Ben Bennett was a prolific quarterback for the Duke Blue Devils finishing as one of the top passers in NCAA history, throwing for 9614 yards on 820 completions (1375 attempts) and 55 TDs from 1980 to 1983.
Selected in the 6th round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, but ended up playing in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls. Bennett then bounced around camps for the Falcons, Oilers, Cowboys, and Bears, eventually seeing a little action playing for the Bengals in ’87. He’d join the Arena Football league playing for the Chicago Bruisers in 1988 and 1989, leading the team to the championship in the latter season. After playing for the Dallas Texans in 1990, he was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF during the first round of the positional draft.
Ben was expected to be the starter for the Surge, but he’d be supplanted by former KC Chiefs 2nd round pick, Mike Elkins- who took all the snaps after the first game. Bennett returned to the Arena Football League later that year with the Orlando Predators. Ben at this point became a star for the young league. He’d play for Orlando through 1995, before taking one season pitstops with both the San Jose SabreCats and the Portland Forest Dragons. Ben is known in Arena lore for the ‘Miracle Minute’ in which he engineered a 16 point comeback in under 1 minute. Ben was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Outside of his impressive Arena Football resume, Ben has been involved as coach for the Milwaukee Mustangs (1998), Greensboro Prowlers (2000), Florida Bobcats (2001), Florida Firecats (2002-2004), Manchester Wolves (2005-2007), Austin Wranglers (2008), Orlando Fantasy LFL (2010), the New Orleans Voodoo (2011), and the Orlando Predators (2012).
I had previously tried to get Ben way back in 2011, but had no luck. Since then, I’ve seen no successes or addresses for him that I could use, so I went ahead and just picked this autograph up off of EBay after verifying its integrity.
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.
Cards: Sage 2017, Sage 2017 Red, Sage 2017 Peak Performance, Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: IP 2018, San Antonio Commanders AAF Season Ticket Holders Party. IP 2019, San Antonio Commanders v Arizona Hotshots
I pretty much pegged that Trevor Knight would show up at the season holders ticket party for the San Antonio Commanders unveiling party, being that he is an SA native. Once the team had announced that he was a member of the franchise I rushed to find any cards of his. I was surprised to find that Sage had made both a base set card of his and also a Peak Performance card- which I luckily got in the last box I broke into a few weeks before the event.
He wandered up with his family to the gates and blended in. It was a pretty low key introductory event for fans and players. It was easy to go up and talk to Trevor. He did not have his card, so I gave him the two extra I had, to which he told me that, “I was the man.” (Lol. Anyway- compliment taken.) We talked for a few minutes and he caught me up on his NFL travels. After a short stint in Arizona, he landed on the Falcons roster- but broke a few bones in his back ending his time there.
Trevor split college ball time at both Oklahoma and Texas A&M. Losing out to Baker Mayfield for the QB job in 2015- Knight bolted down to AtM to play for the Aggies in 2016. There he had his finest college season completing 193 of 362 passes for 2432 yards, 19 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. A dual threat on the ground, he rushed 102 times for 614 yards and 10 TDs.
Trevor is from San Antonio, so it makes sense that he plays in his hometown for the Comamnders, but the team saw otherwise. Apparently the Commanders were stocked at quarterback, with Dustin Vaughan, Trevor, and Luis Perez all coveted by other teams around the league. The AAF decided to balance out the QB position on the rosters of each team by holding a QB Draft in which you pick or protect a player each round. The consensus was that SA was going to hang onto Knight, but in a surprise- the Commanders opted to keep former Dallas Cowboy Dustin Vaughan instead. Trevor didn’t have to wait long to hear his named called as later that round the Arizona Hotshots selected him with their 6th pick.
Instead of starting Trevor at QB, the Hotshots went with John Wolford. Knight settled into the backup role and has seen some spot duty. His most extensive action came during week 3 against the Stallions when he threw for 95 yards on 8 of 18 throws. He scored his first TD of the season against the Fleet in week 7 when he rushed 4 times for 10 yards.
Knight remembered me from the meet and greet and came over to sign his AAF card with Wolford during that final game in San Antonio. I still think he’s got the juice and might find a home in the XFL in 2020.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.