Tag Archives: action packed rookies 1990

Bell, Greg

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Score 1990 Ground Force
Acquired: 2017, Paid Signing
Failure: 2010, C/o Home

Greg Bell is one of these pros that got no respect. He flew under the radar at Notre Dame, posting 158 career carries, 870 yards and 10 TDs. His stats were diminished due to a broken leg in his junior year and a sprained ankle in his senior campaign. He’d be selected in the first round of the 1984 draft by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were reeling from the loss of All-Pro back Joe Cribbs to the USFL Birmingham Stallions.  They ran a ground pound offense that was very much dependent on a solid backfield.  Greg’s rookie season was that solid effort the Bills were looking for. He had 262 carries for 1100 yards -on the dot- 7 TDs and an NFL long 85 yard jaunt. He also displayed solid hands catching 34 passes for 277 yards and a TD. He’d earn his one and only Pro Bowl appearance after the season.

In 1985 things got awkward, as Joe Cribbs returned to the Bills. Greg split time at RB and FB for Buffalo, but with Cribbs return, it ate into Bell’s numbers. Still Greg set a career high with 58 receptions for 576 yards, to go along with a bit over 880 yards and 8 TDs rushing. After a poor showing in 1986, Greg found himself as an integral part of NFL history.

In 1987, Eric Dickerson was having a nasty holdout with the Los Angeles Rams- a notoriously cheap franchise at the time.  The Rams pulled a colossal trigger with both the Indianapolis Colts AND the Buffalo Bills. The Rams received a bevy of draft choices from both teams and running backs Owen Gill (IND)  and Greg Bell.  The Colts got Dickerson, and the Bills got Cornelius Bennett. Before the Herschel Walker trade, this was considered the largest blockbuster trade of all time.

Greg saw very little time in the lineup during 1987. It’d be in 1988 that he’d really shine. Under the Ernie Zampese Rams offense and coach John Robinson, the Rams were a threat not only to throw the ball with Jim Everett, but to run it as well with Greg. Bell had his best season as a pro in ’88, racking up 1212 yards on 288 carries, he’d also lead the NFL in rushing TDs with 16.  He’d follow up his stellar 88 season with much the same in 1989 with 272 carries for 1137 yards and a league leading 15 TD rushing. – All this from the guy who was considered a ‘toss in’ on the Eric Dickerson trade. The problem is Greg didn’t apparently really earn too many friends in the Rams organization. Bell was just different…  He was also what was termed as a ‘sidewinding runner’ which could also have contributed to the 13 fumbles he had in 2 seasons in LA.

Greg wanted to renegotiate his contract with the Rams in 1990. The notoriously stingy Rams felt otherwise, especially after just signing him to a new deal last year. With seemingly solid runningback depth at the time, and gambling on the health of former Seahawk Curt Warner, LA jettisoned Greg for a 4th round pick to the LA Raiders. There he just… disappeared. True. The Raiders were stacked at runningback with Marcus Allen and  (later in the year after baseball commitments,) Bo Jackson, but Bell had no media impact whatsoever. I remember looking at his Action Packed Rookies card and just being so upset he was a Raider.  He was active for just 6 games in 1990 rushing for just 164 yards on 47 carries and scoring just 1 TD. He’d battle for an injury settlement as a final roster cut and retire in 1991.

Greg has had a lot of time to reflect on his playing days. He enjoys being a dad and has his own radio show.

Well Greg Bell was turning into quite the white whale for me. When I mailed out to him in 2010, I was excited for the chance to get his autograph. Instead I got my return envelope back with my cards unsigned. While that was disappointing, I had hoped for another shot to get him on these two cards. Months turned to years, and I waited patiently for a paid signing. Finally almost 8 years after I failed, I found a paid signing through Sportscollectors.net.

G/GS 80/67     RUSH 1204     YDS 4959    AVG 4.1    TD 51   LG 85T
REC 157    YDS 1307    AVG 8.3    TD 7      LG 49

Anderson, Gary (RB)

Cards: Skybox 1992, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/29   Received: 9/14  (16  days)
Failure: 2014, C/o Home

Arkansas runningback Gary Anderson has had quite a long career in many leagues. He played from 1979 to 1982 for the Razorbacks, compiling 1,999 yards rushing on 392 carries, scoring 10 TDs, and displaying soft hands catching 94 passes for 1,075 yards and 8 TDs. Selected in 1983 by the San Diego Chargers- Gary opted to play for the upstart USFL instead.

