story really. Chris has been so good to the TTM community and fans for years, so it was long overdue that the Redskins linebacker received the honor after his accolade laden career concluded. 

I mean, who knows if much was expected from the little known 18th round selection out of North Carolina in 1965. Regardless, Chris put together a remarkable 14 year career with 9 Pro Bowl nominations (1966-1969, 1972-1976) and All-Pro Honors (69, 72, 73, and 75) setting the standard for professional play at outside linebacker, durability (135 straight games started), and as a member of the Redskins’ Over the Hill Gang.

I had been wanting to get Chris’ autograph for a while, but had to find the perfect card to get signed. I had no clue that he had a Topps 1970- but considering that he was playing during that period, I should have assumed that there was this great golden era card. It was nice of him to personalize and put an inscription to the card- but it’s too bad that the inscription was slightly smudged.

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