Card: ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: In Person 1992, San Antonio Riders v. Birmingham Fire
Signed as a free agent by the Seattle Seahawks in 1990, Arthur Hunter didn’t make the final roster. Undeterred from playing football, he would be drafted by the Birmingham Fire of the WLAF in the 10th round of the league’s initial positional draft. Art ended up leading the secondary with his aggressive play, pulling down 6 interceptions and a touchdown. The team finished second in the league in interceptions. Despite even chocking in 61 tackles and two fumbles, he was not selected to the league’s All World Team.
In 1992, he’d add another 2 picks and a touchdown to bring his career total to 8 before the league would suspend operations and reorganize following the season. In both seasons, Hunter was an unheralded member of the Birmingham Fire’s staunch defense that formed the backbone of the playoff bound teams. When I found Arthur, he and the other defensive backs were leaving through the stands after the game. They all patiently stopped and signed my cards and laughed at their photos on the back.
Since then Hunter played some time in the Arena Football, but the information and his current whereabouts range from very sketchy to unknown.
G/Gs 20/20 Tac N/a Sac N/a Fum N/a
Int 8 Yds 115 Avg 14.4 Td 2 Lg 37T
Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: In Person 1994, Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp
Tommy Jeter played for the Texas Longhorns during the waning days of the Southwestern Conference, (which consisted at that point of a bunch of teams from Texas after Arkansas left). He’d be drafted in the 3rd round by the Philadelphia Eagles, where I’d get his autograph in West Chester in 1995. Although he was well sized at 6-5, 285, Jeter would rarely get playing time under Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes, and injuries took its toll on the young defensive lineman as he spent the greater part of his final season with the Eagles on IR before being released. Jeter would then sign with the Arizona Cardinals and be cut in training camp and then end up with the Panthers before retiring in 1996.
I think I got like 14 or 15 autographs on my trip to West Chester that year. My parents felt bad because I wanted to go to the Pro Football HoF but we were unable to go even though we were in the general area. I think the biggest haul I got from this group was Herschel Walker, but Randall Cunningham completely denied me, by dropping my card on the ground outside the fence and insisting I already got one from him, – even though I hadn’t. Training camp there was set up much the same way as Cowboys training camp, with a long metal fence that players walked by, but a lot less fans. It was interesting too because the player’s wives came out with them too, almost like they were trying to show them off to the crowd. Tommy was a really nice guy. He saw that I was wearing my high school hat, and asked me, “What I was doing here and how was Austin?”
G/GS 32/0 Tac 15 Sac 1 FF 0 Int 0 Yds 0 Avg -.- Td 0
Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1992, Sky Box 1992
Acquired: TTM 1994, C/o The Green Bay Packers
When Buckley came out of Florida State, he had a lot of buzz surrounding him as the second coming of Deion Sanders; Rightfully so since he was a dazzling punt returner and cornerback. The Packers quickly nabbed him with the 5th pick of the first round of the 1992 draft. He’d have 3 picks and 4 fumble recoveries his first season, and be an electrifying punt returner. He’d average 10 yards a return and be the youngest player in the league to score a touchdown on a punt return. With luck getting quite a few Packers through the mail in those years I made a stab at Terrell Buckley in 1994, his final year with the Packers. Within a month or two I got these two back in the mail.
Buckley’s career was underrated to say the least. After three seasons in Green Bay, he headed out for greener pastures in Miami and played there for the next 5 seasons, pulling down 22 picks and 2 touchdowns. In 2000, he’d hop ship for the Denver Broncos for an impact year with 6 interceptions, and then New England for the next two where Buckley would earn a Superbowl ring. Terrell bounced around for the next three seasons playing again for the Dolphins in 2003, the Jets in 2004 and the Giants in 2005, where he retired at the age of 34. Buckley’s statistics are surprising as he had 50 interceptions in his career, but no Pro Bowl appearances or Hall of Fame nominations to his resume. (He currently is the only defensive player in the league with 50+ interceptions not to be enshrined, ranking him 31st all time.) After football Buckley returned to Florida State, where at the time of this post he is working on their staff as a strength and conditioning coordinator. Buckley signs his cards ‘TBuck’, a name affectionately given to him by radio and tv personality Jim Rome.
Games 209 Tac 465 Sac 2 FF 15
Int 50 Yds 793 Avg 15.9 Td 6 Lg 91T
Pr 79 Yds 748 Avg 9.4 TD 1 lg 58t