Cards: Playoff Contenders 2004, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2003 (494/750)
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20 Received: 10/30 (10 days)
See Also: Jason Babin
After his 2010 appearance on the Tennessee Titans, in which he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and 12 sacks from the defensive end position, Jason Babin packed his bags and returned to the Philadelphia Eagles. While with the Eagles, he again notched a career high in sacks with 18 and the second of his Pro Bowl appearances. After having a fallout with management, Babin was cut after 11 games and finished his season with the Jaguars in 2012. He played the following year in 2013 with the Jaguars recording 7.5 sacks, before heading over to the Jets for 2014 where he saw his last meaningful statistics. Jason was on the roster of both the Cardinals and Ravens in 2015 and is presumed to be retired from the sport.
With some great cards here of Jason, I really had wanted to get him over the years. I had been advised by friends that he did football camps but after waiting for the past 3 years or so for him to pop up, I decided to just hit him up through the mail and it was a pretty fast turn around for the former Texan.
I like the clean design of the Leaf Rookies & Stars card. The angled lines and slow evolution of this design really punctuated a solid overall look. I probably should’ve gotten one of the Longevity cards that I like, but this one still hits the mark nicely. I really like the Rookie Roundup Playoff cards, almost strictly because of the gimmicky translucency and credit card feel. While devoid of most color it does stand out nicely with an autograph on it- in which Jason kindly and painstakingly used a silver sharpie on.
Card: Topps Triple Threads 2012 (59/75)
Acquired: 2017, Walmart Autographed Memorabilia
Cyrus Gray had back to back 1,000 yard seasons at Texas A&M in 2010 and 2011. He finished with 632 carries for 3298 yards and 30 TDs. He also displayed nice hands, with 103 receptions for 776 yards and 6 TDs receiving. The knock on Gray was his size (5’10”) sometimes allowed him to get overwhelmed in pass protection and he wasn’t the speediest back. He was selected in the 6th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
He played from 2012 to 2014 for the Chiefs. With an already established backfield led by Jamaal Charles, Cyrus did not see the rock much. He scored his first NFL touchdown in week 3 against the Miami Dolphins, but tore his ACL late in the season. He was not retained by the franchise. Cyrus finished his 3 years in KC with 24 carries for 99 yards and a TD. He also caught 9 balls for 64 yards.
In 2016 he spent time on both the preseason rosters of both the Broncos and the Falcons- with the latter giving him an injury settlement. As of 2017 he is a free agent.
Card: Upper Deck 2003
Acquired: IP 2014, Kemah Houston Texans Fan Fest.
See Also: JJ Moses, Houston Texans Ambassadors
After losing all of the other cards to the TTM gods back in 2013 of JJ Moses, I quickly scrambled to get some cards together to have him sign at that year’s Fan Fest event. Unfortunately this Upper Deck 2003 missed the cut, so once I got a copy I held onto it just in case I’d get the chance to see JJ again.
I decided at the last second again to make the yearly pilgrimage to Houston for the 2014 Fan Fest. I wasn’t really prepared for the journey there. The weather was some of the worst I had encountered in quite a while, and I got lost. Luckily I pulled out my ancient GPS – that hadn’t ever been updated (2007) and limped into Kemah with a new umbrella in hand. The remnants of a tropical storm were dumping in waves over the Houston area, but thankfully this kept the event low key. I quickly found parking in the covered lot and was directed to the backup makeup location where the players and cheerleaders were going to sign in tents. The players were forgivingly late, but once they got the procession going they quickly signed everything in their way.
When I got up to the front, I was really surprised that JJ remembered me. He was very kind, and let me know that he had read and liked my previous post on him! I hoped at a later date to do a custom of JJ from his days with the Claymores, but I could not find an image that was large enough (that wouldn’t pixelate badly) to use. I reached out to JJ to see if he had anything through his Facebook page, but as of the publishing of this article, did not hear back from him. JJ remains active in the local Houston area for events, charities, and as a Houston Texans’ Ambassador.