Blake, Ricky

Cards: Ultimate WLAF 1991, Proset World League 1991.
Acquired: In Person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1992.

Ricky Blake was an All-Pro WLAF Prospect when he made the jump from the San Antonio Riders to the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL after he ranked third in the league with 554 yards. A bruising fullback with deceptive speed Blake was not drafted out of Alabama A&M. Instead he did some time in the CFL and then took a year off before being drafted by San Antonio.  (Ricky also wore one of the WLAF’s experimental helmet cameras against the London Monarchs that year.) Blake made the transition to the NFL shortly thereafter being signed by the Dallas Cowboys where I got his autograph that next year in 1992, signing with his Dallas #(46).  (It is commonly mistaken that he returned to the Riders in 1992 but Ivory Lee Brown had taken over for him in SA.) Ricky started out with a bang in ’91, then was injured after 2 games on a long run against Phoenix and never played again for the Cowboys, sustaining a hip pointer much like the one that ended Bo Jackson’s career.

Blake however would return to play for the Fort Worth Arena league team in 1994, notching 12 yards on 4 carries and one tackle that year.  Later then he was picked up by the Barcelona Dragons of the newly reconstituted NLFE in 1995, playing for one season, rushing for 398 yards on 98 carries before retiring.

WLAF Games  10     Att   120         Yds   554        Avg     4.6            TD  5
Rec 16      Yds 107       Avg 6.7      Lg 24      Td 1

Jeffires, Haywood

Cards: Score 1990, Fleer 1993 LL, Action Packed 1991 Braille, Skybox 1992-1993
Acquired: In Person 1991, 1992. TTM courtesy Houston Oilers 1993.
See Also: Jeffires, Haywood (2) , Jeffries, Haywood “Freakwood” (3)

Outside of Warren Moon, Jeffires was probably my favorite player as we both shared the same birthday. I got his autograph the first time at training camp in San Antonio in 1991 where he autographed my Score 1990. We exchanged pleasantries and it turned out that he knew somebody who was standing next to me and had to go. I got him again in 1992 and mailed off  an additional 2 cards in 1993,  with a drawing I had done for him from his Pacific 91 card.  Jeffires stood head and shoulders above the rest of the “Fab Four” and I felt on more than one occasion they should have been called “Jeffires and the Smurfs” playing with smallish receivers Drew Hill, Ernest Givins, Curtis Duncan, and Webster Slaughter.  An emotional receiver who tried to motivate his teammates, Jeffires had a penchant for making sideline catches and ran patterns extremely well. I remember the game against the Chiefs when Haywood caught this pass and rolled off the back of a DB then ran 87 yards for a touchdown. It was on that day when they went on the road and played a team that they lost to 30-0 a year earlier, and socked them solidly in the mouth. I knew the Oilers had turned a corner at that exact moment.

Haywood Jeffires or ‘Jeffries’ as it is pronounced, but incorrectly spelled, was the number one rated receiver off the board in the 1987 draft to the Oilers out of NC State at 6′ 2, 200 and is considered a by product of the Jim Everett Trade. It would take Haywood time to work his way into the lineup, but once given a fair chance to flourish in the Red Gun and Run and Shoot, he’d go on to notch 60 or more catches in 6 straight seasons, cracking the 1,000 yd mark in 90 and 91 and grab 100 catches in 1991 and 90 1992, which led the AFC in all 3 seasons. He was a  3 time Pro bowler and 2 time AP but his contributions are largely dismissed because people feel he played in a gimmick offense.  After diminishing statistics and playing time took their toll on his career, Jeffires would play one final season in 1995 for the New Orleans Saints.

Jeffires from what I’ve learned is now considered quite an elusive autograph to attain TTM. Unfortunately I only found this out after sending 4 more cards to him.  At last glance Jeffires is a consultant for the Bay Area Pearland Gamblers, a minor league team near Houston.

Games 123         Rec 535      Yds  6,334       Avg   11.8      TD 50     LG 87T

Dickerson, Eric

Cards: Pro Set 1989, Pro Set 1991.
Acquired: In Person, Cowboys Training Camp 1992.

Back in the days of the Los Angeles Raiders, I would actually get excited when I heard they signed somebody like Eric, because I knew that player would be at the Cowboys training camp later that year.  I don’t think I missed a day at Cowboys training camp that summer, and I never wanted to miss an opportunity to double my chances when the Raiders came to town. Eric was much maligned in the media by now because of frequent contract disputes with the Colts over the last year or two but he was more than generous signing 2 cards for me during camp that year.

Dickerson would play 11 seasons in the NFL for the Rams, Colts, Raiders and Falcons.  A spectacular runner at SMU where he formed the “Pony Express” with Craig James, Dickerson was drafted by the LA Rams in 1983 and went on to set rookie records across the board, and finished as the ROY that year. In his second year, Dickerson established the record for most rushing yards in a season with 2,105.

In ’87 he was traded to the Colts where he continued his streak of 1,000 yard seasons playing until he signed with the Raiders in ’92, and finished with a brief stint in ’93 with the Falcons. Eric’s career totals included: 6 pro bowl selections, 5 first team all pros, named 1980s all decade team, 1986 offensive player of the year, having his number retired by the Rams, and elected to the HOF in 1999.  Post football Dickerson has been both a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football and also on KCBS in LA.

GM 146          ATT 2,996           YDS 13,259         AVG 4.4        TD 90

Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.