Tag Archives: baltimore ravens

Newsome, Ozzie (2)

Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  Received:   (days)
See Also: Ozzie Newsome

When I first restarted the TTM hobby about 10 years ago, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I just thought I’d hit some of the most memorable players that I remembered. Ozzie was a thorn in the side of the Oilers ‘back then’, and while I only had the pleasure of witnessing the tail end of his career, Ozzie had earned my respect by the end of it all. I had a lot of cards of his, and when I started collecting again, I just fired the first two out I could find, not knowing that there were so many other cards out there in the dark corners of the web.

Ozzie has a lot of good cards. The ProSet 1991 Legends card was a gimme. I had to do that since this was a really nice Merv Corning illustration. I didn’t really respect these cards back then but now, being there and seeing the hard work involved, I really like how this one turned out. The autograph- well that’s another thing.

The Upper Deck 1997 Legends card was a set need. I had no clue he was in this set until much later. It’s a great card and photo. Each being immaculate. The backs of these cards- well they leave much to be desired and are stuffed with a bit too much busy information.  Again the autograph is just sorta… there… but I really can’t complain can I?

The 3rd entry is possibly my favorite of the bunch is Ozzie’s Action Packed 1990 entry. It is just a beautifully framed action shot, and it is one of these rare straight on photos, so you see him making the grab from the view of a quarterback. I had to get it signed and it was the first one on the list after I got him the last time.

His 1991 Action Packed card just barely missed the cut. Again, another amazing shot. Also I saw his Upper Deck 2011 College Legends card, but it was a bit too late to send that one out. Still I am happy that he spent the time to autograph these three cards for me- or did he?

Ozzie has been dogged on and off for a few years as a stamper. These are not stamped. If they were, pooling would occur on the cards, and be extremely obvious on the Action Packed one. When I opened the return envelope I was just entirely too suspicious. Something was just off about the autographs. After tediously overlaying them up in Photoshop, all of the signatures nearly matched. There were just some very small differences between the autographs, but the height, weight, angle, and length from card to card were consistent. While there were distinct difference between all the autographs, I just had a hard time believing that he could nail them so closely without consciously knowing he was.

Later when I discussed this was others on a message board, they informed me that Ozzie’s autograph has changed over the year due to a possible health issue. He went back to apparently hand signing after it happened- and he hand signs everything. The other collectors presented similar signatures that had passed JSA and other authentication benchmarks, so I guess I can not look these gift horses in the mouth.

Williams, Ricky (5)

Cards: Playoff 1999 (6279), Leaf Rookies & Stars 2004 Slideshow, Panini Classics 2016 NL, Panini Classics 2016 Legends*, Panini Contenders 2018, Panini Elite 2018, Atomic 2002.
Acquired: In Person 2018, 43 and 34 Camp, Heisman House Tour
See Also: Ricky Williams, Little Earl (2), Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4)
* future considerations D-Rock

There is really no end to the plethora of cards I can find that I like for Ricky, so I just keep stacking them up- as long as he keeps signing of course. I’ve gotten Little Earl more times than any other player, and each time I meet him, each interaction is a unique experience. When I went to the 43 and 34 Camp, it was a blisteringly hot Texas day.  After the event ended, people swarmed him as he slowly made his way to his car. He knew if he didn’t start that way at that moment, he’d be here all night. Still Ricky practiced an immense amount of patience, realizing perhaps that he was stuck, he just stopped at the entrance to the stadium and started signing. His gatekeeper tried in vain to get people to line up, and although there were cutters I waited to get up to him. It’s like the world goes silent and nobody is there. Ricky has that effect, or I do- I am not sure. He was like, “Hey man! Long time no see.” I told him that having a kid will do that to you.

Ricky has a new line of cannabis/ natural herb  wellness products. I’m hoping to get some shipped to Texas to see if it can be of benefit to my father who suffers from lupus.

These cards are just flat out amazing. Every time I think I run out of cards, I find a few more that I really like. The Leaf 2004 Rookies & Stars Slideshow is translucent. The scan just doesn’t do it enough justice, but it is a well designed, exciting card. The Playoff 99 card is another gimmicky card. It’s translucent with the numbers in a velvet material.

