Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

Smith, Emmitt

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1991.

Emmitt Smith was not my favorite Cowboy, based primarily on his elusiveness on and off the field in attaining his autograph. Going to training camp for 3 to 4 seasons, I only was able to attain his signature one time. He rarely stopped to sign and signed just a few at a time and left. In my particular case, I learned a good lesson: Never use a black sharpie on a hot day. Smith autographed my friend Josh’s card, then began to sign mine. The marker dried out mid stroke, so he said, “Sorry, your pen ran out of ink. I gotta go,” and handed my card back to me and drove off in his golf cart. I was mad. Josh jeered me. I told him, “Give me your damn marker,” and ran off to acquire the autograph. I hid in a pack of bikini clad women down near the end, where he stopped to sign all 12 of their cards and finally I got his autograph with Josh’s blue sharpie.

The NFL’s leading rusher by default with 18355 yards, (because Barry Sanders quit in his prime) Emmitt Smith was a durable slasher back that could absorb hits.  He won three Super Bowls, was MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII, set numerous NFL rushing records, was an 8 time Pro Bowler and 4 time All Pro. He played 13 seasons for the Cowboys and two for the Cardinals. Post NFL life has found Smith winning TV’s “Dancing With the Stars”, dabbling around in real estate, and in 2010 he was elected to the Pro Football HOF on his first ballot. It is also rumored that he continues to be a difficult autograph to attain…

Games  226      Att   4,409     Yds   18,355           Avg    4.2        TD 162

Landry, Tom (1924-2000)

pset90 landryCard: Pro Set 1990 HOF
Acquired: In Person, San Antonio Riders Game 1992.

Tom Landry was a part owner of the San Antonio Riders back in 1992, and Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos did not have box seats, rather Landry and Larry Benson (the primary owner and brother of Tom Benson, Saints) had seats underneath the top deck in the shade at the back of the bottom row. I snuck in behind them during halftime and Landry had no problem giving me an autograph.  He and I concurred that the team was much better in 1992 and was in store for much better things ‘in the years to come’.

Tom Landry was a Texan through and through, born in Mission,Tx, going to college at Houston and Texas, and then being coach of the Cowboys for 29 years and his stoic presence on the sidelines and signature hat were a hallmark of the team. Landry after fighting in World War II, was drafted by the old New York Yankees of the AAFC in 1949, and then played for the New York Giants from 1950-1955, marking All Pro honors in 1954 as a CB, P/ KR. Amazingly he would also be defensive coordinator of the team in 1954 and 1955 before moving on permanently to coaching thereafter. Landry was considered an amazing innovator, creating both the 4-3 defense and the ‘flex’ alignment and then reintroduced the man in motion and shotgun formations among others. Tom Landry has a particularly large tree of apostles including  Mackovic, Stallings, Ditka, Reeves,and Berry who all spent time learning under his instruction. Landry would guide the Cowboys to 20 winning seasons, 2 SuperBowl victories,  5 NFC Championships and win NFL coach of the year twice. After football Landry enjoyed a private life for the next 11 years before he passed away in 2000 (age 75) after being elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1990.

Seasons 29   Wins 250   Losses 162   Ties 6
G 70    Tac N/a   Sacks N/a   Fum 10  Int  31         Yds  360       TD 3

Lofton, James


Cards: Pinnacle 1992, SkyBox 1992.
Acquired: In person, Dallas Cowboys training camp  1994.
See Also: James Lofton (2)

In one of my more infamous moments of autograph collecting, James Lofton had signed as an interim coach with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1994 and was in Austin to scrimmage the Cowboys. Knowing that I would probably only get one shot at the wide receiver I got the prime spot in the autograph alleyway that players had to walk up to get to the field, and then waited. When the players arrived, I unfolded the cardboard sign I had with me that stated,”WILL WORK FOR JAMES LOFTON’S AUTOGRAPH”.  Every player who got off the bus chuckled at me and then when James got off, (while he was being ribbed by his teammates,) walked over, smiled and gave me his autograph on the two cards here.

A player whose career literally spanned three decades of football (70’s, 80’s & 90’s) and one of only a few players to score a TD in each era, Lofton was a 8 time Pro Bowler, and a 4 time All Pro for the Packers and Bills. (Drew Hill scored in each era one game sooner for the honor of doing it first.)  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, Lofton played Packers, Raiders, Bills, Rams and Eagles, during his career retiring at the age of 38. Lofton has coached in the NFL with both the Chargers and Raiders, and as of this time serves on Westwood One Radio’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

G 233      Rec 764    Yards 14004      Avg 18.3       Lg 80        TD 75