Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

Dickerson, Eric (3)

Cards: ProSet 1990 Pro Bowl, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/13 Received: 8/24 (40 days)*
See Also: Eric Dickerson, Eric Dickerson (2)
*Fee Enclosed

The Holy Grail of ProSet cards was Eric Dickerson Pro Bowl #338 ProSet 1990. They were like $500.00+ on Beckett at one point! We’d open pack after pack of those Series One boxes hoping that a single Dickerson Pro Bowl would grace our presence- but it never did.

As the legend is told… Dickerson was not a part of the NFLPA so ProSet did not have his permission to print this card. You see players are given an all or none option by the NFL- so Dickerson opted out because he wanted the freedom of exclusivity. It was too late in the printing process so ProSet had to manually yank it from the production line- yet it was estimated a scant 40 of these cards made it out into the wild.

‘I don`t think there`ll be a market for this (Dickerson) card,” Denny said. ”It`s not a short print, under print, error or anything like that. When and if the NFLPA says it`s OK, we`ll offer the cards to collectors free by mail.”

-PROSET PRESIDENT LUD DENNY

Unlike the William Perry card in the 1989 set, ProSet did not replace or eventually get this card out. It was a gaping hole in the set that perturbed completionists such as myself. Eventually ProSet just gave up and issued a Lud Denny card in its place, but it was a promo card- certainly not available to the general public either.

After ProSet went out of business- well many years afterwards, everything went up for liquidation including these ‘rare’ cards that flooded the market. Apparently the company had just been sitting on them in their Dallas warehouse. (Since these cards existed before counterfeiting technology was developed- there’s no telling if these are fakes.) You can now find them on EBay for a relatively cheap price, hovering around $5.00, which in retrospect is probably still too expensive.

Still there’s a certain feeling of excitement looking at this card knowing it’s a part of the collection and the legacy involved- so I had to get it signed.

I loved Dickerson’s unique upright running style. While he absorbed a lot of punishing hits over the years and dropped the rock from time to time, there’s no denying his place in NFL history.

I had also wanted to get this Upper Deck Legends 97 card signed as well. It’s a beautiful canvas, and features a slightly elevated camera angle that makes it even more unique- and it is a great fill on a set need to boot!

Jurgensen, Sonny

Cards: Topps 1970, Crown Royale 2012
Acquired: 2018, C/o Home*
Sent: 10/20   Received: 11/6  (17 days)
* Donation enclosed

Sonny Jurgensen is the original gunslinger. I remember the first time I saw archival footage of him sauntering up to the line, surveying the defense, and showing off that pot belly like he didn’t care. He then cannon armed the ball down the sidelines for a TD. It was a pretty amazing feat to see. 

When Jurgensen played college ball back in… 1954, he played both quarterback and defensive back for the Duke Blue Devils. Because this was the stone age of offenses, Jurgensen’s college numbers were pretty ugly (77/156, 1119 yards, 6 TD passes to 16 interceptions). He’d be selected in the 4th round of the 1957 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Sonny didn’t get a chance to start until 1961 as he was backup to Norm Van Brocklin. Regardless, he took the league by storm setting NFL records for passing yards (3723) and passing TDs (32). He wouldn’t be so successful in 1962, and after a injury riddled 1963 and losing records in both seasons, Sonny was traded to the Washington Redskins, in exchange for two players.

Thus began the second stanza of his playing career. Jurgensen played for the Redskins for the next 11 seasons. He snapped the passing record that he set previously in 1961 again in 1967 with 3747 yards, while missing tying his TD record that year by just one TD pass. Still he’d set another NFL record with 508 pass attempts. All this was more amazing in the fact that he accomplished all of these feats during the notorious ‘dead ball era’. Sonny also shared the Redskins’ deep hatred for the Dallas Cowboys and led the Redskins to Super Bowl VII. He’d retire after the 1974 season- at the age of 40. 

Amazingly enough it wasn’t until 1983 that Sonny was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In the meantime however the state of North Carolina has recognized him in a variety of capacities. Sonny briefly also did color commentary on TV and the radio. 

Sonny signed these two cards for me for a nominal fee. I really loved the Topps 1970, even though it was a reused press image from another card. His Crown Royale Living Legends card, really lends itself to being autographed. I like the design and look, and there’s plenty of space to be played with to put the autograph on. The image of Sonny going back to pass is an oft used illustration, but at any larger sizes I’m not really fond of it. There’s just something off about it. 

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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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