Tag Archives: action packed rookies 1991

McRae, Charles

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Star Pics 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 3/23/19 Received: 8/13/19 (143 days)

Charles McRae played college ball at Tennessee from 1987-1990. For the first two years with the Volunteers, he played defensive line. McRae then joined the offensive line for 1989 and 1990 playing tackle. In his final year at Tennessee he earned Offensive Lineman of the Year Awards from NFL Draft Report- singled out for his outstanding blocking both against the run and pass. Charles also stood out (6’7″) on special teams blocking 5 kicks over his time at Knoxville.

He’d be selected in the first round (8th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The problem is the Bucs already had a left tackle in All Pro Paul Gruber– so Charles was moved to right tackle playing in all 16 games and starting 4 his rookie year. He’d play his first full 16 game slate in 1992. In 1994, Tampa shifted Charles to left guard for a season, starting 10 games. After the 1995 season, he spent one nondescript season on the Raiders before retiring.

After earning his Masters’ at Tennessee, Charles has spent his time as an executive in the medical field specializing in radiology.

I really like the presentation of his Action Packed Rookies card in what was definitely a set need. I threw these cards up with a hope and a prayer they’d come back. Charles was kind enough to sign these classic cards of his.

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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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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