Tag Archives: St. Louis Cardinals

Maynard, Don

Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home*
Sent:  8/4   Received: 8/20    (16 days)
* Donation enclosed of $10 per flat

Don Maynard is considered the best receiver in Jets history, one of the best receivers in AFL history, and one of the best receivers in NFL history.  At the time of Maynard’s retirement he held the NFL record for career receptions and yards. He was the first player to crack the 10k barrier in receiving yards. An amazing feat considering it was still during an era where the passing game had not fully developed yet. Don epitomized consistency and longevity. (Oddly enough he never led the league in catches at any time but his sheer numbers made up for it en force.) 

Maynard was originally drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but only played one lone season for them before bolting North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He’d return shortly thereafter to the fledgling AFL in 1960- becoming the first signee of the then New York Titans (later Jets). Over the next 10 seasons in the AFL he’d be named to the All-AFL team 4 times. In the final season before the AFL NFL merger, he’d help the Jets win Super Bowl III and notably graced the cover of the big game’s program guide as well. 

Don joined the Rams in 73, but ultimately ended up on the St. Louis Cardinals for a lone season, retiring after a bout with the WFL playing for the Shreveport Steamer/ Houston Texans. 

Maynard played college ball for Rice, and later Texas Western (UTEP). He was a proven runningback and defensive back, but was unpolished gold at receiver. His number has been retired by the Jets,  got his gold jacket along the way, and has been a Grand Marshall for UTEP at one of their parades. He lives outside of the El Paso area, in relative anonymity. 

I had been wanting Don for sometime but I thought he was out of reach. I really liked these cards of his and always wanted to get them signed so I went ahead and took a shot with a small donation. In the end I also had a Pro Set Super Bowl III card that I opted to send to Matt Snell instead (because he should’ve been MVP). Still the Topps 1970 is iconic, while the Upper Deck Legends 1997 hits all the marks for perfection. 

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Lomax, Neil (2)

to85 lomaxCards: Topps 1983, Topps 1985
Acquired: 2012, Akron Acquisition
See Also: Neil Lomax

I think I’m just going to refer to it as ‘The Neil Lomax Curse’.  Since Lomax led the lowly Cardinals back to some semblance of respectability in the mid-1980s the franchise has been for the most part (outside of a few seasons here and there with Kurt Warner, Carson Palmer, and Jake Plummer) has never really had a consistent franchise QB at the helm. You know, that consistent leader that they could lean on for 5-7 years? – Amazingly it just hasn’t happened. While it is shocking how many QBs Cleveland has gone through, Arizona has done in many QBs in its own right. In fact, statistically speaking, I could make an argument for Neil being the greatest quarterback the Cardinals have ever had.

to80 lomaxAs far as cards go, Topps 1985 was so different than what Topps had ever done that people still today see it as a pinnacle of card design. I think it really epitomized the 80s with large bold type set on its side fighting with the photo for command of the canvas. Like the 80s it screamed, “Larger than life.”  While this Topps 1983 just bored my pants off initially, it was a step in a different direction for Topps than in previous years. The marquee is minimally invasive and the team name placed eloquently on the image- in an era well before Photoshop, this took a fair amount of work.

One of the Akron Acquisition, I got these autographs off of a friend who was exiting the hobby. I paid a few extra bucks as a premium to help him out, and I hope that he has been able to put his life back together.

 

Akins, Marty

Cards: University of Texas Upper Deck 2011, UT UD 2011 ATA, UT UD 2011 NC
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 5/5  Received: 5/12   (7 days)

Marty Akins played for the Texas Longhorns from 1972 to 1975 and is considered legendary coach Darrell Royal’s favorite quarterback. Oddly the Longhorns starting quarterback first got noticed as a dangerous kick and punt returner during the 1973 Cotton Bowl. He became the starting quarterback for the Longhorns in the 1973 season and led the school to Conference Championships in both 1973 and 1975.

At the time of his departure from the school, Marty earned numerous school records and finished with a 27-9 record. Among his QB records were the school career rushing record (2020 yards),  career rushing TDs (26), and the single game rushing yard record (188), which all stood until the Vince Young era. Marty capped his 1975 by earning NCAA All-American Honors, and numerous SWC and National honors. The Wishbone never caught on at the pro level, so the NFL was at a loss as what position a gifted athlete like Marty should play.

He’d be selected in the 11th round of the 1976 Draft by the then St. Louis Cardinals. Although a featured member of the scout team who could play a variety of positions in a pinch, he saw no significant playtime during his stint in the league.  Later in 1977 he’d be traded to the New Orleans Saints, but retired before the regular season began.

In 1995, Akins was inducted into the Longhorn Honor Roll, and has received many other post retirement honors for his time at Texas. He went into law, coached golf at the college level, and as of 2017 lives in the Austin, Tx area.

Wow. Great find in Marty here. With 3 superior action shots of him here, this is a great example of a canvas made better by an exquisite autograph. Marty has solid curvature to his signature, with all the loops and hooks at the right place. He wrote me a warm return letter and included a copy of a nice note that Darrell Royal sent Marty, telling him that Marty was the best quarterback he ever coached.