Tag Archives: pittsburgh steelers

Wilkerson, Eric (2)

Cards: ProSet WLAF 1991 TD leader, ProSet WLAF 1991 Rushing leader, ProSet 1991 WLAF, Ultimate WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1992 LL, Wild Card WLAF 1992.
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Kent State Alumni Association*
Sent:  6/16    Received: 7/28  (34 days)
See Also: Eric Wilkerson
* Donation requested

The paid side of SportsCollectors.net has been really good to me, and I’ve been able to unearth some very nice gems recently out of there recently. Case in point: Eric Wilkerson. I had been looking for Eric for quite a while. After hearing he had been shot, I hadn’t been able to find anymore information on him, but combing the archives of SC I found a success for the elusive runningback by writing to him care of Kent State’s Alumni Association. Since I had reached a desperate level on him, and he is one of those players with a bunch of cards, I decided to give it a shot and throw in a donation, since I felt so guilty about sending so many cards. While reconciling my bank account statements, I noticed that he cashed the check out a few days earlier, and then crossed my fingers on the return.  I would not be disappointed as he signed all 6 cards, which represents the single highest haul from a player since probably – Stan Gelbaugh? With Eric’s autographs on his 3 ProSet WLAF 1991 cards, it officially puts me over the halfway mark on the set (76/150).  Among the cards is the really slick touchdown league leader card, that he split with Orlando Thunder receiver Byron Williams. Nearly all of these cards are just really great heroic images of Eric in action, with probably his regular base card from the Ultimate 1992 WLAF set being my favorite. He signed each one, and wrote 91/92 on either one indicating the year.

During his time at Kent State, Eric ran his way into the record books rushing for 3,380 yards from scrimmage, and crushing the Mid-American Conference’s combined yardage record with 5,974 all purpose yards. During his senior season he set a single season school record with 1,325 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Due to his diminutive size, and the small school he went to, Wilkerson went undrafted but signed with the Steelers in 1989, and the Lions in 1990.

The WLAF gave him a shot in 1991. He’d be the 8th runningback taken in the draft, by the New York New Jersey Knights, and lead the league in rushing in 1991 with 717 yards and 11 TDs.  While his 1992 season was not as successful, it was more about the Knights offense diversifying as much as anything else. Eric is unofficially the WLAF’s career leading rusher- since the league reorganized after the season and was not seen again until three years later in 1995.

 

Bradshaw, Terry

Card: Pro Set 1990 SuperBowl MVP
Acquired: TTM 2012, C/o Home
Sent: 4/5   Received: 4/14  (9 days)

I love these old Pro Set SuperBowl MVP cards. Merv Corning is an amazing artist and did such a classy set for Pro Set. I wish they had done an addendum later and included the additional cards through the latest MVP using Corning, but this could obviously never come to fruition, especially with the dissolution of the Pro Set company and its assets some years ago. The white hitting Terry’s head as he stands there with his hands on his hips is just a stroke of genius. I can see why Terry didn’t autograph it directly on his likeness.

So with Terry, don’t expect a response from him so quickly. He’s typically somebody who only signs about once a year- if that. I was incredibly shocked to have received a response from him in 9 days, but I suspect tax and off-season may have had something to do with that. I was alerted to him signing about 2 weeks before I got the success when I saw a few successes from other posters on the NFL TTM thread on Fanmail.biz, and dropped something quickly in the mail to him the next day.

Terry Bradshaw is a bigger than life personality and one of the first gunslingers in football. An incredible leader and gambler on the field, Bradshaw had his ups and downs before winning 4 Super Bowl Titles, becoming one of the most indelible Football Commentators on television, and being inducted into the NFL HoF in 1989.  Louisiana Tech wasn’t exactly the hub of pro football when Terry Bradshaw- a local product from Shreveport came a calling, but he certainly put them on the map, for other quarterbacks to come.  The Pittsburgh Steelers took Terry with the overall #1 pick of the 1970 draft, -the first season in which the NFL and AFL had merged. (The two leagues however had been conducting combined drafts since 1967.)

