Card: Action Packed 1990 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o The Denver Broncos Sent: 10/21 Received: 11/4 (14 days) See Also: Steve Atwater
Steve over the last few years has become an insider and ambassador with the Denver Broncos organization. He has continued to be a good signer TTM, although since I originally got him back in 2011, he’s stopped signing as quickly and now only signs one item per person. For a few people he even short signed his initials. Atwater like many players has probably gotten frustrated with collectors and resellers abusing his generosity and going back to the well too soon and too often. I felt that since it had been… almost 10 years, it was fair of me to shoot out this classic Action Packed card of his.
Atwater was elected as part of the mega NFL 100th Anniversary class to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early 2020.
Fredd Young is a member of the New Mexico State Hall of Fame. A fast and hard hitting linebacker with huge hands, Fredd had over 400 tackles in his college career at NM State, and recorded 12 sacks as a Senior. He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Fredd contributed immediately to the Seahawks defense, and very quickly established himself as a starter during his rookie year. He’d be named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie year, and the next following 3 years. His first two Pro Bowl nominations came on special teams, and his next two came at strongside inside linebacker. In his final year with the Seattle (1987), Brian Bosworth joined him at linebacker commanding an unheard of 10 year $11 million dollar contract. Unable to secure such a lucrative contract from the team for his proven talent, Fredd held out through the first game of the 1988 season.
The Seahawks didn’t take kindly to this, but found a suitor waiting in the wings as the Colts traded two first round picks in order to get Young to help fortify their defense. He’d sign a 5 year, $4.5 million dollar contract with Indianapolis. Fredd played the next 3 years with the team. His high water mark came in 1989 when he posted 122 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. After a solid ’89, Fredd was again on pace for another quality followup year in 1990, but got injured during the 11th game of the season against Buffalo. It turned out to be career ending, as it was the same hip-flexor injury that Bo Jackson famously had his career ended by.
My first recollection of Fredd is from the game Tecmo Bowl back in 1988. Being that there wasn’t a Houston franchise, I started playing Seattle on a whim. With the player licenses (but not the team rights) the ‘Seattle Knights’ as the logo led me to believe, were a blast to play. Fredd Young was a speedy missile inside, and I crushed opposing ball carries with him rushing upfield.
Cards: ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed Whizzer White Award 1991, ProSet 1991 WLAF Inserts Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 10/5 Received: 10/17 (12 days)
Reggie Williams played college football at Dartmouth, and was a 3 time All-Ivy League selection from 1973-1975. Reggie was so dominant that he caught the attention of pro scouts, parlaying his efforts to become a 3rd round selection of the Cincinnati Bengals in 1976.
Over the next 14 seasons, Reggie went on to become one of the Bengals best draft picks. He played in an unheard of 206 games (one short of Ken Riley for the franchise record), and virtually owned the entire Bengals record books at linebacker for every statistical category including: career tackles, sacks, interceptions, and fumbles. He also earned the Whizzer White Award in 1985, the NFL Man of the Year Award in 1986, and SI’s Sportsperson of the Year in 1987.
He’s been at the frontlines of visionary ideas leading sport and NFL initiatives and then working with Disney overseeing their recreational and sports divisions since then. In the final years of his time with the Bengals he also served as a city councilman, and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
Still despite all this, and being virtually an icon with Cincinnati, Reggie has been largely unheralded by his former franchise. A true warrior, he’s had over 25 knee surgeries since his career concluded, and it has taken its toll on his leg. He’s written a book about his life, ‘Resilient by Nature’, where he gives a great wealth of insight into his life, and shares his dedication and willingness to overcome whatever obstacles he faces.
I had wanted to get Reggie’s autograph for sometime. He is the epitome of who I like to get an autograph from and for whom I like to write about. He has had an interesting journey both in and out of the sport- and I feel that he is someone who doesn’t get enough accolades for all he’s done. I wrote him an email through Facebook and he was kind enough to respond to me. We talked briefly about his foray into the World League- where he told me, “He loved the travel.” I sent him some old photos of magazine clippings from Gametime magazines as well that he enjoyed very much. He was doing a book signing in the area, so I sent him a stack of extra cards for his personal collection and to hand out to fans. A man of his word, Reggie signed these cards in no time flat for me.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.