Card: Panini Contenders 2014
Acquired: 2018, Walmart Autographed Memorabilia
EJ Gaines played college ball for Missou from 2010-2013. After getting playing time at corner as a true Freshman, he’d takeover the position full-time entering 2011. He’d have a pretty solid year, with 69 total tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions for 54 yards and 16 passes defended. His best season came as a Senior when EJ had 75 total tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 5 intereceptions for 17 yards, and 3 passes defended.
EJ was selected by the St. Louis Rams in the 6th round of the 2014 NFL draft. He’d go on to be named to numerous rookie teams in his first season recording 2 picks, 14 pass deflections and 70 tackles. Unfortunately for the remainder of his time in St. Louis EJ was hampered by injuries, first by a Lins Franc injury (2015- entire season), then a thigh injury (2016- 5 games).
He’d be traded to the Bills in exchange for WR Sammy Watkins and draft choices in 2017. Gaines had a pretty decent stop at Buffalo, putting up a pick, 9 pass deflections, 59 tackles, 3 forced fumbles and an interception. A free agent after the season, EJ packed his bags and headed for Cleveland where he finished 2018 with 13 combined tackles, 3 pass deflections, and an interception in 6 games – but after his second concussion in 3 weeks, he ended the season on IR.
Card: Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 12/12/16 Received: 1/3/17 (22 days)
See Also: Mark Rypien
The first success I got in calendar 2017, Mark Rypien was kind enough to sign 1 of 3 cards I sent him. He inscribed the one card with Super Bowl XXVI MVP, which I thought was still cool. Rypien’s family drips with athleticism. His daughter has carried on in his footsteps and is a quarterback in the Lingerie Football League, while his Nephew, Brett is a starting quarterback for Boise St.
In 2014 the Washington Redskins inducted Mark into their Ring of Fame. Rypien spent eight seasons with the Redskins. From 1986 to 1993 he started 72 games for the Redskins, completing 1,244 passes for 15,928 yards and 101 touchdowns. Modestly, Rypien dedicated his enshrinement to his teammates and the 55,000 or so fans that showed up every week to cheer on the team during his magical 1991 Super Bowl and MVP run.
Cards: Score 1993, GameDay 1992, Action Packed 1991, Action Packed 1992
Acquired: 2012, Akron Acquisition. 2017, TTM C/o Home
Sent: 9/28 Received: 10/07 (9 days)
See Also: Marv Cook
After his NFL career concluded in 1996, Marv has become a well respected coach at the high school level in Iowa City, IA winning numerous state titles. He has some great cards and after getting the Score 1993 in 2012 C/o the Akron Acquisition, I thought I’d go ahead and get a few more since he’s a great signer through the mail.
The Score 1993 card is a really conservative design, anchored well on the left and bottom- but among the pantheon of card designs this was a pretty boring look. A few nitpicks- They typeface used is too narrow making the team and position difficult to read. Maybe it’s just because of the color scheme, but this looks like it belongs on a Domino’s Pizza box.
Marv’s Action Packed entries are typical of this set. Good sports photography supported by the embossed gimmick. The minimal works here, because of the punchy mid-range photography, although in the 1992 entry the nameplate is lost in the photo. On the 1992 entries it was a nice touch with the red stripe used for AFC teams while the blue stripe used for NFC.
I always had a weak spot for the GameDay cards. GameDay was interesting because it was the only Long Tom set on the market. I loved this set specifically for that look alone which not only separated itself from the competition on the market, but resembled a ticket, standing out from the crowd at an event. This card of Marv, I think the photo was from the game in which he caught a TD in an epic upset over the Houston Oilers at Foxboro Stadium.