Tag Archives: San Diego Chargers

Smith, Billy Ray

CARDS: ProSet 1989, Score 1989, Fleer 1990, SkyBox 1992
ACQUIRED: TTM 2020, C/o Home
SENT: 5/16 RECEIVED: 5/26 (10 Days)

Coming from excellent bloodlines (his father Billy Ray Smith Sr played from 1957-1970), Billy Ray Smith Jr was the San Diego Chargers #1 pick in 1983 after an outstanding college career, where he finished second in Lombardi Award voting in both 1981 and 1982. A two time All-American at Arkansas, he started 48 games over his college career, posting 195 unassisted tackles, 63 tackles for loss, 8 fumble recoveries, 13 pass breakups and a pick. A fearsome and instinctual linebacker, Billy Ray Smith quickly established himself as the defensive play caller for the Chargers defense.

In 1985 Billy was voted the team’s most valuable player on defense, from his inside linebacker position. He moved outside in 1986, and immediately paid dividends, notching 11 sacks and again earned the praise of his teammates, earning the team’s defensive MVP award. Billy completed the trifecta in 1987 leading the team in tackles for the second consecutive year and pulling down 5 picks. Over his first 5 seasons with the franchise, Billy finished first or second in tackles on the Chargers defense. He also was named defensive player of the week by the NFL twice in his career. Most notable was a game in 1991 against the Saints, Billy Ray forced and recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and had two pass breakups, to power the Chargers to a 24-21 win. All in all, Billy Ray Smith had a very solid and productive NFL career, playing 9 seasons for the Chargers retiring after the 92 season.

Smith was inducted into the University of Arkansas HoF in 97, earning both All Decade (80s) Honors and All Century Honors from the Razorbacks.

One of the kindest players in the TTM business, Billy Ray Smith went out of his way to sign these 5 cards for me and write me a personal response, thanking me and praising me for sending him one of his best letters.

I am always blown away by when a player takes the time to respond personally to my requests, and this one was no different. Billy Ray Smith was a pretty solid player and I always thought his omission from the game was a big slight, so I had no problem creating him and having him go one on one inside with big backs and taking them down.

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Fuller, William (2)

CARDS: Pacific 1991, ProSet 1990
ACQUIRED: Autographs Inked Private Group, 2021
FAILURE: 2020, C/o Home
SEE ALSO: William Fuller

I’ve always wanted to get William Fuller on a few cards, since I sorta didn’t like the others I had gotten him on way back during Oilers training camp. You fail 100% of the shots you don’t take, so I figured I might as well give him another shot during the pandemic.

Waiting over a year and getting no response, I thought I might as well cash in a few chips. Since I missed out on them I went ahead and invested in these two cards that I had wanted to get signed sometime ago. (This represents one of the few times I’ve actually purchased autographs through my private Facebook group.) I remember carrying that Pacific 91 in camp and squiggling blue Sharpie on the back of it by accident. Still I’m left with 2-3 more cards I’d love to add to the collection. He does a fairly affordable private signing once or twice a year. I might look into that in the future.

Weddle, Eric

Cards: Score 2009, Score 2010
Acquired: TTM 2020, C/o Home
Sent: 6/16 Received: 7/30 (44 days)

Eric Weddle played 13 seasons in the NFL and quietly earned All-Pro Honors 5 times over his career playing free safety. A well conditioned ironman and gym rat from his time playing for the Utah Utes, Eric saw time as a defensive back, runningback, and punt returner over his time at the college.

“He should win the Heisman- I sincerely mean that”

– Wyoming coach Joe Glenn

Weddle finished with 143 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 18 interceptions for 148 yards, and 3 TDs. He also posted 52 rushes for 232 yards and 6 TDs, along with 52 punt returns for 408 yards. Eric was selected in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers, (after they traded a couple of picks to Chicago to move up and grab him). Over 9 seasons with the Chargers, Eric posted 851 total tackles, 19 interceptions for 290 yards and 3 TDs, 70 pass deflections, and 5 forced fumbles. His best season as a pro came in 2011, when he posted 7 interceptions for 89 yards, 11 pass deflections and 88 combined tackles. His 7 picks led the NFL.

In 2016, Weddle joined the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent. He regained his Pro Bowl form and earned trips for the next two consecutive seasons after that, while adding another 10 interceptions, 220 tackles and 24 pass deflections to his resume. He retired after the 2019 season in which he spent playing for his hometown Los Angeles Rams, where he recorded 108 tackles. Weddle is a member of the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team- a decade in which he earned Pro Bowl honors for 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016-2018, and first or second team AP for his efforts in 2010-2014.

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