Tag Archives: 10000 yard club

Anderson, Ottis ‘OJ’ (2)

flr99si andersonCard: Fleer 1999 Sports Illustrated
Acquired: Target Autograph Memorabilia, 2013
See Also: Ottis Anderson

Probably one of the worst autographs I ever received TTM from a player was from Ottis Anderson, so it came as quite a surprise when I pulled an autograph from him out of one of the Target Autograph Memorabilia packs, but also because it had his full autograph. – Not just his first name. A very nice pull.

I actually had this Sports Illustrated at some point, and while it’s not a bad looking card, I partially understand why Fleer went the way of the do do, with sets like these. Previously I had received one of these Fleer Sports Illustrated cards from Roger Craig, but the design and look is so stale, that I thought these were thrown together promotionals. They didn’t even bother to remove the bar code or price from the original magazine.

The University of Miami’s, (FL) all time leading rusher at the time of his graduation, Ottis racked up 3331 yards, -including 1,266 his Senior season. He went on to have a prestigious career with the St. Louis Cardinals and earn NFL RotY Honors in 1979. In 1986 the Cardinals cut Anderson, thanks to the abuse of heavy running all those years. He’d make a comeback, and help the Giants win Super Bowl XXV against the Bills.

Williams, Ricky “Little Earl” (3)

adr11 rwilliamspoff01 rwilliamssco09 R williamsSP99 R Williams
Cards: Score 2009, Upper Deck 2006, SP 1999, Adrenalyn 2009, Playoff Contenders 2001, Power Deck 2006.
Acquired: 2/6/13, IP Legends Luncheon, 11/17/13 – GMC Texas Tour.
See Also: Ricky WilliamsRicky Williams (2)

Just when I thought I was going to write a post about how I’m running out of things to say about Ricky, he has a luncheon where he agrees to do an honest question and answer session with all the fans in the lunchroom audience. He discussed his foundation work (Ricky Williams Foundation), and a wide range of topics covering his life growing up as a latchkey kid. Ricky was very forthcoming about his travels, and that he had actually contemplated retirement as early as his second year in the NFL. Ultimately Williams made the decision in his last season in Baltimore to retire, after a brief conversation with Bill Parcells.

Ricky enjoyed playing the game because it was a game to him. It was fun. He talked about the growing problem of players confusing sportsmanship with competitiveness.  Williams also talked about how he was even keel when the team won or when the team lost. He really just didn’t let it get to him, and this made him sometimes
appear weird to his teammates.

UD09  R williamsWhen I got up to him he signed all three of my cards. At this point, he recognizes me when I come up, and I gave him his Starting Lineup figure as a humorous gift- which I think he got a kick out of. I asked him jokingly if he had ever used the deer antler spray, and he very candidly told me his answer… He clarified that the greater issue is that at some point we are talking about substances that people put in their body, much of it naturally that is already used or ingested in other cultures. He really didn’t tell me firmly if it worked, however Ricky pointed out the greatest problem that the NFL faces in drug testing is the use of HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and that the problem is rampant, since the league’s testing isn’t able to completely sniff it out.

ud98pd rwilliamsRicky lives in Austin and I pretty much stop whatever I am doing to go to his events. I heard about this event on 1300 The Zone (The Longhorn Station), about a week before and decided to take a crack at the event. I had previously met Ricky on two other occasions, and he had signed a total of 4 cards between the events for me. Still there seems to be a never ending supply of cards or items I’d love to get the former Heisman winner to sign for my collection including these gems. I very much enjoy his refreshing, incredibly intelligent, and unique view on the world and always look forward to the events he speaks at. If there was ever a player that I’d refer to as a shaman, I’d pretty much put Ricky in that category.

rickyagainIn November, Ricky once again appeared, this time at the GMC Texas Tour. I stocked up on autograph vouchers and then camped out in line. After asserting my spot as the first person in line over poachers who hovered near the gate or put their gear down and walked off, I waited patiently for Ricky to arrive. Williams had signed to work with Coach Larry Kennan at Incarnate Word out of San Antonio as a runningback coach, and he came in wearing their colors. As the only fan that recognized him, Ricky thought he was going to get away with his stunt, but I caught him when he walked by. When they finally opened up the queue for autographs we were limited to just one per person, so I walked up and got my autograph and just talked to Ricky about his experience at IW.  It was a rough start when I asked him to sign with the bronze colored marker, but because his face frowned, I immediately backpedaled and said that I’d be happy with whatever marker he’d like. His face lit up then when we talked about the WLAF and Kennan’s days with the Monarchs, but before you knew it, a handler came over and shooed me off. I then told Ricky I’d return and when I got to the front of the line, he’d know he had gone through the whole line at least once. I waited patiently and returned to the front. The pretty line keeper  (who comped me a Roy Williams autographed photo) helped me pass the time for a few minutes, and before I knew it, I was back at the table talking to Ricky. He enjoyed talking to me so much, he volunteered and literally grabbed my cards and signed all the extras I had with me before I left the table. He told me about Kennan’s coaching style and we joked about what the “Hook ‘Em” sign would be for Incarnate Word.