The Steelers had become a doormat of the NFL, but with the hiring of Chuck Noll in 1969 and a switch to the AFC, their fortunes slowly began to change.  Bradshaw’s rookie season was horrendous, as he adjusted to the pro game, throwing 6 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. It’d be much of the same over the next few years, 13 TD – 22 INT (1971), 12 TD – 12 INT (’72), and 10TD – 15INT (’73). With a succession of strong drafts, talent would build, but so would frustration. At one point fans didn’t feel that Bradshaw was the key to the future of the franchise, but Bradshaw turned to his spiritual faith to press forward, and with that an amazing statistical transformation also took place. Shed of his stress and outward pursuits, Bradshaw began to refocus his life and thus began the era of the Second Super Bowl Dynasty- the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’d lead the team to SuperBowl victories in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979. Bradshaw nabbed MVP honors in both 1978 and 1979, becoming the first two time back to back MVP since Bart Starr. What was more astounding was Bradshaw managed to put up his best numbers in what is referred to in NFL annuls as ‘the dead ball era’- a period of time in which passing favored defenders, so offenses were forced to more of a ground game approach. Although injuries claimed a significant percentage of the latter half of his career, he still managed to lodge 107 career wins and retired following the 1983 season. Among his other accomplishments was being named NFL MVP in 1978, and most people forget that he was an able scrambler, rushing for 35 touchdowns over his career.

Bradshaw made the transition seamlessly into the booth, where he has developed a knack for being openly critical of players who do the sport wrong, and also his self-deprecating sense of humor. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1989, has appeared in a variety of media including television and movie acting, and has recorded some Country music.  Terry was named to the Pittsburgh Steelers 75th Anniversary team, the NFL 1970’s All Decade Team, College Football Hall of Fame and was named the #50 NFL player of all time.  In 2006 Bradshaw donated a truckload of his personal affects and awards to his Alma Matter, LA Tech for display at the institution. Truly a great guy.

G/GS  168/158     Att 3901    Comp 2025     Yds  27,989     Pct 51.9     Td  212      Int  210     Rat  70.9   |
Rush 444       Yds 2257       Avg 5.1       Td 35       Lg 39

 

Calloway, Chris

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1990, Topps Metal 1996
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  9/2  Received: 10/7   (35 days*)
*Slight delay. Forwarded from old address.

Chris Calloway is another receiver from the Great Blue of Michigan, who played opposite of blue chip prospect Greg McMurtry, finishing with 8 touchdown receptions.  At 5’10”, 189 it was thought that the speedster may have been a bit small, but the Steelers pulled the trigger on him in the 4th round of the 1990 draft.  He’d make 10 receptions his rookie season and 15 in 1991, but would find himself on the street in 1992.

Calloway would find a home with the New York Giants who liked his speed, route running, and willingness to do the dirty work. Calloway would continue to build slowly off of his previous seasons with 335 yards receiving, endearing him to Giants fans. Chris in fact his first 6 seasons saw career highs in receptions and yards every season.  After a slight dip in 1996- Chris would peak with 848 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns in 1997. 1998 was a career high in catches for Calloway with 62.  Chris signed with Atlanta in 1999 and start 6 games, making 314 yards receiving. He’d then play one final season in New England starting 2 games in 2000 before retiring in 2001.  At the end of his career, Chris ranked 7th on the Giants receptions list with 334 catches. Among receivers Chris reminds me a lot of former Houston Oilers wideout Curtis Duncan. Since retirement, Calloway has not forgotten about football and avidly wants to get into coaching or scouting. He lives in the Altanta area and is also a member of SotL.

Well this is the first one I got back TTM after moving with my forwarding address on it. I’m assuming it went back to my old address in California from Chris’ place in Georgia then came back to me here in Texas in a round about sort of way. Still I am happy to add him to my collection. Chris’ Action Packed Rookies card from 1990 was another example of Hi-Pro Marketing doing their due diligence at the time as this would be one of the earliest of his rookie cards by 4 or 5 years. His Topps Finest gives you a good idea of what the card industry was doing during the late 90s as it was losing traction and attempting to feel out its market. Using a similar metal process to Playoff, Topps produced this shiny metal format for a while, before returning to a much more flat style. I was surprised that the card also took the ink as well as it did.  Here are Chris’ final statistics:

G/Gs  158/96    Rec  386      Yds 5497       Avg 14.2       Td 30       Lg 68