Tag Archives: ttm autograph

Blanda, George (1927-2010)

Card: Topps 1972
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o home
Sent: 3/26  Received: 4/13  (18 days)

This card was the oldest card in my collection (for a time) ironically because my friend Josh brought over his card collection and accidentally spilled them all over the floor. He let me have this card, because he thought it was in such bad condition that it was trash.  Being the big Oiler fan I am, I knew about George’s history with the team, but it never seemed to cross my mind to locate him for an autograph and for many years the card languished in my collection.  I started a TTM drive to get autographs of many of the classic Oilers after watching the NFL Network presentation of “Full Color Football”. (While the broadcast gives the AFL some credit, it still failed to give the Oilers teams credit of the early 60s, Charlie Hennigan any exposure, and does not acknowledge the contributions of many of our now injured and fallen gladiators in dire need of medical attention and pension assistance.) George was at the top of the list.

George Blanda is an amazing story of longetivity in sports history. In a sport like football, with players average playing time of less than 5 years, Blanda would play in 4 different decades, spanning 26 seasons, longer than any other player in football history. He began playing for the NFL in 1949 for the Bears, where he’d play for 10 seasons. Forced with an ultimatum to become a kicker full time and not a quarterback, he opted to retire; However fate would smile upon “The Grand Old Man” who was granted a reprieve when the upstart AFL started in 1960. Signed by the Houston Oilers, he led them to the first 3 championships, winning the first and second with an impressive aerial attack. After seven seasons, he’d move on to play with the Raiders, where he served as backup quarterback and kicker for the team for an additional nine seasons. Blanda at the time of his retirement would hold the record for most games played and most points scored, George would be inducted into the Pro Football HOF in 1981.

George Blanda passed away quietly at the age of 84 on September 27th 2010. He is survived by his wife and 11 children.

Games 340 Att 4007 Comp 1911  Avg 47.6  Yds 26920  Td 236  Int 277
FG 335  Att 641 XPA 943  XPM 959  Pts 2002

Starr, Bart

Cards: ProSet Super Bowl 1, ProSet MVP SB I, ProSet Super Bowl 2, ProSet MVP SB II.
Acquired: TTM 2010, c/o The Starr Foundation
Sent: 1/4  Received: 1/30  (26 days)  *Requires donation

There’s gotta be a place to start (or restart as it may,) and to kick off my return to the world of autograph collecting, I wanted it to begin with a bang, so without further adieu I present Bart Starr MVP of Superbowl 1 and 2. I discovered that in the world of the internet, it was much easier to find players now, and Starr is a great example of this. A surprise added bonus was the fact that when you donate the required fees, Bart puts the money towards the Rawhide program who then sends you updates through the year to let you know how those at risk kids are doing.  (I will probably get Bart’s auto again next year, just because the Rawhide program makes you feel like you are making a difference in peoples’ lives.) Bart painstakingly autographed these four cards for my charitable contribution, returned the SASE in under a month’s time and enclosed another letter with a thank you as well.

Bart Starr is the epitome of the old guard of the NFL before the AFL merger. A 5 time NFL champion (61,62,65-67), He was also a 4 time Pro Bowl selection, and NFL MVP in 1966. It goes without saying that he is in the Packers Hall of Fame,  Won the MVP of Superbowls I and II, and made the NFL 1960’s All-Decade Team. (Starr would also found the Rawhide Boys Ranch during his playing days.) After his illustrious and decorated career ended, Starr would go on to have his number retired, coach the Packers for 9 years leading them to 2 playoff appearances and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1988 Bart would tragically lose his son Bret to a cardiac arrythmia while that same year, the Bart Starr Award would be created. (It is given to this day to players of outstanding moral character.) Currently Bart remains heavily involved in Rawhide and runs Heathcare Realty Management.

Games 196   Att  3149  Comp 1808   Pct 57.4%   Yds 24718   TD 152  Int 138  Rat 80.5

Walton, Tim

Cards: Ultimate WLAF 91 Logo Card, Ultimate WLAF Team Card, ProSet WLAF 1991.
Acquired: In Person 1991, San Antonio Riders vs Birmingham Fire. TTM 2010 c/o Metis Sports Agency
Sent: 5/10      Received: 6/7  (27 days)

In the second year of the WLAF, a couple of companies decided to make cards. Pro Set initially did an introduction run in early 1991, and then came out with complete league cards later that year. Ultimate and Wild Card also soon followed with their own brands. I got the Pro Set WLAF cards and took them with me to the games. After the game against the Fire, I caught Tim Walton walking off of the field and asked him for his autograph. He got super excited (because he hadn’t seen his card before) and then told me that he had broken his hand during the game but said he’d still try to give it to me anyway. I said yes and wasn’t sure who was more excited at that point to get the autograph. It was an indelible memory and it has always stuck with me.  Tim played inside LB in an aggressive 3-4 alignment for the Riders and was named WLAF AP first team in both 1991 and 1992.
Many years later when I found these cards I thought it would be cool to get his autograph again, and add the additional cards to the set. It took me a few weeks of web surfing to locate Tim, who was working at Metis Sports as an agent at the time. I sent him 3 cards and a letter basically reminiscing about what happened, and a copy of some photos I took of a game. A few weeks later I got the cards and a sticky note that said,” You guys are true fans! God bless! Tim Walton.”

Games 20             Tac  105          Sac 9        Fum  3        Int   0        Yds  0        Avg -.-       Td 0