After the New Jersey Generals traded Anderson’s rights to the Tampa Bay Bandits, he became the go to back in Steve Spurrier’s Banditball offense. He’d finish 4th in the league with 2,731 yards and 39 touchdowns during his time in the league before it folded up shop.

By the time Anderson got around to the Chargers, San Diego wasn’t really sure what to do with him, when they had a West Coast attack powered by future HoF QB Dan Fouts. Gary in the meantime handled kick return duties and posted sub-400 yard rushing seasons. Gary also caught a lot of passes, earning his only Pro Bowl berth in 1986 as a jack of all trades when he had 80 catches for 871 yards and 8 TDs along with 442 yards rushing, 482 yards kick returning, and 227 yards punt returning. He later posted a career high 1,119 yards on 225 carries in 1988. After an acrimonious holdout that wiped out his 1989 season, Gary was traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He had a pretty decent 1990 season in which he posted 1110 total yards from scrimmage, and although the rest of his career in the NFL was largely injury riddled, Gary was enshrined into Tecmo Super Bowl lore- as an extremely underrated back. He’d split time with the Bucs and Lions in his final year in the NFL (1993).

After a year off Gary returned to football to play for the CFL USA initiative and the Memphis MadDogs in 1995. He’d be released in camp the following year by the Roughriders.

In 2006, Gary was inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. Of note, if you calculate all of Gary’s time between the three leagues, he has over 14,500 yards from scrimmage.

I had tried to get his autograph a few years ago. He checked many of the odd boxes that I liked: 80s runningback, Action Packed Rookies card, and a player on Tecmo Super Bowl. I missed out on him because in his hometown there is a Court and a Cove that have the same street name but are in totally different places. Thankfully after a second attempt I was able to knock the former elusive back out.  This Action Packed card, like many in the set, was quite common, but it is a good action shot and the emboss shows up well on it. The SkyBox 1992 was another one of my favorite sets of that era. With the large name at the top and crystal clear photography, it really set itself apart from the competition.

USFL  54      RUSH 641    YDS 2731    AVG 4.3     TD 39     LG N/A
REC 167    YDS  1707    AVG 10.2    TD  6

NFL   111/61      RUSH 869      YDS 3409       AVG 3.9     TD 16    LG 64T
REC 302    YDS 2999     AVG 9.9     TD 15    LG 74T
KR  143      YDS 2779    AVG 19.4   TD 1       LG 98T
PR  48         YDS  385      AVG 8.0          TD 0      LG 30

CFL 14        RUSH 66     YDS  250     AVG 3.8     TD 3
REC  28      YDS 273      AVG 9.8        TD 0

Davis, Eric

pset90 edavisaprks90 edavis

Cards: Proset 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent:  11/19/15   Received: 1/15/16   (57 days)

Eric Davis played college ball for Jacksonville State.  He was drafted in the second round by the San Fransisco 49ers in 1990.  At 5’11”,  185, Davis was considered undersized for the cornerback position, but quickly found himself chomping at the bit for a starting role.  Underrated, Davis was overshadowed by the bigger names in the 49ers secondary, that needed to be rebuilt after the departure of Ronnie Lott. Tim McDonald, Deion Sanders, and Merton Hanks all had impressive seasons in 1994, but it was Eric Davis that propelled the team to their Super Bowl win with his impressive playoff run- a season in which he had an NFL record interception in 5 straight playoff contests (spanning 93/94).  He’d have his best year in 1995, a year in which he won Pro Bowl and All Pro Honors.

For 1996, the 49ers made Eric Davis a free agent. Eric signed with the young Carolina Panthers team. He’d play for the Panthers for 5 years. During that run, Eric had 5 interceptions in each season.  He played for the Broncos in 2001,  and then moved to free safety for the 2002 season for the Detroit Lions.

Davis transitioned to the booth and into media seamlessly. He’s done color commentary for preseason games, and worked on early morning AM sports TV and radio shows.

Action Packed 1990 was one of my favorite sets of that era. Everyday after school my mom used to stop at 7-11, and I’d get a $2.25 pack- a stiff price to pay at the time.  I slowly bought a whole box out of the convienience store, only to find that the only card I hadn’t received was this Eric Davis card. I wrote Hi-Pro Marketing, (the company behind AP at the time) and they responded in a few weeks, enclosing 2 copies of Eric Davis and including a cool prototype/  test card of Barry Sanders from their 1992 set.

G/GS   188/150          TAC 593              SAC 2.0               FUM  14
INT 44          YDS  442        AVG 10.0            TD  4            LG 86T