Cards: ProSet 1989, Score 1989, Score 1991 MVP
Acquired: 2016, Future Considerations
See Also: Kevin Mack
Deadhorse comes through again for me. My Cleveland connection who gets a rare bone thrown to him from time to time set me up with a signing that included 3 great Browns backs: Earnest Byner, Mike Pruitt, and Kevin Mack.
Kevin has a lot of great nicknames because of his indelible last name. My friends and I used to call him ‘Mack Attack’ in Tecmo Bowl (circa 1987/8), but I’ve heard ‘Mack Truck’ and a few others because well, not only did he hit like a truck in Tecmo, he attacked the line in real life.
Former revered head coach Marty Schottenheimer has been quoted as saying about Mack: “K Mack was a between the tackles runner who had power as well as good speed. He had that tremendous step of acceleration you have to have when he saw that little spot he had to run to or through.”
As of 2016, Kevin is the head of Cleveland Browns Alumni relations. He kicked the can for many years on returning to the sport in a coaching or front office capacity- inquiring with the Texans in 2000 about becoming a scout once the franchise took a foothold. Eventually he ended up returning to the Browns. Among the things that Mack laments is the glory days of the AFC South and the rivalries between the Steelers, Oilers, Browns, and Bengals. (I for one second that.)
Some really nice cards of Kevin here that I got signed the second time around. Each of them showcase Mack’s power and ability to lead with his massive shoulders. The ProSet 1989 is a marvelous action shot with just perfect framing, while his Score 91 is a solidly designed illustration. The Score 1989 is why Topps was caught so flat footed by both ProSet and Score’s entry into the card market. Not only did they use dynamic photography and action shots, the colors on the higher grade card just illuminated the canvas.
Hanford Dixon was a dominating defensive back who played his entire 9 season career with the Cleveland Browns from 1981-1989. A 3 time Pro Bowl pick, Hanford slid in at right cornerback and was later paired with Frank Minnefield after the USFL folded. One of the greatest physical man to man players of his generation, Dixon and Minnefield gave the Oilers wide receivers fits -barking all the way. Hanford was the originator of the ‘Dawg Pound’ name given to the Browns rowdy end zone fans. He thought that the Browns defenders were like dogs and the opposing offenses were cats they were chasing all day.
Teams were aware of the ballhawking Dixon and threw the other direction. He intercepted 26 passes over his career with the Browns. In 1990, the Browns left Dixon unprotected via Plan B and signed respectable Patriot Raymond Clayborn to replace him. With the writing on the wall Hanford signed with the San Fransisco 49ers in 1990, but tore a quadriceps muscle during the preseason. He opted to retire.
Dixon is immortalized as a member of the Browns in Nintendo’s Tecmo Bowl, where they shoved the star corner in at safety. They did get Hanford right however and made him one of the most dominant players in the game. Hanford continues to live in the Cleveland area where he’s a fan favorite. He did some coaching for the LFL Cleveland Crush, and also color and analyst work for gridiron and Arena football games in Ohio.
Last year I took a few extra autographs I had sitting around and sent them out as gifts to friends who had helped me along the way TTM. Among them was Deadhorse, who located a few players I had been looking for. He quit sportscollectors.net cold and from what I could tell was out of the business. He went to an IP signing earlier this year in Ohio and got this extra card signed for me, sending it out of the blue.
G/Gs 131/128 Tac n/a Sac 2.0 Fum 2
Int 26 Yds 225 Avg 8.6 Td 0 Lg 37
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.