Card: University of Texas Upper Deck 2011 Acquired: EBay, 2020
Tony Degrate was a monster at defensive tackle, for the Texas Longhorns from 1982 to 1984- and is considered one of the finest D-linemen to play at the school. In his 1984 campaign, he amassed a then school defensive lineman record 123 stops and 12 sacks to clench the Lombardi Award, given to the nation’s top lineman. All together, Tony had 47 career tackles for loss and 31 sacks.
The Tampa Bay Bandits made an offer to Degrate, which he turned down, but this ruffled the feathers of the concerned NFL who thought he had all but flown the coop. In the end, Tony was selected in the 5th round of the draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. After spending a season with the team, he saw time in camp with the Packers, and later the Bucs.
Tony’s story is a cautionary one, and I relate to him immensely. Degrate is a great talent who let those little nagging voices in his head get to him, and his confidence just kept slipping, and it affected him physically and mentally. Self doubt and guilt are terrible burdens to bear.
I can understand why he is a difficult autograph to get in any capacity, as he probably feels that he let a lot of people- and himself down. He went back to school and finished his art degree, but at one point I believe that he was a personal trainer in the Austin area.
Degrate’s first card came out in 2011 as part of the Upper Deck Texas set. There are 3 cards in the set of him, and he is very difficult to get an autograph from. He doesn’t sign TTM and when I attended an event at the UT Coop he was scheduled to be at, he cancelled at the last moment. I really liked this card of him leaping up and making a play, and I was more than happy to pick up this card via EBay at a reasonable price.
Card: Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: 2019 Failure: 2019, C/o Home
An intriguing, big bodied wall of a linebacker clocking in at 263, Jeff Luc was a force to be reckoned with in the Atlanta Legends #1 ranked defense in 2019. He recorded 32 tackles (18 assists), 3.5 sacks, and a forced fumble in 8 contests before the AAF folded.
Jeff went undrafted after playing college at Florida State (2010, 2011) and Cincinnati in (2013, 2014). He really came into his own as a Senior amassing 133 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 4 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles.
He’s seen time on off season, preseason rosters, and practice squads of the Miami Dolphins (2015), New Orleans Saints (2015), Bengals (2016), Jets (2017), CFL Stampeders (2017), and CFL Argonauts (2017-2018).
Cards: GameDay 1992, Skybox 1992, Proset 1991 Acquired: TTM 2019, C.o Home Sent: 12/2 Received: 12/14 (12 days) See Also: Anthony Munoz
Anthony Munoz sometime during 2019 decided to let go of his very stringent signing policy which required fans to jump through the hoops and pay a fee in order to get his autograph. Surprisingly he was signing anything and everything with no fee. I decided to give him a shot again since I had some really nice cards I had always wanted to get his autograph on. I thought that 3 was a tall order, so I felt I needed something that’d really stick out among his autograph requests- so I wrote my entire letter in Spanish. There’s a first for everything, and while I didn’t get complimented for my syntax, I did get these 3 cards back autographed in a very short amount of time.
While Anthony had an outstanding ProSet and Action Packed entry, I decided to pass them up in order to get a few nice set needs. The ProSet 1991 card art card by Merv Corning is outstanding. The autograph looks very nice on the canvas- especially on the white. I’m sure he signs this card more than any other.
The other two cards are cards that I really liked the design of, and were sets that I collected near the end of my first collecting phase in 1992. The GameDay set I am particularly fond of, and this is a nice, unique card of Anthony. I really like how it shows his padded, gloved hands- something that has become more rare and rare over the years in the league. Skybox remained near the top there at the end for me , and when I can, I love to pick up an autograph here or there on one of them.
Sometime in 2020, Muñoz closed the door again on signing for free and without the acrimonious signing policy. As of this post he is back to asking for $25.00 per item.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.