Tag Archives: Carolina Panthers

Jeter, Tommy

Card: Star Pics 1992
Acquired: In Person 1994, Philadelphia Eagles Training Camp

Tommy Jeter played for the Texas Longhorns during the waning days of the Southwestern Conference, (which consisted at that point of a bunch of teams from Texas after Arkansas left). He’d be drafted in the 3rd round by the Philadelphia Eagles, where I’d get his autograph in West Chester in 1995.  Although he was well sized at 6-5, 285, Jeter would rarely get playing time under Rich Kotite and Ray Rhodes, and injuries took its toll on the young defensive lineman as he spent the greater part of his final season with the Eagles on IR before being released. Jeter would then sign with the Arizona Cardinals and be cut in training camp and then end up with the Panthers before retiring in 1996.

I think I got like 14 or 15 autographs on my trip to West Chester that year. My parents felt bad because I wanted to go to the Pro Football HoF but we were unable to go even though we were in the general area.  I think the biggest haul I got from this group was Herschel Walker, but Randall Cunningham completely denied me, by dropping my card on the ground outside the fence and insisting I already got one from him, – even though I hadn’t.  Training camp there was set up much the same way as Cowboys training camp, with a long metal fence that players walked by, but a lot less fans. It was interesting too because the player’s wives came out with them too, almost like they were trying to show them off to the crowd. Tommy was a really nice guy. He saw that I was wearing my high school hat, and asked me, “What I was doing here and how was Austin?”

G/GS  32/0    Tac  15    Sac   1    FF  0     Int 0   Yds 0   Avg -.-  Td 0

White, Reggie ‘Minister of Defense’ (1961-2004)

Cards: Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992.
Acquired: TTM c/o The Green Bay Packers, 1994.

Reggie White is arguably one of the greatest defensive ends, and one of the best players to be imported to the NFL after the failure of the fledgling USFL.

After setting multiple records at Tennessee, White was drafted by the Memphis Showboats of the USFL in 1984. Playing in two seasons for the league he’d rack up almost 25 sacks and 200 tackles, before being signed by the Philadelphia Eagles, who held his draft rights. White grabbed defensive rookie of the year in 1985. As a cornerstone to the Eagles, Reggie sacked quarterbacks a mind-numbing 124 times with the Eagles, averaging more than a sack a game from his left defensive end position. In 1987 alone he’d rack up 21 sacks.  White was nicknamed ‘The Minister of Defense’ by his teammates, because of his ability to disrupt team’s offenses, and the fact that he was an ordained minister since the age of 17.

White was an important high profile name in a landmark lawsuit against the NFL, that would eventually allow for what is now known in the league as free agency. This allowed for a general rise in salaries and also inadvertently contributed to the concept of a salary cap.  In 1993, Reggie would become the first big name to switch teams from the Eagles to the Packers creating an immense amount of buzz. With Reggie also switching to the Pack this also shattered the notion that small market cities would not be able to compete with larger cities for marquee talent. The Packers played in two Super Bowls during his tenure there, and he notched 3 sacks in Super Bowl XXXI which still stands as a record today. Reggie retired briefly in 1998 but came back to play one final season in 2000 for the Carolina Panthers.

White’s career numbers and accolades are astounding: 198 sacks (2nd all time) , 1st team AP 10 times, All Decade Team of the 80’s and 90’s, and the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team.  He’d only have 3 seasons during his 15 year career where he’d have under 10 sacks, and finished with over 1000 tackles. Tragically Reggie White would pass away December 26th, 2004 of a cardiac arrhythmia in his sleep at the age of 43. Posthumously he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2006 and his jersey was retired by the Packers, Eagles, and Volunteers.

It is said that near the end of his life, Reggie strayed away from Christianity and towards more Judaic religious beliefs, but this is not so. White was extremely interested and respectful of religious ideals, and remained a devout Christian, (and an outspoken, controversial one at that) to the day of his passing. He’d also lend a helping hand to many churches during the spate of Southern Black church burnings during the 1990s.

I seem to remember being surprised to get this autograph back from the Packers -and in under a month or two to boot. I like it when players inscribe the cards with a bible verse. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most religious person, but it tells me a bit about their personality and who they are. Reggie signed his cards with Matt 3:3-16. Now This isn’t 3:3,16. It’s 3:3 through 16. That’s a hefty amount of scripture so I’ll just leave it at 3:3

“For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”

Games 232         Tac 1048       Sac  198       FF 33
Int  3     Yds 79       Avg  29.3      Td  0

Harbaugh, Jim ‘Captain Comeback’

Cards: Fleer 1990, GameDay 1992
Acquired:  TTM, C/o Stanford University, 2010.
Sent: 2/3   Received: 8/13  (210 days)

Jim Harbaugh was drafted from the University of Michigan in the first round of the 1987 draft by the Chicago Bears, – 5 years after taking incredibly popular Jim McMahon. The Bears had a long history up to this point of being a vaunted ground attack with Walter Peyton and later Neal Anderson. Over the team’s history, (as of 2009) the Bears had only 1 quarterback repeat as a 3,000 yard passer.

Harbaugh rode the bench for the Bears through 1989, when McMahon was traded to the San Diego Chargers.  Jim claimed the starting role but still had to look over his shoulder with Mike Tomczak backing him up.  Jim in 1991 threw for 3121 yards (2nd in team history). In 1994, Harbaugh was traded to the Colts, after finishing second on the career yardage list for the Chicago Bears.

Jim led an improbable Colts team back from the dead, into the playoffs and one game away from the Superbowl, knocking out the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers. During the 1995 season Harbaugh would have perhaps his finest moment leading the NFL in passer rating, being named AFC player of the year, NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and finished second in the NFL MVP race.  By 1997, the Colts fell back down to the Earth, and Harbaugh again would find himself traded, this time to the Baltimore Ravens.  He’d sign with the Chargers in 1999, but by 2000 he was splitting time with Ryan Leaf. Harbaugh then suited up briefly with the Lions and Panthers before retiring.

In retrospect over Jim’s playing career, he was a cannon armed quarterback who had to learn the minutia of the NFL game. He was a formidable rusher finishing with 2700 yards, a 5.0 average, and 18 touchdowns over his career. Jim was rough around the edges and was prone to force the ball, especially early in his career, but once surrounded with the right talent and placed in the right offense to hone his skills and check down targets properly, Harbaugh briefly became one of the most dangerous quarterbacks of his era.

Jim Harbaugh had been planning all along to go into coaching. From 1994-2001 while he was still in the NFL, Harbaugh was working as an offensive consultant and scout for Western Kentucky University. He then hopped over to the Raiders  for two seasons, and by 2004 was head coach of the University of San Diego.  In 2005 Harbaugh was named to the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor where he was dubbed ‘Captain Comeback’ by the Colts faithful during his playing days there. By 2007 he was head coach at Stanford University defeating rival USC in the what is considered to be the greatest upset in college football history (43 point favorite) and in 2009 hung a record 55 points on them, where the Cardinals were named to their first bowl game since 2001.  Jim also has pursued a variety of hobbies, including his foundations and a variety of children’s hospitals. He is also co-owner of Panther Racing in the Indianapolis Racing League. In 2011, he took over as head coach of the San Fransisco 49ers.

Jim Harbaugh gets the ironman award for the longest response, clicking in at 210 days. Nonetheless I was quite pleased to notch this former decorated Chicago Bear in my collection.

GS 140   Att  3918   Comp 2305  Pct 58.8
Yds 26288    Td  129     Int 117    Rat 77.6