Tag Archives: proset 1990

Dixon, James (2)

Cards: Score 1990, ProSet 1990, Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/21    Received: 9/12    (21 days)
See Also: James Dixon

James is notable as he helped rookie Troy Aikman break the NFL rookie passing record (at the time) with 203 yards receiving, including that 75 yard bomb.  He also set the club mark with his 1,181 kick off return yards, breaking the mark previously set by Mel Renfro back in 1964- all in his rookie season.  Still he’s fallen into relative obscurity over the years and lives comfortably in Texas.

James Dixon was quite lucky. He played on a terrible Cowboys squad, but stuck out enough to get noticed before he faded off into obscurity. It was enough that 4 major brands (Topps, ProSet, Score, and Action Packed) all put out cards of him. After returning to the hobby, I was surprised that he didn’t appear in any lists on websites or any fans were clamoring for his address, so after many years, I decided to go ahead and do some sleuthing and figure out where he was at. He did not disappoint, signing these 3 cards in under a month.


Tupa, Tom ‘Two Point Tupa’

Cards: Proset 1990, Proset 1991, Fleer 1990
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  4/7      Received: 4/15    (8 days)

Tom Tupa was selected in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft by the then Phoenix Cardinals out of Ohio State. Unbeknownst to even the Cardinals, the franchise was at the beginning of a long search to find an answer at quarterback to replace long time quarterback Neil Lomax– whose career quickly declined after 1988, due to injury and an arthritic hip. After Lomax’s sudden departure left Phoenix in a lurch in 1989, the Cardinals staffed a platoon at quarterback with Gary Hogeboom, Timm Rosenbach, and Tom sharing the workload. Tom threw for 973 yards and 3 TDs- to 9 interceptions, while suiting up for 14 contests.  He also got to showcase his impressive skills as a punter filling in for injured starter Rich Camarillo in a pinch. After not seeing any playtime in 1990, Tom spent one final season in Phoenix. He’d win 4 games in 11 starts and throw for a career high 2053 yards and 6 TDs.

1991 led to a short stay in Indianapolis for Tom. Afterwards he bolted for Cleveland. He spent the next three seasons with the Browns. It’d be in 1994 that Tom finally made a rare positional move from quarterback to punter. One could also argue at this point, that Tom had become the best emergency quarterback in the NFL. In 1996, Tupa signed with the New England Patriots and punted for them through the 1998 season.

In 1999, Tom had his finest season as a pro playing for the New York Jets. He’d earn Pro Bowl and All Pro Honors after the season punting 81 times for 3659 yards. Tupa played for the Jets through the 2001 season, before playing for the Buccaneers for 2002 and 2003.  His final season came in 2004 with the Redskins – a year in which Tom set career highs for punts (103) and yards (4544), earning him an invitation as a Pro Bowl alternate.

In a small bit of trivia, Tom is known as ‘Two Point Tupa’, for scoring the league’s first 2 point conversion, and repeating it two more times later in the season.

Tom as of 2016 was a coach at a local high school in Ohio. He signed these 3 cards for me in a bit over a week. ProSet had a major soft spot for Tom and I wasn’t really sure why, covering him in their 1990 and 1991 entries. Notably Score and Topps didn’t make early first or second year cards of Tom.  Fleer 1990 was the company’s first foray back into the football card market in many years. The set was novel looking enough, with nice action shots, but the design of the card itself did not age well with the abstract metal football logo, and the random team helmet just sort of haphazardly thrown on there.

G/GS 220/13     ATT 504      COMP 259       YDS  3430       PCT  51.5%
TD 12       INT  25       RAT 60.5
RUSH 53      YDS 187     AVG 3.5     TD 1       LG   17
P  873      YDS  37862      AVG  43.4        LG  73

Gary, Cleveland

Cards: ProSet 1990, Action Packed 1991
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 4/17    Received: 5/9   (29 days)

I had been looking for Cleveland Gary for some time. Oddly the ‘old’ LA Rams guard (pre St.Louis) are for the most part difficult to get or resentful of their playing time there.  I couldn’t find his ProSet 1989 entry in his Miami Hurricanes gear, so I just shot out his 90 ProSet instead. He signed these two cards for me in roughly a month. I really like both photos on these cards here. I was always a huge fan of Action Packed, and this moderately close image, framed was typical of this set.

A transfer from UGA, Cleveland Gary was a member of the 1987 Miami Hurricanes National Championship team.  Initially he played behind such football fullback stalwarts such as Alonzo Highsmith and Melvin Bratton before getting his break. In 1988, he ran for 480 yards and 7 TDs, and caught 57 passes for 655 yards and 4 TDs. His 57 catches at the time were a single-season Hurricanes record. The Rams loved their running game so selecting Gary- the premier fullback in the 1989 draft really made sense. He’d be the second of the Rams first round picks in that year, (and the second Hurricane that they’d select) at pick 26.

After a middling rookie season, Cleveland became a bright spot in the Rams overall underwhelming 1990 campaign. He’d work his way into the starting lineup starting 7 games, and lead the NFL with 14 rushing TDs on 204 carries (808 yards).  In one of his finest moments, Gary ran for 3 TDs against the undefeated 49ers in a rain soaked affair that season. The game marked the 49ers first loss in over a year.

1991 was an injury plagued year for Gary, yet he rebounded in 1992 after the Rams made a coaching change to Chuck Knox. Cleveland had a career high 1,125 yards  on 279 carries, and caught 52 receptions for 293 yards with 10 total TDs. 1993 was another off season for Cleveland. He’d rush for just 293 yards on 79 carries and catch 36 passes for 289 yards.

He’d be released by the team in late August of 1994 and then was sidelined by appendicitis. Gary recovered and in October of that year rejected an offer from the Dallas Cowboys and signed with the Miami Dolphins. He ran for just 11 yards in 2 games and retired after the season.

Cleveland has done pretty good for himself after football. After dabbling in minor league indoor football leagues he was last spotted as the CEO of the Black Shopping Channel in 2016.

G/GS 68/29     RUSH 674      YDS 2645     AVG 3.9      TD 24      LG 63
REC 135     YDS  874        AVG  6.5       TD 5         LG  60