Tag Archives: ttm autograph

Skansi, Paul


Cards: Score 1991, Action Packed 1990, Topps 1990
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent:  3/20    Received: 3/30   (10 days)

Paul Skansi is an interesting figure in the history of Seahawks football. I always viewed him as an important participant and observer in the growth of the sport that always seemed to fly under the radar. Skansi is a member of Seahawks- or as I knew them- the pink clad Seattle Knights of Tecmo Bowl. He then returned to play in Tecmo Super Bowl as well. In the midst of this, as the great card rush occurred during the late 80s and 90s, Skansi had numerous football cards of him produced. Now as a key role player for the team, it was surprising that Topps, Score, and even Action Packed produced cards of the tenacious receiver- but ProSet (the biggest card set of the market) did not.  I remember him in that first pack of Action Packed I ever opened, because his name is so unique.

Paul, with his impressive hands and fearless and precise route running, was quite the find for the Seahawks. A local product from the University of Washington, he was a Steve Pelluer favorite. He helped the Huskies win an improbable and exciting Apple Cup with his circus TD catch in 1981. He’d conclude his career at the college with 161 receptions – which still ranks 5th all time on the school’s record books.

Originally a 5th round pick of the Steelers in 1983, he found himself on his hometown Seahawks by 1984. There he became a valued and fearless slot man that was counted on for numerous first downs to keep the chains moving. While he was always overshadowed by the likes of Brian Blades and Steve Largent, Skansi worked best in 3rd down situations.  Initially he also saw time on punt return duties as well. He’d play the next 7 seasons in Seattle, and then briefly try his hand in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders  in 1992.  Skansi’s shining moment came in a thrilling matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990. As Derrick Thomas played havoc with the Seahawks offensive line all day, Seattle’s offense hung around. In the closing moments trailing 16-10, quarterback Dave Kreig threw a bullet over the middle for 25 yards to Paul for the winning TD.

Paul since his playing days has done a lot of coaching and scouting. After coaching his way through the college ranks, Skansi has joined the Chargers where he’s been a scout for the last 17 years.  He lives outside of Seattle, and always loves to talk Huskies football.

He was kind enough to write testaments on all his cards.

Matthew 6:33
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

He also enclosed a nice note thanking me for writing him.  As always, players like Paul are the ones I love to get the autographs from, as they always add to the memory I already have of them.

G/GS 115/2     REC 166    YDS 1950     AVG 11.7    TD 10     LG  32
PR 96       YDS  863       AVG 9.0    TD  0     LG 57

Williams, Harvey

Cards: Action Packed Rookies 1991, Action Packed Rookies 1992, Gameday 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 8/1     Received:  8/11  (10 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Home

Harvey Williams is an intriguing story in football history.  A tricky inside runner with really nice hands, Harvey played for the LSU Tigers from 1986 to 1990. His best season came in 1987 when he had 1001 yards on 154 carries and 11 TDs, along with 20 receptions. He finished 3rd in school history with 2,660 yards rushing, and set a few records along the way. He rushed for a single game high 213 yards against Kentucky, and tied a school record with 4 TDs rushing against Miami, OH.  With intriguing size and speed, scouts were concerned about lingering knee injuries and his consistency entering the pro level.

Harvey was the second runningback taken during the 1991 Draft. He’d go at #21 overall to the Chiefs surprisingly- a team that was deep with Christian Okoye, Barry Word, and Todd McNair at runningback. Still Harvey was pictured as the game breaker that the Chiefs needed for their Martyball offense. (Notably the 1991 draft is a graveyard of runningbacks. Among them, the most successful is probably Gary Brown– and he was converted from Safety.)  Harvey had a pretty decent run his rookie campaign.  He led the team in yards from scrimmage with 1,118 yards putting in time as a kick returner (524 yards), and change of pace back (97 carries, 447 yards, 16 receptions 147 yards). He also scored 2 TDs receiving and 1 rushing.   He continued to bide his time in 1992 as a kick returner and 3rd down back.  After the backfield moved on from KC, Harvey got beat out by future HoFer Marcus Allen for the starting gig in 1993.  Things got worse when Harvey suffered a frightening hit that left him motionless on the turf.  While he recovered, it pretty much ended his season and his time in KC.

