Tag Archives: oakland raiders

Hackenberg, Christian

Cards: Topps AAF Certified 2019, Topps AAF 2019, Panini Contenders 2015, Panini Contenders 2015 School Colors
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home. EBay, 2019
Sent: 4/26/19 Received: 5/23/19 (27 days)

I really had high hopes for Christian Hackenberg that he’d resurrect his career with the AAF in 2019. He’s been through a lot as a professional and has really put his best foot forward. He even worked with renowned quarterback coaches trying to fix a hole in his throwing motion.

In college at Penn State, he was tutored by future head coach Bill O’Brien. Hackenberg put together some solid numbers playing for the Nittany Lions throwing for 8,457 yards and 48 TDs to 31 interceptions over 3 years. After his junior season in 2015, he’d declare for the 2016 NFL draft, and while rumors swirled that he’d be selected possibly by his former coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans, the Jets ultimately chose him with the 51st pick of the second round where they planned to groom him as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. He rode the bench for the season, and then battled it out in camp during the 2017 season against Bryce Petty and Josh McCown. He had a decent preseason, but again saw no playing time.

Hackenberg then in 2018 was traded to the Raiders, but the trade was cancelled the next day, so he was released outright. A few months later he signed with the Eagles for the preseason, where he saw limited playing time. He’d be released before the regular season, and join the Bengals practice squad for a few months.

He’d opt to join the upstart Alliance of American Football in November of 2018, and was selected by the Memphis Express in the second round of the League’s quarterback Pick or Protect Draft. Hackenberg beat out first round pick Troy Cook, Brandon Silvers, and Zack Mettenberger in camp to nab the starting gig.

Hack then ran into a buzzsaw against the defensive minded Birmingham Iron his first week throwing for 87 yards and an interception on 10 of 23 passing. Memphis was shut out 26-0. Although the Express’ fares improved very slowly over the next two games, Christian wasn’t able to put the rock in the endzone through the air. He’d be benched in favor of Zack Mettenberger, then later passed up for Brandon Silvers, and ultimately in the end by Johnny Manziel. On the season, Hack finished 32 of 62 for 277 yards and 3 interceptions, while rushing for 47 yards on 9 carries- scoring one TD.

Christian was high on my list to get an autograph from, as he had a great selection of cards to choose from. He had these great AAF cards, and also some Panini cards I was itching to get signed at the next game, but before I could do so, the league folded.

My friend Mark, from Markssigningbonus.com came through for me on this collaboration passing this address forward to me so that I could give Hack another shot. He signed all 3 of my cards with his nice, loopy signature. I find it interesting that he abbreviates his first name to just ‘C.’. Also the C has a strong upper loop in it, and leans heavily to the right.

As the market collapsed on the AAF certified’s later in 2019, I was able to pick up his autograph. It’s a nice looking card of him and I hope he continues his football journey in whatever manner it may continue.

Bellamy, Mike

Cards: Score 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990, Bowman 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 12/31/19 Received: 4/10/20 (101 days)

A JuCo star in 1987 at DuPage, Mike Bellamy played wide receiver for the Fightin’ Illini from 1988 to 1989. There he’d be one of the primary targets of overall number one pick Jeff George. He’d post 59 catches for 927 yards and 8 touchdowns in 1989, and finish his overall college career with 90 catches for 1,404 yards and 10 TDs. He also flashed skills on special teams as a kick returner. His finest moment came when he caught 10 passes for 189 yards , as the Illini beat the Cavaliers in the 1990 Citrus Bowl.

Mike parlayed his impressive performance and pro day into a second round selection. He’d be drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, a team notorious for their abuse of their wide receiver corps under head coach Buddy Ryan. Mike had a hard time getting onto the field because of injury, and only saw limited time on the field on punt returns, in a quickly bustling wide receiver corps behind fellow rookies Calvin Williams and Fred Barnett. Only after a season on the Eagles, Mike was released.

From 1992 to 1995 Mike spent time on and off the rosters of the Indianapolis Colts, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Chicago Bears, and Oakland Raiders. During his stint in the CFL in ’93, Bellamy played slotback for the Blue Bombers, catching 12 passes for 104 yards.

In 1995, Mike joined the Frankfurt Galaxy of the newly reformed World League. He’d have his finest moment since his college days catching 30 passes for 479 yards and 7 TDs. Mike returned to play for the Galaxy again in 1996, adding another 22 catches for 313 yards.

After returning stateside, Mike turned his eye towards coaching. He’s seen positional stops as a receivers coach, quality control coach, relations, and as an assistant coach, with Mississippi State, with his Alma Mater, the Fightin’ Illini, and most recently with the Toledo Rockets. Mike was also honored by the JUCO HOF in 2009.

CFLRECYDSAVGTDLG
121048.7017
WLRECYDSAVGTDLG
5279215.2741

Ware, Andre (3)

Card: Fleer 1990, Action Packed 1991, GameDay 1992
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 3/17 Received: 4/5 (18 days)
See Also: Andre Ware, Air Ware

Andre sure got in a lot of great cards in his short amount of time on the starting stage in the NFL. Even after this third stab at a few more autographs, there are a few more cards I could probably nab him on.

I loved Action Packed and GameDay’s sets. Action Packed 1991 was a pretty well designed set, with that simple swoosh that goes through the left side of the image- it maximized the canvas area to focus on the player image. I also really liked the flat helmet image at the end. It’s a really underrated set, and despite the slight smudging is great to get autographed. Most of the images are indeed- action packed. This Gameday image is really nice, however one of the set’s design flaws comes forward a bit when the silver blends against the gray, the image looks a bit more flat. The Fleer 90 card was one of 4 (technically) that had a college photo of Andre in it. (The others being Topps, ProSet, and Score.) We always laughed at the fact that Fleer didn’t find a shot of Andre actually throwing the ball- but instead chose to get a shot of him pitching the ball out. All of these cards were distant set needs for me in my never ending autograph quest.

About the time that Coronavirus broke loose and some stay at home notices were put into place, Andre started signing his TTM mail after a 5-6 year absence from the game. He was initially playing catchup and then started signing some newer requests. I always liked Andre, and I hadn’t TTMed him since 2012, I decided he was ripe for the picking.

As of 2020, Ware remains the steady voice as the color commentator for the Houston Texans game day radio show.