Tag Archives: topps 1970

LeVias, Jerry

to71 jlevias to70 jlevias

Cards: Topps 1970, Topps 1971
Acquired: TTM 2015, C/o Home
Sent:   12/30/15   Received: 1/7/16    (8 days)

Jerry LeVias went on to play in the AFL and NFL, but is also recognized as a pioneer, breaking segregation in the SWC, playing for the SMU Mustangs.  It was not easy for Jerry, as he faced constant harassment.  LeVias made them pay though as he was a 3 time All-SWC selection from 1966-1968. His best year came in 1968 when he caught 80 passes for 1131 yards and 8 touchdowns.  Jerry finished his career at SMU with 155 receptions for 2275 yards and 22 TDs.

In 1969 Jerry was drafted by the Houston Oilers and led the NFL his rookie season in all purpose yards with 1946 yards, and punt returns with 35 for 292 yards. He also chipped in a career high 42 receptions for 696 yards and 5 TDs, including a league leading long 86 yard TD.  Jerry’s 1946 yards consisted of nearly half the team’s total yardage. He’d earn a Pro Bowl trip after the season and Rookie of the Year honors.   In 1970, he finished with 1377 yards from scrimmage, but Jerry was already preparing himself for life after football.

LeVias was traded to the San Diego Chargers in 1971.  He’d have his final season with over a 1000 all purpose yards, but the constant pounding his small frame (5’8″, 165) was taking its toll. Jerry retired after the 1974 season.

As of 2015 Jerry serves as a Houston Texans Ambassador. He’s been honored with inductions into the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame,  College Football Hall of Fame, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.  A few years ago I went to the Kickoff at Kemah in Houston during a tropical storm. An early rumor placed LeVias at the Texans event, but in the end it was three other ambassadors. I decided to go ahead and shoot some cards out to him instead. Luckily he signed these two classic Topps cards.

G/Gs  70/35     Rec 144    Yds 2139    Avg 14.9    Td 14    Lg 86T
Rush 19   Yds 161   Avg 8.5    Td 0    Lg 38
KR  94      Yds 2213    Avg 23.5    Td 0    Lg 87
PR 35       Yds 687       Avg 7.8       Td 0    Lg 46

Bethea, Elvin

Cards: Topps 1970, Topps 1974.
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o Home (Signing Fee)
Sent: 6/24  Received: 7/6  (12 days)

Always styling Elvin Bethea was known for his trademark afro, gap in his teeth or his winfield styled goatee.  Drafted by the Oilers in the 1968 AFL draft from North Carolina A&T in the 3rd round, Bethea would play technically in 3 decades of football for the Houston Oilers, from 1968-1983. He is believed to be the best prospect to come out of that draft, and a steal by the franchise. The sack statistic is widely accredited due to his amazing abilities from the outside at right defensive end, but Elvin originally began his career playing both end and guard for the Oilers. Over his career Bethea was named to the Pro Bowl 8 times, All Pro or second team 5 times, and a criminal amount of sacks unofficially listed at 105 -a team career record. He also holds the team record for most sacks in a season with 15, and made 2 career safeties.  Reliable and durable, Elvin’s 210 games at the time of his retirement were the most played by any player in an Oiler uniform. Bethea also was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003 and since receiving a heaping of accolades has written a book entitled, “Smashmouth: From Trenton to Canton” , documenting his life from childhood to the NFL HoF. I got Bethea’s autograph at an insanely cheap price TTM from him earlier this year. He responded quickly and I was ecstatic to receive it.

G/Gs  210/ 178    Tac 691   Sac 105   Fum 16
Int 0    Yds 0     Avg -.-    Td 0   Lg N/a