Tag Archives: ttm autograph

Tarpley, AJ

Card: Topps AAF 2019 Yellow 12/25
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 9/26 Received: 11/8 (43 days)

A versatile and consistent linebacker, AJ Tarpley played for the Stanford Cardinal from 2011-2014. Over his 4 years he totaled out 299 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 8 pass deflections and 2 fumble recoveries.

He was not selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, however AJ was snatched up by the Buffalo Bills. After bouncing off and back onto the roster as a practice squad member, he was elevated late in the season to the regular season roster. AJ turned out to be a stellar find by the franchise, and saw action in the final month of the season, starting 2 games, recording 8 tackles, a forced fumble, and 2 interceptions.

“I have no current residual effects that I am aware of, cognitively or physically. The decision I made to retire from football is about coming to terms with the totality of my concussion history and what is asked of me as a linebacker.”

-AJ Tarpley at his retirement in 2016

In early 2016, citing concussion concerns, AJ retired, stunning the football world. AJ had suffered 3-4 concussions the previous season, and doctors were advising him to be careful. He briefly entered the financial world working on wall street, but he kept hearing the siren’s call of football.

AJ decided to return to football in 2019, signing with the San Diego Fleet of the AAF. AJ started 6 games for the Fleet, posting 35 total tackles and an interception he returned 27 yards for a touchdown in San Diego’s route of the San Antonio Commanders 31-11, in Week 3. For his efforts in that game, AJ was named AAF Defensive Player of the Week and enshrined with his Topps AAF Now card (that routinely is overpriced at $50,00 on EBay). After the league folded Tarpley was mentioned by Coach Mike Martz as being the ‘most NFL ready’ of his players.

“He’s the centerpiece of our defense. I don’t know why he is not in the NFL.”

– Fleet Head Coach Mike Martz

It was hard not to like the Fleet in general. A team full of characters, I really took to Ja’Quan Gardner, Dontez Ford, and Berco on offense, but the defense- in particular- there was Ron Brooks and AJ Tarpley. I had identified Tarpley as the motor of the Fleet defense in the preseason and really liked his background. I am glad that he was able to resurrect his career (even at the expense of the Commanders).

When I pulled this card, I knew I had to have it signed. MSB (Mark’s Signing Bonus) came through and helped me out again on the address. I was hoping to get his Topps Now entry on the cheap, but I could not get the price down so after a slight delay I go this out the door to him.

AJ was selected by the DC Defenders of the new XFL 2020 intiative during the open phase portion of the league’s initial draft.

Holland, JR ‘Hollywood’ (2)

Card: Ultimate WLAF 1992
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Work
Sent: 8/8/17 Received: 5/31/19 (661 days)
See Also: JR Holland

Overall it’s a great shot of Holland, but unfortunately, somebody was running into the foreground of the shot, so they couldn’t have a giant hand right next to JR. Ugh. Once you see it, it is all you look at.

I was able to cross reference all the information I had on John to track him down eventually through Facebook, and came to find out he runs a gym in California, where I sent my request to.

I waited 661 days for a 1 of 2- as JR signed just his Ultimate WLAF card, but not his Wild Card, but I will take what I can get, as it took some super sleuthing to track him down. John Holland was kind enough to sign this card and inscribe it with ‘Birmingham Bad Boys”.

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Volpe, Jon

Cards: All World 1991, Jogo 2018 CFL Alumni
Acquired: TTM 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 10/23 Received: 11/2 (10 days)

At 5’7″, 200, I think it’d surprise people that Jon Volpe toted the rock at Stanford and in 1988 rushed for 1,027 yards on 228 carries for the Cardinal. He graduated with a BS and an MS in Industrial Engineering and earned honors as a 3 time All-Pac 10 Academic, and a Rhodes Scholar Nominee.

After not being selected in the 1991 NFL draft, Jon was selected by the British Columbia Lions of the CFL with the 4th overall pick. He earned CFL Rookie of the Year Honors, rushing for 1,395 yards and 16 TDs. He’d add another 941 yards and 13 TDs to CFL All-Star Honors in 1992. After a brief holdout and a down year in 1993, Jon joined the Las Vegas Posse of the CFLUSA initiative for 1994. He’d have another 182 yards on 43 carries and 3 TDs.

In 1995 Jon signed with the Pittsbugh Steelers, but a devastating shoulder injury ended his playing career during the preseason.

Jon lives in Tuscon, AZ and as of 2020 is the CEO of NOVA Home Loans, the largest privately held mortgage company in Arizona. He signed the All-World card for me, and tossed in the CFL Jogo Alumni card for me as well in 10 days flat.

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