Card: TNT AFL 2014
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 2/22 Received: 4/19 (56 days)
Clinton played for the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2002, 2004, and 2005. He piled up 1864 yards on 118 receptions and 14 TDs over his 3 years there. His best season came as a Junior when he logged 58 receptions for 905 yards and 6 TDs- earning him 2nd Team All-Big Ten Honors.
Going undrafted, Solomon signed with the St Louis Rams in 2006. Afterwards he was on the rosters of the Titans and Bears in 2007. He signed with the Arena Chicago Rush in 2008, and finally found his home with the Wichita Wild of the IFL in 2009, where he was named 1st team All-IFL after posting 22 TDs and 1,008 yards receiving. He again earned All-IFL selections in 2010 and 2011. Clinton spent then next two seasons with the Sioux Falls Storm, and briefly played for the Kansas City Renegades.
In 2014 Clinton joined the Texas Revolution. Soon thereafter he’d be signed by the snake bitten San Antonio Riders of the AFL. After the season the Talons were contracted, but he was assigned to the Las Vegas Outlaws. After the Outlaws were also contracted, Solomon returned to the Texas Revolution in 2016 reuniting with former Talon Brett Reece. Clinton finished the season as the team leader with 63 receptions for 793 yards and 25 TDs.
A few years ago I had started tracking down members of the Talons who I had made cards of. I attempted to friend Clinton on Facebook, but he did not respond to me for over a year. I reached out to him when he did and he agreed to do a signing for me. Apparently he was more excited than I intially thought, because after he signed the card, he also inscribed the back of the envelope thanking me for the trading cards.
Card: Sage 2015
Acquired: 2016, Hobby Box Breaker
Pete Thomas is an intriguing quarterback prospect with a history reminiscent of former pocket passer- Pitt QB Tom Savage. A rare 2 school transfer, Thomas’ long march originally started with the Colorado State in 2010. He’d spend two years with the Rams and play in 21 games. Pete put up a decent statline, going 414/652, for 9117 yards, with 36 TDs to 36 picks. Sitting out a year, Thomas played in 9 games in 2013 for the NC State Wolfpack. He’d throw 9 TDs, and complete 149 of 247 attempts.
Thomas again changed gears after the 2013 campaign, and transferred to Louisiana-Monroe. Pete had a good year with the Warhawks, with 301 completions on 501 attempts, 3181 yards and 14 touchdowns. Going undrafted in 2015, Pete was an early mini-camp arm for the San Diego Chargers and New York Giants, but was unable to stick.
Eventually Pete signed with the Minnesota Havok of the Indoor Football League, but the team folded before it even took the field. Released from his contract he was assigned by the Arena Football League in 2016 to the LA KISS. Thomas came in during the first game of the 2016 season and didn’t relinquish the starting job all season, leading the team into the playoffs. Pete for the record completed 166 of 294 attempts for 2094 yards, 42 TDs and 8 INT. As the Arena Football League went through a massive reorganization the LA Kiss bowed out of the league. Thomas had his rookie option exercised by the Tampa Bay Storm for 2017.
Card: UT UD 2011
Acquired: C/o Home, 2012
Sent: Received: 7/14 (days)
See also: Steve McMichael “Mongo”
Steve McMichael and Ray Childress were my favorite defensive linemen when I was a kid, so to meet both of them during my younger years was quite a treat to me. I had already gotten back around to Ray, and had been looking for a good excuse to write Steve again, so when the University of Texas Upper Deck 2011 set came out, I thought I had the best justification to do so, and put 3 cards in the mail. Well, I’m guessing Steve didn’t have his UT Upper Deck All American card or his All Time Alumni card as he kept those. Still the fact that he signed his base set card, was what I really wanted most, so to just get only one back from him was fine by me.
McMichael gained notoriety while playing with the Bears for having a penchant to come up with big plays when they mattered. He also started 101 straight games at defensive tackle. Mike Ditka called McMichael the toughest player he ever coached. Now let me stress that again… Mike Ditka called him that. He’d later go on to enjoy a strong wrestling career in the WWF and WCW as Mongo. I even saw him live at the Erwin Center in Austin where fans who remembered were happy to see him. Steve was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He currently does radio for the pregame show of the Bears outside of Chicago and is head coach of the Chicago Slaughter of the Indoor Football League.