Card: Topps 1965
Acquired: In Person 1993, (Signing fee)
One of the best rushing fullbacks in the NFL’s history before the AFL merger, Jim Taylor was drafted in 1958 by the Green Bay Packers after winning the MVP honors of the NCAA Senior Bowl. Jim would be overshadowed by teammates Bart Starr and Jim Hornug, and NFL rushing champion Jim Brown, but Taylor would win the rushing record in 1962 -the only season Jim Brown failed to. Taylor was a winner of the NFL championship in 1961 and 1962. He’d later score the first rushing touchdown in SuperBowl I enroute to the team’s victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. A 6 time All Pro selection and 5 time Pro Bowl selection, Jim was a member of the 1960s All Decade team. Taylor was also a durable, brutal hitter, who was quite effective out of the backfield on swing passes (and made 1,000 yard seasons on a 14 game schedule regularly).In his final season in the league in 1967 he’d be traded to the expansion New Orleans Saints – retiring at season’s end. Jim was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1976 and his most outstanding memory of playing was being named the league MVP in 1962. Taylor has also been inducted into the Wisconsin and Packers HoF. Recently Jim was named the best player in NFL history to wear the #31. Josh and I drove downtown to the Austin Convention Center where there was a card show where Taylor was at. We were two of the first people there and Jim gave me a big handshake where he almost crushed my fingers. Taylor was selected by the Green Bay Packers to announce their 2nd round draft choice in 2011.
G 132 Att 1941 Yds 8597 Avg 4.4 Td 83 lg 84 | Rec 225 Yds 1756 Avg 7.8 Td 10 lg 41
UPDATE: 10/13/18- Jim Taylor passed away early on Saturday morning at the age of 83.
Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: In Person 1992, San Antonio Riders v. Birmingham Fire
See Also: John Miller (2)
The Fire were good at creating turnovers on defense and John Miller was a key cog at safety for the team, snagging All-World honors in 1991 with 6 interceptions. Originally a 5th round selection of the team in the WLAF’s positional draft in 1991, John came from the Detroit Lions whom he played a total of 10 games for in 1989 and 1990. Exceptional in pass coverage and a hard hitter, Miller would also lead the Fire in forced fumbles (4) and had a 99 yard interception return for a touchdown against the Sacramento Surge. In 1992, John made an additional 3 interceptions to finish with 9 for his career, helping the team reach the playoffs for a second year in a row on the back of the team’s stingy defense. I’d get his autograph on this card after the Fire lost against the Riders in San Marcos in 1992. Of note a small production error as his name is spelled incorrectly as M-I-L-L-L-E-R on the front of his card.
G N/a Tac N/a Sac N/a Fum 4
Int 9 Yds 253 Avg 28.1 Td 1 Lg 99T
Card: Action Packed All Madden Team 1991
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1991
Originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the stacked 1989 draft, Wisniewski’s rights were immediately traded to the Los Angeles Raiders. A two time All-American out of Penn State, “The Wiz” as he was affectionately known was one of the last great moves of the Raiders organization during the 1980s. Wisnewski would play in 8 Pro Bowls over his 13 seasons and was named to the All-Decade Team of the 1990s. A fine technician, Steve had great feet and was well coordinated athlete -which allowed him to compete at the upper echelon of the league and handle bull rushing defensive tackles with ease. Steve was also considered in many circles to be one of the dirtiest players in the league and in 1997 topped the rankings list. He retired in 2001 as a member of the Oakland Raider organization after starting 175 games.
I got Steve’s autograph at Dallas Cowboys training camp, where he personalized the card with a passage from the bible. Philippians 1:13. “As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.” An interesting passage. Steve since football has continued his quest for Christ. As a born again Christian he works with fellow ex-Raider Napoleon Kaufman’s church, and sells software for CIMA systems to the automotive industry. His fondest memory was being selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in 1990, and most enjoyed playing against the arch rival Chiefs. Offensive linemen- specifically Guards rarely if ever get selected for the NFL HoF, and Steve is one amongst many that should have more fair consideration.