Tag Archives: ttm football autograph

Carrier, Mark (WR-2)

Cards: Upper Deck 1992 Bucs Checklist, GameDay 1992, Topps 1990 1000 Yard Club, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: 2019, C/o Home
Sent: 1/2 Received: 1/11 (11 days)
See Also: Mark Carrier WR

Well 2019 is off to a good start with my first official success in Mark Carrier former Bucs, Browns, and Panthers receiver. Along the way with all three franchises he seemed to leave an indelible and respectable mark on each franchise. It wasn’t until 2018 that wide receiver Mike Evans of the Bucs broke Mark’s single season receiving yardage record for the franchise during the last game of the season. A stellar TTM respondent, Mark signs virtually everything- provided you of course don’t confuse him with the defensive back from the same era. As this is the 10th year I’ve been back at the game, I’ve decided to dust off the books and write some of those players who responded to me over the years. Mark was one of those who responded way, way back in 2011, signing a slew of cards for me.

In 2014, Mark announced the Panthers second round pick at the draft. As of this post he is the Director of Player Relations for the team.

A player with a stack of amazing cards, I had wanted to reload and get back to Mark again for a few more that I had overlooked.

Probably my favorite of this stack is the Upper Deck 1992 Buccaneers Checklist. The artwork is just amazing on this card. They just don’t make them like they used to anymore. The bold outline around the card is just right and frames the image in a very classy way. I especially like how Mark’s profile image and him catching the football take precedence over the buccaneers by simple boldness of color.

His 1,000 Yard Club card was like most cards from Topps to me at the time- always at least a distant 3rd or 4th in quality or interest to me. While the look is quite dated, that is part of the charm of this card. The boldness of the yellow combined with the orange and green is typical of design from that era. Still it is a great photo of him and at the time it was the only glossy card that was in each pack.

As usual during this period for the most part, Action Packed set a high bar for others to follow in terms of photo quality. This card was no different, and is an exciting action shot of Mark. Most photos it seemed were also framed from this distance in the set as well in a very comfortable ‘in your face’ distance. I didn’t have this card but when I saw it, I knew it’d look amazing autographed so I picked up one.

The GameDay 1992 card feels like the weakest to me of the group. Maybe because it is the only one with a defender in the image, or the fact that the rules of the card are for only the main subject to be in color, take away from the overall shot, but regardless- this was more of a set need than anything else.

Mark has a pretty solid autograph all the way around. The looping C in his last name really makes his mark go.

Merriman, Shawne ‘Lights Out’

Cards: Score 2009, Score 2010, SP 2011
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 5/29 Received: 6/29     (31 days)

“Sometimes that flame burns bright. Sometimes it burns so fast and bright it inexplicably burns itself out.”

This makes me think of Shawne Merriman- a dominating force who wrecked havoc around the NFL for a short period of time.  Merriman was a first round selection (#12 overall) by the San Diego Chargers, who had gotten the pick as part of the Eli Manning trade, during the 2005 draft. Shawne was an interesting specimen. He clocked in at 6’4″, 272, with a 4.6 40, and an impressive 40 in vertical jump.  Shawne also had pretty solid stats while playing at Maryland, posting back to back 9 sack seasons, and 140 career tackles. The Chargers were going to use Shawne as a tweener both a linebacker and a defensive end.

Shawne did not get into the starting lineup until almost the mid point of his rookie year- but he made the best of it, blowing by defenders for 10 sacks, 43 tackles, 2 forced fumbles and 5 pass deflections. For his efforts, he earned Defensive Rookie of the Year Honors in 2005, and captured his first Pro Bowl Honor. He returned in 2006 on a rampage, racking up 17 sacks, 48 tackles, 4 forced fumbles, 8 pass deflections, and an interception. It goes without saying that Shawne was named to the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro, playing all 3 positions in the Chargers linebacker front.  He did this only in 12 games, and was suspended for 4 contests due to a violation of the NFL’s drug policy. Merriman continued his banner play in 2007, earning a Pro Bowl Honor on the back of 12.5 sacks, a career high 54 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 pass deflections.

It all came apart in 2008. Shawne played the first game of the season on a pair of torn ligaments in his knee, ending his year. He came back for 2009, but nagging injuries kept him down to just 4 sacks and 26 tackles in 14 starts.  Things just kept breaking into 2010, with IR his final destination after 3 games and just 1 start. He’d be released by the Chargers after the season, but not before being named to the Chargers 50th Anniversary Team.

Shawne soon found himself on and off the roster of the Bills. Again persistent injuries played a huge part in the end of his season, and his career in 2013. He’d register 2 sacks, 19 tackles, and 1 pass deflection in 6 starts for the Bills- over two seasons.  He’d retire at the grand ‘old’ age of 28.

Shawne lives in the Los Angeles area. He’s gotten into different types of adrenaline sports- NASCAR, WWE, martial arts, and has made cameos on TV shows. He also has a foundation and a clothing line named after his moniker ‘Lights Out’.

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Talley, Darryl ‘Spider-Man’

Cards: Action Packed 1991, SkyBox Colors 1993/94, ProSet 1991
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 12/6/16 Received: 7/30/18    (599 days)

A second round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 1983, Darryl Talley never missed a game in 12 seasons for the Bills. The unusually injury immune linebacker was also a model of consistent play over his long career- that spanned in the end, 14 seasons and 4 Super Bowl appearances. Talley is the Bills’ all-time leading tackler with 1,137 takedowns, to go along with  38.5 sacks, 14 fumble recoveries, 12 interceptions and 2 touchdowns.  After the 1994 season, Talley hit the open market and signed with the Falcons, playing 1995 with them and 1996 with the Vikings before retiring.  He was inducted into the Bills Wall of Fame in 2003, and named to the Bills 50th Anniversary team in 2009.

Darryl has battled severe depression and financial hardship since his retirement, however he’s worked hard to conquer his demons, partially in part due to his wife and children. As of 2018 he acts as a football ambassador for the NFL Legends community of players. The goal is to reach out and help as many former players and let them know of the different programs that are available to them from the league. Here’s hoping things continue on the up and up for Spider-Man.

Darryl Talley had some fantastic cards over his years in the league. I was pleased to add these 3 interesting designs and/or dynamic photos to the Encyclopedia. His Action Packed 1991 card embodies everything I want to see in an exciting solo shot of a linebacker, with Talley in full pursuit about to pop a ball carrier. The card itself on the front is minimally designed, and this appeals to me, and Darryl inked this card in the right spot to accent it perfectly. – High marks indeed. Skybox had a smart debut with their base set in 1992. Their subsequent releases, not-so-much. It didn’t help that they along with their counterparts flooded the market with so much content it was impossible to stay loyal to any card company and follow a release schedule. Mind you this was the high days of adventure before the internet!

The ‘Colors’ 1993-1994 Skybox set was a really slick look but by the time this set came out, I had already had my bank account plundered regularly by the discovery of girls. Both this card and the ProSet 1991 showcase Darryl’s nice arm sleeves, that intentionally were in a webbed pattern to harken to his nickname- Spider-Man.

ProSet set the standard from 89 to 92 really. (Nobody talks about ProSet 93.) That was also their problem. I felt the cards were the minimum I’d expect from a company to show me, even though what ProSet showcased with the minimal design was really outstanding for its era before Photoshop. Great photo of Darryl. It is too bad that ProSet ate itself out of the market. I wonder what their brand would look like today if it still existed.  Overall though Darryl signed 3 of 4 cards, and has a great signature. I think I sent him a donation but honestly it was so long ago I can not recall.

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