Later I went to the Heisman House Tour that came to DKR before the Texas USC game. Knowing Ricky was there I packed quite a few cards for him to sign. The problem was they had a nasty gatekeeper. I got up to the stage and Ricky recognized me. We chatted for a few seconds while he signed a card. This woman came out from the door connected from the tent and shooed me away before I could get the rest. I just said to Ricky with a smile, “I’ll come back around again.” The line was not long at all for Ricky. The humidity or the weather prediction (of rain that never happened) kept people away. I got back in line, cruised back around, and got the rest of the cards signed. 

We had a good and quick chat this time. I asked him if he’d have a touchdown dance now- since the league had lifted the restrictions on the rules. He initially told me no, but then re-thought it when I suggested Arian Foster’s ‘namaste pose’. I then quickly suggested that he go on Arian’s intriguing podcast as they both had really interesting philosophical ideals. He said he’d be interested and consider it, but he and Arian hadn’t talked in a while. 

All in all again, some really nice cards I got signed at the Heisman House Tour. I really liked the NEXT LEVEL card the best- even if it is the same photograph from the Panini Elite card. The backside has him in a New Orleans Saints uniform, and could also be mistaken for the front as well if not for its lack of gloss on it. The Elite card is nice and flashy. I like where they have taken the design of this set over the years. Even the logo is a much needed improvement over the Donruss Elite logo. It’s a shield/chevron. That’s smart design. 

The Classics 2016 card is for D-Rock on Sportscollectors.net. He had previously helped me out by sending me a Eugene Chung autograph I needed. What was touching about it was that he was reaching out to me because he hadn’t seen me on the boards in a while.
 
I had been stung badly by another collector on Sportscollectors.net who offered to get me some autographs and then pulled the rug out from under me as soon as I agreed.  Anyway D-Rock’s kindness really struck me, so I offered to help him out when I had a chance. It took me a lot longer than I thought to get this autograph, but I can see why he wanted to get this one signed as the Classics card is not only a nice card, the autograph really sticks out on the canvas.

Wood, Cierre

Card: Panini Contenders 2013
Acquired: 2017, EBay

Cierre Wood was a solid runningback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2010-2013. In his Sophomore year he led the team with 603 yards on 119 carries, scoring 3 TDs. He also displayed nice hands out of the backfield with 20 receptions for 170 yards and 2 TDs. Cierre put together a solid Junior year, with 1,102 yards and 9 TDs on 217 carries. He returned for his Senior campaign in 2013 and posted 742 yards on 114 carries. Scouts were underwhelmed by Wood’s blocking, questioned his ball security, and were concerned about a suspension for breaking team rules during his Senior season. He went unselected during the 2013 NFL Draft.

Cierre signed with the Houston Texans for 2013. The Texans were in transition at runningback and beginning to seek a future heir for Arian Foster. With Foster oft-injured, Ben Tate locked into the second string job and the departure of Justin Forsett to greener pastures, it was a straight up battle between Dennis Johnson, Cierre Wood, and Ray Graham for the 3rd back spot. In the end Wood won out on the runningback derby.  The Texans kicked off the season 2-0, but then dropped the next 14 games. It was really a snakebitten squad. Injuries abound, quarterback issues, Kubiak having a heart attack during a game- it was just one thing after another. In the midst of the descent Cierre was released with two other players for violating unspecified team rules. He’d finish the season on the practice squad of the New England Patriots.

In 2014, Cierre spent some time on the rosters of both the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. He joined the Buffalo Bills in 2015 but blew out an ACL, ending his season.  Wood rehabbed and decided to give the CFL a shot, signing with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2017. In early May he was traded to the Montreal Alouettes but did not make the squad.

Panini’s Contenders set is always pretty solid. I found the split design of this particular card to be both daring and unique as there are very few column grid cards like this one. The photo is touched up well and it’s a solid action shot of Cierre. Even the typography of this card looks good, and there is plenty of space for the autograph.