Card: Ultimate World League 1991 Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home Sent: 10/21 Received: 11/2 (12 days) Failure: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Mel was selected by the Denver Broncos during the 9th round of the 1988 draft, after playing for UCLA. During his senior season, Mel rushed 33 times for 145 yards and a TD. He also caught 12 passes for 122 yards and a TD. After a brief stop with the Broncos, he signed with the Rams in 1989. Mel joined the World League in 1991, drafted with the 6th pick of the 5th round by the Sacramento Surge. He’d catch 23 passes for 309 yards and a TD, while rushing for 10 more. His 23 receptions and 309 yards ranked second on the team.
This card technically lists Mel as a FB, but I’ve also seen him listed as a RB and a TE, so perhaps he was a novelty as an H-Back, or this is just a flat out uncorrected error card.
I had previously failed on an address I dug up for Mel, but thanks to my friend Bryan who has collaborated with me a lot recently, he had the address handy from talking to Mel on Facebook.
Mel Farr Jr signed this card beautifully in just 12 days from Georgia, and included a nice note saying that, the request made him feel good because he thought at first the autograph was for his father (who had passed away in 2015). Mel Jr. had just two cards produced of him over his time playing football (Ultimate 1992, American Airlines) but 2 are better than none as his autograph graces the canvas beautifully.
Deacon Jones was the player who coined the term ‘sacks’ and brought more glamour to the defensive end position than ever before. With limited college experience playing for South Carolina State in 58 and then Mississippi Vocational College in 60, Jones was an afterthought in most team’s minds during the 1961 draft. Purely found by accident, Deacon was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the 14th round.
He joined Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier, and Lamar Lundy to form the ‘Fearsome Foursome’ which terrorized opposing offenses. He’d go on to play the next 11 seasons for the Rams, earning 7 Pro Bowl appearances, 7 1st or 2nd team All-Pro nominations, and 2 NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors while with the Rams. Sacks at that time were not an officially recorded statistic however using archival film, Jones was credited with 22 sacks both in 1964 and 1968, and 21.5 in 1967. Over his time with the Rams- in 8 of 12 seasons he had at least 12 sacks.
In 1972, Deacon was traded to the San Diego Chargers where he played two more seasons, and a final year with the Redskins in 1973 before retiring.
Jones went into acting and philanthropy after retirement. He was also an outspoken advocate for bringing the NFL back to LA, and referred to the LA Rams and St. Louis Rams as two separate franchises. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary team in 1994. His number was retired by the Rams in 2009- ironically while it was still in St. Louis.
He passed away in 2013, and the NFL in tribute to him created the Deacon Jones award, given away annually to the league leader in sacks.
Deacon Jones was a player I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d ever get, but with the way the card market currently is with the inflated prices of boxes, I’d rather just buy a certified HOFer from one of my favorite sets than buy a 2020 hobby box of scrubs. I had some extra EBay bucks left over so it made this purchase way more palatable, but I did get this at a bargain price to begin with so I was pretty happy.
Cards: Topps AAF 2019, Topps AAF 2019 Certified Acquired: 2019, EBay. 2019, TTM. IP 2020, Houston Roughnecks/ Tampa Bay Vipers Joint Practice Sent: 5/15 Received: 7/25 (71 days) Failure: TTM 2014 C/o The Kansas City Chiefs, TTM 2019, C/o The Atlanta Legends.
Aaron Murray played college ball at Georgia from 2009 to 2013 . A prolific passer, Murray threw for 13,166 yards and 121 TDs for the Bulldogs. Along the way he set numerous SEC passing records, and was the 2013 Capital One Bowl MVP. He parlayed his efforts into a 5th round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014.
Aaron made the squad but didn’t see any significant playing time. He’d be cut in 2016 and then bounce around from the Cardinals practice squad to the Eagles practice squad, and then in 2017 briefly with the Rams.
After a brief hiatus, it was rumored that Aaron was planning to join the Alliance of American Football. He signed with the Atlanta Legends and then was subsequently protected by the team with the second overall pick of the 2018 Pick or Protect AAF Draft.
The Legends were a team in constant flux early in camp and into the season. Head Coach Brad Childress departed shortly into camp. Offensive Coordinator Mike Vick also was reassigned. The offensive playcaller- Rich Bartel- who took over as the OC departed after the 3rd game. Thankfully venerable Ken Zampese stepped in and filled the role through the dissolution of the league.
Murray was unseated as starter by Matt Simms going into the first contest against Orlando. He’d remain on the bench until the 4th contest of the season when the Legends played the Hotshots. With Simms ailing, and the Legends sitting at 0-3, Aaron came in and led Atlanta to a 14-11 victory. He’d go 20 of 33 for 254 yards and run 7 times for 54 yards in the upset. The following week, Murray was on fire, going 27/43 for 306 yards and a TD against the Express.
Murray was brought back down to Earth by the Commanders in Week 6, and a head injury in Week 7 against Orlando didn’t help matters much.
In the final contest against Birmingham, Aaron split QB duties with Simms starting the first half and Murray wrapping up the second half- to largely the same deflated results.
On a positive note, Aaron had the highest completion percentage in AAF history (64.8%) among qualified throwers. He’d also throw for 1048 yards 3 TDs, one 2 point conversion, and 7 picks.
I had been after Aaron since his days at Kansas City and while he was a pretty reliable signer there, I was one of the few that didn’t get anything. I tried again right after the AAF cards came out- which was almost a week before the league folded. Thankfully I did get everything RTSed from the team. Finally I decided to give him another shot via his home address. I was happy to get 1 of 2 signed by him- but I am still kicking the tires on picking up a Topps Now card of him from his win over Arizona.
Aaron later joined the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL for 2020. When the Vipers did their joint practice with the Roughnecks, I pulled two more AAF cards and decided to take a shot. I staked him out for the entire practice, and at the end, was able to get him, thanks to another fan who was able to get him over with a Georgia mini. Murray then signed these two cards for me a few seconds afterwards.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.