Tag Archives: upper deck legends 1997

Moore, Lenny

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Crown Royale Majestic 2010 (291/299)
Acquired: TTM 2017, C/o Home
Sent: 1/30    Received: 2/9    (10 days)*
* Donation Enclosed

Halfback Lenny Moore was selected in the first round of the 1956 draft by the Baltimore Colts out of Penn State.  After earning Rookie of the Year honors, he’d go on to play 12 seasons in the NFL from 1956 to 1967.  Moore was simply one of the best players during his era, but because of the 12-14 game schedule, his numbers weren’t completely eye popping. What was eye popping was his insane yards per carry. Over his career Lenny averaged 7.0 yards or more (minimum 82 carries) 3 times (1956, 1958, and 1961). Not only was Moore a hard to tackle runner, he caught 40 passes or more in 5 of his seasons, averaging a healthy 16.6 yards over his career.  As one of Johnny Unitas’ pass catchers, Moore displayed his terrific hands and ability to work in traffic, posting over 725 yards receiving 5 times (1957-1961) over his career including a then NFL positional record 938 yards in 1958, and 936 yards in 1960.

Lenny endured the growing pains of NFL offenses switching positions from right halfback to flanker and back to primary halfback over his long and storied career.  From 1963 to 1965, Moore scored a TD in a record 18 consecutive games.

Arguably the best game of his career was during his rookie season when Lenny rushed 13 times for 185 yards and 2 TDs in a win over the Green Bay Packers.  To top his career off Moore earned All-Pro Honors from 1958-1961, and again in 1964, when he won comeback player of the year honors after scoring 19 TDs.

Lenny was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975. Moore graciously signs for fans for a nominal signing fee of 10.00 per card.  The Upper Deck 1997 Legends set is a timeless set, but I thought the Majestic had a nice composition to it. Lots of space available to frame an autograph, and the patch element was a nice piece of memorabilia to boot.

G 143       RUSH 1069      YDS 5174      AVG 4.8      TD 63      LG 79
REC 363     YDS 6039      AVG 16.6      TD 48      LG 82
KR  49          YDS 1180      AVG 24.1      TD 1         LG  92T
PR  14          YDS 56            AVG 4.0          TD 0        LG 15

Dean, Fred (DE/LB)

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Topps 1979
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent:  7/11   Received:  7/18   (7 days)*
* Donation enclosed

Fred Dean was a rangy linebacker from Louisiana Tech (392 tackles) that was drafted in the second round of the 1975 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He was converted to defensive end and set his sights on terrorizing quarterbacks in the AFC West. His best season for the Chargers occurred in 1978 when he recorded an unoffical 15.5 sacks. A core member of the ‘Bruise Brothers’, Fred played for the Chargers through the 1981 season, where he was traded during the season to the San Fransisco 49ers.  He served notice to the league by helping the 49ers win Superbowl XVI as the final cornerstone to San Fransisco’s defensive front. To top things off he also was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. During 1983, Dean single-handedly humiliated the New Orleans Saints to the tune of 6 sacks, en route to a season high 17 sack season.  He retired after the 1985 season and returned to his native Louisiana.

The awards have slowly but steadily trickled in for Fred since then, with LA Tech honoring him in 1990, the Pro Football Hall of Fame honoring him in 2008, and finally the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019. A fearsome force, one must wonder if the accolades as a premiere defender would have come quicker to Dean if sacks were recognized earlier as a statistic in the annals of NFL history.  He redefined the role of a pass rusher, helped modernize defenses, and be among the first situational pass rushers late in his career. Fred is also one of the rare players who has been recognized by two different teams as part of their anniversary teams. Such as the case it is hard to decide if Dean is represented better as a member of the Chargers or 49ers.

G/GS 141/82        TAC         SAC   93.0      FUM 13
INT 1         YDS 22         AVG 22.0         LG 22T        TD 1

Taylor, Lionel

Card: Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2014, C/o Home
Sent: 6/4/14  Received: 8/13/16  (801 days)

Lionel Taylor had an amazing career that began in 1959 playing for the Chicago Bears.  He didn’t record a reception for the team during his rookie year and opted to join the upstart American Football League during its inaugural season in 1960 for the Denver Broncos. Taylor went on to endear himself as one of the most dominant receivers in the history of the league, leading the AFL in receptions 5 of the next 6 years.  In 1961 he set a modern era record with 100 receptions (which was broken in 1964 by Charlie Hennigan at 101). He played for the Broncos through 1966- joining the Oilers for the 1967 and 1968 seasons.  Lionel retired from the gridiron in 1969.

Taylor established himself quickly as an up and coming assistant coach with the Steelers as a receivers coach in 1970.  He’d remain there through 1976, cultivating a reputation as a Super Bowl winning positional coach.  He joined the Rams from 1977-1979, where he was offensive coordinator in 1980 and 1981.  Lionel then applied his trade at the college level for Oregon State, and then as head coach at Texas Southern through 1988.  Returning to the NFL in 1989, Taylor worked with the Cleveland Browns tight ends and as a pass coordinator.

Taylor joined the World League of American Football in 1995 as offensive coordinator to the London Monarchs. As the league rebranded to the NFLE, he’d take over as head coach of the franchise in 1996 and shepherd the franchise through to become the England Monarchs. It was a tough run for Taylor as head coach at the end, as his team was a vagabond franchise playing all over England looking for a new home. Since there was no established fan base, this gave the Monarchs no home field advantage.  The Monarchs finished with a 3-7 record during their swan song season.

Taylor has fully retired from the sport and lives in New Mexico.  At a clip over 800 days, I had fully given up on getting a response from Lionel, so this one came as quite a surprise to get back. It’s a shame, as with many American Football League players, Lionel has gotten little to no traction in Hall of Fame circles, despite his impressive numbers.

AFL
G/GS 121/NA      REC 567     YDS  7195    AVG 12.7   TD 45    LG  80T

NFLE
W  11     L 17       PCT .393