Tag Archives: topps 1978

Pearson, Drew “Mr. Clutch”

Cards: Topps 1978, Topps 1981, Autograph Memorablila
Acquired: In Person 1992, 1993.  Lenscrafters Opening, Barton Creek Mall. South Austin Card Convention
See Also: Drew Pearson (2)

I’ve gotten Drew’s autograph twice during the heyday of the Dallas Cowboys involvement with Austin, Texas. The first time he appeared with Ed Jones at a Lenscrafters opening at Barton Creek Mall. My friend Josh and I would get their autographs after waiting about 2 hours in line, and then get lost trying to leave the mall. The second time we’d hear about a card convention in South Austin and pay 5 bucks for an autograph. We also got Harvey Martin‘s signature as well.

After graduating from Tulsa University in 1972, Pearson would sign a free agent contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1973. After a typical rookie season with 22 receptions for 388 yards,  Drew’s career would take off in 1974 as he’d make his first 1000 yard season on 62 receptions.  He’d make at least 700 yards the next 4 seasons, and again break the 1000 yard barrier in 1979 tying his career high with 8 touchdowns receiving. As the 80s rolled around Pearson’s statistics would slowly spiral down until his retirement after the 1983 season.  Among his accomplishments are 3 SuperBowl appearances and one victory. Known to fans as “Mr. Clutch” for his ability to make big plays when they counted, Pearson also caught the infamous ‘hail mary’ in the 1975 playoffs against the Vikings. A 3 time Pro Bowl and AP, Pearson is a member of the NFL 1970s All Decade Team.

Drew briefly served as the General Manager of the XFL New York/ New Jersey Hitmen during the 2001 season and has worked as a sports broadcaster since retirement and is CEO of his own company that manufactures sports hats. He’s been quite successful off the field and has won the NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award for this.

Dallas fans will always claim that Pearson not being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is an injustice and while I do see some merit to the argument, if you base it off of SuperBowl appearances- his statistics do not. There are many NFL wide receivers who have not made it into the HoF who had bigger numbers and a Super Bowl appearance or two. Despite this Pearson should at least be in the Cowboys Ring of Honor however as of this date he has not been enshrined due to a public feud with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over the Cowboys logo and Pearson’s athletic gear.

G/Gs 156/ n/a     Rec  489      Yds  7822    Avg  16.0       Td  48     Lg  67

UPDATE: 8/19/2011- Jerry Jones today announced that Drew Pearson, along with Charles Haley, and Larry Allen, would be inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor this year.

Pearson, Preston

Card: Topps 1978
Acquired: In Person 1993, South Austin Card Convention

Preston Pearson was considered ahead of his time. One of the first 3rd down scatback specialists, Pearson was originally a 12th round choice of the Baltimore Colts back in 1967. What is more amazing is that he was drafted based on his athletic skill, since he never played a down of college football at the University of Illinois.  Preston would play through 1969 with the Colts primarily as a kick returner.  In 1968 he’d return 15 kicks for 527 yards and 2 touchdowns and his 35.1 yard return average for the season is 6th all time. Preston before departing from Baltimore would play in Super Bowl III when the Colts lost to the Jets.

In 1970, Preston would sign with the Steelers.  During his tenure he’d see a career high in rushing with 605 yards rushing in 1972 and 4 touchdowns in 1974. He’d appear in SuperBowl IX with the Steelers, before signing with the Dallas Cowboys and appeared in Super Bowl XII and XIII. Over the latter half of his career the Cowboys would utilize Pearson in more of the 3rd down back role. He’d lodge career highs in receptions (47) and yards receiving (535) during his tenure with Dallas retiring after the 1980 season, finishing his career with 9841 yards from scrimmage. Among his more odd accomplishments is the fact he played for Don Shula, Tom Landry and Chuck Noll. Preston is the president of Pro-Style Associates.

G/Gp  176/N/a        Rush  941      Yds 3609      Avg  3.8     Td  13       Lg  53   |
Rec 254     Yds 3095      Avg 12.2       Td 17       Lg 61
KR  114             Yds  2801              Avg  24.6              Td  2             Lg   102


Bartkowski, Steve

Cards: Topps 1978, Topps 1983
Acquired: In Person, CGA Youth Golf  Tournament 1993.

I got to the Golf Tournament early in the morning (before 8am) and was able to catch the early birds on the course before the crowds got there. The first three I got were the trio of quarterbacks, Steve Bartkowski, Billy Joe Tolliver and Browning Nagle. Bartkowski and the others were extremely nice and even let me ride around in a golf cart for a hole or two with them. They were more than happy to sign any cards I had, and Steve signed these two cards for me after I gave him and the others the drawings I did for them.

Steve was the #1 pick of the NFL draft of 1975 for the Atlanta Falcons, and garnered NFL Rookie of the Year Honors that year. Bartkowski lead the Falcons from 1975 to 1985 (and Rams in 1986).  He still owns many of the Falcons passing records to this day. Bartkowski’s career got off to an extremely rough start but blossomed as his career continued under center leading the team to division championships in 1980 and 1982. (You see in those days #1 choices and quarterbacks were given 5 or 6 years to blossom.) Steve was a two time Pro Bowler and threw 22 touchdowns to 5 picks in 1983. (He is also notable for being Leigh Steinberg’s first client and for being taken ahead of HoF runningback Walter Payton.)  After retirement Steve has continued to live and work in the Atlanta area, working for contractual commercial building firms, in sports broadcasting and television as a color analyst, sits on the board of directors for the Atlanta Falcons and is an avid golfer with a scratch handicap.

G 129    Att  1932    Comp 3456      Pct 55.9      Yds  24124
Td  156       Int  144       Rat  75.4