Tag Archives: baltimore colts

Moore, Lenny

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Crown Royale Majestic 2010 (291/299)
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 1/30    Received: 2/9    (10 days)*
* Donation Enclosed

Halfback Lenny Moore was selected in the first round of the 1956 draft by the Baltimore Colts out of Penn State.  After earning Rookie of the Year honors, he’d go on to play 12 seasons in the NFL from 1956 to 1967.  Moore was simply one of the best players during his era, but because of the 12-14 game schedule, his numbers weren’t completely eye popping. What was eye popping was his insane yards per carry. Over his career Lenny averaged 7.0 yards or more (minimum 82 carries) 3 times (1956, 1958, and 1961). Not only was Moore a hard to tackle runner, he caught 40 passes or more in 5 of his seasons, averaging a healthy 16.6 yards over his career.  As one of Johnny Unitas’ pass catchers, Moore displayed his terrific hands and ability to work in traffic, posting over 725 yards receiving 5 times (1957-1961) over his career including a then NFL positional record 938 yards in 1958, and 936 yards in 1960.

Lenny endured the growing pains of NFL offenses switching positions from right halfback to flanker and back to primary halfback over his long and storied career.  From 1963 to 1965, Moore scored a TD in a record 18 consecutive games.

Arguably the best game of his career was during his rookie season when Lenny rushed 13 times for 185 yards and 2 TDs in a win over the Green Bay Packers.  To top his career off Moore earned All-Pro Honors from 1958-1961, and again in 1964, when he won comeback player of the year honors after scoring 19 TDs.

Lenny was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975. Moore graciously signs for fans for a nominal signing fee of 10.00 per card.  The Upper Deck 1997 Legends set is a timeless set, but I thought the Majestic had a nice composition to it. Lots of space available to frame an autograph, and the patch element was a nice piece of memorabilia to boot.

G 143       RUSH 1069      YDS 5174      AVG 4.8      TD 63      LG 79
REC 363     YDS 6039      AVG 16.6      TD 48      LG 82
KR  49          YDS 1180      AVG 24.1      TD 1         LG  92T
PR  14          YDS 56            AVG 4.0          TD 0        LG 15

Kunz, George

Card: Notre Dame Collegiate Collection 1990, Topps 1977
Acquired: Canton Acquisition, 2012

One of the best offensive linemen to be produced during this period, George Kunz was an All American at Notre Dame before being drafted with the second overall pick of the 1969 draft. Co-captain of the 1968 Irish team, Kunz struggled through injuries his first two years for the Golden Domers, before finally finding him niche on the offensive line at Tackle. He quickly established himself in the upper echelon of linemen in the NFL, playing for the Falcons from 1969-1974. After the 1974 season, George was traded with a draft choice to the Baltimore Colts for 2 picks in the 1975 draft. He amassed 5 AP selections and appeared in 6 Pro Bowls for the Falcons. He continued earning Pro Bowl and All Pro nominations with the Colts, from 1975-1977. A back injury limited his playing time to only 1 game in 1978 and 1979, but he returned for one final season in 1980 before he finally retired. Over 11 seasons in the NFL George Kunz appeared in 129 games.

Based in part because Kunz played for some very, very bad Falcons teams, along with guys like Tommy Nobis, he’s been largely ignored by the NFL HoF selection committee. It also doesn’t help that he played at the unglamorous position of offensive tackle. George has lived in Nevada for quite a few years since retirement from the limelight, dabbling briefly in coaching and color commentary for NBC. He is an avid TTM signer and boasts a remarkable response rate for the amount of cards he signs.

G/Gs  129/126

Berry, Raymond

tnt14ss berryCards: TNT Signature Select 2013, Upper Deck Legends 1997, ProSet 1989, Photo Memorabilia, Testimonial Card.
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o home
Sent: 1/2/2014   Received: 2/3/2015  (390 days)

Raymond Berry was the first person I sent out for in 2014. I had hoped he would be the first success, because of his impecable return rate. Well, 390 days and 67 returns later, I finally got the Hall of Famer on these cards- and I must say it was completely worth the wait. I’m sure that I was on the bottom of the mail bag that he was going through, as others were cashing in those successes earlier than I was. It was extremely touching because not only did he throw in a testimonial card and a signed photo, he also wrote me an incredibly kind one page letter, thanking me for the additional custom card I gave him, and telling me how much he appreciates fans like myself. His response is probably one of my favorite ever from an NFLer, little less a Hall of Famer!

hof berryRaymond Berry was a long shot to make the Colts.  Back in 1954 when Ray was drafted, the NFL draft itself went 30 rounds deep. When he was taken in the 20th round out of SMU, teams probably recognized his heart for the game more than his uncanny route running skills and soft hands.  His rookie season was typical of many of that era with 13 receptions for 205 yards in 1955, as he began to build a rapport with future HoF Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas.  Berry quickly established himself as a starter that next year, and in 1957 led the league with 800 yards receiving.  He’d lead the NFL the next 3 seasons in catches with 56, 66, and 74 receptions- respectively.  In 1959, Berry had a career high 14 TD receptions, and followed that up with career marks in receiving yards 1,298  in 1960, averaging an astounding 108.2 yards per game.  In 1961, Ray had a career high 75 receptions en route to his 4th of 6th career Pro Bowl honors.

udldg97 berryAlthough Ray never quite saw the same titanic numbers that he enjoyed the remainder of his career,  he continued to post healthy numbers up through his final year in 1967. Over a span of 13 years in the league, Berry averaged below 50 yards a game in only 3 seasons.  Whether it was the skill of the quarterback or a combination of Ray’s precise route running and soft hands- Berry only dropped 2 passes, and fumbled once, in 631 targets over his career.  At the time of Ray’s retirement, he was the NFL’s greatest receiver as his receptions and yardage ranked first in NFL history. He also holds the record for the most receptions in an NFL championship game with 12 in 1958.

pset89 berryRay stayed in football and went into coaching, eventually joining the New England Patriots staff as a positional coach during the late ’70s.  He’d leave after the firing of then head coach Chuck Fairbanks, but return in 1984 replacing Ron Meyer as head coach, immediately reversing the fortunes of the team. It was said that just Berry’s presence changed the attitude of the team, and they responded with an improbable Super Bowl run in 1985, marking only the second team to make it to the Super Bowl from a Wild Card slot.  The only problem was that the Patriots ran into the historic Chicago Bears defense. The Patriots got buzzsawed 46-10.  They’d get to the playoffs again in 1986, but not return to the post season after that. An in-house squabble over personnel matters resulted in Berry resigning after the 1989 season.

Berry didn’t return to coaching after that. He retired to Tennesee where he still lives today and for a while was a spokesman for a national insurance corporation.  What Berry is not known for is being a visionary. Berry recognized a need to teach a generation about how to play wide receiver. He was able to get the archives of many of his game films at the time when he retired, and cobbled them together into an instructional video -An incredible rarity from that era.  A few lucky fans over the years have been able to get a copy of it that has now gone as far as DVD from what I’ve been told.

Raymond earned many accolades post retirement. He is the 40th Greatest Player in NFL history and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1973.  A member of both the 50th and 75th Anniversiary NFL teams, Berry had his number retired at the time, by the then Baltimore Colts.

G  154       Rec 631    Yds  9,275      Avg  14.7    Td  68        Lg  70
W  48    L  39     Pct  .552

mem berry