Card: ProSet 1991 WLAF Insert
Acquired: 2018, EBay
Failure: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Ben Bennett was a prolific quarterback for the Duke Blue Devils finishing as one of the top passers in NCAA history, throwing for 9614 yards on 820 completions (1375 attempts) and 55 TDs from 1980 to 1983.
Selected in the 6th round of the 1984 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons, but ended up playing in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls. Bennett then bounced around camps for the Falcons, Oilers, Cowboys, and Bears, eventually seeing a little action playing for the Bengals in ’87. He’d join the Arena Football league playing for the Chicago Bruisers in 1988 and 1989, leading the team to the championship in the latter season. After playing for the Dallas Texans in 1990, he was selected by the Sacramento Surge of the WLAF during the first round of the positional draft.
Ben was expected to be the starter for the Surge, but he’d be supplanted by former KC Chiefs 2nd round pick, Mike Elkins- who took all the snaps after the first game. Bennett returned to the Arena Football League later that year with the Orlando Predators. Ben at this point became a star for the young league. He’d play for Orlando through 1995, before taking one season pitstops with both the San Jose SabreCats and the Portland Forest Dragons. Ben is known in Arena lore for the ‘Miracle Minute’ in which he engineered a 16 point comeback in under 1 minute. Ben was inducted into the Arena Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
Outside of his impressive Arena Football resume, Ben has been involved as coach for the Milwaukee Mustangs (1998), Greensboro Prowlers (2000), Florida Bobcats (2001), Florida Firecats (2002-2004), Manchester Wolves (2005-2007), Austin Wranglers (2008), Orlando Fantasy LFL (2010), the New Orleans Voodoo (2011), and the Orlando Predators (2012).
I had previously tried to get Ben way back in 2011, but had no luck. Since then, I’ve seen no successes or addresses for him that I could use, so I went ahead and just picked this autograph up off of EBay after verifying its integrity.
Card: TNT Arena 2014
Acquired: IP 2014, San Antonio Talons V New Orleans Voodoo
Before the game against the Voodoo I motioned Garrett over towards the visitor end zone and gave him his cards. He was pretty excited to have his own card and signed one for me.
Garrett Lindholm played for Tarleton State during college but went undrafted in 2010. An accurate kicker with an incredible leg, Garrett once hit a 64 yard field goal to send a game to OT. He received nibbles from both the Falcons and Colts during preseason, but was cut and found his way to the Arena Football League with the Milwaukee Mustangs. Garrett had an impressive rookie year going 20/31 on field goals and 82/98 on extra points. He’d join the Rattlers in 2013, but the Rattlers didn’t need him to kick too many field goals, since they scored so many TDs, evidenced by 158/167 extra point attempts. He’d join the San Antonio Talons in 2014, kick 89/95 extra points and 10 of 16 field goals. With the Talons going on hiatus after the 2014 season- Lindholm joined the New Orleans Voodoo for 2015. He’d kick 55/61 extra points and 6 of 11 field goals, before the Voodoo too would go on hiatus…
Card: TNT AFL 2014
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 8/16 Received: 9/13 (27 days)
Larry Beavers is an outstanding talent in the Arena Football League. He attended a small Division III school, Wesley College in Delaware. There Beavers set the NCAA record for career kick return touchdows with a whopping 10. He also demonstrated a knack for the ball, finishing second in school history with 2,366 yards.
He went undrafted in 2009 but was signed by the Carolina Panthers. Unfortunately Beavers was among the final cuts that preseason by the squad. The following year Larry was signed by the New Orleans Saints, but again was cut in the offseason. In 2011, he signed with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League, but quickly decided to take his talents to the CFL, landing on the roster of the Edmonton Eskimos. Beavers returned to the Arena leagues the following year and was an offseason addition to the Pittsburgh Power.
It was in 2013 that Larry joined the New Orleans Voodoo, and that’s where he’s made an impressive impact. He’d earn second team All-Arena Team Honors in 2014 as a kick returner cracking the 1,000 yard barrier both as a receiver and as a kick returner. Larry was assigned to the expansion Las Vegas Outlaws for 2015, but ended up rubberbanding back to the Voodoo before the season was out, scoring 2 more TDs on kick returns. The Voodoo (and the Outlaws) were taken over by the league before the conclusion of the season.
I had gotten a few customs I had made autographed by players in the league over Twitter. Impressed with Beaver’s play in the finale against San Antonio I created this custom of him and asked him if he’d like one, to which he gleefully signed this one for me in about 2 weeks.