Tag Archives: NFL Rookie of the Year 1986

Mayes, Rueben (2)

Topps 1990, #244

CARDS: Action Packed 1990, Action Packed 1991, Topps 1990
ACQUIRED: TTM 2020, C/o Home
SENT: 9/30 RECEIVED: 10/10 (10 DAYS)



"If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”

-Revelation 3:20


Great cards to add Reuben on here. The Action Packed 90 was a set need, but also a beautiful card. Topps 90 checking in here with a *rare* action shot couldn’t be missed. Action Packed 1991 oddly had the Saints with a white fleur de leis, a widespread printing error that wasn’t corrected from what I understand.

Mayes, Rueben

Cards: Score 1991, ProSet 1990
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o home
Sent: 10/15   Received: 3/3  (128 days)

Score Cards made some really nice cards in 1989 and 1990, but already by 1991 you felt that the brand was losing its traction and the quality was beginning to slide. It wasn’t that the photos were bad, -it was really the design. With a gradient background that goes from white to purple, a diamond shaped area to frame the team logo, and a hideously bold serif type family to announce the name, about the only thing that could top that was the position of the player spelled out underneath it all- and that is just the front! It’s just a bad looking design all around. Now compare that to the Pro Set 1990 card. A really well designed set the Pro Set series hit its stride that year with an extremely simple design.

Rueben Mayes was actually born in Saskatchewan, Canada. He’d go to college at Washington State in 1983, where he’d become the most prolific runningback in the school’s history. Mayes would set a then college record with 356 yards rushing against Oregon- a record that still stands to this day, in the Pacific 10. The Saints would draft Rueben in the 3rd round of the 1986 draft. He’d turn out to be a steal for the Saints who under new head coach Jim Mora, liked to establish a strong ground game. Mayes would lead the team to a 7-9 record in the all out rough and tumble NFC West. It’d take him some time to get established as the team’s leading running back, but in week 6 he’d really have his breakout game against Indianapolis rushing for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rueben would follow that up with a 172 yard effort against the Bucs,- but save his best for last rushing for 203 yards and two touchdowns in week 14 against the Dolphins. His rookie season of 1353 yards and 8 touchdowns would be rewarded with a ProBowl appearance and being named NFL rookie of the year in 1986. While injuries would hamper his Sophomore season Mayes would still turn in another ProBowl caliber year averaging 76 yards a contest just finishing under 1000 yards. Mayes 1988 would continue the downward slide in a runningback by committee approach utilized by the Saints. He’d still manage to find the endzone 6 times.  Rueben’s 1989 would be a total wash. Due to an injury sustained in the preseason, he would be placed on injured resereve and not see any playing time that season. He’d make a comeback in 1990 scoring 7 touchdowns in 8 games.  Things looked up for the stalwart running back but he’d once again be injured and placed on IR for all of 1991. In 1992 Mayes would be traded to the Seattle Seahawks  where he finished out his career in 1993 and retired after 7 seasons.

In 1995 and 1998, Rueben was named to the Washington State Cougars All-Time team. A well deserved honor since he was like the Herschel Walker of the Northwest. Mayes has been involved in a variety of charitable organizations working with at risk juveniles. He earned his Master’s degree and is a regional director of Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Rueben was kind enough to sign these two cards for me in around 130 days with his signature, number and an inscription from the Bible.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – Revelation 3:20

I must admit when I read that the inscription was from Revelation, I worried that it was a grizzly, or a foreboding statement of impending doom; However, it was more controversial than anything being that it can be interpreted in a variety of ways through loose translation. I always enjoy it when players inscribe their cards with verses from the Bible. It gives me great insight into players and who they are and their place in the world with Christ.

G/Gs  76/41       Rush  866         Yds 3484         Avg 4.0      Td 23      lg  50   |
Rec 57     Yds 401      Avg  7.0       Td 0   lg  66