Tag Archives: proset 1989

Lee, Carl

Cards: ProSet 1991 All NFC Team, ProSet 1989, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 1/7/19 Received: 2/9/19 (31 days)

Carl Lee played defensive back for the Marshall Thundering Herd where he was primarily known as a speed merchant. He recorded 3 interceptions over his time at Marshall and was selected in the 7th round of the 1983 NFL Draft. It is notable as Carl was the 35th DB off the board, but would go on to have a stellar NFL career.

In 84 he’d notch a career high 100 tackles playing at free safety, before making the transition to corner where he’d play for the remainder of his career. Carl’s best season came in 1988 when he finished second in the league with 8 interceptions for 118 yards and a league leading 2 touchdowns. He’d earn his first of 3 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances for the Vikings top rated defense and play with the franchise through 1993. He’d play one final season in 1994 for the New Orleans Saints and retire.

Since that time, Carl has spent time coaching at the college level and was head coach for West Virginia State from 1996-2005. He was also inducted into the Thundering Herd Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995 for his contributions in both football and track.

Carl signed these 3 cards for me in roughly 30 days. A dependable signer, Carl has a very good autograph, that is encapsulated well on all 3 of these canvases. Pro Set for once fell on its face with their contribution. It’s a good action shot on their 1989 entry but it feels notably dated with the artifacts floating around on top of the photo shot. His 91 Pro Set All-NFC card illustration is top notch however and the black autograph over the white canvas is striking. I really liked this Action Packed 1990 card. The lighting is excellent on this photo and it has the right amount of pop.

G/GSTACSACFUM
181/15280107
INTYDSAVGTDLG
3135211.3258T

Burns, Jerry

Cards: ProSet 1989, ProSet 1990, ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 11/21 Received: 12/23 (32 days)

Jerry Burns played quarterback at Michigan from 1947-1950. He quietly ascended the college ranks, including a head coaching stop at Iowa. In 1967, Burns joined Vince Lombardi’s staff at Green Bay. He’d serve on Lombardi’s staff for the Packers Super Bowl I and II victories before Jerry was poached by division rival Minnesota, to serve as head coach Bud Grant’s offensive coordinator.

Jerry was forward thinking for the time. Arguably he can be considered one of the pioneers of what was later popularized as the West Coast Offense, as his team’s short to intermediate passing game, supported by runningbacks predated the Walsh era by a few years with Fran Tarkenton. Jerry served as offensive coordinator for 18 years- eventually succeeding Grant as head coach in 1986.

As head coach, Burns guided the Vikings to the playoffs from 1987 to 1989, losing to the Redskins in the 1987 NFL Championship Game, and then the 49ers in the divisional round in both 1988 and 1989. His teams were actually known more for stacked defensive talent than anything else, and he posted a 52-43 record over 6 seasons. Burns retired after the 1991 season, after posting an 8-8 record.

I love writing players who share with me history and information about their lives, and I had heard that Jerry loves getting fan mail, so I thought it was worth the shot. About a month later I received this very nice letter in the mail from his daughter, Kelly. Jerry is in his 90s now, and getting him to recall these memories makes him feel great. She kindly paraphrased and wrote down Jerry’s responses to my questions.

What was your favorite moment as a coach?

“He’s had so many wonderful moments but finally becoming the Vikings Head Coach!”

________________________________________________________________

Did you have a signature Bread and Butter play you liked to call?

Of course- being an offensive guy- the pass was his favorite- short pass and run!!

________________________________________________________________

Who was your favorite player to coach over the years?

Ricky Young and my Dad have always been close- and to this day!! They are super close!!

________________________________________________________________

What is your secret to longevity?

My beautiful wife who has always been my best friend and who has always cared for me- and my family.

Kelly and the Burns family humbled me by thanking me for my letter and letting me know that they very much enjoyed it.

Millen, Matt

Cards: ProSet 1989, Topps 1990, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 8/3/18 Received: 1/17/19 (167 days)
Failure: TTM 2015, C/o Home

Matt Millen comes from a long pedigree of great linebackers to come out of Penn State- and was an All-American in 1978. He was selected in the second round of the 1980 draft by the then Oakland Raiders. He’d go on to be the Raiders leading tackler in 1981, 1982, and 1988- earning a ProBowl nomination in the latter, and All-Pro Nominations in 1984 and 1985. Over this period Matt also won SuperBowls XV and XVIII. A vicious hitter, player, and run stopper, Matt was unceremoniously cut by the Raiders right before the 1989 season began. He’d be snatched up by the San Fransisco 49ers and go on to win another Super Bowl. Two seasons later he’d round out his career with a final Super Bowl win with the Washington Redskins.

Matt moved into the broadcast booth where he honed his skills and then later joined the Detroit Lions as their General Manager. While Matt’s tenure there was rightfully much maligned- he was also placed into a difficult rebuilding situation. A tireless worker, it is said that he essentially lived at the team’s complex working non-stop for the franchise. After being dismissed from his time with the Lions, Matt was offered a job with the Oakland Raiders but he declined, and has returned to broadcasting.

A few years ago I had shot a few cards out to Matt who was a very reliable and consistent signer. At about the same time another greedy collector sent out a request- that included 23 cards. Viewing the successes on sportscollectors.net it was incredibly frustrating to see this other person get their request completely filled- while mine never was.

When I heard that he was diagnosed with Amyloidosis- the same disease as Lions LB Mike Cofer– and that he needed a heart transplant, I thought I should send Matt another letter. I didn’t really expect anything back, and I had hoped that he’d find some small comfort in what I wrote. He was really struggling and needing a heart transplant. Six months or so later I heard he had a successful heart transplant and was already recovering from the surgery. Within a few days, I got back all 3 of these cards signed.

I was genuinely shocked, but it’s quite a credit to Matt that he’d bother to send these autographed cards back out to me and I will always treasure them a bit more than I will admit.

G/GsTACSACFUM
180/166N/A11.0N/A
INTYDSAVGTDLG
913214.6060