Tag Archives: proset 1991

Shula, Don

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired:  TTM 1992, C/o The Miami Dolphins

Don Shula was a member of the newly merged Cleveland Browns a season after they joined the NFL. Playing defensive back on that stacked team, he rarely if ever saw any playing time, but still managed to make 4 interceptions his rookie season. He’d be traded to the Baltimore Colts in one of the largest player trades of all time getting 4 seasons in with the team continuing his strong play making 14 interceptions. In 1957, Don played his final season with the Washington Redskins making 3 more interceptions.

G  73       Tac  N/a       Sac N/a      Fum   4
Int 21      Yds  267     Avg 12.7     Td 0    Lg 35

This would not end Don Shula’s football career as he would make the transition into coaching. After a small stint in college at the University of Virginia,  Don was back in the pro ranks as an assistant for the Detroit Lions from 1960-1962 (defensive coordinator). He was then rewarded with the head coaching job in Baltimore in 1963 at the age of 33, which was the youngest coach in the league at the time. Don would spend the next 7 seasons there winning 71 contests but losing two championships (1964, and SuperBowl III).

In 1970 the Miami Dolphins signed Don as their head coach and were charged with tampering forfeiting their first round choice that year. Because of the odd nature of the timing- negotiating before the AFL/NFL merger, but signing afterwards, Miami had to suffer the consequences because they were now merged leagues.  Shula would go on to become one of the ‘Big 3’ coaches (Landry, Shula and, Noll,) in the NFL’s modern era. Shula’s teams during the 70s had dominating defensive units and offensive lines supported by a ground game which allowed them to excel against their NFL counterparts. His team would reach the big game by 1971. Shula’s 1972 unit is the only team to finish undefeated in NFL history winning all its regular season games and post season contests (17-0) and in 1973 they’d return again winning this time against the Minnesota Vikings. This team was the last of Shula’s teams to win the SuperBowl but his teams would consistently remain in the playoffs. In 1983 however the team would make the transition to a passing franchise with the drafting of one player- Dan Marino. Marino guided the team to the Super Bowl in 1984 throwing a then NFL record 50 touchdown passes. Shula’s teams reached the playoffs 20 times in 33 attempts. He’d retire after the 1993 season, with a large legacy under his belt.  26 of 28 seasons of winning football in Miami, the coach with the most Super Bowl appearances (6), a 4 time coach of the year, one of two coaches in history to have over 300 wins, and the winningest coach in league history. I would get Don’s autograph through the mail courtesy of the Dolphins in 1992 right after Christmas.

Since retiring Shula has made time to occasionally attend his team’s 17-0 reunions, owns an extremely successful chain of steakhouses and has his name on a golf course and hotel in Florida. He also is involved in the Don Shula Foundation for breast cancer research. In 1997, Shula was a shoe-in for the NFL HoF.  He has also been involved in numerous presentation ceremonies over the last few years, had stadiums and highways named after him and has authored 3 books.

W 328   L 156   T 6   Pct .678

Gault, Willie

Card: ProSet 1991
Acquired: In person, Dallas Cowboys Training Camp 1990

So Josh and I by the time the Raiders came to town were quite adept at finding ways to get autographs and Willie Gault is a great example of this. We had heard rumors while at camp that the Raiders stayed at a hotel just across the highway from St. Edwards. (Right across the highway meant a 45 minute walk.) Josh and I had a choice: Keep the primo spot in autograph alley and get some autographs from Cowboys and Raiders, or take a dice roll on the Raiders hotel and rake it in. We took a shot at the latter and started walking. Josh and I would arrive a few minutes before the bus would and stood out front salivating to get signatures. The streamliner pulled into the parking lot, but instead of pulling around front- it passed us to go to the back. In a panic, we started chasing the bus like little kids after school trying to get to the ice cream man. I managed to pull in front of the group surprisingly keeping up with the bus. Players looked out the tinted windows with amazement – pointed and laughed. When they pulled around back they dropped the players off at a shed in the parking lot to change. Willie didn’t bother. He got off the bus and walked straight up to me and proclaimed,”Wow man! We kept telling the bus driver to go faster and almost got it up to 30 before you started falling behind! You looked like a full on sprinter at the Olympics, with arms up and everything!” He signed our cards with a beaming smile and humorous zeal and truly this is one of my favorite football memories of all time.

A track and field speedster beast that  (NFL teams tried to duplicate the luck the Cowboys had with Bob Hayes-) the closest anybody got over the last 30 years was Willie Gault. In 1980 during the height of the Cold War, the United States boycotted the Olympics being hosted by the USSR. Instead the USA Olympic Committee decided to hold their own ‘Boycott Olympics’ in Philadelphia. Willie Gault would win a Gold in the 100 M and a Bronze 4×100 M relay. He would also win at the Helsinki Championships for hurdling (Bronze) and  the 4×100 again (Gold).  Drafted in the first round of the 1983 draft by the Chicago Bears, Willie would primarily be utilized to stretch defenses with his incredible speed.  In 1985, he would be a part of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” helping the team dominate the New England Patriots winning SuperBowl XX with 129 yards on 4 catches. After a successful career with the Bears, averaging a breathtaking 19.8 yards on 184 catches, Willie would be traded to the Los Angeles Raiders and Al Davis who loves that speed. Gault would have perhaps his best seasons there, averaging over 24.5 yards a catch his first two seasons in LA, and a career high 985 yards in 1990.

In 1993, Willie would retire and pursue his dream of acting. As of 2010 he’s been in 31 different productions both TV and film, and also been a producer and even a costume designer. Recently he also appeared in the 25th anniversary of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” hosted by Boost Mobile on the most recent SuperBowl half-time show. He remains incredibly in shape and has set numerous records at the Masters athletics championship.

G/Gs  170/141       Rec 333        Yds 6635        Avg  19.9      Td 44      Lg 87T

Ervin, Corris

Cards: ProSet WLAF Helmet Card 1991, ProSet 1991, ProSet WLAF 1991
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o work.
Sent: 10/15  Received: 10/26 (11 days)

Corris Ervin would be an outstanding defensive back for the Central Florida Knights- being so good as to be drafted by the Denver Broncos with their 5th round pick in the 1988 draft. Ervin would spend time on the San Fransisco 49ers developmental squad in 1989 and would walk by me a few times in Dallas Cowboys Training camp in 1990. In 1991, the London Monarchs would draft Corris first in the WLAF positional draft for the defensive secondary. He’d form a cornerstone of the Monarchs #1 defense and secondary, helping the team win the World Bowl in 1991. After winning All-World League honors, he’d return to the states after the 1991 season, but in 1995 decided to take another shot- this time with the NFLE playing for the Scottish Claymores. Corris would make another 2 interceptions playing for the team and return back to the United States to play in the CFL for the Baltimore Stallions and in Canada with the Blue Bombers. In 1996 Ervin would go to the Arena Football league playing for both the Tampa Bay Storm and the Orlando Predators that year. He’d hang onto the roster of the Predators through 1999 where he was then traded to the Florida Bobcats, retiring after the season. Corris would also make an appearance as a defensive back in the movie “The Waterboy”. I started trying to track down players through social network sites and quickly found Corris after I was able to acquire teammate Howard Feggins. He kindly signed 3 cards for me and currently runs his own cabinetry business out of the Orlando area. Below are his statistics from the London Monarchs in 1991.

G/Gs  10/10   Tac  37  Sac 0  Fum n/a    Int 2   Yds 13  Avg 6.5  Td 0  lg 13