Singletary, Mike

Card: Action Packed 1989
Acquired: TTM 1992, C/o The Chicago Bears

An incredible middle linebacker with a nose for the ball, Mike Singletary displayed his abilities early on in high school and later at Baylor recording 30+ tackles in a game on 3 separate occasions. Before he was drafted in the second round of the 1981 draft by the Bears, Singletary set a team record with 662 career tackles, including a mind boggling 232 as a Sophomore at Baylor where he won the Davey O’Brien Award. After being selected, it took him only seven games before he became a near permanent fixture for the Bears over the next 12 years notching 10 straight ProBowl appearances from 1983-1992, Defensive player of the year in 1985 and 1988, and All Pro (first team) from 1983-1989, and 1991.

In 1985 he’d help the defense under Buddy Ryan and Mike Ditka to a victory in Superbowl XX contributing 2 fumble recoveries in the team effort to hold the Patriots to a total of 7 yards rushing.  After retiring in 1992, Singletary bought a car dealership in Montana and slowly worked his way back into the coaching ranks, wrote a book, and coached the San Fransisco 49ers. A hard nosed, ‘no nonsense’ coach, Singletary has been known to do slightly outrageous things to get his players attention and motivate them to win going as far as to moon his players on one occasion.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 and the NFL All 80s team.

I sent off for Mike’s autograph in what was rumored to be his last year. I asked for his autograph on two cards: An Action Packed 1989, and the latter a Pro Set 1991 card for my grandfather who lived in Waco, (where Baylor University was). I got both back in the mail signed and gave the other to my grandfather, who in his haste, pinned the card with a push pin to his cork board. I’d visit him over the next 10 year or so and occasionally see the card on the wall, before my grandfather started suffering from Alzheimers. He put up a good fight even after he was moved to a nursing home but it was hard to deal with him when he had no clue who I was, even when I visited on my birthday. He passed away in 2009. I never saw the card again.

Games  179     Tac  1488     Sac 19     FF 12       Int 7    Yds 44  Avg 6.2   Td 0

Avery, Steven

Cards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1991.
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o home
Sent: 3/12  Received: 4/10 (28 days)

Steven Avery went undrafted out of Northern Michigan in 1989 where he signed as a free agent with the then Houston Oilers. After being cut in camp that year he sat out a year, and then was picked up by the Packers who then allocated him to the Birmingham Fire of the WLAF where he played for two seasons as their starting fullback until the league went on hiatus after 1992. Recognized for his tough nosed blocking and decent hands, Steve’s style matched that of a ‘poor man’s’ Meril Hoge.  He was a natural fit for the Steelers, and signed with them in 1993 and playing for the gold and black for 3 years before retiring. Since retired from football the Steelers have had him back as an honorary captain on occasion. Steve lives in Ocmonoc, WI. I sent out for Steve’s autograph to his home address, where he sent a nice thank you note to me for being a fan in a bit under 30 days.

Fire    games 20     att 49     yds 182    avg 3.7    td 1   lg 32
rec 32  yds 364   avg 11.4   td  3   lg  54t

Mecklenburg, Karl ‘Albino Rhino’

Cards: Fleer 1990, Proset 1989
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o home
Sent: 2/15 Received: 3/15 ( 28 days)

Nobody paid much attention when with the 310th pick of the infamous 1983 draft, the Denver Broncos took a flyer on a little known linebacker named Karl Mecklenburg out of the University of Minnesota.  Mecklenburg would just go on to play for 12 seasons, leading them on defense during the Bronco’s Superbowl runs during the 1980s. Nickamed the ‘Albino Rhino’ by teammates, Mecklenburg finished his career with 79 sacks and over 1100 tackles.  Since football, Mecklenburg has established the REACH foundation, written a book about his experiences as a player (“Heart of a StudentAthlete”) and been inducted into the Denver Broncos Ring of Honor. He also does extensive public speaking and resides in Littleton, Colorado with his wife and three children. I sent off for Karl’s autograph, and got a fairly quick response from him with a note about his book in a little under a month.

The verse included is from the bible. (Philippians 4:8) “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Games 180      Tac 1104     Sac 79.0    FF 16     Int 5      Yds 128     Avg 25.6    Td 0

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