One of the forgotten greats of the game, Hugh McElhenny scored a TD the first time he carried the ball after joining the 49ers in 1952, as the franchise’s #1 draft pick. He’d go on to become a member of the ‘Million Dollar Backfield’ for the franchise, and after 10 seasons in the league, had already cemented himself in NFL lore as one of the top 5 NFL rushers of all-time. An explosive halfback, McElhenny was feared not only as a rusher, but as a pass receiver and kick returner as well. In his rookie year, he’d average an incredible 7.0 yards a pop on 98 carries, carried by a career long 89 yard romp for a TD. Moonlighting as a punt returner, he also cashed in on a 94 yard return for a TD. At the time there was no Rookie of the Year Honors in the NFL, however he was recognized by his peers as the best overall rookie in the league. His best year came in 1956, when he carried the ball 185 times for 916 yards and 8 TDs- recording 1,109 yards from scrimmage.
In 1961, Hugh joined the Minnesota Vikings as an expansion selection. He’d spend two seasons there, but not before recording his final Pro Bowl effort in 1961. Age and injury began to take their toll on Hugh after that, and while he didn’t see time as a full-time starter, he’d play for the Vikings in 1962, Packers/Giants in 1963 and Lions in 1964 before retiring.
Hugh was a prolific runner in college. Transferring from Compton JC to Washington- he’d rush for over 1,000 yards in 1950, and set school marks with 296 yards rushing in a single game. He’d earn All-America Honors at fullback, but saw action on special teams as a kicker, punt returner and kick returner. Over 3 years for the Huskies, McElhenny logged 2,499 yards rushing, 122 yards passing and 2,621 yards total offense.
McElhenny after retirement, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, the College Football Hall of Fame, and had his number retired by the San Fransisco 49ers and is a member of the team’s Hall of Fame. In addition, he was a 6 time pro bowler, 5 time First team All Pro, and was named a member of the 1950’s All Decade Team. McElhenny dabbled in broadcasting working for the ‘9ers working preseason games for a few years there and was involved with a push to get an expansion team awarded to Seattle.
Hugh is a diamond in the rough frequently overlooked by fans for his autograph because he played in a bygone era when teams played 12-14 game seasons. This reflects on his statistics, and while not gaudy by current standards, they were nonetheless impressive based on their time and era. He currently remains easily obtainable TTM and signs for a very modest fee.
Cards: Topps AAF 2019 Certified, Topps AAF 2019 Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home Sent: 9/26 Received: 10/9 (11 days) Failure: 2019, C/o The Salt Lake City Stallions, C/o The Washington Redskins
Josh Woodrum was quarterback for the Liberty Flames from 2012-2015. He finished his college career going 833/1304 for 10,266 yards with 61 TDs to 30 interceptions. He was one of only two mid-major QBs to be invited to the NFL combine- with the other being Carson Wentz. Although Woodrum did turn some heads, he was not selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.
He’d be a free agent signee of the New York Giants, and then see time on the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. Obviously on the radar of a lot of teams but unable to latch onto a roster- Josh signed with the Salt Lake City Stallions of the AAF in 2018.
The AAF then decided that a few teams were stockpiling talent at QB- so in order to fairly distribute the talent they came up with the Protect or Pick QB Draft. The Stallions liked what they had, so they selected Josh with their first pick in the QB Draft (8th overall). Involved in a QB battle with BJ Daniels, Woodrum became the defacto starter after Daniels suffered a season ending injury during the preseason.
Josh started 7 games for the Stallions, and finished with 1,449 yards on 146/227 passing, 6 TDs to 8 interceptions. He finished second in the league, completing 64.3% of his passes, and overall as the 4th highest rated QB with a 76.4 QB Rating.
He joined the Redskins after the AAF folded but did not make the squad. Currently he is a free agent.
Well it took a while for me to find Josh, but after some persistence, I was able to track him down. I sent to him a mere days before the league folded, so I reloaded and tried him with the Redskins, where I failed again. Luckily Mark (Mark’s Signing Bonus) and I worked together to corner the AAF market and he had already gotten him at his home address- so technically the 3rd try was the charm here.
Adam’s autograph opens up around the top 10 worst autographs I’ve gotten over the years. The additional problem is that this is not a very exciting looking card. He’s just standing there in front of empty bleachers. If initials can look rushed, to a point of not caring, this is pretty close to it.
A four year starter at Pitt from 2014-2017, Adam Bisnowaty played left tackle for the Panthers. A fine specimen at 6’6″, 304, he was considered one of the top 20 or so tackles entering the 2017 selection class, but his status in the draft was punched down, due to injuries, even with a pretty good combine showing.
The Giants needing lots of line help traded up with the Titans during the 6th round, giving Tennessee a 6th and 7th round pick to select Adam. He’d be cut at the end of camp after losing out in a battle for the backup job with Chad Wheeler, and then be resigned to the practice squad. Following were a successive list of waiver claims by interested teams taking a stab at Bisnowaty: First Detroit and then Carolina both took a look at him for about a month in mid-2018. Then in October of that year the Vikings picked him up, who held onto him until the following year. He’d sign with the Redskins in 2019 and then later the Broncos before Adam was selected by the Dallas Renegades of the XFL 2020- but did not make the squad.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.