Card: Topps 1977, Topps 1978
Acquired: TTM 2010, Texans blitz
Apparently when my friend on the Texans approached Ray with his cards to sign he reacted by being quite amused. Ray Rhodes was an amazing athlete and former coach at a variety of pro levels during his tenure in the NFL. Originally a wide receiver drafted in the 10th round by the New York Giants in 1974 he’d switch to cornerback in 1977. He’d continue playing for the Giants through 1978 at which he was traded to the 49ers (for Tony Dungy) and played one season for them before retiring. Ray would stay with the 49ers and become an assistant coach where he served the team through 1991. In 1992 he’d leave the 49ers to join Mike Holmgren in Green Bay where he’d be the defensive coordinator through 1993. Rhodes would return again to the 49ers for an additional season in 1994, before being made head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995- a position he’d hold through 1998, until he was replaced by Andy Reid. In 1999 he’d be head coach of the Green Bay Packers for one season, before being unceremoniously released. From there stints with the Redskins, Broncos and Seahawks would occur until he was signed to be an assistant defensive backs coach for the Houston Texans in 2008. Ray would remain with his native Texans through the 2010 season and now serves on the coaching staff of the Seattle Seahawks. Ray is considered a member of the Bill Walsh coaching tree.
Card: ProSet 1990, Topps 1977
Acquired: In Person 1991,1993 Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, Autograph Signing
Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1973 draft by the Dallas Cowboys Harvey Martin was a powerful member of the famed ‘Doomsday Defense’ and made 8 sacks out of the gate as a rookie that season. Nicknamed ‘Too Mean’ by his teammates to go along with ‘Too Tall’ Jones, Martin had a 20 sack season in 1977, was NFL defensive MVP, and was co-mvp of SuperBowl XII with defensive tackle Randy White. A member of the All 1970s team, Harvey was an embattled individual who dealt with drug, domestic and financial issues throughout and after his career ended in 1983. He also was named to the Pro Bowl and was first or second team AP 4 times over his career. Upon his retirement he held the team record for career sacks with 114.
I’d get his autograph in 1991 packing former players at training camp. He’d curiously sign his card with only his garbled initials. Josh and I looked at each other so disappointedly thinking that Harvey had just ruined this card with his half-assed signature. Later we’d go to an autograph signing where there was Drew, Preston, Harvey and a few other players that were just charging 5 bucks a signature and we would get his full signature this time. He’d continue to battle his inner demons post retirement, and occasionally do commentary for wrestling circuits such as the WWF and WCC but sadly in 2001, Harvey passed away from Pancreatic Cancer at the age of 51. At this time Martin is the only player who is a Super Bowl MVP who is deceased and is also of a slim minority who have won the award and not been inducted into the NFL HoF.
G/Gs 158/71 Tac N/a Sac 114 Fum 6 Int 2 Yds 7 Avg 3.5 Td 0