Tag Archives: ttm football autograph

Childress, Ray

Cards:  Action Packed 1991, Fleer 1995, Pro Set 1989, Pro Set 1990, SkyBox 1992.
Acquired: In Person, Houston Oilers Training Camp, 1992, 1995. TTM 2010.
Sent:   3/26    Received:     4/3           (8 days)

Ray Childress is one of the most multidimensional and consistent defensive linemen who came out during the mid 80s. He played from 1985 to 1996. He received All America honors twice while in college at Texas A&M and still is ranked on the school’s leaders in both sacks and tackles 25 years after he graduated. Drafted in the first round by the Houston Oilers as a DE, Ray would play all positions along the line at some point during his career with the majority of that being at DT notching 4 Pro Bowl appearances at this position and 1 at DE playing in 154 games.  He was a 3 time first team All-Pro, and 3 time second team All- Pro. Childress holds the NFL record for most fumble recoveries in a season with 7 and most recovered in a game with 3.  He retired from injuries after a shoulder separation in 1996. Childress since football has become in a variety of ventures including his ongoing commitment to the Childress Foundation, and at one point owned a line of car dealerships. Childress was inducted into the College Football HOF in 2010.

My brother and I went to training camp in 1992. It was really funny to get Ray’s autograph, especially since he dwarfed my brother who was 6″3′. Ray then asked my brother if he was on the team which we both got some laughs out of. In 1995 Childress also signed my Fleer 1995 for me when I was at camp as he was walking on to the field. He was the first one of the day and that certainly put me in a good mood. In 2010 I started sending cards out in the mail again, and specifically targeted former Houston Oilers. I sent 4 cards out to Ray and he signed 3 and returned the 4th, which didn’t bother me at all as he was doing it as a courtesy for me anyway. Ray has been caught in the backlog of great players retiring during the mid 90s, and has not been inducted into the HOF, although I believe he should. With Elvin Bethea being inducted recently, it certainly does give hope that at some point he will sneak onto the ballot.

Games 163         Tac   861              Sac 76.5               Fum 19

Bethel, Randy

Cards: Wild Card WLAF 1992, Ultimate WLAF 1991.
Acquired: TTM 2010, C/o Sebastian River HS.
Sent: 4/28   Received:  5/10  (12 days)

Randy played for the Glory during the infamous ‘hail storm’ game, when the San Antonio Riders hosted the Ohio Glory.  The game got weather delayed because a freak monsoon hit right before halftime and players and fans had to hide out under the stadium and in the locker room for about 30 minutes because of the hail. I make no secret that I am an immense fan of the WLAF, spending hours surfing the web looking up former players at some points.  I was able to track down Randy and sent him out a letter and these two cards. He graciously signed them and attached a very kind and personal thank you. (Really, it is guys like Randy and Dan that make me happy that I have jump started this hobby again.)

The NFL has sadly swept the history of the World League under the carpet, and much of the it is in danger of slipping away. It is difficult to locate information on it, and there are a few tribute sites on the league but little video and photographic proof of WLAF other than Ebay. I think it is a shame that these players aren’t recognized better for their contributions to the NFL, and this is part of the reason that I collect these autographs. It’s the least I can do to let them know that they are remembered and appreciated for what they’ve done.

Randy played for The U (Miami, Fl) finishing his college career 3rd in team history in receptions, 1st in yards and touchdowns from his position of TE. Randy was a strong blocker with a nose for the end zone catching a 12 yd touchdown to seal the national championship in 1991 in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama.  He was drafted in the 10th round by the New England Patriots and signed with the World League’s Ohio Glory in 1992. After the WLAF decided to reorganize, Bethel would go on to coaching, eventually being hired by Sebastian River HS where he has had a successful career and has become highly respected by the college recruiting community.

Games 10      Rec  11         Yards     113          Avg  10.3     Lg 25     TD   1

Sayers, Gale

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed Whizzer White Award 1991.
Acquired: TTM 2010 c/o Sayers Corp.*
Sent: 4/28  Received: 5/26 (29 days)
* Requires donation

I had been watching this miniseries on NFL Network called “Full Color Football” and it briefly mentioned Gale and a few other players from the NFL before the AFL merger. After doing a search on the former great, I found his website and found the fee ‘reasonable’ in order to add him to my collection. I used to shrug at the idea of paying players for autographs, but as years have passed and also I realize the time it takes, the inconvenience it may cause, and how it may provide some players an income they need.

Gale Sayers is a former running back of the Chicago Bears from 1965-1971 who had a legendary career. The NFL rookie of the year had a record 22 touchdowns in his rookie year, 2,272 yards from scrimage, and tied the record for most TD’s in a game with 6. He would also set the record of 30.56 on kick returns on 91 returns, 6 of them going for touchdowns.  Injuries ended Sayers career prematurely in 1971, and he would be elected to the HOF in 1977. A 5 time All-Pro and 4 time Pro Bowl Selection, Sayers would be named the MVP of the Pro Bowl 3 times, to the NFL 75th Anniversary Team, and the 1960s all decade team.  Sayers has had an extremely successful career after football, as he is Chairman of Sayers40 Inc, and an active fundraiser for the city of Chicago and the University of Kansas.

Games  68     Att 991      Yds 4956     Avg  5.0       TD 39