Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

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.

G/GSTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
187/177N/AN/A171934718.3245

Barney, Lem


Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997, ProLine 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  6/11    Received:  6/25        (14 days)*
* Donation included

When you talk about a player- a throwback- somebody who played for ‘the love of the game first’, one of the first names that should come to mind, is Hall of Fame inductee Lem Barney.  One of the greats of his position it just so happened he played in a studded secondary with Dick LeBeau and Dick ‘Night Train’ Lane while with the Detroit Lions.  Lem did it all for the Lions from 1967 to 1977, playing corner, return man, and even moonlighting as a punter. A man about town, Lem was good friends with singer Marvin Gaye, and had a great set of pipes, singing backup on one of Gaye’s tunes, and tried his hand in acting as well.

His first season in the NFL was- well- easy.  He led the NFL in interceptions with 10, returned 3 of them for TDs and earned NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors. Over the next 3 following seasons, Lem added 22 more interceptions to his resume.  During his storied career he posted 11 career touchdowns on 7 interceptions, a kick off return, a blocked FG, and 2 punt returns, earning all-NFL Honors in 1968, 1969, 1972, and 1975.

It’s surprising that Barney did not attract more attention before he was selected by the Lions in the second round. Playing for Jackson State, Lem racked up 26 interceptions, and earned All-Southwestern Athletic Conference Honors.

His career came to a ignominious halt in 1978 after he was heard on tape during a wiretap investigation. While Barney was not part of the investigation, the press focused squarely on him which may have made both the Lions and other NFL teams skittish to sign him. Lem retired in 1979.

That didn’t stop Barney from accomplishing all the things he wanted to do in life however. He has spent a lot of his time in PR, marketing, and broadcasting. Lem is good to the TTM community, however he requires a $15.00 fee. It was very kind of him to inscribe these cards with his HOF information, although- unlike most collectors it’s appreciated but not necessary.

As far as these cards go, Barney had very few actual action shots because well Topps didn’t go out of their way back then, so in steps my favorite classic set Topps 1970 with that great press pass looking image of Lem. I can’t really complain. The Upper Deck Legends card was a really clean action shot of Lem- and it is a set I like to get as well. The design of the card (on the front) is almost second to none and has been emulated over the years. The ProLine NFL Throwback was a curious choice for the third autograph. I always maligned the set, because it was the NFL- but it typically was NFL players doing things other than NFL, so it was sort of an oddity at the time of collecting in the early 90s. This card of Lem however, with the trench coat and bowler hat is absolutely classy, and it seems to really capture the style and the subliminal statement that the set was trying to project on the canvas in encapsulating the players’ voices.

G/Gs 140/136     TAC  N/a     SAC N/a     FUM 25
INT 56        YDS 1077       AVG 19.2      TD   7     LG 71T

KR  50     YDS  1274     AVG 25.5     TD 1    LG 98T
PR   143    YDS 1312   AVG 9.2        TD  2    LG 74T

P 113     YDS   4006     AVG 35.5    LG 55   BLK 1

Hornung, Paul ‘Golden Boy’


Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018 C/o Home
Sent:  3/12  Received:  3/23   (11 days)
* Donation Enclosed


While at Notre Dame from 1954 to 1956, Paul Hornung played quarterback for the Fightin’ Irish.  Over 3 years he threw for 1696 yards on 110 of 233 passes, with 12 TDs to 23 interceptions. A gifted runner, Hornung had 209 carries for 1051 yards and 6 TDs. Now during those years, passing was still in the stone age, so those totals were actually pretty substantial. Despite playing for a losing team in ’56, Hornung rushed for 420 yards and 6 TDs, while passing for 917 yards and 3 TDs, earning him the 1956 Heisman Trophy Award.

Paul was the first overall pick of the Green Bay Packers during the 1957 Amateur Football Draft.  The Packers liked Hornung’s rushing style so they converted him to a ‘back. Now the reason I use the eponymous term ‘back’ is because Paul saw time at fullback, halfback, – something called ‘L-back’ and heck, he even did some kicking duties over the next 10 seasons. Arguably his best year came in 1960, a year in which he led the league with 13 rushing TDs, 15 total touchdowns, 41 extra points, and 15 field goals. While he did not play in Super Bowl I, Paul culminated his career by earning the first Super Bowl ring.  His number was unofficially retired in 1967 by the Packers.

The Golden Boy culminated his career by being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.  He is the only player to win the Heisman, be selected overall number 1 in the NFL draft, and win a Super Bowl, in the history of the sport.

All around high marks for this solid looking card. Upper Deck really hit the nail on the head in 1997 with this set. It did it all and it became an instant classic. This overall impressive photo of Hornung is only complimented by his autograph- something that I got lucky on getting in such pristine condition. Not only does Hornung’s autograph tend to get rushed and sloppy looking from what I’ve seen, he sent this one back in my unsealed SASE. Still for a mere $10 getting a Hall of Famer, a number one overall pick, AND a Heisman winner on a card is a bargain.

G/Gs 104/90   Rush 893   Yds 3711    Avg 4.2    TD 50   LG 72
Rec 130    Yds 1480    Avg 11.4    TD 12   LG 83
Att 55    Cpd 24    Yds 383   Pct 43.6    Td 5    Int 4    Rat 67.5
XPA 194    XPM 190    FGA  140   FGM 66    PCT 47.1    LG 52