Beniquez Brown was the motor in the middle of the Birmingham Iron defense during its lone 8 game season in the AAF. He finished with 51 solo tackles, 19 assists, 3 sacks, a forced fumble, and 4 pass deflections. His best week arguably game in Week 3 against the Legends, when Beniquez had 10 tackles, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble.
Beniquez played college ball at Mississippi State. He chased down 200 ball carriers, posting 6 sacks, 4 pass deflections, 3 interceptions, and 2 fumble recoveries. 39 games. After not going selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, he signed as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers but did not make the squad.
After the AAF folded, Beniquez was selected by the Houston Roughnecks during the 5th round of the XFL Draft. I was very excited that Houston got him under defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, and Brown did not disappoint as the Roughnecks linebacker corps was among the best in the league. At a few games during the season, I narrowly missed out on getting his autograph before the world shut down due to COVID in 2020. Beniquez finished with 36 combined tackles, 2 quarterback hits, 4 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections, and a forced fumble in 5 games.
Sean Price played college ball for South Florida. His best season came in his Senior year when he had 20 receptions for 306 yards and 5 scores, earning him a second-team all-conference selection. Over Sean’s time at the school he logged 76 receptions for 907 yards and 6 TDs, with the yardage and receptions being school records for the position. After the 2016 draft concluded he signed with the Baltimore Ravens but did not make the squad. He earned a workout in May of 2017 with the Packers but was not brought into camp.
This particular card is okay. Here it feels a bit rushed on the player photo. It seems like the eraser tool was used to dab at the edge to make it blend better or a blur was used to try to ease the transition. The result of the blending of the image into the grass makes it appears choppy and uneven.
I recognized Sean’s names from the list of Apollos when he signed with the AAF. I tucked his base card away in the hopes I’d be able to see him at training camp that year- but my father passed away before I could finalize plans. When Orlando came to town, they were the only team that I completely struck out on for autographs. The players were just too intimidating. Price finished the season with 3 catches for 62 yards and a 2 point conversion for the Apollos.
When the league folded I got a hot tip from Mark about Sean so I decided to send these cards out to him. I am happy to get his autograph on his card, however his autograph- which is in pen just disappears on the canvas. Oh well. Can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
He ended up joining the Dallas Renegades of the XFL in 2020. He saw some playing time behind blossoming star Donald Parham at tight end. His best game came against the Wildcats when he caught 3 passes for 40 yards. Sean finished with 6 catches for 78 yards on the 5 game COVID shortened season.
One of the forgotten greats of the game, Hugh McElhenny scored a TD the first time he carried the ball after joining the 49ers in 1952, as the franchise’s #1 draft pick. He’d go on to become a member of the ‘Million Dollar Backfield’ for the franchise, and after 10 seasons in the league, had already cemented himself in NFL lore as one of the top 5 NFL rushers of all-time. An explosive halfback, McElhenny was feared not only as a rusher, but as a pass receiver and kick returner as well. In his rookie year, he’d average an incredible 7.0 yards a pop on 98 carries, carried by a career long 89 yard romp for a TD. Moonlighting as a punt returner, he also cashed in on a 94 yard return for a TD. At the time there was no Rookie of the Year Honors in the NFL, however he was recognized by his peers as the best overall rookie in the league. His best year came in 1956, when he carried the ball 185 times for 916 yards and 8 TDs- recording 1,109 yards from scrimmage.
In 1961, Hugh joined the Minnesota Vikings as an expansion selection. He’d spend two seasons there, but not before recording his final Pro Bowl effort in 1961. Age and injury began to take their toll on Hugh after that, and while he didn’t see time as a full-time starter, he’d play for the Vikings in 1962, Packers/Giants in 1963 and Lions in 1964 before retiring.
Hugh was a prolific runner in college. Transferring from Compton JC to Washington- he’d rush for over 1,000 yards in 1950, and set school marks with 296 yards rushing in a single game. He’d earn All-America Honors at fullback, but saw action on special teams as a kicker, punt returner and kick returner. Over 3 years for the Huskies, McElhenny logged 2,499 yards rushing, 122 yards passing and 2,621 yards total offense.
McElhenny after retirement, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, the College Football Hall of Fame, and had his number retired by the San Fransisco 49ers and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. In addition, he was a 6 time pro bowler, 5 time First team All Pro, and was named a member of the 1950’s All Decade Team. McElhenny dabbled in broadcasting working for the ‘9ers working preseason games for a few years there and was involved with a push to get an expansion team awarded to Seattle.
Hugh is a diamond in the rough frequently overlooked by fans for his autograph because he played in a bygone era when teams played 12-14 game seasons. This reflects on his statistics, and while not gaudy by current standards, they were nonetheless impressive based on their time and era. He currently remains easily obtainable TTM and signs for a very modest fee.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.