Category Archives: WLAF

Williams, Ronnie

Cards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/4   Received:  9/8   (35 days)
*donation enclosed

Ronnie Williams played college ball for the Oklahoma State Cowboys from 1984-1987.  Originally a quarterback, he’d be converted to wide receiver by his senior year.  Over his time at OSU Ronnie completed 264 of 349 passes, and as a Senior caught 26 passes for 304 yards and 2 TDs.

He’d sign with the San Diego Chargers as a free agent in 1988. After not being able to latch on with a team over the next few seasons, Ronnie decided to give the WLAF a shot.

Ronnie was selected in the first round of the WLAF positional draft in 1991 by the San Antonio Riders. He’d lead the team in receptions with 30 catches, and 4th in 321 yards.  In 1992 Ronnie had 20 receptions for 216 yards and 4 TDs.  Although the Riders finished with a 7-3 record, they were left looking in on the playoffs. Like the rest of the WLAF, the Riders were dissolved with the league after the season concluded. Ronnie is notable as he is the franchise’s career leader in receptions with 50.

Ronnie became one of the WLAF success stories. After the 1992 season, he signed with the Miami Dolphins.  He didn’t see the field in 1993 and was primarily used as a 3rd TE and blocker by the Dolphins over his career.  Perhaps his most memorable moment was catching his first professional TD pass, a 1 yard sneaky grab from Dan Marino during the 1994 playoffs in a win over the Chiefs (27-17). He played for the team through 1995, joining the Seattle Seahawks in 1996.  Ronnie caught his only regular season TD from Rick Mirer that year. After the season he’d retire.

Ronnie had two amazing WLAF cards that were not widely available until after the 1992 season, and I always wanted to get them signed. Plus he was a Rider. I had just barely missed him on two or three occasions, but finally got a hold of him.  I agreed to send a donation to his kids program and updated him on the status of many of his teammates.

WLAF      REC  50         YDS  537     AVG   10.7     TD  4
NFL  55/5         REC  10                 YDS   79             AVG  7.9        TD 1

 

Little, Larry

Cards: ProSet WLAF 2014 hack, Majestic 2010
Acquired:  TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 5/31    Received: 7/14      (43 days)

I remember vividly back when the Riders played the Glory, how the fans swarmed Larry for his autograph. The former NFL Great guard was kind and signed as much as he could after the game. Little was one of the few black head coach at the professional level of football in many years, and it was a big deal- even if it was the WLAF in 1992.  While the Glory finished with a dismal 1-9 record, the team was competitive in many contests. While Wild Card and Ultimate both contributed cards to the World League family in 1992, none outside of ProSet made any cards that showcased coaches- and ProSet bailed out on the WLAF market by 1992, so I made my own.

Larry played offensive line in college at Bethune-Cookman, but was not drafted in 1967. (It’s not known whether it was an issue of scouting or lack of film, but it was obvious that Larry was overlooked not only by the NFL but the AFL as well.) He’d sign as a free agent with the San Diego Chargers of the AFL. In 1969 Larry was traded to the Miami Dolphins where he quickly distinguished himself.  Larry was a key cog of the Miami Dolphins 1970’s dynasty, blocking up front for Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris, and Larry Czonka. He’d be named to the Pro Bowl 5 times (1969, 1971-1974,) and earn All-Pro 5 times (1971-1975) over his career.

After retiring from the NFL in 1980, Larry coached at his Alma Mater Bethune-Cookman from 1983-1991, before joining the WLAF with the Ohio Glory. Little was primarily known as a player’s coach. He returned to college after the WLAF went on hiatus, and coached at North Carolina Central from 1993-1998.

He’s earned numerous accolades from his playing career as well, being named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, the Miami Dolphins Honor Roll, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993, and The Sporting News 100 Greatest Football Players in 1999.

Larry signed these 2 cards for me through the mail. I should’ve actually included the Ultimate WLAF Ohio Glory Checklist but, maybe that’s for another time. I sent him the rest of the WLAF cards that I made for him to keep and he returned two of them, one inscribed with 17-0 and the other with HOF 1993.  The photo is of him from his interview with the WLAF Gameday Magazine from 1992 and it makes a solid, if not stoic impression of the former Glory coach. I really have warmed up to the Crown Royale Majestic line of cards from 2010.  While the card is very busy design-wise, it almost has a carnival appeal to me, emphasized by the typeface used for Majestic. How Majestic is lined up and off center within the marquee drives me a bit nuts, but otherwise the patch and autograph tie up this card nicely.

G/GS  183/157

McNair, Fred ‘Air’

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Alcorn State
Sent: 12/19       Received: 2/5    (42 days)

Fred McNair finished his career at Alcorn State as the 5th leading passer in NCAA -1A football after completing 119 of 214 passes for 1,898 yards and 14 TDs. After not being drafted in 1990, Fred was signed by the Dallas Cowboys to compete in camp against Babe Laufenberg– where I’m sure Fred passed me walking down autograph alley at St. Edwards in Austin.  After being cut, McNair played for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL where he was a member of the 79th Grey Cup Championship team.

Fred made the move to the WLAF in 1992, signing with the London Monarchs.   Although McNair was incumbent starting QB Stan Gelbaugh‘s backup, Fred did see significant playing time for the Monarchs. He’d throw for 668 yards and 3 TDs during his brief stint in the league. After the season, McNair returned stateside and began a solid career in the Arena leagues playing for the Albany Firebirds (1993-1995), Florida Bobcats (1996-2000), Carolina Cobras (2000-2001), and the Buffalo Destroyers (2002).  He also helped tutor his younger brother Steve for the rigors of the pro level.

Football hasn’t really stopped being a part of Fred McNair’s life. He spent some time at Millsaps University honing his skills as a coach, then jumped in at the OC level working with Mount Olive, (MS) helping the Pirates earn two State titles. After that he was head coach at Collins High School (MS), returning to Alcorn State in 2012 to serve as offensive coordinator.  In 2016 Fred became head coach of his Alma Mater, where he led Alcorn State to a 1st place finish at 5-4.

I had been meaning to get Fred on his Wild Card for some time, but I wasn’t sure if he signed TTM. I finally gave him a shot and was pleasantly surprised to get him in about 40 days.

WLAF
ATT 105   CPD 55   YDS 668   PCT 52.4    TD 3   INT 4   RAT 65.9

ARENA
ATT 2626  CPD 1504   YDS 19352   TD 340  INT 71  RAT 101.6