Tag Archives: cleveland thunderbolts

Egerton, Tim ‘T.E.’

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.

CFLRECYDSAVGTDLG
45413.5028
WLAFRECYDSAVGTDLG
2733612.4057
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59418.82N/A

Fears, Willie

jo93 fearsCards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Jogo 1995
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 1/7       Received: 1/16    (9 days)

Willie Fears took a strange,winding, inspiring route, to his dreams of being a professional football player and coach. Undrafted out of Northwestern Louisiana St in 1985, Willie played 5 games for the Ottawa Rough Riders in the CFL.  Invited to the Miami Dolphins minicamp, he showed up admittedly out of shape and had to put his career on hold.  He became a corrections officer at the Arkansas State Maximum Security Prison, but along came the NFL Players Strike in 1987. At 6’4″, 280, Fears had the frame to still play, and probably had the greatest vacation time ever from work, spending 3 weeks as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals. Afterwards he went back to the CFL, playing for both Ottawa and Toronto in 1988 and 1989, before returning again to the NFL in 1990 as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Willie was then drafted by the WLAF San Antonio Riders in 1992. Willie’s technical precision, skillset, and size, allowed the team to shift him into any of the 3 places on the line, which was invaluable to the Riders 3-4 alignment. An experienced force on the line, he proved difficult for offensive linemen to handle, and helped the Riders be one of the staunchest defenses in the league.  After the league went on hiatus, Willie begun a career playing in the Arena Football League. He’d sign with the Cleveland Thunderbolts and played for them through the 1993 season, before hopping back into the CFL with the Sacramento Gold Miners. In 1994 the Gold Miners moved to San Antonio and became the Texans. He’d join them there back in his old stomping grounds. Afterwards, Fears joined the AFL again, playing in 1996 for the Tampa Bay Storm, and then in 1997 for the Nashville Katz.

wcwlaf92 fearsHe then continued his dream by becoming a football coach.  In the ArenaFootball2 league, he’d coach with the Arkansas Twisters for 3 seasons, before joining Jay Gruden on the Predators to coach the linemen. Ironically, later Pat O’Hara, joined the staff replacing Gruden as head coach. Pat was a member of the Ohio Glory and probably felt Willie breathing down his neck more than once during the Riders 17-0 stomping of the Glory back in 1992. Fears remained with the Predators through 2011. Currently he lives in Arkansas. My first success from the Meiselman 2014 list, I had been looking for Willie for quite sometime, and had been unable to locate him since his stint ended with the Predators. He was kind enough to not only sign the Wild Card WLAF 1992 card I enclosed, but like Billy Hess also enclosed one of his own from the Jogo 1995 set. Unfortunately both of the autographs were smudged as he signed with an overhead Vis-A-Vis instead of a Sharpie. The Riders card was smudged beyond recognition, so I resent it back out with a team photo of him and the other linemen for Willie to keep. He sent it back in about 2 weeks signed with the marker I gave him.

AFL    Tac  46     Sac 9    FF 2    Int  0   Yds   0   Avg  -.-   Td 0   Lg -.-
WLAF  Tac   N/a    Sac   2   FF  0    Int 0   Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
NFL  2     Tac  N/a    Sac 0   FF 0   Int  0  Yds 0   Avg -.-   Td 0  Lg -.-
CFL  N/a

 

Wilkerson, Eric (2)

Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991 TD leader, ProSet WLAF 1991 Rushing leader, ProSet 1991 WLAF, Ultimate WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992 LL, Wild Card WLAF 1992.
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Kent State Alumni Association*
Sent:  6/16    Received: 7/28  (34 days)
See Also: Eric Wilkerson
* Donation requested

The paid side of SportsCollectors.net has been really good to me, and I’ve been able to unearth some very nice gems recently out of there recently. Case in point: Eric Wilkerson. I had been looking for Eric for quite a while. After hearing he had been shot, I hadn’t been able to find anymore information on him, but combing the archives of SC I found a success for the elusive runningback by writing to him care of Kent State’s Alumni Association. Since I had reached a desperate level on him, and he is one of those players with a bunch of cards, I decided to give it a shot and throw in a donation, since I felt so guilty about sending so many cards. While reconciling my bank account statements, I noticed that he cashed the check out a few days earlier, and then crossed my fingers on the return.  I would not be disappointed as he signed all 6 cards, which represents the single highest haul from a player since probably – Stan Gelbaugh? With Eric’s autographs on his 3 ProSet WLAF 1991 cards, it officially puts me over the halfway mark on the set (76/150).  Among the cards is the really slick touchdown league leader card, that he split with Orlando Thunder receiver Byron Williams. Nearly all of these cards are just really great heroic images of Eric in action, with probably his regular base card from the Ultimate 1992 WLAF set being my favorite. He signed each one, and wrote 91/92 on either one indicating the year.

During his time at Kent State, Eric ran his way into the record books rushing for 3,380 yards from scrimmage, and crushing the Mid-American Conference’s combined yardage record with 5,974 all purpose yards. During his senior season he set a single season school record with 1,325 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Due to his diminutive size, and the small school he went to, Wilkerson went undrafted but signed with the Steelers in 1989, and the Lions in 1990.

The WLAF gave him a shot in 1991. He’d be the 8th runningback taken in the draft, by the New York New Jersey Knights, and lead the league in rushing in 1991 with 717 yards and 11 TDs.  While his 1992 season was not as successful, it was more about the Knights offense diversifying as much as anything else. Eric is unofficially the WLAF’s career leading rusher- since the league reorganized after the season and was not seen again until three years later in 1995.