Card: Topps 1970
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 2/4 Received: 2/9 (5 days)
Over his college career Cajun Hoyle Granger ran for 1534 yards and 350 carries (7 TDs) for Mississippi State. He’d be selected by the Houston Oilers in the 5th round of the AFL draft, and the 4th round of the competing NFL draft in 1966. Opting to sign with the Oilers, Hoyle became more or less a fullback for Houston as not only was he a strong North/South runner but also an impressive blocker. After a subpar rookie season, when he rushed for 388 yards on 56 carries, Hoyle burst onto the scene for the first of two consecutive ProBowl appearances in 67 and 68. He’d run for a career high 1,194 yards (6 TDs) in 1967 and 848 yards in 1968 (7 TDs). His 1,494 combined yards in 1967 led the AFL. Although his numbers were in decline after that, Hoyle became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher (since surpassed) during the 1970 season. Afterwards he’d be traded to the New Orleans Saints along with a bevy of players and draft choices. (The Oilers in return received notably WR Ken Burrough whom they had wanted but NO had selected the pick before them.) After just one season in The Big Easy, Hoyle returned to Houston for his final swan song in 1972.
I was not familiar with Hoyle outside of his statistics and the fact he was #3 on the HOUSTON Oilers all-time rushing list, but after reading the book ‘Oiler Blues’ he was one of the more recognizable players from the brief silver Houston Oilers helmet era, and a few photos of him rumbling along really stuck out in my head. I decided to take a shot at him and was pleased to see a response in 5 days flat on his classic Topps 1970 card.