Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

McElhenny, Hugh ‘The King’

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home*
Sent: 10/28 Received: 11/7 (10 days)
* Fee of $10.00 included

One of the forgotten greats of the game, Hugh McElhenny scored a TD the first time he carried the ball after joining the 49ers in 1952, as the franchise’s #1 draft pick. He’d go on to become a member of the ‘Million Dollar Backfield’ for the franchise, and after 10 seasons in the league, had already cemented himself in NFL lore as one of the top 5 NFL rushers of all-time. An explosive halfback, McElhenny was feared not only as a rusher, but as a pass receiver and kick returner as well. In his rookie year, he’d average an incredible 7.0 yards a pop on 98 carries, carried by a career long 89 yard romp for a TD. Moonlighting as a punt returner, he also cashed in on a 94 yard return for a TD. At the time there was no Rookie of the Year Honors in the NFL, however he was recognized by his peers as the best overall rookie in the league. His best year came in 1956, when he carried the ball 185 times for 916 yards and 8 TDs- recording 1,109 yards from scrimmage.

In 1961, Hugh joined the Minnesota Vikings as an expansion selection. He’d spend two seasons there, but not before recording his final Pro Bowl effort in 1961. Age and injury began to take their toll on Hugh after that, and while he didn’t see time as a full-time starter, he’d play for the Vikings in 1962, Packers/Giants in 1963 and Lions in 1964 before retiring.

Hugh was a prolific runner in college. Transferring from Compton JC to Washington- he’d rush for over 1,000 yards in 1950, and set school marks with 296 yards rushing in a single game. He’d earn All-America Honors at fullback, but saw action on special teams as a kicker, punt returner and kick returner. Over 3 years for the Huskies, McElhenny logged 2,499 yards rushing, 122 yards passing and 2,621 yards total offense.

McElhenny after retirement, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, the College Football Hall of Fame, and had his number retired by the San Fransisco 49ers and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. In addition, he was a 6 time pro bowler, 5 time First team All Pro, and was named a member of the 1950’s All Decade Team. McElhenny dabbled in broadcasting working for the ‘9ers working preseason games for a few years there and was involved with a push to get an expansion team awarded to Seattle.

Hugh is a diamond in the rough frequently overlooked by fans for his autograph because he played in a bygone era when teams played 12-14 game seasons. This reflects on his statistics, and while not gaudy by current standards, they were nonetheless impressive based on their time and era. He currently remains easily obtainable TTM and signs for a very modest fee.

G/GpRUSHYDSAVGTDLG
143/107112452814.73889T
RECYDSAVGTDLG
264324712.32077
KRYDSAVGTDLG
83192123.1055
PRYDSAVGTDLG
1269207.3294T

Houston, Ken

Cards: Action Packed 1991 Whizzer White Award, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 12//19 Received: 1/3/20 (days)

Ken Houston was one of the greatest NFL defensive backs to play the game. Playing at safety for the Houston Oilers in 1967, Kenny was a blessed athlete and track man with an incredible nose for the ball. He picked off 4 passes his rookie season and scored 2 TDs. (He scored a 3rd TD via blocked field goal that season as well.)

Then from 1968 through 1979, Ken was named to the Pro Bowl, while also garnishing 2 time AP Honors (10 time 2nd team AP Honors). He scored 2 more TDs on interceptions in 1968, then tied the NFL record with 4 (with a 5th via fumble recovery) on 9 interceptions in 1971.

Kenny was traded to the Washington Redskins in 1973. for at the time a blockbuster deal. The Redskins handed over 5 players to land Houston. Ken paid off as over the next 8 seasons recorded 24 more interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.

Over Kenny’s storried career he scored a TD 4 different ways: Interception, Fumble, Punt, and Blocked Kick. He was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 1986 class. He’s also been showered with honors and accolades.

As of 2020, Ken lives in the Houston area and is a member of neither the Redskins or Titans Ambassadors group, but rather the Houston Texans, and makes appearances for the team. He does quite a lot of work for charities, including Houston area hospitals.

I had hoped to get Ken on an Oilers card, but frankly I hated them all, so I went with these Redskins cards. Ah well, these two were by far my favorite, even though they were both post playing career finds. His Action Packed Whizzer White is an exceptional specimen, while is Legends shows him laying the wood out.

I had gotten these cards some time ago and sat on them. I hoped that I’d corner him at a Texans team function but no dice. I actually met his son at a pregame event back in 2015 when the Texans played the Chiefs and he was very nice. It only took me another 4 years or so to finally go ahead and send these out to him with a small signing fee. He turned these around in no time flat, and that in turn triggered a tsunami on different TTM sites for requests from him.

G/GsTACSACFUM
196/169N/aN/a21
INTYDSAVGTDLG
4989818.3978T

Warfield, Paul

Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Crown Royale 2010
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home*
Sent: 3/23 Received: 4/2 (10 days)
Failure: TTM 2018, C/o Home
* donation required/ Do not use this address

Hall of Fame WR Paul Warfield has been on my radar for sometime. I finally got these great cards together with the required donation sent his way in 2018- but was dismayed to find out that he was no longer signing TTM. I got a form letter informing me that I had to contact his agent who then had a fee schedule. After the agent never responded to me- I gave up on Paul until I saw a few responses come back from his home address again in early 2019. Annoyed, I went ahead and penned a new letter, enclosed the cards, and the signing fee/donation.

Roughly a month later I got a note from Paul with all my cards autographed, and a check reimbursement for the money order. In the note he indicated that he was between signing schedules with his agent, and he would honor my request, and refund my donation. I was pretty floored. It was very nice of him and I felt a bit odd having a check in my hand from a HoFer but there it was. Not only is his signature unique, Paul’s handwriting is wispy elegance.

By late April of 2019, Paul had gone ahead and signed with an agent again. I had gotten very lucky hitting him in that window as his fee/donation schedule had more than doubled. Warfield no longer accepts fan mail at his home address anymore. -Save your postage and contact his agent instead.

Paul Warfield played college ball at Ohio State from 1961 through 1963. He carried the ball 196 times for 1047 yards and 8 TDs, and contributed 39 receptions for 525 yards and 3 TDs over his time at Columbus.

Selected in the 1st round by the Cleveland Browns in 1964- Cleveland saw potential in Warfield initially as a defensive back, but later in camp converted him to wide receiver instead. Paul went on to put up some truly amazing numbers over his career with the Browns. In his first 6 seasons with the team, he finished 3 of those seasons averaging more than 21 yards a catch, lead the NFL in receiving TDs in 1968 (12), and was named to 3 Pro Bowls.
In a shocker Paul was traded on draft day 1970 to the Miami Dolphins for a first round pick.

Paul played the next 5 seasons for the ‘Fins. Undeterred Warfield was named the Pro Bowl every year he was with the team, and All-Pro in both 1971 and 1973. He’d average a career high 25.1 yards per catch in 1970, and then in 71 lead the NFL with 11 TDs. After the 1974 season concluded, Paul signed with the upstart WFL Memphis Southmen.

After limping through the 1975 season, the WFL folded, and Paul heard the siren’s call and returned to Cleveland. He played two final seasons there, retiring in 1978.

Paul was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He is also a member of the Dolphins Honor Roll and the Cleveland Browns Ring of Honor. He’s done a variety of things since then including sportscasting and working for the Browns in the front office, but is currently retired and enjoying life living in California.

NFL G/GPRECYDSAVGLGTD
157/152427856520.186T85
WFLRECYDSAVGTDLG
2542216.93N/A