He finally reached his potential when he signed with the Raiders the following year in 1994. Harvey was a true Raider through and through. He walked the walk and talked the talk.  During his first season with the Raiders he ran 282 times for 983 yards and 4 TDs. He also got to display those impressive hands, snatching 47 receptions for 391 yards and 3 TDs. In 1995 he had his best season as a pro registering 1114 yards on the ground and 9 TDs, along with 54 receptions for 375 yards. While he lost the starting job to Napoleon Kaufman in 1996, Williams continued to play for the Raiders and even made a memorable transition to TE/ H-Back, retiring after the 1998 season.

Great cards here of Harvey. It was impossible to choose even my top 5, as all the vendors at the time had great photos of him in action. These 3 cards were among my favorite. Both of his Action Packed entries really stand out with their vibrant color and just bursting with action. Even though I am very disappointed in the dying marker he used to sign my cards, I was happy to finally get Harvey’s autograph.

G/Gs  110/47    Rush 1021    Yds 3952     Avg 3.9     TD  20     Lg 60
Rec  193     Yds 1442   Avg 7.5    Td 7   Lg 32
KR  54   Yds 1135   Avg 20.3    Td 0   Lg 76

 

Holland, Johnny ‘Mr. Everywhere’

Cards: ProSet 1990, Topps 1990, Action Packed 1990, Topps Stadium Club 1992
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o The Cleveland Browns
Sent:  11/28/16   Received:  1/6/17     (39 days)

Johnny Holland was one of the galvanizing forces behind the ‘Wrecking Crew’ of the Texas A&M defense during the dying days of the Southwest Conference of the mid to late 80s.  At the time of his graduation from A&M he was the school’s all-time leading tackler and garnered Johnny the nickname ‘Mr. Everywhere’.

In 1987, the Green Bay Packers selected Johnny with their second round pick of the draft.  The ’87 draft has an impressive pedigree of linebacker talent that included: Cornelius Bennett, Shane Conlan, Brian Bosworth (SUP), Dave Wyman, Winston Moss, Michael Brooks, Scott Stephen, Byron Evans, Hardy Nickerson, Al Smith, Dennis Gibson, Greg Lloyd, and Jessie Tuggle (UDFA). Johnny fit right in, and the Packers were glad to have him, as he’d earn team rookie of the year honors from the franchise.  Johnny was a smart, instinctual, consistent, and reliable force for the Packers over the next 6 seasons- prized traits for linebackers. Although not flashy, Holland could be counted on by the Pack to post 100+ tackle seasons with regularity. During the 1992 season he herniated a disc in his neck. He rehabbed from the injury and returned to form in 1993 recording a career high 145 tackles, but learned that he had blown a disc in his back during the season. Johnny opted to retire.

He jumped almost right into coaching from there in 1995, first with the Packers until 1999. Holland served in a variety of capacities from Special Teams to Linebackers to quality control.  He then spent the next 3 seasons with the Seahawks as an assistant conditioning coach, special teams, and linebackers coach. From 2003 to 2005 Johnny was an assistant defensive coach and Linebackers coach with the Lions before his longest stint with the Houston Texans (2006-2010) as their linebackers coach.  He’d coach for the Virginia Destroyers of the UFL in 2011, and then after serving 1 season as the LB coach of the Oakland Raiders (2012), Johnny took a dip in the pool of the CFL with the British Columbia Lions LB corps (2014-2015).  He coached the ILB crew of the Browns for 2016, and as of 2017 is with the 49ers in a similar capacity.

Beloved by the Packers’ faithful, Johnny was inducted into the franchise’s Hall of Fame in 2001.  He also has been honored by both Texas A&M (1993) and the Cotton Bowl (2000) for his contributions to the sport.

Johnny is a very good signer through the mail. He signed these 4 cards for me via the Browns back in 2016. Johnny’s Proset 1990 card is a beast and his Stadium Club entry does not disappoint either.  The other two entries are kinda bad. Action Packed gives an entry of him from behind. That’s not what  you want to see, however I selected it because I got so many duplicates of this card when I used to get them at the 7-11 I might as well get it signed too. Topps 1990 suffered from a lot of bad things. Bad design and lazy photography riddled the set. Still it was a foundation of my set collecting of my childhood and sometimes the portrait photos of the players just stick with me, like this one of Johnny.

G/GS  103/100    TAC 777     SAC  3.5      FUM  15
INT  9     YDS  130      AVG  14.4      TD  0      LG  32