Tag Archives: baltimore ravens

Babin, Jason (2)

Cards: Playoff Contenders 2004, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2003 (494/750)
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 10/30  (10 days)
See Also:  Jason Babin

After his 2010 appearance on the Tennessee Titans, in which he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and 12 sacks from the defensive end position, Jason Babin packed his bags and returned to the Philadelphia Eagles. While with the Eagles, he again notched a career high in sacks with 18 and the second of his Pro Bowl appearances. After having a fallout with management, Babin was cut after 11 games and finished his season with the Jaguars in 2012. He played the following year in 2013 with the Jaguars recording 7.5 sacks, before heading over to the Jets for 2014 where he saw his last meaningful statistics. Jason was on the roster of both the Cardinals and Ravens in 2015 and is presumed to be retired from the sport.

With some great cards here of Jason, I really had wanted to get him over the years. I had been advised by friends that he did football camps but after waiting for the past 3 years or so for him to pop up, I decided to just hit him up through the mail and it was a pretty fast turn around for the former Texan.

I like the clean design of the Leaf Rookies & Stars card. The angled lines and slow evolution of this design really punctuated a solid overall look. I probably should’ve gotten one of the Longevity cards that I like, but this one still hits the mark nicely. I really like the Rookie Roundup Playoff cards, almost strictly because of the gimmicky translucency and credit card feel. While devoid of most color it does stand out nicely with an autograph on it- in which Jason kindly and painstakingly used a silver sharpie on.

Reed, Ed

Card: Topps 2014
Acquired: 2017, Future Considerations

Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to know my buddy Lance, the Louisiana Connection, we’ve built a good rapport and I’ve been fortunate to call him my friend, we’ve exchanged autographs back and forth and attended events together. Our ‘future consideration’ exchanges are completely spontaneous and come with no strings attached.  He decided to take a shot on the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame dinner, and hit pay dirt with both Ed Reed and Eddie Kennison who were at the event.  They both signed a few cards for Lance, and he was kind enough to package them up and send them to me. I can not emphasize enough that one of the greatest unsaid rewards of this hobby is the friends and the connections you make with other likeminded and selfless collectors.

Ed Reed is one of the greatest safeties of all time and there is definitely a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket waiting for him.  The 24th overall selection of the 2002 draft, Ed played the majority of his career in Baltimore anchoring down the free safety position.  An instinctive and intelligent ballhawk, with all the intangibles and soft hands,  Ed was actually the second ranked safety off the board, (Roy Williams -DAL)  and Baltimore honestly wasn’t jumping up and down when he was selected, but the leader of the Miami Hurricane defense went out and proved them wrong. Over 11 seasons, Ed started 169 games and recorded a whopping stat line: 61 interceptions for 1541 yards and 7 TDs. Along the way he led the league in interceptions 3 times, yards twice, and had a 106 yard TD and a 107 yard TD. He earned All-Pro Honors 8 times, and Pro Bowl nominations in 9 seasons.  Like many greats, Ed Reed faced a conumdrum after the 2012 season. The Ravens hot off their latest Super Bowl appearance couldn’t pay Ed Reed to stay. He decided to test the free agent waters. Enter the Houston Texans.

The Texans had a habit of swinging for the fences on free agent pickups, typically dubbing them as ‘the final piece’ to a championship run by the front office brass- and then deeply overspending for them. With up and coming reasonably priced Glover Quin bolting in free agency for Detroit, the Texans brought up the Brinks truck to Ed Reed’s house and dumped the cash. Reed signed a 3 year contract in 2013, and then underwent arthroscopic surgery- surprising many in the Texans camp. Ed made a late debut in the Texans defense, but the team was already spiraling out of control.  While Ed was a vocal leader of the defense, and was to mentor young safety DJ Swearinger, he had zero impact on the defense. In  7 games he appeared in, Ed had 16 total tackles.  The Texans had enough of the Ed Reed show and cut him. He’d be picked up by the Jets and finish his season with the team. During his short stint in NY, Reed added another 3 interceptions to his resume, retiring after the conclusion of the 2013 season. While the ending of Ed’s career was not what anybody wanted, the volume of his production in Baltimore can not be overstated.

Beggars can not be choosers, and I value this gift that Lance gave me. Ed Reed in a Jets card looks odd though. I would’ve accepted a Texans card just the same, but Ed is iconic in his Baltimore regalia. Topps went through a slow evolution during this period, making minor tweaks to their design each year. It’s not a bad look, but it really feels like the front end of a car I’m looking at. The design is pretty embellished nicely, if not a bit too much.  It’s a decent but not really a memorable set, although in the future it maybe regarded as something typical of this era.

G/GP   174/169         TAC 643          SAC 6.0            FUM 13
INT 64          YDS 1590           AVG  24.8         TD  7          LG 107t

Byner, Earnest (2)

ud91 byner MVP pset89 byner

Cards: Upper Deck 1991 Team MVP, ProSet 1989, ProSet 1989 Traded, Skybox 1992, GameDay 1992
Acquired: 2012, Canton Acquisition. 2016, Future Considerations.
See Also: Earnest Byner

After his stint as a coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars runningback coach from 2010 to 2011 Earnest Byner was signed to the Tampa Bay Buccaneer staff in 2012 serving under Greg Schiano. Unfortunately Shiano’s style didn’t mesh in the pros, and he was gone after two seasons. Byner was not retained as ownership decided to clean house after 2013.

Since that time Earnest has addressed ‘The Fumble’ in public, apologizing to fans for what happened, and giving a tear-jerking recollection of it during the 30 for 30 ESPN documentary “Believeland”.   Time heals all wounds though and the vast majority of Browns fans really embrace Byner as one of their own without judgement.  It goes without saying that it’s great that Byner has been able to move on from what happened- something that he said stuck with him and changed his playing style for the remainder of his career in the NFL.

Earnest has done a lot of motivational speaking too. He also has no problem engaging his fans in public and is very popular in Cleveland. My friend DeadHorse scored these Byner autographs for me along with Kevin Mack and Greg Pruitt at an Ohio based Cleveland Browns event they attended.  DeadHorse was kind enough to accommodate me on the 3 cards which I felt were his best action shots of Byner (Skybox 1992, ProSet 1989 CLE, and GameDay 1992).