Cards: Score 1990, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: TTM 2020 C/o Home
Sent: 10/13 Received: 10/26 (13 days)
Failure: TTM 2015, C/o Home
I have been angling to add Ken Harvey to my collection for a very long time. It wasn’t because of his playing career as much as the places we both came from. Heck he and I technically grew up in the same neighborhood since his high school was right down the street from me. Heck he even quit school briefly as he fell in with the wrong crowd briefly, and worked at Fuddruckers over on Anderson Rd in The Village across from Northcross Mall.
I probably even frequented it a kid about the time he worked there. I remembered not being fond of their liquid cheese, and sitting under these giant canvas military grade tents on the patio eating a giant burger with my parents. Anyway, it’s all long gone- even Northcross Mall which is now a mini-Walmart.
Ken got his act together, went back and finished high school and was snatched up by the California Golden Bears. After an impressive college career playing linebacker at Cal wrapped up in 1987, Ken was selected in the first round of the 1988 Draft by the Phoenix Cardinals. – It wasn’t hailed as such a big deal back then, even though being from Austin and being a ‘small town’ kid making it big in the NFL, especially from my neighborhood should’ve been. When I got his first couple of football cards, I was very excited. – I mean here was a player I had a personal connection to from a location basis. We walked the same streets. We had been in the same 7-11’s- maybe to buy those same cherry Slurpees, nachos, and a pack of football cards or two. – Well maybe not the nachos for him but- he immediately became relatable.
Ken played six seasons with the woeful Cards at right outside linebacker. He put up some solid numbers over that period, recording 120 tackles in 1989 and 10 sacks in 1990. I seem to remember he had a falling out in 1993 with the club, signing with the division rival Washington Redskins in 1994. From 1994-1997 Ken was considered one of the most dominant linebackers of the NFC East. He’d earn a Pro Bowl nod in each of those seasons, recording a career high 13.5 sacks in that ’94 campaign. He’d call it a career shortly before the beginning of the 1999 season.
Ken has been honored by the Redskins as one of the 70 Greatest Redskins, and was inducted into the club’s Ring of Fame. He also has received a couple of nominations for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
He currently lives in the DC area and has had an interesting post-professional playing career, working for the Redskins, writing for the Washington Post, and training aspiring tourists to become astronauts. He wrote a very nice note to accompany my cards, saying it’d be an honor to sign them.