Lewis, Darryll

Cards: Pro Set 1991, Action Packed Rookies 1991, Star Pics 1991.
Acquired: TTM 1993, In Person, Houston Oilers training camp 1994.
See Also: Lewis, Darryll (2)

On my birthday in 1993 I received Darryll’s autograph in the mail. It was a really nice treat.  The next year at Oiler training camp in San Antonio he gave me his autograph on a card. I’d swear he was as tall as me.

The 1990 Jim Thorpe Award winner did not go until the second round as the defensive back class was considered weak that year and Lewis was also thought to be undersized. The Oilers, who had long been burned the previous 2 seasons on defense drafted Lewis, Michael Dumas, and Steve Jackson in the 1991 draft. In the end this draft provided a bevvy of defensive backfield ballhawk talent, including Eric Turner, Aeneas Williams, Todd Scott,  Henry Jones, along with Darryll. It was Lewis who would form with holdover Cris Dishman and become a devastating duo at cornerback. Lewis made up for his height disadvantage with pure speed and his leaping skill. By 1994, he also became known for soft hands and a nose for the ball at the critical moment, notching  at least 4 picks in 6 straight seasons.

Lewis would play for the Oilers, Chargers, and Broncos briefly over a 10 year career making the Pro Bowl in 1996. Unfortunately Lewis’ post NFL life has been marred by personal problems. After resigning from Oregon State as a DB assistant coach, he has  had run ins with the law including a tragic car chase caught on tape in 2005, where meth was found in his vehicle. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2006 and was sentenced to 32 months in prison. He currently he lives in the San Diego area.

Games 142   Tac 404  Sac 5  FF 0   Int 32  Yds 555 Lg 98T  TD 5

Lofton, James


Cards: Pinnacle 1992, SkyBox 1992.
Acquired: In person, Dallas Cowboys training camp  1994.
See Also: James Lofton (2)

In one of my more infamous moments of autograph collecting, James Lofton had signed as an interim coach with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1994 and was in Austin to scrimmage the Cowboys. Knowing that I would probably only get one shot at the wide receiver I got the prime spot in the autograph alleyway that players had to walk up to get to the field, and then waited. When the players arrived, I unfolded the cardboard sign I had with me that stated,”WILL WORK FOR JAMES LOFTON’S AUTOGRAPH”.  Every player who got off the bus chuckled at me and then when James got off, (while he was being ribbed by his teammates,) walked over, smiled and gave me his autograph on the two cards here.

A player whose career literally spanned three decades of football (70’s, 80’s & 90’s) and one of only a few players to score a TD in each era, Lofton was a 8 time Pro Bowler, and a 4 time All Pro for the Packers and Bills. (Drew Hill scored in each era one game sooner for the honor of doing it first.)  Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, Lofton played Packers, Raiders, Bills, Rams and Eagles, during his career retiring at the age of 38. Lofton has coached in the NFL with both the Chargers and Raiders, and as of this time serves on Westwood One Radio’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

G 233      Rec 764    Yards 14004      Avg 18.3       Lg 80        TD 75

Sayers, Gale

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed Whizzer White Award 1991.
Acquired: TTM 2010 c/o Sayers Corp.*
Sent: 4/28  Received: 5/26 (29 days)
* Requires donation

I had been watching this miniseries on NFL Network called “Full Color Football” and it briefly mentioned Gale and a few other players from the NFL before the AFL merger. After doing a search on the former great, I found his website and found the fee ‘reasonable’ in order to add him to my collection. I used to shrug at the idea of paying players for autographs, but as years have passed and also I realize the time it takes, the inconvenience it may cause, and how it may provide some players an income they need.

Gale Sayers is a former running back of the Chicago Bears from 1965-1971 who had a legendary career. The NFL rookie of the year had a record 22 touchdowns in his rookie year, 2,272 yards from scrimage, and tied the record for most TD’s in a game with 6. He would also set the record of 30.56 on kick returns on 91 returns, 6 of them going for touchdowns.  Injuries ended Sayers career prematurely in 1971, and he would be elected to the HOF in 1977. A 5 time All-Pro and 4 time Pro Bowl Selection, Sayers would be named the MVP of the Pro Bowl 3 times, to the NFL 75th Anniversary Team, and the 1960s all decade team.  Sayers has had an extremely successful career after football, as he is Chairman of Sayers40 Inc, and an active fundraiser for the city of Chicago and the University of Kansas.

Games  68     Att 991      Yds 4956     Avg  5.0       TD 39

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