Tag Archives: los angeles rams

Watkins, Sammy

Card: Panini Absolute Heroes 2016 (26/50)
Acquired: 2018, Panini Instant Rewards Program

I never thought I’d ever get Sammy Watkins due to the fact that he’s never signed really through the mail, and also because he’s never quite been the player I’ve been interested in. It’s not that I didn’t want his autograph. It’s just that it never occurred to me that I could get his autograph. 

This is the first card that I’ve gotten from the Instant Rewards Program that Panini is rolling out and I am quite pleased. I was opening up a blaster box of Panini Contenders 2018 and there was this card in there for 150 points to spend through this program. I went to the website. It was slow and a bit woeful to navigate, but I zeroed in on this gem of an autograph. Then I hem hawed between buying 3 50 point autographs or just getting one for 150. Obviously in the end I went for this one. (The design really sticks out on this card, and it is a limited print run- for what that is worth.) The advantages I’d say for the IRP is that you can actually choose from and see a pretty large sampling of cards and autographs (-and they are fair ones, not just ‘floating wood’). 

The disadvantages are if you are just set hunting for say.. Panini Contenders 2018 autographs, there was nothing to be found.  The delivery time said 6-8 weeks, so I hunkered down for a long wait, but lo and behold less than 2 weeks later the envelope arrived with this pretty little autograph inside. Still a 6-8 week reported turn around and having to pay for shipping is a bit terrible. Also the boxes don’t state on the outside ‘additional purchase maybe necessary’.

Beyond that as I have gotten more points over time I’ve noticed that the inventory rarely changes on the bottom end and old cards and autographs that would be worth even less in this current market are left at their still high price values.

Sammy Watkins played for Clemson University across from DeAndre Hopkins. A 3 year starter from 2011 to 2013, Sammy compiled 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 TDs. He also returned kicks as well with 60 career returns for 1376 yards and a TD. His best year came in 2013 when he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 TDs- including a 96 yarder. He was considered the best receiver in the 2014 NFL Draft, and was selected 4th overall by the Buffalo Bills. 

Sammy had a pretty good rookie season. He’d turn some heads starting all 16 games catching 65 passes for 982 yards, 6 TDs and an 84 yard long.  The Bills themselves were going through a transition at QB with EJ Manuel. Still Sammy’s numbers were solid enough to set Bills rookie records for catches and yards. Watkins 2015 stood out as the best of his young career so far. He posted 60 catches for 1047 yards- a whopping 17.5 yards per catch, and 9 TDs in just 13 games.  2016 didn’t end well though as a broken foot limited him to just 8 starts and 430 yards on 28 receptions.

The Bills traded Sammy to the Rams in exchange for EJ Gaines and some draft picks changing hands. Expected to be Jared Goff‘s #1 target for 2017, Sammy finished the season with 39 receptions for 593 yards and 8 TDs in his lone year with LA. 

He joined the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018, and in 10 contests he caught 40 passes for 519 yards and 3 Tds.

Northrup II, Reggie

Card: Topps 2019 AAF (1/1)
Acquired: Box Breaker 2019

After Reggie was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft, he’d be briefly on the training camp and practice squads of the Washington Redskins and Los Angeles Rams through mid-2017. He’d join the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL and start 3 games, notching 22 tackles before heading down to join the AAF.

Reggie played and started in all 8 games for the Orlando Apollos. He finished with 62 total tackles and a sack on the season for Orlando in 2019- placing him 7th in the league.

A well designed 1/1 card here, I was really impressed by the look of the certified autographs from the Topps 2019 AAF set. Too bad the AAF didn’t last beyond 8 games thanks to terrible investors who pulled out the rug from under the league. Reggie felt the same as well and as of this post is one of the chief plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit drawn by the players of the league against the Alliance.

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Maynard, Don

Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home*
Sent:  8/4   Received: 8/20    (16 days)
* Donation enclosed of $10 per flat

Don Maynard is considered the best receiver in Jets history, one of the best receivers in AFL history, and one of the best receivers in NFL history.  At the time of Maynard’s retirement he held the NFL record for career receptions and yards. He was the first player to crack the 10k barrier in receiving yards. An amazing feat considering it was still during an era where the passing game had not fully developed yet. Don epitomized consistency and longevity. (Oddly enough he never led the league in catches at any time but his sheer numbers made up for it en force.) 

Maynard was originally drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but only played one lone season for them before bolting North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He’d return shortly thereafter to the fledgling AFL in 1960- becoming the first signee of the then New York Titans (later Jets). Over the next 10 seasons in the AFL he’d be named to the All-AFL team 4 times. In the final season before the AFL NFL merger, he’d help the Jets win Super Bowl III and notably graced the cover of the big game’s program guide as well. 

Don joined the Rams in 73, but ultimately ended up on the St. Louis Cardinals for a lone season, retiring after a bout with the WFL playing for the Shreveport Steamer/ Houston Texans. 

Maynard played college ball for Rice, and later Texas Western (UTEP). He was a proven runningback and defensive back, but was unpolished gold at receiver. His number has been retired by the Jets,  got his gold jacket along the way, and has been a Grand Marshall for UTEP at one of their parades. He lives outside of the El Paso area, in relative anonymity. 

I had been wanting Don for sometime but I thought he was out of reach. I really liked these cards of his and always wanted to get them signed so I went ahead and took a shot with a small donation. In the end I also had a Pro Set Super Bowl III card that I opted to send to Matt Snell instead (because he should’ve been MVP). Still the Topps 1970 is iconic, while the Upper Deck Legends 1997 hits all the marks for perfection. 

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