In 1979, posted 1,013 yards receiving and a career high 22.5 yards per reception.
Played briefly in 1982 for the Vikings, and rounded out career in ’83 with the Seahawks.
Suited up during the Players Strike in ’87 for the Patriots, but didn’t play.
Has a long and prolific coaching career at a variety of pro, semi-rpo and college levels, as a positional and head coach.
Among his pro stops were with the Patriots (85-89), New Orleans Night (1991), Bucs (1992-93), Saints (1997-99), Hartford Colonials (2011), and Sacramento Mountain Lions (2012).
In 2014, Harold served as head coach for his Alma Mater Jackson State from 2014-15.
2nd Team AP 1972, ’77
Pro Bowl 1969, ’72-73, ’75, ’77
Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
I’ve never had anyone personalize my cards in quotations- but okay.
Despite finishing near the top of the statistical receiving charts at the time of his career- spanning 3 eras from the 60s to the 80s, Harold has not been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Whether it’s a combination of the infamous logger jam at receiver, or the fact his stats just don’t stand out as much because it was during the dead ball era, Harold is still waiting to hear his name called.
It’s interesting, cracking down on Harold’s stats, that he has such a high yards per reception (17.9 on 579 catches), but his longest catch is just 79 yards.
Great cards- Always love the Topps 71 set. It’s classy, and it’s grown on me over the years specifically. It’s still a casual collect for me, but among Topps sets it’s one of my favorites.
John Hadl was a local hero to Lawrenceville, Kansas, and he stayed close to home playing offense and defense for the Kansas Jayhawks from 1959-61.
He played multiple positions for the Jayhawks: HB, QB, P, and DB.
He set multiple records at the school and was elected as an NCAA All-American at both HB (’60) and QB (’61).
Hadl was selected by both the Lions of the NFL and the Chargers of the rival AFL in 1962.
John opted to play for the Chargers, and although he contributed to the franchise’s AFL Championship run, he was relegated primarily to splitting time or backing up Tobin Rote.
Took over the reins of the starting QB job in 1965 and led the AFL in passing yards (2798) and yards per attempt (8.0) while posting a 9-2 record.
In 1968, he led the league in a host of categories: Attempts (44), completions (208), yards (3473), TDs (27) and unfortunately interceptions- 32.
1971 saw another solid output for Hadl as he led the league in attempts (431), completions (233), yards (3075), and TDs (21).
After his swan song in 1972 when John led the NFL in interceptions (26) a second time, he’d be traded to the Rams in 1973.
Hadl had an outstanding season with the Rams leading the team to a 12-2 record as a starter, leading the team to the playoffs.
He threw 22 TDs on just 135 attempts, and his receivers went for 14.9 yards after the completion.
After 5 contests in 1974, Hadl was traded again- this time to the Packers.
The trade itself is considered one of the worst in NFL history, as the Pack gave up 5 picks to get him, including first and second round picks for the next two seasons.
Hadl struggled with the Packers mightily posting a 7-12 record over the next season and a half, throwing 15 TDs to 35 interceptions, while be sacked mercilessly 44 times.
In 1976 John joined the Houston Oilers, where he saw mop up duty behind starting QB Dan Pastorini.
Retiring after the 1977 season, John wanted to stay close to the sport.
He worked at his Alma Mater, Kansas from 1978-81 as a QB coach and as offensive coordinator, but was run out of town basically by the NCAA as they felt he was giving ‘improper benefits’ to potential recruits.
John then moved to the Rams in ’82 as an offensive assistant, before tutoring future NFL HOF QB John Elway in 1983 with the Broncos.
At his final stop he coached for the Express from 1984-85, posting a 13-23 record.
College Football Hall of Fame
Pro Bowl 1972-73
AFL All-Star 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969
Chargers Hall of Fame
I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to writing John’s bio, but it could’ve been for two reasons. First, John has a laundry list of accomplishments and accolades. One could even argue that he’s HOF worthy based on his AFL contributions. Second, it was rumored that in his final years, John was really struggling, and that perhaps his autograph was ghost signed. I did kick in 20 bucks to grease the wheels, so the hope is he actually signed these, but they look really.. fluid and not like a struggling octogenarian signed it.
John quickly became a set need based on a variety of factors that did come into play, but most importantly I loved his Topps and Upper Deck entries.
On November 30, 2022, John Hadl passed away at the age of 82. No cause of death was given.
A two-time All-American and Outland Trophy Winner while playing defensive tackle for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Bobby Bell was coveted by both the AFL and NFL- and ultimately was drafted by both the Minnesota Vikings and the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963.
Considered one of the most dominant defenders of his era, Bobby spent his first two years at left defensive end, earning his first Pro Bowl nomination in ’64. He then moved to left linebacker in 1965, and earned his first of 8 consecutive All-Star/Pro Bowl and 6 consecutive All AFL or All Pro nominations at the position. He earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year Honors in 1969. Bobby was also a great special teamer. He played for the Chiefs through the 1974 season, and was instrumental in Kansas City’s Super Bowl IV victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Sacks however did not become a tracked number until 1982.
Since retirement, Bobby had his number retired by the Chiefs, was named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team, AFL All-Time Team, the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, College Football Hall of Fame, and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2016.
Bobby has some great cards, and was an incredible player. Because of this I saw getting his autograph for a small signing fee to be a bargain. I loved both his Topps 1970 and the Upper Deck 1997 Legends card of his.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.