Blanda, George (1927-2010)

Card: Topps 1972
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o home
Sent: 3/26  Received: 4/13  (18 days)


This card was the oldest card in my collection (for a time) ironically because my friend Josh brought over his card collection and accidentally spilled them all over the floor. He let me have this card, because he thought it was in such bad condition that it was trash.  Being the big Oiler fan I am, I knew about George’s history with the team, but it never seemed to cross my mind to locate him for an autograph and for many years the card languished in my collection.  I started a TTM drive to get autographs of many of the classic Oilers after watching the NFL Network presentation of “Full Color Football”. (While the broadcast gives the AFL some credit, it still failed to give the Oilers teams credit of the early 60s, Charlie Hennigan any exposure, and does not acknowledge the contributions of many of our now injured and fallen gladiators in dire need of medical attention and pension assistance.) George was at the top of the list.

George Blanda is an amazing story of longevity in sports history. In a sport like football, with players average playing time of less than 5 years, Blanda would play in 4 different decades, spanning 26 seasons, longer than any other player in football history. He began playing for the NFL in 1949 for the Bears, where he’d play for 10 seasons. Forced with an ultimatum to become a kicker full time and not a quarterback, he opted to retire; However fate would smile upon “The Grand Old Man” who was granted a reprieve when the upstart AFL started in 1960. Signed by the Houston Oilers, he led them to the first 3 championships, winning the first and second with an impressive aerial attack. After seven seasons, he’d move on to play with the Raiders, where he served as backup quarterback and kicker for the team for an additional nine seasons. Blanda at the time of his retirement held the record for most games played and most points scored. He was inducted into the Pro Football HOF in 1981.

G 340   Att 4007   Comp 1911    Avg 47.6    Yds 26920
Td 236    Int 277
FG 335    Att 641   XPA 943    XPM 959    Pts 2002

UPDATE -George Blanda passed away quietly at the age of 84 on September 27th, 2010.  He is survived by his wife and 11 children.

Stenerud, Jan

Cards: Proset 1991, Topps 1970, Memorabilia.
Acquired: In person, CGA Youth Golf Tournament 1993. TTM, 1993.


Back in 1993 I went to the CGA Youth Golf Tournament in Austin, Tx with one mission in mind: get as many football player autographs as possible. I would not be disappointed. Jan Stenerud was one of the many players that I got on that 3 day bonanza that I made a drawing for. He signed the Topps 1970 and the Pro Set Hall of Fame card I got. (He is probably one of the tannest white people I have ever met.) Later much like Dick Anderson, I received a letter in the mail thanking me for my drawing and encouraging me to continue with art from Jan. He also sent me a personalized piece of memorabilia. It was quite a surprise and very nice of him.

Jan was born in Norway and came to the United States on a ski jumping scholarship for Montana State. When coaches saw his ability to kick the football, he was quickly put on the football team. In 1965 utilizing a soccer style kick, he put a 59 yarder through the uprights in what was a college football record at the time. Stenerud would go on to play for the Chiefs in the AFL as one of the first pure place kickers. His career spanned 3 decades (60s, 70s, and 80s) and 3 teams (Chiefs, Packers, and Vikings). A two time AFL All Star,  4 time Pro Bowler,  7 time All Pro, both in the NFL and Packers and Chiefs HOF, and on the NFL 75th All-Time Team, Stenerud was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1991 as the first ‘pure’ kicker. Jan still retains strong ties with his native country, and has been recently involved with a firm that designs arenas and sports stadiums.

G 263     FG 373     FGA 558   XP 580   XPA  601   Pts   1699

Starr, Bart

Cards: ProSet Super Bowl 1, ProSet MVP SB I, ProSet Super Bowl 2, ProSet MVP SB II.
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o The Starr Foundation*
Sent: 1/4  Received: 1/30  (26 days)
*Requires donation


There’s gotta be a place to start (or restart as it may,) and to kick off my return to the world of autograph collecting, I wanted it to begin with a bang, so without further adieu I present Bart Starr MVP of Superbowl 1 and 2. I discovered that in the world of the internet, it was much easier to find players now, and Starr is a great example of this. A surprise added bonus was the fact that when you donate the required fees, Bart puts the money towards the Rawhide program who then sends you updates through the year to let you know how those at risk kids are doing.  (I will probably get Bart’s auto again next year, just because the Rawhide program makes you feel like you are making a difference in peoples’ lives.) Bart painstakingly autographed these four cards for my charitable contribution, returned the SASE in under a month’s time and enclosed another letter with a thank you as well.

Bart Starr is the epitome of the old guard of the NFL before the AFL merger. A 5 time NFL champion (61,62,65-67), He was also a 4 time Pro Bowl selection, and NFL MVP in 1966. It goes without saying that he is in the Packers Hall of Fame,  Won the MVP of Superbowls I and II, and made the NFL 1960’s All-Decade Team. (Starr would also found the Rawhide Boys Ranch during his playing days.) After his illustrious and decorated career ended, Starr would go on to have his number retired, coach the Packers for 9 years leading them to 2 playoff appearances and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1988 Bart would tragically lose his son Bret to a cardiac arrythmia while that same year, the Bart Starr Award would be created. (It is given to this day to players of outstanding moral character.) Currently Bart remains heavily involved in Rawhide and runs Heathcare Realty Management.

Games 196   Att  3149  Comp 1808   Pct 57.4%
Yds 24718   TD 152  Int 138  Rat 80.5

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