Tag Archives: topps 1990

Millen, Matt

Cards: ProSet 1989, Topps 1990, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 8/3/18 Received: 1/17/19 (167 days)
Failure: TTM 2015, C/o Home

Matt Millen comes from a long pedigree of great linebackers to come out of Penn State- and was an All-American in 1978. He was selected in the second round of the 1980 draft by the then Oakland Raiders. He’d go on to be the Raiders leading tackler in 1981, 1982, and 1988- earning a ProBowl nomination in the latter, and All-Pro Nominations in 1984 and 1985. Over this period Matt also won SuperBowls XV and XVIII. A vicious hitter, player, and run stopper, Matt was unceremoniously cut by the Raiders right before the 1989 season began. He’d be snatched up by the San Fransisco 49ers and go on to win another Super Bowl. Two seasons later he’d round out his career with a final Super Bowl win with the Washington Redskins.

Matt moved into the broadcast booth where he honed his skills and then later joined the Detroit Lions as their General Manager. While Matt’s tenure there was rightfully much maligned- he was also placed into a difficult rebuilding situation. A tireless worker, it is said that he essentially lived at the team’s complex working non-stop for the franchise. After being dismissed from his time with the Lions, Matt was offered a job with the Oakland Raiders but he declined, and has returned to broadcasting.

A few years ago I had shot a few cards out to Matt who was a very reliable and consistent signer. At about the same time another greedy collector sent out a request- that included 23 cards. Viewing the successes on sportscollectors.net it was incredibly frustrating to see this other person get their request completely filled- while mine never was.

When I heard that he was diagnosed with Amyloidosis- the same disease as Lions LB Mike Cofer– and that he needed a heart transplant, I thought I should send Matt another letter. I didn’t really expect anything back, and I had hoped that he’d find some small comfort in what I wrote. He was really struggling and needing a heart transplant. Six months or so later I heard he had a successful heart transplant and was already recovering from the surgery. Within a few days, I got back all 3 of these cards signed.

I was genuinely shocked, but it’s quite a credit to Matt that he’d bother to send these autographed cards back out to me and I will always treasure them a bit more than I will admit.

G/GsTACSACFUM
180/166N/A11.0N/A
INTYDSAVGTDLG
913214.6060

Hilliard, Dalton (2)

Card: Topps 1990 1000 Yard Club
Acquired: 2018, Future Considerations
See Also: Dalton Hilliard

Lance comes to the rescue again with another autograph from Dalton Hilliard- a virtual no signer through the mail. Dalton has a stack of great cards, which I couldn’t find, but thankfully it just made this choice easier as this one really spoke to me after all these years.

I didn’t really like Topps back in those days. When I bought them at the 7-11 at the end of my day, they were they were filler in my collection. What was going for the set was that they were cheap. The 1000 Yard Club was an insert series that ran throughout the Topps football card brand for around 10 years. Beyond the week to week recap of the stas on the back, they were of a higher quality than the standard Topps issue (glossy), had an action shot and were usually a bit more ornate in design.  One was included in each pack. Everything about this card really screams 1990, from the hand written manuscript underneath the bold 1000, to the strong yellow border. Dalton’s autograph shows up nicely on this card.

Dalton’s nephew Kenny Hilliard also went to LSU and continues on in his uncle’s football footprints. Lance told me that Dalton was going to be signing at a casino with a few other Saints. I loaded him up with cards and hooked him up with Deadhorse who also needed Hilliard. Thankfully Hilliard was more than happy to sign whatever Lance brought imploring him to, “Bust them all out.”  

Martin, Eric (2)

Card: Topps 1990 1000 Yard Club
Acquired: 2018, Future Considerations
See Also: Eric Martin

Eric Martin has some really nice cards but after getting the previous three signed, I was somewhat tapped out. Luckily while trying to locate a card for Dalton Hilliard I stumbled upon this gem as well. Topps wasn’t really well known for bringing out quality cards during this period but this action shot really got my attention.  Since Eric retired he has received a few honors, being inducted into the Saints Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 2006. 

I was really pleased to get two of my favorite collectors connected. Lance and Deadhorse have been good to me over the years, and I’ve spotted them both freebees- and in return they’ve done the same for me. Deadhorse had big needs from the Topps 88 set in both Eric Martin (an erratic signer TTM) and Dalton Hilliard (a non-signer TTM). It just so happened that Lance let me in on a signing he was attending in Louisiana at a casino. After a bit of convincing I networked the two together. I did not need any thank-you’s. The act of knowing that I was able to connect two collectors by the sheer fact that they trusted me, was enough for me. We now have a tiny hobby network and try to collaborate together and help each other out when we can.