Tag Archives: topps stadium club 1992

Friesz, John ‘Deep Freeze’ (2)

Cards: Score 1990, ProSet 1991, Topps Stadium Club Members Choice 1992, GameDay 1992, SkyBox 1992
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent: 10/10   Received: 10/29    (19 days)
See Also: John Friesz 

I had gotten John way, way back through the Chargers back in 1992, and always had hoped to come back around and get these remaining cards signed by him. He had some really nice and unique images and canvases to work with over the years, and he had a bunch of them. 

His GameDay card was something I didn’t even know that really existed. I bought a box of the set in 2017, and was really charmed by this card. It was really what set me into action to go ahead and seek him out for a second pass at some autographs. It’s a pretty well framed shot, despite the slight blur on his left hand.

For some reason, his Score 1990 rookie was somewhat of a rare find initially. I think between myself and my friend Josh we opened 2 or 3 boxes and I just ran across one of these cards. So few players can get away with wearing yellow like this, but John looks pretty solid in that action shot, which represented his earliest rookie card. John’s Stadium Club and Pro Set cards make me feel like I should understand why he won the starting QB job over Billy Joe Tolliver in SD. They both seem to convey this sense of leadership that he has on his almost strained face.

I wasn’t too big a fan of Topps Stadium Club. Their 1991 set had a soft entry into the market, but they really played it up for 1992, and while I sparingly get them autographed, I really liked this card- even the hokey ‘Members Choice’ banner. It’s a really clear, high resolution image, and even John barking out an audible at the line of scrimmage looks impressive.

His Pro Set 1991 card was a part of the update set that was done later, and back then I was just too nervous to risk sending out his ProSet rookie card- little less from the 1991 update set. It’s a great picture, even if Friesz’s throwing motion looks a bit awkward in this image.

As a set I really liked Skybox 1992. It was a well designed and exciting foray into an already burgeoning football card market. (Skybox was able to weather the market longer, and was later purchased by Marvel if I’m correct, and then eventually dissolved when the market completely came apart.) This was one of the few Skybox cards however that didn’t really excite me. The framing of John just seems too perfect while the image itself at just the right distance. Note that neither of his hands or feet are visible, making this shot somewhat unappealing.

John turned around my greedy request in less than 30 days. A friend to the TTM community, John is a solid responder through the mail from Idaho, and graciously signed these 5 cards for me.

Orlando, Bo

tosc92 orlandoCards: Topps 1992, Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2013, C/o Home
Sent: 12/16   Received: 12/31   (15 days)

Bo Orlando was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 6th round of the 1990 NFL draft. A co-captain of the West Virginia Mountaineer team that went undefeated and played for the National Championship in 1988, He made the squad primarily as a special teams guy and filled in a bit at safety for aging Terry Kinard. The team in 1991 made a concerted effort to draft defensive backs. Exposed in the playoffs and burned with regularity, the Oilers drafted Darryll Lewis, Mike Dumas, Steve Jackson, and Marcus Robertson that year, but it was Orlando surprisingly who made the biggest noise for the team in the secondary. After winning the starting free safety job in camp, he’d rack up 56 tackles and 4 interceptions in 1991. An injury shortened ’92, the emergence of Marcus Robertson at the position, and new defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan in 1993 meant Orlando wasn’t seeing much playing time, but still off the bench starting in 3 contests Bo still managed to make 3 interceptions.

to92 orlandoIn 1995, Bo was left unprotected and signed with the San Diego Chargers.  He’d step in and record 69 tackles and a forced fumble, in his first full season of action since 1991. Again left exposed, Orlando signed with Cincinnati in 1996 and recorded a career high 72 tackles playing for the Bengals. He’d finish his career in 1998 with his homestate Pittsburgh Steelers, retiring after the season.

