Tag Archives: upper deck 1990

Lockhart, Eugene (2) ‘Mean Gene the Hitting Machine’

to89 lockhart ud91 lockhart s&s92 lockhart sco90 lockhartflr90 elockhartto90 elockhart

Cards: Score 1990, Stars & Stripes 1992, Topps 1989, Upper Deck 1990, Fleer 1990, Topps 1990, GameDay 1992.
Acquired: 2012, Canton Acquisition. TTM 2015, C/o Home.
Sent: 12/28/15       Received:  1/9/16      (12 days)
See Also: Eugene Lockhart
Eugene is a solid bet TTM for fans, and since I had quite a few extra cards of his that I wanted to get signed, I thought I’d go ahead and give him a shot with the Fleer, Topps 90, and Gameday cards. The other cards were all part of the Canton Acquisition back in 2012- when a friend decided to sell his collection as he was exiting the hobby. I don’t normally buy signed cards from other collectors but I felt that as part of a package it was worth the purchase. There’s definitely a difference in the signatures, but that loopy ‘E L’ in both groups is there to trust that it is genuine enough. Each of the cards gday92 elockhartare quite unique. The Stars & Stripes were among my least favorite set- capitalizing off of American pride while just looking bad with the garish Photoshop effect on the type.  Each of the entries have very unique photos as the Topps 90, (in which most cards of the Cowboys are straight up portrait style,) has grown on me over the years.

After emerging from prison from a three year stint for being a part of a mortgage fraud scheme, Eugene has been humbled, but rededicated himself in life to the things that matter most.  He’s a family man who loves to cook. He has goals and wants to become a motivational speaker for kids and incarcerated inmates, and join the Dallas Cowboys Alumni Association so that he can meet and greet all his fans. He’s a warm story and I hope that he is able to find the validation and redemption he deserves.

Mandarich, Tony

udldg11 mandarich
Cards: Stadium Club 1991, Upper Deck 1990
Acquired:  Canton Acquisition 2012, TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent:   4/9   Received: 4/21   (12 days)

Tony Mandarich is a true story about the rise, fall, and return, of an incredible offensive lineman from one of the best drafts during the ‘golden era’ of football. The 1989 draft is considered by many, (myself included,) to be one of the greatest professional football drafts of the modern age of football. The draft included some huge names. Troy Aikman, Derrick Thomas, Barry Sanders, Deion Sanders,Eric Metcalf, Steve Atwater, and Andre Rison were all some of the big names taken- and that was during the first round. Of these names mentioned, Aikman, Thomas, and both Sanders are in the Hall of Fame. They went number one overall, number three, number four, and number five. So wait a minute, who went number two? Enter “The Incredible Bulk”, Tony Mandarich.

Tony Mandarich had an impressive career at Michigan State after coming to the states from Canada during High School. A veritable man-mountain, Tony measured in at 6’6″, 304 and ran sc91 mandarichthe 40 in a mouth watering 4.65. For an offensive lineman of his size and power, the numbers were not only off the chart, – they were unheard of. He even popularized the term ‘knockdown block’ for offensive linemen, averaging 10 or more a game. Mandarich’s stock skyrocketed prior to the NFL draft. I remember one of the first Sports Illustrated’s that I got in the mail featured Tony on the cover, (in a not so flattering photo, but showcasing his frame,)  touting him as “The Incredible Bulk” on the cover of the magazine. It was a lot to live up to for Mandarich, so he embraced the hype machine.
Tony went #2 to the Green Bay Packers, after the Cowboys selected Troy Aikman #1 overall. Most draft pundits at the time believed the old wives tale that: “Offensive line was the safest position to pick high in the draft,” and showered Coach Lindy Infante and the Pack with praise for their conservative and solid pick. Mel Kiper was so high on Tony, I thought he was going to name his first born after him. Mandarich came into Green Bay with a head of steam and proceeded to spiral out of control due to drugs and alcohol abuse. He also went from ‘bad boy’ in the media darling spotlight, to just ‘bad’ in the media spotlight. It was a quick and public fall for Tony who was lambasted for not even cracking the starting lineup in 1989. In 1990 he started all 16 games at right tackle, (but was penalized more often than any other lineman on the team,) and quietly started 15 more in 1991. Things only got worse for Tony however, as he sat out all of the 1992 season due to a thyroid condition and post-concussive syndrome symptoms.  After shopping him privately throughout the year to multiple teams, the Packers decided to cut Mandarich citing a non-football injury. “Sports Illustrated” basically said, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” with their cover follow up article “The NFL’s Incredible Bust”.  It was a hard, hard fall for Tony and he remained out of football for the next 4 seasons, fighting his inner demons and getting treatment for drugs and alcohol, but in 1996 there he was again, reborn- in Indianapolis.

