Tag Archives: ttm football autograph


Cards: Topps 1990, ProSet 1991 Legends
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o home
Sent: 2/14    Received: 3/8    (22 days)

I had been kicking tires around sending Scott Studwell out a card or two for a while. I was not disappointed as it appears he is a wonderful TTM signer with fans. He signed these two cards in less than 30 days and did so in purple marker. He has a graceful and loopy signature- which seems to be an oddity amongst the signatures I have, and I was quite pleased to get it on the ProSet 1991 Legends card, and (strangely enough) on this Topps 1990 card.

1990 it seemed Topps was slowly getting the message and while many of their cards were portraits, sideline poses and guys standing still, there were these rare occasions where there was an outstanding action shot of a player. I think that this card of Studwell is exceptional framing him exploding out of a 2 point stance towards the play.

Back in the late 70s the common draft lasted 12 rounds and drafting was even further from the ‘science’ than it is today. The 77 draft was a fairly solid class, that included such names as: Tony Dorsett, Raymond Clayborn, Stanley Morgan, Lester Hayes, Steve DeBerg, and Joe Klecko. Almost every round yielded a Pro Bowl player and Scott Studwell- would be the surprise of the 9th round.

Studwell’s career would be an amazing testament to longevity, playing for the Vikings for 14 storied seasons. On the defense he’d  ceremoniously pass the torch between Alan Page and John Randle, seeing the twilight of Page’s and the beginning of Randle’s. He’d also span the ending of the Purple People Eaters through the Walker trade for the organization. Arguably one of the best linebackers to play for the Vikings, Studwell was a two time Pro Bowler and could play a variety of positions along the defensive front,  lining up not only at linebacker but also amazingly from time to time at nose tackle.

Studwell would finish second all-time at linebacker (at the time of his retirement) in games played (behind HoF member Ted Hendricks) with 201 games and unofficially (since tackles weren’t a tracked statistic for the majority of his career) with 1981 tackles. Scott after retirement would immediately jump into the scouting office for the Vikings where he scaled the ranks to be the team’s director of player personnel finding such gems as Jake Reed and Brad Johnson.  In 2009 Studwell was inducted into the Vikings’ Hall of Honor and through 2011 continues to serve as the team’s director of player scouting.

G/Gs  201/161   Tac 1981    Sac 9.0      Fum  16      Int  11   Yds  97     Avg  8.9      Td 0   Lg 20

Atwater, Steve “Smiling Assassin”

pac91 atwaterpset89 atwater

Cards: ProSet 1991 AP, Pacific 1991, ProSet 1989
Acquired:  TTM 2011, C/o Home
Sent: 1/13      Received:  3/13   (43 days)

Steve Atwater was a dangerous, hard hitting safety who quickly defined the role during the late 80s and 90s, (when great safeties roamed the Earth unencumbered by the more liberal passing rules and hitting restrictions that now restrict the defensive game) and is the all-time leader in interceptions at Arkansas. Drafted in the first round of the stellar 1989 draft over other talent because of his leadership qualities, Atwater was quickly inserted into the starting lineup beside Dennis Smith by new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips who employed him near the line of scrimmage to enforce the run.  Steve would validate his selection by making 124 tackles and 3 interceptions finishing second behind Derrick Thomas for Defensive ROY honors that season.  Over the next 9 seasons for the Broncos Atwater would become a lock for the Pro Bowl and as an All Pro (1990-1996, 1998) for his solid play and tackling. Steve would make a career high 5 interceptions in 1991 and won two Superbowl rings with the Broncos in 1997 and 1998. However in 1999, Steve would be a salary cap casualty and play one final injury marred finale for the New York Jets.  In retrospect, Atwater has left astounding tackle numbers on the table for a safety. Another unsung hero who should be in the HoF, Steve has never gotten his due- perhaps because he plays at such an unglamorous position.

Since retirement, Atwater has been bestowed many honors including: Being named to the All-Decade team of the 90s, the Broncos Hall of Fame, the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and the Razorback All-Century Team.  It was really tough to choose which cards to send as there were some nice cards of Atwater’s hitting but I settled on these showcase cards.  I had heard that Atwater was a wonderful respondent TTM with fans and I was not disappointed receiving these back in a bit over 40 days personalizing them to me as well.

G/Gs  167/166        Tac  1074      Sac  5.0    Fum 6     Int 24     Yds 408     Avg  17.0    Td 1    Lg  68

Mayes, Rueben

Cards: Score 1991, ProSet 1990
Acquired: TTM 2011, C/o home
Sent: 10/15   Received: 3/3  (128 days)

Score Cards made some really nice cards in 1989 and 1990, but already by 1991 you felt that the brand was losing its traction and the quality was beginning to slide. It wasn’t that the photos were bad, -it was really the design. With a gradient background that goes from white to purple, a diamond shaped area to frame the team logo, and a hideously bold serif type family to announce the name, about the only thing that could top that was the position of the player spelled out underneath it all- and that is just the front! It’s just a bad looking design all around. Now compare that to the Pro Set 1990 card. A really well designed set the Pro Set series hit its stride that year with an extremely simple design.

Rueben Mayes was actually born in Saskatchewan, Canada. He’d go to college at Washington State in 1983, where he’d become the most prolific runningback in the school’s history. Mayes would set a then college record with 356 yards rushing against Oregon- a record that still stands to this day, in the Pacific 10. The Saints would draft Rueben in the 3rd round of the 1986 draft. He’d turn out to be a steal for the Saints who under new head coach Jim Mora, liked to establish a strong ground game. Mayes would lead the team to a 7-9 record in the all out rough and tumble NFC West. It’d take him some time to get established as the team’s leading running back, but in week 6 he’d really have his breakout game against Indianapolis rushing for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns. Rueben would follow that up with a 172 yard effort against the Bucs,- but save his best for last rushing for 203 yards and two touchdowns in week 14 against the Dolphins. His rookie season of 1353 yards and 8 touchdowns would be rewarded with a ProBowl appearance and being named NFL rookie of the year in 1986. While injuries would hamper his Sophomore season Mayes would still turn in another ProBowl caliber year averaging 76 yards a contest just finishing under 1000 yards. Mayes 1988 would continue the downward slide in a runningback by committee approach utilized by the Saints. He’d still manage to find the endzone 6 times.  Rueben’s 1989 would be a total wash. Due to an injury sustained in the preseason, he would be placed on injured resereve and not see any playing time that season. He’d make a comeback in 1990 scoring 7 touchdowns in 8 games.  Things looked up for the stalwart running back but he’d once again be injured and placed on IR for all of 1991. In 1992 Mayes would be traded to the Seattle Seahawks  where he finished out his career in 1993 and retired after 7 seasons.

In 1995 and 1998, Rueben was named to the Washington State Cougars All-Time team. A well deserved honor since he was like the Herschel Walker of the Northwest. Mayes has been involved in a variety of charitable organizations working with at risk juveniles. He earned his Master’s degree and is a regional director of Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Rueben was kind enough to sign these two cards for me in around 130 days with his signature, number and an inscription from the Bible.

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” – Revelation 3:20

I must admit when I read that the inscription was from Revelation, I worried that it was a grizzly, or a foreboding statement of impending doom; However, it was more controversial than anything being that it can be interpreted in a variety of ways through loose translation. I always enjoy it when players inscribe their cards with verses from the Bible. It gives me great insight into players and who they are and their place in the world with Christ.

G/Gs  76/41       Rush  866         Yds 3484         Avg 4.0      Td 23      lg  50   |
Rec 57     Yds 401      Avg  7.0       Td 0   lg  66