On 20 targets, he’d catch 13 passes for 129 yards.
His best game came against the Apollos in Week 5, when he caught 5 passes for 36 yards.
Topps did a really good job with this set. Lots of interesting names in here. Based on how the card companies were really swarming the rookie market in 2011, it was surprising that nobody- even Sage- had a card on Palmer, until this card came out in 2019.
CARDS: Pro Set 1989, Action Packed 1990, Action Packed Rookies & Stars 1990 ACQUIRED: 2022, Private Signing
Andre Rison was a dominant receiver who played at Michigan State.
He established career record marks for receptions (146), and yards (2992).
Also was a great basketball and track man for the Spartans.
Selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the 1989 NFL draft.
Was second among all rookie receivers in 1989 with 820 yards, and was the first Colts receiver in almost 10 years to catch over 50 passes in their rookie season (52).
He and Bill Brooks were an effective 1-2 punch, pairing for the most 100 yard games since ’68.
Well in 1990, the Colts were desperate for a QB, so they packaged up Andre, T Chris Hinton, and draft picks to get the #1 pick from the Falcons to select Jeff George.
While the Colts were imploding over the next few years, Rison was reaching new heights in the Falcons Red Gun offense.
He also adopted a bad boy persona and became known as ‘Bad Moon’ Rison.
He had a career high 93 receptions in ’92, 1,242 yards , and a league leading 15 TDs in 1994.
Andre started 73 games over his time in Atlanta, catching 423 passes for 5633 yards and 56 TDs over 5 seasons.
In 1995, Andre signed with the Browns playing one seasons with the team.
After a disappointing season in Cleveland, where he feuded with fans, Rison played in 1996 for the Jags, and then was picked up by the Pack who needed help at receiver.
He’d earn a Super Bowl ring that season catching passes from Brett Favre.
Rison cashed in after the season, proving that perhaps he just needed a change of scenery from his hiccup two previous seasons ago in Cleveland.
Andre had a minor resurgence after he signed with the Chiefs in 1997.
He’d catch 72 passes for 1092 yards and 7 TDs, earning the nickname Spider-man.
Rison at this point of his career was attempting to rehabilitate his image as a diva, and Spider-man seemed like a positive role model.
After a total of 3 seasons in KC, Rison played one final year in the NFL with the Raiders in Oakland.
Despite not starting that year, he put up 41 catches for 606 yards and 6 TDs.
Rison took some time away from the sport, but returned in 2004 to play for the Toronto Argonauts.
He played just long enough to help the team win the Grey Cup, and retired after the 2005 campaign.
After his playing days ended, Andre has gone into coaching.
Michigan Sports Hall of Fame
All-Rookie Team 1989
2nd Team AP 1991-’93
Pro Bowl 1990-’93, 1997
Boasting an extremely low signing percentage and an ancient last return date there was no way I was going to get Andre through the mail. I knew the best chance I’d have is to probably go through a private signing. I follow a couple of private signers and Facebook pages that promote them, and finally after missing out on one already- I was able to get him affordably on these three cards. The problem is with Andre, as he was an early darling of every set that came onto the scene in those early days of the big card boom, so I literally have probably five or six more set needs. Andre was an excellent receiver on the Atlanta Falcons in Tecmo Super Bowl and Super Tecmo Bowl.
Andre has a pretty solid resume, but maybe due to his bad image early in his career that caused him to be perceived as a diva, and then just as a bad guy in general, he’s gotten little traction from voters for the HoF, even though he’s gone to great lengths to dispel his reputation. Despite possessing a 10k resume, and impressive TD numbers, Rison is now caught in the logger jam at WR building from more modern candidates that have inflated numbers due to a game geared more towards the passing game. Andre is also one of a unique club of players who has won both a Grey Cup and a Super Bowl.
The first question I should answer is that there are over 4,100 cards of Ricky Williams -as of 2022. I have less than 1% autographed. Also I very much enjoy talking to him, and he knows that I do not sell any of them. I will continue to graph him until I otherwise don’t get the rush from doing so, but in general I enjoy his company and despite people maligning him and his career based on his drug use- I just don’t get it- especially now in this day and age.
I had hoped to post this set of autographs after the pandemic ended. – That was sometime in 2020. Now here I am in 2022, writing the post for this event, and it appears that the pandemic might be starting to wind down. <Knocks on wood.> It’s crazy how much everything has changed…
This event took place the weekend before Spring Break if my memory serves me correctly. I met up with my regular graph hobbyists… Mark and Jeff at the event, and chatted with a few of the usual resellers. The radio station was there with Rod, and we did our once a year catch up. When Ricky arrived he brought his whole family. D’Onta showed up eventually as well, but I prize the times when I can just chill with Ricky. I appreciate the fact that he doesn’t try… but he just… gets me.. as a person. We chatted for about 5 minutes, and he just went through every card I had signing everything I brought. I was absolutely floored, but thankful he’d do that for me. I think in the end it was… 20 cards or so? We caught up, and it made me so happy to know that he was doing well.
