Tag Archives: proset 1990

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.

Dickerson, Eric (3)

Cards: ProSet 1990 Pro Bowl, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 7/13 Received: 8/24 (40 days)*
See Also: Eric Dickerson, Eric Dickerson (2)
*Fee Enclosed

The Holy Grail of ProSet cards was Eric Dickerson Pro Bowl #338 ProSet 1990. They were like $500.00+ on Beckett at one point! We’d open pack after pack of those Series One boxes hoping that a single Dickerson Pro Bowl would grace our presence- but it never did.

As the legend is told… Dickerson was not a part of the NFLPA so ProSet did not have his permission to print this card. You see players are given an all or none option by the NFL- so Dickerson opted out because he wanted the freedom of exclusivity. It was too late in the printing process so ProSet had to manually yank it from the production line- yet it was estimated a scant 40 of these cards made it out into the wild.

‘I don`t think there`ll be a market for this (Dickerson) card,” Denny said. ”It`s not a short print, under print, error or anything like that. When and if the NFLPA says it`s OK, we`ll offer the cards to collectors free by mail.”

-PROSET PRESIDENT LUD DENNY

Unlike the William Perry card in the 1989 set, ProSet did not replace or eventually get this card out. It was a gaping hole in the set that perturbed completionists such as myself. Eventually ProSet just gave up and issued a Lud Denny card in its place, but it was a promo card- certainly not available to the general public either.

After ProSet went out of business- well many years afterwards, everything went up for liquidation including these ‘rare’ cards that flooded the market. Apparently the company had just been sitting on them in their Dallas warehouse. (Since these cards existed before counterfeiting technology was developed- there’s no telling if these are fakes.) You can now find them on EBay for a relatively cheap price, hovering around $5.00, which in retrospect is probably still too expensive.

Still there’s a certain feeling of excitement looking at this card knowing it’s a part of the collection and the legacy involved- so I had to get it signed.

I loved Dickerson’s unique upright running style. While he absorbed a lot of punishing hits over the years and dropped the rock from time to time, there’s no denying his place in NFL history.

I had also wanted to get this Upper Deck Legends 97 card signed as well. It’s a beautiful canvas, and features a slightly elevated camera angle that makes it even more unique- and it is a great fill on a set need to boot!

Johnson, Mike (LB)

Cards: Score 1990, Fleer Ultra 1991, Action Packed 1990, ProSet 1990, Score 1991
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20   Received: 11/9     (20 days) 

Despite playing alongside future defensive hall of famer Bruce Smith at Virginia Tech, linebacker Mike Johnson ended up in the upstart USFL playing for the Philadelphia Stars (1984) and the Baltimore Stars (1985). NFL teams took notice, and after finishing a stellar career in the USFL, Mike was selected in the USFL player dispersal draft with the 19th pick. Mike joined a host of other USFL castaways (Mack, Minnefield, and McNeil) on the Browns, helping solidify the nucleus of a powerful playoff opponent. 

Johnson was a rare talent. A versatile, durable inside linebacker, who could cover runningbacks and tight ends in the flat in Cleveland’s defensive alignment. Mike earned two Pro Bowl appearances in 1989 and 1990 both as a middle linebacker. During the 1990 season he’d record a 64 yard interception return against the Chargers (Billy Joe Tolliver).  In 7 of his 10 years in the NFL, Mike recorded over 100 tackles, and 6 of those, he’d manage over 130. Johnson’s best season came in 1993 when he pulled down 181 ball carriers. 

In 1994 Mike was allowed to depart for Detroit where he finished his career in 1995. Rejuvenated, he’d start 32 of 32 games and have 250 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 3 interceptions for 71 yards and a TD.

Mike Johnson is the Browns 1980s TTM version of Ernest Givins! 

-Deadhorse

A sure friend to the TTM community, Mike’s responses are of legend. He takes the time to respond to letters that ask questions, signs everything and includes extras. I only dropped 4 cards in, but he included an extra two for my trouble, giving me an extra signed ProSet 1990 and including the Fleer Ultra 1991 card. 

I was surprised that I couldn’t find Mike’s Pro Bowl 1990 card, but whatever- I was still happy to get this bevvy of cards signed. Both his Score cards and his ProSet base cards are very nice action images. His Fleer Ultra 1991 leaves a lot to be desired. I really hated this set from a design standpoint. It was just lazy, and his silhouette is partially obscured by a Bills player’s butt. Action Packed took what they could get sometimes, even if the action shot was from behind (as is the case with Johnny Holland and Mark Carrier’s (S) cards- respectively). I wasn’t really a fan of it, but since I had gotten this card in every other pack of Action Packed that I first bought for a while there, it made sense to send one up to see if I could get it autographed.  

USFLTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDLG
N/A5.5N/A22914.51N/A
NFLTACSACFUMINTYDSAVGTDNFL
144/125122414.5261321716.6264t