tnt13g  rwilliamsAgain, like Priest Holmes, I created a custom card for Ricky based on the ‘Long Tom’ design of the GameDay cards more recently of the 90s. I was really happy with the results, but continue to struggle with the paper thickness as 20lb is not a universal weight. Still the ink absorbed well into the card and it does look legitimate enough that he did take pause to look impressively at it.

At the time of Ricky’s retirement he was the 26th member of the 10,000 yard club. While occasional rumblings talk about inducting him into the Pro Football HoF, his legacy will need to be redefined elsewhere, as old timers will look at Ricky’s rampant disregard of NFL policies as blemishes on his career. Also with guys like Ottis Anderson (slightly more yards and an MVP honor) still waiting in line, Williams getting in would be seen as a major coup. In the meantime Ricky is finding a new life in football coaching runningbacks for Incarnate Word and dabbling in recruiting.

Williams, Ricky “Little Earl” (2)

Cards: Donruss Rookies & Stars 09, UT Upper Deck 2011 MM x2
Acquired: In person, Ricky Williams Tailgate 9/8/2012.
See Also: Ricky Williams, Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4)

Late in August, I got an email in the evening from the Ricky Williams Foundation.  When I opened it up I couldn’t believe my eyes. The Foundation was holding Ricky’s First Tailgating event, for only a small donation of $25.00. Included in the price was BBQ, beer, games, meeting Ricky, and getting a few autographs.  It was a no brainer for me, and I bought two tickets immediately, so that I could drag Josh along this time. We arrived a bit after twelve, and parking was a hassle because of the pregame stuff going on for New Mexico. After a lot of blind wandering, we located his event that was being treated very low key. The BBQ was great, and eventually we got Ricky’s autograph on a few items. I was really pleased to get him on these 3 cards this time.

Ricky was very friendly with fans and many of them he was happy to speak to or allow to pet his Heisman. He allowed everybody to take photos and grab autographs.  I got to share Ricky’s Heisman with him which is a bit unwieldy. I’d guess the trophy was about 20 pounds or so, and there was some nicks and tears to the foundation of the base. Still it was very kind of him to let me do it, since I have been getting into doing poses with players other than the normal conventional, ‘stand there and smile pose’. Overall I think it was a great PR move by him and his team, and since I had a great time volunteering at a Christian Okoye Foundation event, I volunteered to help Ricky Williams Foundation at other events, if they needed assistance.

A bit about these cards. I really like the treatment that the Rookies & Stars went through for 2009. It still remains one of my favorite modern day sets and this card is exceptional. I got an idea after witnessing a Texans fan at a Mario Williams signing last year toting around jersey card, that I should consider getting a few of them signed. The red cards, are jersey cards and they are absolutely beautiful with it placed right below the player’s image on the card. It’s a very well integrated design, even if they use the type font ‘Birth of a Hero’.

With the UT Upper Deck Monumental Moments cards, we have two cards that frame Williams’ contributions to the history of Texas football.  First
up is the card in which he broke Tony Dorsett’s career rushing record against A&M. It’s not a bad card at all.  The action is framed well and you get the point of the card in its summation of his achievement. The second card, which highlights his school record 350 yard stomping of Iowa State,(which broke the record previously held by Roosevelt Leaks) is an equally nice card with the same warts. It really showcases how hard Ricky as to take down as 4 defenders are frantically in frame trying to catch him. I did have to use the baby powder on both cards to remove the sheen, but it worked like a charm so there was no marker loss there.  I did not like how
they used the ‘fat T’ logo on the right hand side of the card. It feels too University of Tennessee. (Any well minded UT fan would’ve used the combined UT logo to differentiate from the Volunteers.) In the meantime, I had a great time and look forward to going to and or working other events and getting a few more cards signed by Ricky in the future.