Card: Leaf Rookies & Stars 2005 (030/150)
Acquired: 2016, EBay
See Also: Sloan Thomas, Sloan Thomas (2)
I absolutely love this card of Sloan. Leaf had a habit of breaking the design grid with their Rookies & Stars set in such a unique way, but in a sense with such deliberation, and the autograph is showcased so well. About the only thing I don’t like is how tiny the Texans logo is, but overall it’s a quality design. Leaf continually and slowly tweaked the design of their Rookies & Stars set so professionally over the years, it felt like I was buying a Corvette every year.
Sloan finished out his degree at UT in Communication after his NFL career concluded. After helping UTSA put itself on the map in division one football, he moved on to the corporate world and as of 2017 is with Alamo Title Company working in their Commercial and Corporate Business Development department.
Card: Bowman 2004
Acquired: IP 4/16/2015, Sam’s Wholesale Lakeline Grand Opening
See Also: Sloan Thomas
Again, big props to Nathan for ID’ing Sloan Thomas, who just walked up during the event to say hello to Vince Young and Kasey Studdard. The ‘box’ also came in handy again. I keep it packed full of Longhorns just in case one shows up at an event unexpectedly, and luckily I was packing a card of Sloan that I had gotten a few months ago.
I’m sure he was surprised that so many fans recognized him. Noticing my Oilers hat, he struck up a conversation about Houston, and how I had to have been a tough fan to be with them through those good years, and bad post season games (- in particular the Buffalo collapse), as he was apparently a big fan too. He asked me if I was a Texans fan or a Titans fan, and I explained how I tuned out pro football for a few years after the Oilers moved to Tennessee- so I obviously wasn’t a tacks fan.
After going out to my car and retrieving the Texans card of him, his eyes lit up and he exclaimed, “Look at that!”, before happily signing my card. Otherwise Sloan looked quite dapper, and it appears life has been treating him well.
Card: Leaf New Generation Certified Materials 2004
Acquired: 3/20/2012, Target Authentic Memorabilia Autograph Edition
Sloan Thomas played collegiately at the University of Texas and was one of quarterback Major Applewhite‘s favorite targets (at 6-2, 201). He’d finish 10th in career receptions at the school with 88 and seventh in touchdowns with 15. The Houston Texans drafted Thomas in the 7th round of the 2004 draft along with first round picks Dunta Robinson and Jason Babin. Slowed by injuries during the preaseason and faced with a do or die situation to make the roster, Thomas came out in the final contest and singed the Buccaneers for a 72 yard touchdown, but it was too little too late and he’d be released in the final cutdowns. The Texans just didn’t have enough film on Sloan to go on.
Sloan signed with the Titans in 2005. He’d spend one season there and be claimed off of waivers by the Jets in 2006, and then finally head over to the Seahawks later that season and retire after the 2007 season. Thomas immediately afterwards jumped at the opportunity to help establish the football program for the University of Texas- SA where he is the associate director of development for athletics. He also spends a lot of his time doing volunteer work for football camps as well with other former Longhorns and currently lives in the San Antonio area.