Cards: SP 2008 (#431/1399), Topps 2013
Acquired: IP 2016, Texans Tuesday @ Fuddruckers with Duane Brown
See Also: Duane Brown
Duane Brown has really shaped up into one of the best offensive linemen in the NFL. Already an outstanding run blocker, Duane also made massive strides over the past few years with his pass blocking. Duane earned Second Team All-Pro Honors after allowing zero sacks or penalties in 2011, and First Team Honors in 2012. From 2012-2015 he’s earned a trip to Hawaii to play in the Pro Bowl, with many publications calling him one of the top offensive tackles in football. With the departure of Andre Johnson, Duane Brown was the longest tenured Texan.
Duane became involved in a long and acrimonious holdout with the Texans in 2017. He wanted to be paid more even though there was two years left on his current contract. The market on offensive tackles had soared in recent years, and Brown felt he should be paid in line with what players of his caliber were being compensated. The team felt otherwise. You see it was a Catch 22 for the Texans. If they paid Duane, they’d be setting precedence for any player who wanted more money just to hold out. In the end, the Texans refused to deal while their offensive line stunk it up. Duane returned for the Texans week 8 tilt against the Seahawks. He suited up and played for most of the game. Two days later right before the trade deadline, the Houston Texans traded him to those same Seahawks for a 3rd round (2018), and a 2nd round (2019) pick. While some fans may argue that the reason he was traded was personal- the Texans probably weren’t acting maliciously, and did right by Duane trading him to Seattle.
I had read that the Texans did a radio show with Brown in Houston at Fuddruckers, but was under the misunderstanding that he didn’t sign autographs. I was certainly wrong, as during the show he was complimented by the radio crew about how he had gotten autograph signings during the break down to a science. He signs one for each fan during breaks, and then after the show finishes up any additional autographs.
The last stop on our marathon Houston Texans autograph tour, Lance and I rushed over to Fuddruckers and arrived with about 30 minutes to go or so. Duane nicely signed these 2 cards for me and a card for Lance right before he left.
Cards: Playoff Contenders 2004, Leaf Rookies & Stars 2003 (494/750)
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 10/20 Received: 10/30 (10 days)
See Also: Jason Babin
After his 2010 appearance on the Tennessee Titans, in which he earned his first Pro Bowl appearance and 12 sacks from the defensive end position, Jason Babin packed his bags and returned to the Philadelphia Eagles. While with the Eagles, he again notched a career high in sacks with 18 and the second of his Pro Bowl appearances. After having a fallout with management, Babin was cut after 11 games and finished his season with the Jaguars in 2012. He played the following year in 2013 with the Jaguars recording 7.5 sacks, before heading over to the Jets for 2014 where he saw his last meaningful statistics. Jason was on the roster of both the Cardinals and Ravens in 2015 and is presumed to be retired from the sport.
With some great cards here of Jason, I really had wanted to get him over the years. I had been advised by friends that he did football camps but after waiting for the past 3 years or so for him to pop up, I decided to just hit him up through the mail and it was a pretty fast turn around for the former Texan.
I like the clean design of the Leaf Rookies & Stars card. The angled lines and slow evolution of this design really punctuated a solid overall look. I probably should’ve gotten one of the Longevity cards that I like, but this one still hits the mark nicely. I really like the Rookie Roundup Playoff cards, almost strictly because of the gimmicky translucency and credit card feel. While devoid of most color it does stand out nicely with an autograph on it- in which Jason kindly and painstakingly used a silver sharpie on.
Cards: Pro Set WLAF 1991, Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Work
Sent: 11/15 Received: 12/7 (22 days)
Failure: 2017, C/o Home
James Henry went to college at Southern Mississippi. A dangerous punt returner and defensive back, he had 23 punt returns for 399 yards and 2 TDs his senior year. Over his college career James had 8 punt returns for touchdowns. Selected in the 4th round of the talent laden 1989 draft by the Seattle Seahawks, James failed to make the squad both in ’89 and ’90. He also briefly played for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Henry was selected in the 8th round of the WLAF positional draft in 1991. He played both defensive back and punt returner for the Birmingham Fire. His 10.7 punt return yard average was second in the league, and a 50 yard punt return for a touchdown in a 28-7 win over the Skyhawks. Despite the Fire’s deep secondary, James contributed with 2 interceptions- including a 77 yarder he returned for a TD against the Thunder.
James returned to the Fire for 1992. but was unable to duplicate his success from the previous year as teams were aware of how dangerous he was in the open field. He finished with 14 punt returns for 47 yards.
During one of those games in 1992, I’d corral most of the defensive secondary and have them pen their autographs on their cards. James eluded me essentially for 25 years. With James Henry’s autograph, I am now just down to one player from the Birmingham Fire’s ProSet WLAF set- Kenny Bell. I thought I had found Henry earlier this year via Spokeo and cross referencing his information with his trading cards, but the address in Mississippi never responded. Mark (Mark’s Signing Bonus) and I have collaborated on addresses of players from the WLAF. He got a hit from Henry and passed the information along to me. I was very happy that this worked out.
WLAF INT 2 YDS 83 AVG 41.5 TD 1 LG 77t
PR 37 YDS 294 AVG 7.9 TD 1 LG 50t