Tag Archives: phoenix cardinals

Proehl, Ricky

Card: Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: 2020, Future Considerations
Failure: TTM, C/o Home 2011, 2018, 2019

I’m not really sure what’s up with Ricky Proehl. I’ve seen numerous successes for him, with some that even include the card pictured above, so after 3 failures over the years, where it looked like I was the last person out in the cold, a friend who I help out from time to time had this extra floating around that I could have. I would have liked to get Ricky on a card or two more, but after the 3rd or 4th failure- I routinely in the past look at other options, but for the time being I’ll stand pat with this one and will probably be a bit gun shy about trying him again. This card was a definite set need that I wanted to get out of the way for a while. I only got one when I broke a box years ago originally, so I’ve been out quite a few cards every time I wrote him.

Ricky Proehl gets no respect. He graduated from Wake Forest as virtually the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards (2,949 yards), and TDs (25), as well as ranking in the top five in receptions and receiving average.  He was selected in the 3rd round of the 1990 draft by the Phoenix Cardinals.

His rookie season was a solid debut, when he caught 56 passes for 802 yards and 4 TDs. These numbers were the best by a Cardinals rookie and the first to lead the team since 1950. He then played the next 3 years with the franchise, and set career marks in 1993 (65 receptions, 877 yards, and 7 TDs). Following the 1994 season, Ricky was traded to the Seattle Seahawks, where he played through 1995. In 1996, he rejuvenated his career playing with the Bears for a season, hauling down 58 receptions, for 753 yards, and 7 TDs.

In 1998, Proehl signed with the St. Louis Rams and became a member of ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’. He is perhaps best known for this time of his career, as he was clutch for the team, as a situational starter or when they needed him most. Ricky won two Super Bowls with the Rams over the next 5 seasons recording 207 catches, for 2590 yards, and 16 TDs.

At the grand old age of 35, Ricky still had a few miles left. He joined the Carolina Panthers in 2003, playing the majority of his sunset years with the squad. Over 3 seasons, he posted 1237 yards and 8 TDs for Carolina before one final season in 2006 with the Indianapolis Colts.

Ricky has been involved in coaching since retirement working with the Carolina Panthers from 2011- 2016. He also owns a sports park in North Carolina. His son, Austin followed in his footsteps and was most recently a WR for the Seattle Dragons of the XFL.

It should be noted that despite never posting a 1,000 yard season in his 17 season career, he finished with over 8,000 yards receiving in just 109 starts and recorded under 400 yards in only 5 seasons.

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244/109669887813.35478

Wright, Willie Don

Card: Wild Card WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/23 Received: 7/30 (7 days)

Willie Don Wright walked onto the Wyoming football team where he played outside linebacker and defensive end for the Cowboys. He was signed in 1990 as a free agent by the Phoenix Cardinals, who then allocated Wright to the Frankfurt Galaxy of the World League in 1992. During the season Willie recorded 5 sacks for the Galaxy before returning stateside to the Cards.

Willie was placed on the practice squad and then was converted successfully from linebacker to tight end. -He was active for 9 games but didn’t see any playing time. The following year in ’93, Wright was cut after the team decided to go with less tight ends on the roster, and then found himself again on the short end of the stick in 94 and 96. He’d briefly play in the CFL with the Las Vegas Posse in 1995, before he finished his degree at Wyoming in music education.

He wrote me a nice note thanking me for my letter. Wright currently lives in Wyoming where he teaches music at the Junior High level.

Hairston, Carl ‘Big Daddy’

Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Score Supplemental 1989
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 10/27   (7 days)

During the Jurassic Period of football, there were some absolute beasts of defenders that took the league by storm in the 70s. One of them was Carl Hairston, a little known defensive lineman prospect out of UMES or (University of Maryland Eastern Shore). He played on some terrible teams during college, which allowed him to really hone his game. Hairston was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team 3 times. In his final year with the team, he posted 147 tackles and 15 sacks, good enough to get noticed by the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected Carl in the 7th round of the 1976 draft. 

He’d make the squad and in fact lead the NFL in sacks in 1979 (unofficially) with 15. Then in 1980, he’d help champion the defense that got the Eagles to Super Bowl XV.  Injuries began to slow Hairston down in 1983, and soon thereafter he’d be traded to the Cleveland Browns, where he’d be a mainstay on the line until 1989. He’d finish his career in Phoenix the following season. 

Carl has an extensive coaching resume at the Pro level, and has seen stops in the NFL (Phoenix, KC, St Louis, and Green Bay), UFL (Florida, Omaha), and CFL (British Columbia). He earned a Super Bowl ring as the defensive line coach for the St. Louis Rams (Super Bowl XXXIV). 

Carl is another one of these players who should probably be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A dominant lineman during his time, unofficially he has 1,141 tackles and 94 sacks to his name in 184 starts. 

Both of these are really nice cards of Carl. I almost feel like they are nods to him out of respect- like these card companies knew he was long in the tooth but they still wanted to pay him respects with their brand of card. The ProSet Legends 1991 card is an absolute gem. Merv Corning can make a player standing on the sideline look exciting, and this highly detailed image is no different with its nicks and bumps. It’s a fine card with excellent minimal design- which screams classy. The Score Supplemental 1989 had always been floating around my doubles box, so I had been kicking around the idea of getting it autographed for sometime. It’s unique because it’s obviously a special teams shot, but he’s just sort of popping up in a sea of helmets.

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224/184114194.0N/A14040.0040