Injury ravaged during his career, Orlando is a great example of one of the lesser unsung players who really layed their bodies on the line week in and week out for our entertainment. While he has enjoyed a career as a high school football coach in Bethlehem, Pa, and been inducted into the Mountaineer Sports Hall of Fame, his body has certainly taken a toll from the abuse inflicted on it from his 9 seasons in the league.

G/Gs 129/55   Tac 267   Sac 2.0  Fum 4   Int  10  Yds 126  Avg 12.6  Td 1  Lg 38t

Thomas, Robb

Cards: Topps 1992, Score 1991, Stadium Club 1992, Fleer Ultra 1991
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent:  4/27   Received:  5/13  (23 days)

I don’t know why, but Robb Thomas had a few cards in my collection that just kept popping up when I was looking for a player to send to. Then all of a sudden Sportscollectors.net lit up with TTM successes from him, so after a few days of debate I grabbed a stack of his cards and sent them out. In less than a month I got a response from the former Beaver on these 4 cards to which he also inscribed one of them in ball point pen with, “Go Beavs!”

Robb Thomas was a class member of the super draft of 1989. Drafted near the top of the 6th round by the Kansas City Chiefs, he’d be a nice acquisition for the team with 4.55 speed.  (The wide receiver class statistical output quickly drops off after him, with New Orleans Saints WR Floyd Turner being the only notable blip on the radar after Thomas.)  After a weak rookie season, in which Robb spent half the season on IR, he’d make 8 receptions for 58 yards and 2 touchdowns while adjusting to Marty Schottenheimer‘s offense in 1989. In 1990 he’d start 12 games for the Chiefs snagging 41 receptions for 545 yards and 4 touchdowns. A sure handed pass catcher with good instincts, Robb would follow his 1990 campaign up with a similar 1991, leading the team with 43 receptions and chalking up 495 yards again starting 12 games alongside rookie Tim Barnett.

Thomas would sign with the Seahawks in 1992 where he provided depth to the team and would start only 1 game  over 3 seasons. In 1995, Robb would start 2 games and make 12 receptions for 239 yards and a career high 19.9 yards a reception. In 1996 Robb would sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and play for rookie head coach Tony Dungy. Back in the lineup for his most solid playing time since 1991, he’d make 33 receptions for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns in 8 starts. He’d return to the bench in 1997, before returning again briefly in 1998, to help out the Buccaneers devastated wide receiver corps and  ironically make the longest reception of his career, and then retire soon thereafter.

Topps in  1992 finally started seeing the light and the majority of their cards matched this respectable quality card of Robb that they put out. The Stadium Club card, (which was their premier line,) was unique, had higher quality imagery, and the back of the cards had the player’s first card appearance and “The Sporting News” rating system. It was an obvious step up. Fleer on the other hand fumbled the ball right out of the gate. After a decent debut in 1990, Fleer decided in 1991 to release 2 lines as well, but it was gallingly apparent that the 1991 regular was retooled so that it was an even lower quality, imagery, and design than the previous year’s offering. The 1991 Fleer Ultra set was a disaster in itself. I really disagree with squeezing so many type faces into the player information area and the silver seems too strong and almost unnecessary to the design space. The back of this card is even more ghastly, with simple usage of the selection tool to isolate player figures that have arbitrary body parts cut off and a centered picture isolated in a NFL logo mask. An absolute travesty. It was a struggle in approach and feel to even reach the quality of their debut set. The Score 1991 card is a great action shot of Robb, and while they seem to have clearly lost a step, it’s just not as obvious a loss in design as Fleer displays or as much as Topps and its Stadium Club line gained.

Robb was a Tecmo Super Bowl veteran on an offense that largely relied on the ground game of Okoye and Word. Respected by the Tecmo gods, Thomas was always an underrated receiver that could be counted on in a pinch. A big Beaver backer, Robb enjoys sporting events and has dabbled in high school coaching as a wide receivers coach for Summit High School in Oregon where he lives with his wife and kids.

G/Gs  136/37       Rec 174        Yds 2229        Avg  12.8           Td 11         Lg 50