Tag Archives: St. Louis Cardinals

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.

Walker, Johnny ‘Skywalker’ (RB)

WALKERCard: Top Notch UT Custom
Acquired: 2015, C/o NFLPA SA
Sent: 6/4  Received: 6/15    (11 days)

High flying John Walker was known for his fearless high-flying, short yardage heroics during his time at the University of Texas. The runningback finished his career with  388 carries for 1,641 yards and 17 TDs.

He was drafted by the then St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round of the 1984 draft but did not make the squad.

John suffers from stage 2 colon cancer. I had heard about his story on a news channel and decided to make a card of him. Knowing that he was a member of the NFLPA Austin/San Antonio, I sent the custom out to him with a donation. I know that deep down, having your own football card, means a lot to somebody who never had one, especially the ‘old timers’. They understand the value of it, and how accomplished it makes them feel. John signed the back of the card and returned it in less than two weeks.

About a year later I ran into him at the Kansas City Chiefs/ Jaguars tilt at 3rd Base. I asked him how he liked the cards I made him. He stopped and his eyes brightened. Apparently he had no way of getting back in touch with me after he got the cards. He had already given them out and signed many of them for friends and family. We talked for a bit, and he asked for some more, which I was really happy to do for him.