Card: Topps 1990 1000 Yard Club Acquired: 2018, Future Considerations See Also: Eric Martin
Eric Martin has some really nice cards but after getting the previous three signed, I was somewhat tapped out. Luckily while trying to locate a card for Dalton Hilliard I stumbled upon this gem as well. Topps wasn’t really well known for bringing out quality cards during this period but this action shot really got my attention. Since Eric retired he has received a few honors, being inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
I was really pleased to get two of my favorite collectors connected. Lance and Deadhorse have been good to me over the years, and I’ve spotted them both freebees- and in return they’ve done the same for me. Deadhorse had big needs from the Topps 88 set in both Eric Martin (an erratic signer TTM) and Dalton Hilliard (a non-signer TTM). It just so happened that Lance let me in on a signing he was attending in Louisiana at a casino. After a bit of convincing I networked the two together. I did not need any thank-you’s. The act of knowing that I was able to connect two collectors by the sheer fact that they trusted me, was enough for me. We now have a tiny hobby network and try to collaborate together and help each other out when we can.
Cards: TNT Signature Select, Classic 1993, SP Game Used 2002, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2006 Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home Sent: 9/12 Received: 10/11 (26 days)* *donation enclosed
Mark Brunell was one of these ageless wonders. He put in 19 seasons under his belt of solid to workmanlike/ journeyman quality work. In the annals of pro football, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves, but his arrival in Jacksonville heralded an era of respectability in Jaguars football. The owner of all of the passing records in the franchise’s record books when he departed the Jaguars after the 2003 season, Mark earned 3 Pro Bowl nominations, including MVP honors of the 2000 Pro Bowl.
Originally a 5th round pick out of Washington State by the Green Bay Packers in the 1993 draft, Brunell didn’t see much action playing for the Pack, sitting behind Brett Favre and Ty Detmer. He’d be eventually traded to the Jaguars in 1995 for a 3rd and 5th round pick before the team’s inaugural season began. After his banner time in Jacksonville, Mark was traded to the Redskins and provided stability to the quarterback position in Washington from 2004 to 2007. During that period he’d break the NFL record for most consecutive completions in a game with 22. In 2008, he signed with the Saints- winning his lone Super Bowl Championship (XLIV) as Drew Brees’ backup.
Brunell played 2 more seasons for the New York Jets (2010-2012), before retiring. Since that time Mark has gone into coaching starting at the High School level, and as of 2019 is coaching in the Jacksonville area. Mark has made the news otherwise for all the wrong reasons financially, and at one point needed to file for bankruptcy. Those are always the most humbling moments- so it was not a big deal to send him the requested donation.
Cards: Playoff 1999 (6279), Leaf Rookies & Stars 2004 Slideshow, Panini Classics 2016 NL, Panini Classics 2016 Legends*, Panini Contenders 2018, Panini Elite 2018, Atomic 2002. Acquired: In Person 2018, 43 and 34 Camp, Heisman House Tour See Also: Ricky Williams, Little Earl (2), Ricky Williams (3), Ricky Williams (4) * future considerations D-Rock
There is really no end to the plethora of cards I can find that I like for Ricky, so I just keep stacking them up- as long as he keeps signing of course. I’ve gotten Little Earl more times than any other player, and each time I meet him, each interaction is a unique experience. When I went to the 43 and 34 Camp, it was a blisteringly hot Texas day. After the event ended, people swarmed him as he slowly made his way to his car. He knew if he didn’t start that way at that moment, he’d be here all night. Still Ricky practiced an immense amount of patience, realizing perhaps that he was stuck, he just stopped at the entrance to the stadium and started signing. His gatekeeper tried in vain to get people to line up, and although there were cutters I waited to get up to him. It’s like the world goes silent and nobody is there. Ricky has that effect, or I do- I am not sure. He was like, “Hey man! Long time no see.” I told him that having a kid will do that to you.
Ricky has a new line of cannabis/ natural herb wellness products. I’m hoping to get some shipped to Texas to see if it can be of benefit to my father who suffers from lupus.
These cards are just flat out amazing. Every time I think I run out of cards, I find a few more that I really like. The Leaf 2004 Rookies & Stars Slideshow is translucent. The scan just doesn’t do it enough justice, but it is a well designed, exciting card. The Playoff 99 card is another gimmicky card. It’s translucent with the numbers in a velvet material.
Later I went to the Heisman House Tour that came to DKR before the Texas USC game. Knowing Ricky was there I packed quite a few cards for him to sign. The problem was they had a nasty gatekeeper. I got up to the stage and Ricky recognized me. We chatted for a few seconds while he signed a card. This woman came out from the door connected from the tent and shooed me away before I could get the rest. I just said to Ricky with a smile, “I’ll come back around again.” The line was not long at all for Ricky. The humidity or the weather prediction (of rain that never happened) kept people away. I got back in line, cruised back around, and got the rest of the cards signed.
We had a good and quick chat this time. I asked him if he’d have a touchdown dance now- since the league had lifted the restrictions on the rules. He initially told me no, but then re-thought it when I suggested Arian Foster’s ‘namaste pose’. I then quickly suggested that he go on Arian’s intriguing podcast as they both had really interesting philosophical ideals. He said he’d be interested and consider it, but he and Arian hadn’t talked in a while.
All in all again, some really nice cards I got signed at the Heisman House Tour. I really liked the NEXT LEVEL card the best- even if it is the same photograph from the Panini Elite card. The backside has him in a New Orleans Saints uniform, and could also be mistaken for the front as well if not for its lack of gloss on it. The Elite card is nice and flashy. I like where they have taken the design of this set over the years. Even the logo is a much needed improvement over the Donruss Elite logo. It’s a shield/chevron. That’s smart design.
The Classics 2016 card is for D-Rock on Sportscollectors.net. He had previously helped me out by sending me a Eugene Chung autograph I needed. What was touching about it was that he was reaching out to me because he hadn’t seen me on the boards in a while.
I had been stung badly by another collector on Sportscollectors.net who offered to get me some autographs and then pulled the rug out from under me as soon as I agreed. Anyway D-Rock’s kindness really struck me, so I offered to help him out when I had a chance. It took me a lot longer than I thought to get this autograph, but I can see why he wanted to get this one signed as the Classics card is not only a nice card, the autograph really sticks out on the canvas.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.