Mark, Jeff and I went outside and had free BBQ and sliders, then tossed a football to some kids before we left. Little did we all know it’d be the last in person event we’d attend for sometime, as the world was about to change…
I went into work that week. The rumblings about COVID were growing larger. Work decided on the Friday before Spring Break that the best option was to send us all home and to have us work from home for the next two weeks.
I had been studying the growing COVID pandemic with morbid curiosity and a fair amount of alarm. As the city was began to be gripped by fear about it, and more companies and government offices began to mandate WFH orders, I was able to get my release early from work so that I could go collect my kid and then head out to the grocery store.
I shrewdly believed that the pandemic would last THREE months, and based on my research, I withdrew my child from daycare as I was picking her up. We rushed out to the store, but many of the aisles had been picked clean. We hit up at least three supermarkets, and eventually landed at a local natural grocer. The lines were long, and many people’s faces were embattled… something between confusion and fear. I was proud that I was resourceful enough to get it done in 3 stops.
At first, we all really enjoyed working from home. It was good to us.
My wife and I got back the hours we’d use to commute, we were communicating better, we got to spend all day with our kid, and we didn’t have to pay for daycare. There was this sense, even with our tiny income we had been given a pay raise to WFH since we didn’t have gas to deal with and we got the got the COVID check.
I got designated as the person who had to go out of the house to get supplies when it was absolutely necessary. Those first few days or weeks… I even put on surgical gloves, sprayed down with sanitizer when I got home, put my clothes into garbage bags immediately to be washed, and checked my temperature. -We even left the mail out in the sun, and washed our hands after checking the mail.
Yes. It was extreme but nobody truly knew what we were dealing with. I wasn’t scared at all. I just did this all with an abundance of caution understanding how viruses work, and treating it like radiation.
The in person autograph market cratered. Everything was cancelled or put on hold indefinitely. I had been prepping for the next event in a few weeks for Dez Bryant. That was cancelled and has never been rescheduled. In person events just… ended. Parties, meet and greets, that’d be a no-no during the world of COVID. I ramped up my TTM efforts to offset my lack of IP events but things have changed- maybe forever- altered in the pandemic’s wake.
The card market itself really went off the rails, reminiscent of the big boom and implosion of the early 90s. There are so many speculators out there now collecting autographs and cards, it just cuts guys like me out of the game.
Trading cards themselves became scarce and unable to find thanks to the middle man selling the boxes to box breakers who charged exorbitant prices. Even junk wax has climbed out of the doldrums of cheap pricing. At one point people were pulling guns on each other in parking lots and lining up outside of stores at 6am. Now, they’re back, but the fun is gone. Most retailers like Target and Walmart keep the card behind a counter, reminiscent of cigarette displays. It’s odd, and I’m not sure if this is a hobby I’ll be able to share with my children- thanks to other adults. I haven’t bought a box of cards in well over a year now and I was a regular. I’m not sure if I have any intention of going back.
Over time, things didn’t work out with my job. It was the first job I’d held since college… And one day I found myself on the other end of a Zoom call with a surprise guest star- an HR rep. In retrospect, I probably should’ve seen it coming, and like many people I’ve spent time compartmentalizing what happened- but I accept it, as much as I didn’t want to at the time. It was time to move on, and I was tired of fighting to justify my job. There was a lot to unpack professionally… A lot of sorrow and introspection that I needed to do.
It’s hard working in the ‘art world’. Don’t be fooled. Criticism is so subjective. You can work all day on a project, but the response you can get can just break you so quickly, especially if all you really receive is negative feedback. It also doesn’t help if you are never sure where your strengths lie or your manager just never truthfully tells you where you stand, when you ask them. It leaves you so uncertain. Uncentered.
Do I blame him? No. I made the decisions I made. It is what it is. I wrapped up everything in a nice bow to make it easy on them. I was burnt out.
I didn’t exactly land on my feet, but by the end of the year, I was on my 3rd job of 2021 alone.
I had been looking at cards, and realized that D’Onta and Ricky shared a Collegiate Connections card that I owned. This card looks beautiful with as a dual signature and I was extremely excited to get this one signed by them.
My friend Bryan G really wanted this Topps Heritage card of Ricky signed. I was able to get him on that and also the Topps Magic he was after. Since that time multiple people have asked me to try to get Ricky on the Topps Magic card as well as his Panini Classics.
I was also happy to help out another friend get the Topps Total signed, for future considerations, but I was dismayed when a few months later he exited the hobby liquidating all his autographs on a Facebook page. As a consolation he sent me a Bo Scaife autograph, but in general it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Because of what happened I now stipulate to any other collector that if they decide to quit, they must repatriate the autograph I provide them for my trouble.
After the success of this event, I was flooded with extra cards to try to get signed by Ricky. Unfortunately nothing local has popped up since the pandemic well over a year ago, so I’m just sitting on all those cards.
Barely a blip of events have happened. I’ve done just two in over the last 2 and 1/2 years and although I was grateful for what I got, I didn’t get a massive haul like this. Ricky just signed everything because he was already paid to be there, so why not? I hope he still trusted that I had no interest in selling his autographs.
To the fan and collector like myself these interactions mean so much.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.