Fredd Young is a member of the New Mexico State Hall of Fame. A fast and hard hitting linebacker with huge hands, Fredd had over 400 tackles in his college career at NM State, and recorded 12 sacks as a Senior. He’d be selected in the 3rd round of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Fredd contributed immediately to the Seahawks defense, and very quickly established himself as a starter during his rookie year. He’d be named to the Pro Bowl after his rookie year, and the next following 3 years. His first two Pro Bowl nominations came on special teams, and his next two came at strongside inside linebacker. In his final year with the Seattle (1987), Brian Bosworth joined him at linebacker commanding an unheard of 10 year $11 million dollar contract. Unable to secure such a lucrative contract from the team for his proven talent, Fredd held out through the first game of the 1988 season.
The Seahawks didn’t take kindly to this, but found a suitor waiting in the wings as the Colts traded two first round picks in order to get Young to help fortify their defense. He’d sign a 5 year, $4.5 million dollar contract with Indianapolis. Fredd played the next 3 years with the team. His high water mark came in 1989 when he posted 122 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. After a solid ’89, Fredd was again on pace for another quality followup year in 1990, but got injured during the 11th game of the season against Buffalo. It turned out to be career ending, as it was the same hip-flexor injury that Bo Jackson famously had his career ended by.
My first recollection of Fredd is from the game Tecmo Bowl back in 1988. Being that there wasn’t a Houston franchise, I started playing Seattle on a whim. With the player licenses (but not the team rights) the ‘Seattle Knights’ as the logo led me to believe, were a blast to play. Fredd Young was a speedy missile inside, and I crushed opposing ball carries with him rushing upfield.
Mike Dyal played collegially for Texas A&I University. Initially recruited as a QB, Mike just kept getting bigger and bigger, and moved from QB to WR, eventually settling at TE. Despite having soft hands, decent speed, and good blocking skills, Mike was not drafted in the 1988 NFL Draft. A lot of it had to do with small school stigma- but Mike was on the radar of many team’s priority free agent list. His agent convinced him his best shot was joining the Raiders, where an aging Todd Christensen was the starter, and the long snapper was his backup. He made an impression in camp, and then took a dive so he could make the squad and become the heir to Christensen at the TE position for the Raiders the following season.
In 1989, Mike had his best season as a pro, starting all 16 games for LA. He caught 27 passes for 499 yards- a whopping 18.5 yards per reception and 2 TDs- including a career long 67 yarder. 1990 and 1991 were largely a wash for Mike due to injury, but by the time he returned to the lineup, the position was in different hands under Ethan Horton. He spent 3 games with the Chiefs in in 92, and then split time between the Chiefs and Chargers in 1993 before retiring.
I had no clue that Mike was a living locally in Central Texas. Once I found that out, I wrote him pretty soon afterwards. He responded very quickly on these 3 cards. While Mike’s career was modestly brief as a starter, he made the most of it, appearing on many of the popular brands of the day. These three cards were my favorite of his, with the Fleer sticking out the most to me with a dynamic frontal shot of him with his helmet breaking the plane of the image design.
Tom Newberry was a 2nd round pick out of little known Wisconsin-La Crosse by the LA Rams in 1986. He developed so quickly in camp that the Rams felt comfortable moving long time offensive lineman Kent Hill to the Oilers as part of the Jim Everett trade. After settling in Tom earned AP honors in both 1988 and 1989. Versatile, durable, and aggressive, Tom was a fixture on the offensive line for the Rams throughout most of his career in LA starting 120 games at guard and 8 at center over 9 seasons. In 1995 Tom signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played a final season for the team, and appeared in Super Bowl XXX.
Tom lives in Montana and is a big LOS ANGELES Rams fan. His autograph is pretty… pedestrian. I mean, Tom don’t get me wrong if you read this. I appreciate the subtle loop at the top of the T but everything else seems to fall into place with scribble for the last name. I think it says more about Tom’s workmanlike ethic that allowed him to stand out over his more prideful competitors over his well regarded career. I like the ProSet, Score, and GameDay cards a lot. They all show Tom pulling or blocking in every shot. His Fleer leaves much to be imagined, but it is still a well designed canvas.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.