The Colts needed help in 1996 going through another ‘rebuilding phase’ before the ‘Age of Manning’, and the place they needed it most was o-line, where they were thin at the position and wet behind the ears. Everybody loves a comeback story, but nobodypset89 mandarich really likes to be proven wrong, especially after they’ve dead and buried a guy, so there were very few people who gave Mandarich a chance at redemption, but the Colts and his former Coach Lindy Infante did, and he’d reward them by putting in a solid, humble, workmanlike job. Tony was an experiment to the Colts that paid off, listed at a right tackle, but also spending a lot of time inside at guard. (He lost out on the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award to Jerome Bettis.)  Tony, in fact started all 16 games in 1997, and was on his way to starting all 16 in 1998, but a shoulder injury in week 10 ended his season.  Mandarich finally decided that he was done, and opted to retire after the season.

Since then, Tony has come all clean about his time in football. It was revealed that he did indeed use steroids while at Michigan State. He also abused painkillers and alcohol readily, which combined with a lack of commitment to football really ended his career in Green Bay. The silver lining is that he returned to play the sport with renewed vigor and focus on the Colts, and there he was clean of all impediments and focused on the game. He wrote a
gday92 mandarich book titled, “My Dirty Little Secrets: Steroids, Alcohol, & God”, and also did a ‘Behind the Lines’ story for ESPN, but really he hopes to just be able to show other people that there is indeed redemption and a way out and back at the end of the day.  Tony currently runs a photo studio that specializes in nature photography and a full service web media business specializing in website development and optimization.  He also does motivational public speaking about his life and struggles.

Tony has been really good to fans over the years and is an avid TTM signer. While I had gotten the Upper Deck and Stadium Cards previously through the Canton Acquisition, but I really wanted to get Tony on cards that were important to me. I  was happy to get him on the GameDay, ProSet, Action Packed, and Upper Deck Legends cards in under half a month.

Bickett, Duane

Cards: Topps 1988, Score 1990, Upper Deck 1990
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012

Duane Bickett played collegiately for USC at linebacker. He’d be taken off the board with the 3rd overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts in 1985 by then coach Rod Dowhower. After a supurb rookie campaign Bickett was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, recording 141 tackles, 6 sacks, and a fumble recovery at right outside linebacker. A man mountain at 6-5, 250, Bickett had a knack for always finding the ball in the backfield and shedding would be blockers. He was considered one of the most complete linebackers of his day. An incredibly slow start the following season (1986), by the team ushered in a new era under head coach Ron Meyer, but that didn’t stop Duane from recording a career high 144 tackles. (In fact Duane recorded 7 straight seasons of 100 or more tackles when all was said and done.)  His 1987 season sparked his only Pro Bowl berth, as he notched 8 sacks, 2 FF, and 113 tackles. Indianapolis began to slide backwards and despite Duane’s solid play, the team hit bottom by 1991 with a 1-15 record. Still Duane put up respectable numbers (5 sacks, 125 tackles), but by then his numbers were largely ignored outside of Indy.  Ted Marchibroda returned as head coach of the team the following season. As Bickett’s numbers finally dipped under the century mark in tackles in 92 (89) and 93 (97), Duane would be allowed to test the free agent waters in 1994. The Colts simply couldn’t afford to keep Bickett any longer.

The lifetime Colt ended up in Seattle in 1994, as he wanted to play on the West Coast closer to California, but Bickett only started 1 game recording 7 tackles playing second fiddle to Rufus Porter. Again in 1995 he came off the bench for the Seahawks and recorded 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery and 5 tackles.  Duane signed with the Carolina Panthers after the season, and recorded 2 sacks and 7 tackles but persistent back and foot problems had been creeping up on Duane so he decided to retire after the ’95 season.

Duane is considered one of the first ‘true’ Indianapolis Colts, since the team had played its tenure in Baltimore since its inception. He is also the only Colt to win defensive rookie of the year honors. Bickett is also notable for his appearance in both Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl for two woeful Colts teams. Duane had quite the equipment manager’s nightmare quirk, as he frequently requested up to 3 uniforms on game day so he could choose the one that matched his current mood and perfectionist style of play.

Duane is apparently an art enthusiast (especially impressionism) who enjoys his time visiting museums. He currently lives in Southern California and is a regular donor to his former High School in Glendale, California.

G/Gs 173/138   Tac 1071   Sac 53    Fum 9    |
Int  9      Yds 46     Avg  5.0    Lg 14