Card: Ultimate World League 1992 Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 9/11 Received: 9/22 (11 days) Failure: TTM 2019, C/o Home
A 4th round selection of the Barcelona Dragons in 1991 out of Delaware State, TE had a brief 4 game stint with the British Columbia Lions of the CFL in 1990, after being in camp with the Cincinnati Bengals. A dangerous and shifty return man and receiver, Tim led Delaware State 3 years running from 1987 through 1989. His best year came in 1989, when he caught 34 passes for 525 yards and 5 TDs. On special teams, he carved up opponents to the tune of 59 career punt returns for 951 yards and FIVE… count em… 5 TDs… snapping fellow alum John Taylor’s record. Among his returns for touchdowns, he had 3 greater than 67 yards.
While playing for the Barcelona Dragons in ’91 Tim had 27 catches for 336 yards and a 57 yard long, and 10 punt returns for 91 yards. He joined the Cleveland Thunderbolts of the Arena Football League in 1993 and recorded 5 catches for 94 yards and 2 TDs, while seeing action also on defense, with 9.5 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup.
As I round the final turn here on the Ultimate set, now with well over 100 of the base 180 signed, I’m starting to refocus on some names that I may have missed over the years. I doubled down on Tim and had a decent feeling that the mail may have gotten lost. He has a great looking action card and was a key contributor to the Dragons’ offense. He responded in a short 11 days and thanked me and said he’d be honored to sign my card, signing on both the front and back.
I really had high hopes for Christian Hackenberg that he’d resurrect his career with the AAF in 2019. He’s been through a lot as a professional and has really put his best foot forward. He even worked with renowned quarterback coaches trying to fix a hole in his throwing motion.
In college at Penn State, he was tutored by future head coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg put together some solid numbers playing for the Nittany Lions throwing for 8,457 yards and 48 TDs to 31 interceptions over 3 years. After his junior season in 2015, he’d declare for the 2016 NFL draft, and while rumors swirled that he’d be selected possibly by his former coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans, the Jets ultimately chose him with the 51st pick of the second round where they planned to groom him as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. He rode the bench for the season, and then battled it out in camp during the 2017 season against Bryce Petty and Josh McCown. He had a decent preseason, but again saw no playing time.
Hackenberg then in 2018 was traded to the Raiders, but the trade was cancelled the next day, so he was released outright. A few months later he signed with the Eagles for the preseason, where he saw limited playing time. He’d be released before the regular season, and join the Bengals practice squad for a few months.
He’d opt to join the upstart Alliance of American Football in November of 2018, and was selected by the Memphis Express in the second round of the League’s quarterback Pick or Protect Draft. Hackenberg beat out first round pick Troy Cook, Brandon Silvers, and Zack Mettenberger in camp to nab the starting gig.
Hack then ran into a buzzsaw against the defensive minded Birmingham Iron his first week throwing for 87 yards and an interception on 10 of 23 passing. Memphis was shut out 26-0. Although the Express’ fares improved very slowly over the next two games, Christian wasn’t able to put the rock in the endzone through the air. He’d be benched in favor of Zack Mettenberger, then later passed up for Brandon Silvers, and ultimately in the end by Johnny Manziel. On the season, Hack finished 32 of 62 for 277 yards and 3 interceptions, while rushing for 47 yards on 9 carries- scoring one TD.
Christian was high on my list to get an autograph from, as he had a great selection of cards to choose from. He had these great AAF cards, and also some Panini cards I was itching to get signed at the next game, but before I could do so, the league folded.
My friend Mark, from Markssigningbonus.com came through for me on this collaboration passing this address forward to me so that I could give Hack another shot. He signed all 3 of my cards with his nice, loopy signature. I find it interesting that he abbreviates his first name to just ‘C.’. Also the C has a strong upper loop in it, and leans heavily to the right.
As the market collapsed on the AAF certified’s later in 2019, I was able to pick up his autograph. It’s a nice looking card of him and I hope he continues his football journey in whatever manner it may continue.
Lance played college ball for the Texas Longhorns from 1989-1992 at safety. A hard hitting rangy product and solid special teams contributor, he had 298 total tackles, 6 sacks, and 10 interceptions (1 TD) over his 4 years in Austin.
He’d be selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 7th round of the 1993 draft. Lance ended up starting 8 games for Cinci at strong safety recording 25 solo stops and 3 assists, along with one fumble recovery- before a knee injury ultimately cut short his season and his NFL career.
Lance reappeared on the football scene in 1997 playing one year for the Frankfurt Galaxy of the NFLE. He decided to hang up his cleats in 1998 after he donated a kidney to his father.
As a footnote, Lance decided to give football one more shot in 1999 with the Texas Terminators of the IPFL. He made it through training camp and was going to be their starting safety, but right before the first game of the season, Frito Lay made him an offer to come on board that he could not refuse. As of 2019, Lance lives in the Austin area.
I was pretty much ducking out of trading cards by this point. The price to value ratio, combined with the design was just not that great. I do remember being at Cowboys Training Camp at St. Edwards that Summer in 1993, and picking up a few packs of Classic 1993 at Mr. K’s Sports Cards. I was happy to pull the Classic 93 card of Lance while walking back to camp- and then now getting it signed a bit over 26 years later.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.