Tag Archives: Miami Dolphins

Gaffney, Jabar (2)

CARD: Topps Total 2003, Upper Deck Houston Texans Inaugural Team Set 2002
ACQUIRED: 2020, Future Considerations. TTM 2020, C/o Home
SENT: 8/19 RECEIVED: 9/3 (15 days)
FAILURE: TTM 2010, C/o Redskins

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

NOTES:

Chris and I are big Texans fans and from time to time we’ve helped each other out with players. Since he lives there in the area and had worked around the organization, he’s had unprecedented access to the team. He sent me this autograph as thanks for my help over the years.

The Houston Texans inaugural set has become a big set need for me over the years, and as I can nickle and dime into a few of these players, I am so happy to add them to the set of autographs TTM. I took a shot in the dark and was happy to get this card back signed from him.

Morrall, Earl (1934-2014)

Upper Deck Legends 1997, #AU-143

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2020

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Played QB and P for the Michigan State Spartans putting them on the map in the Big 10 in 1955.
  • On season completed 42 of 68 passes for 948 yards, and led the country with an average of 9.1 yards per play.
  • Had school record at the time-274 yards passing against Marquette, and snapped an 11 game winning streak by Notre Dame.
  • Finished 4th in Heisman ballot voting that year.
  • First round selection of the 49ers in 1956.
  • Started 4 contests for the ‘9ers that year completing 38 of 78 passes for 621 yards.
  • Traded to Pittsburgh in 1957 and passed for 1,900 yards, 11 TDs and (12 INT).
  • Played 2 games in Pittsburgh in ’58 before being traded to the Lions for Bobby Layne.
  • Played the next 6 seasons in Detroit, culminating in his 1963 effort when he threw for 2621 yards and 24 TDs (14 INT) on 174 of 328 passes.
  • Traded again, this time to the New York Giants in ’65.
  • Repeated his ’63 efforts throwing for 2446 yards and 22 TDs that year.
  • Broke wrist in ’66 and sat on the bench behind Fran Tarkenton before being dealt to Baltimore in 1968!
  • Came in for Johnny Unitas and guided team to Super Bowl III.
  • Had best season as pro throwing for 2,909 yards, 26 TDs, and led league with 8.2 yards per completion.
  • This would foreshadow his future with the Miami Dolphins- a team he’d join in 1970 after being claimed off of waivers for just $100.
  • In 1972, came in and replaced an injured Bob Griese, guiding the team to a 9-0 record (as part of the only fully undefeated NFL season).
  • The team would go on to win Super Bowl VII that year.
  • Played the next 4 seasons there, retiring at the age of 42, after the 1976 season.
  • Became a QB whisperer, working at the University of Miami, tutoring future QB titans Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, and Jim Kelly.

ACCOLADES:

  • NFL MVP 1968
  • NFL Comeback Player of the Year 1972
  • All-Pro 1968, ’72
  • Pro Bowl 1957, ’68
  • Dolphins Walk of Fame 2012
  • Florida Sports Hall of Fame
  • Michigan State Athletics Hall of Fame (1992)
  • Michigan Sports Hall of Fame 1979

NOTES:

Earl Morrall is considered probably the best clutch backup QB of his generation -if not of all time. He played an undeniably long career in the league lasting some.. what 22 years? Although not considered for the HoF conversation, Morrall has been inducted into the ‘Hall of Very Good’. An excellent athlete, Morrall had also caught the eye of MLB playing SS in the College World Series for the Spartans, but opted to play football instead.

I had been eyeballing his autograph during the pandemic but thought it was too pricey. Once it hit about 10 bucks I pounced. It later got lost in the shuffle of incoming autographs and I had forgotten to scan it in.

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EPITAPH:

April 14th, 2014- Earl Morrall passed away at the age of 79 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. It was later discovered he suffered from Grade 4 CTE.