Tag Archives: action packed rookies 1991

Lewis, Darren ‘Tank’

Cards: Star Pics 1991, Action Packed Rookies 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/3 Received: 11/25 (145 days)

Darren Lewis was a star tailback for the Texas A&M Aggies. In 1988 he set the school mark with 1692 yards on 306 carries (7 TDs), and then in 1990 miss breaking that mark by just 1 yard. Darren’s 1691 yards and 18 TDs were enough though to help earn him the SWC Player of the Year Honor. He’d cumulatively break the 5k barrier, (5,012 yards) which ranked 5th all time collegiality. Darren also set the school mark for most career TDs with 45. All in all Lewis set 25 school records at A&M.

It’s hard to say how Darren’s career would have ended up if things played out differently, and it’s hard to avoid the elephant in the room when thinking about his career in retrospect- as it was marred by drugs. When I try to write about players, I try to avoid talking about their personal problems, but in this case, it completely derailed Lewis’ future career and earnings. There is no way to avoid it.

-Expected to go early in the 1991 draft, his stock plummeted after he tested positive for cocaine at the combine.

Darren’s stock slid precipitously until he was selected by the Chicago Bears in the 6th round of the NFL Draft. To make matters worse- Bears executives admitted that they thought it was somebody else who they thought tested positive for drugs, and in a last second backpedal, considered not even inviting Darren to minicamp- even though Lewis was already checked into drug rehab.

Darren saw sparing action in 1991 running for just 36 yards behind Neal Anderson. 1992 proved to be the high-water mark in Darren’s NFL career, starting the last 4 games of the season, averaging 22.2 yards on 23 kickoffs, and rushing 90 times for 382 yards and 4 TDs. He also added 18 receptions for 175 yards as well for a grand total of 557 yards from scrimmage.

After a frustratingly slow start to Darren’s 1993 season under new head coach Dave Wannstedt, Darren was arrested for domestic dispute. The team had enough, and after 33 NFL games, Darren’s time with Chicago came to a thudding close. He had a tryout for the Cardinals but opted to return home to Dallas and retired.

Darren has struggled continued to struggle with his demons. He lost a lot of things along the way including his wife and house. Currently Darren is serving a 27 year sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

I sent to a home address that I had for Darren, and after about 3-4 months I got a response back. The postmark was from Shreveport- where I’d assume he’s being housed in federal prison.

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33/61124313.8433
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222019.1030
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Clark, Vince ‘Vinnie’

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Star Pics 1991, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  8/6/16   Received:  10/25/18      (810 days)

Vinnie Clark was a member of The Ohio State University from 1988 to 1990. He impressed peers in 1990 when he posted 51 tackles, 3 fumble recoveries, and 6interceptions for 51 yards- which led the Big 10 Conference.  An athletic cornerback with sub 4.35 speed, Vinnie was the 19th player selected overall in 1991 by the Green Bay Packers. 

Vinnie played for the Packers from 1991 to 1992. During his time with the Pack, he recorded 15 starts, 4 interceptions, and 68 combined tackles. He joined the Falcons in 1993, and then late in 1994 joined the New Orleans Saints. This turned out oddly to be his best season as a pro, as he had 5 interceptions for 149 yards, 2 forced fumbles, and 73 total tackles.

Clark was selected by the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995. He’d start every game for the franchise, and record the first interception in the history of the franchise (albeit in the preseason). He’d finish 1995 with 1 interception and 66 tackles. He’d be released 4 games into 1996 and retire. 

He’s done a lot of coaching since then, briefly popping up in the Arena league coaching for the Columbus Destroyers. Vinnie is doing well currently as of this post, and is coaching High School Football in Ohio.

Well an obvious set need with the Action Packed 1991 Rookies card, but the GameDay 1992 and the Star Pics cards also found a home close to my heart. Vinnie had a lot of cards to choose from, and these really stood out to me. The Star Pics one just had this garish 1990s feel to it with the montage of footballs in the background/ His uniform with the oversized pads and numbers felt encompassing of the era. Vinnie’s GameDay card is an outstanding action entry. I really like how his whole body is squashed down into the canvas area and compliments the design quite nicely.

I saw a lot of successes for Vinnie fly by while I waited patiently for these cards to return. I had given up on them after a year or so, but Clark must have finally reached the bottom of his mail bag with my cards down there and decided to sign them after a scant 810 days.

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83/592800.031333525.7074

Williams, Harvey

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Action Packed Rookies 1992, Gameday 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/1     Received:  8/11  (10 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home

Harvey Williams is an intriguing story in football history.  A tricky inside runner with really nice hands, Harvey played for the LSU Tigers from 1986 to 1990. His best season came in 1987 when he had 1001 yards on 154 carries and 11 TDs, along with 20 receptions. He finished 3rd in school history with 2,660 yards rushing, and set a few records along the way. He rushed for a single game high 213 yards against Kentucky, and tied a school record with 4 TDs rushing against Miami, OH.  With intriguing size and speed, scouts were concerned about lingering knee injuries and his consistency entering the pro level.

Harvey was the second runningback taken during the 1991 Draft. He’d go at #21 overall to the Chiefs surprisingly- a team that was deep with Christian Okoye, Barry Word, and Todd McNair at runningback. Still Harvey was pictured as the game breaker that the Chiefs needed for their Martyball offense. (Notably the 1991 draft is a graveyard of runningbacks. Among them, the most successful is probably Gary Brown– and he was converted from Safety.)  Harvey had a pretty decent run his rookie campaign.  He led the team in yards from scrimmage with 1,118 yards putting in time as a kick returner (524 yards), and change of pace back (97 carries, 447 yards, 16 receptions 147 yards). He also scored 2 TDs receiving and 1 rushing.   He continued to bide his time in 1992 as a kick returner and 3rd down back.  After the backfield moved on from KC, Harvey got beat out by future HoFer Marcus Allen for the starting gig in 1993.  Things got worse when Harvey suffered a frightening hit that left him motionless on the turf.  While he recovered, it pretty much ended his season and his time in KC.

He finally reached his potential when he signed with the Raiders the following year in 1994. Harvey was a true Raider through and through. He walked the walk and talked the talk.  During his first season with the Raiders he ran 282 times for 983 yards and 4 TDs. He also got to display those impressive hands, snatching 47 receptions for 391 yards and 3 TDs. In 1995 he had his best season as a pro registering 1114 yards on the ground and 9 TDs, along with 54 receptions for 375 yards. While he lost the starting job to Napoleon Kaufman in 1996, Williams continued to play for the Raiders and even made a memorable transition to TE/ H-Back, retiring after the 1998 season.

Great cards here of Harvey. It was impossible to choose even my top 5, as all the vendors at the time had great photos of him in action. These 3 cards were among my favorite. Both of his Action Packed entries really stand out with their vibrant color and just bursting with action. Even though I am very disappointed in the dying marker he used to sign my cards, I was happy to finally get Harvey’s autograph.

G/Gs  110/47    Rush 1021    Yds 3952     Avg 3.9     TD  20     Lg 60
Rec  193     Yds 1442   Avg 7.5    Td 7   Lg 32
KR  54   Yds 1135   Avg 20.3    Td 0   Lg 76