Tag Archives: upper deck legends 1997

Rogers, George

Cards: Upper Deck Legends 1997, Panini Contenders 2018
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o The George Rogers Foundation*
Sent: 10/20    Received: 11/9       (20 days)
* Donation Enclosed 

George Rogers played runningback for the South Carolina Gamecocks from 1977 to 1980. He really helped put South Carolina’s football team on the map by winning the Heisman Trophy in 1980, when George rushed 297 times for 1781 yards and 14 TDs. He finished his college career pretty much owning all the Gamecock career rushing marks with 927 carries for 5091 yards and 31 TDs, along with 43 receptions for 389 yards and 2 TDs. 

The moribund New Orleans Saints finally caught a break, and with George selected #1 overall by the team, he’d help transform the team from a perennial cellar dweller and give New Orleans an identity. George came out of the gates running. He’d be named rookie of the year in 1981 after he led the league in carries (378), yards (1674) and average yards per game (104.6). He’d also haul in a career high 16 receptions for 126 yards and score 13 total touchdowns. George played for the Saints over the next 3 seasons before being traded in a blockbuster trade to Washington in exchange for their first round pick. 

The second stanza of Rogers’ career began in Washington, as George replaced an aging John Riggins in the backfield for head coach Joe Gibbs. George posted 2 more 1000+ yard seasons in 1985 and 1986, leading the NFL in TDs with 18 in the latter. He’d win a Super Bowl Title in 1987, but shortly after the season announce his retirement at the age of 29- due in part to nagging injuries.

You see, Rogers was a big back and he absorbed a lot of hits over his career.  Concussions and lingering knee injuries did their part to cut it short. Looking back at how aggressively the Redskins loved to run the ball, one wonders where George would’ve stood in the NFL record books if he hadn’t retired so soon. Hypothetically, if we just go with George’s Redskins average of 71 yards per game and multiply that out over the course of a 16 game schedule- that’s 1136 yards. 3 more years like that and he’d have been a member of the 10k club and a probable member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Regardless Rogers has enjoyed receiving accolades since retirement, being named to the College Football Hall of Fame, having his number retired by his Alma Mater, and various other tributes from South Carolina and the Saints.

I had been thinking about getting him on a few cards since he sort of flies under the radar now and these two really fit the bill nicely. I think the way George played in his career, he is well regarded as a member of both the Saints and the Redskins and this Upper Deck 1997 really does it up right. Although he got some fingerprint stains on my Contenders card, I really like the photo and framing of this set. Panini Contenders seems to do it right for me design wise, since most sets since 2010 really do not intrigue me as much as they used to.

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92/78169271764.25479t
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553686.7025

Maynard, Don

Cards: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home*
Sent:  8/4   Received: 8/20    (16 days)
* Donation enclosed of $10 per flat

Don Maynard is considered the best receiver in Jets history, one of the best receivers in AFL history, and one of the best receivers in NFL history.  At the time of Maynard’s retirement he held the NFL record for career receptions and yards. He was the first player to crack the 10k barrier in receiving yards. An amazing feat considering it was still during an era where the passing game had not fully developed yet. Don epitomized consistency and longevity. (Oddly enough he never led the league in catches at any time but his sheer numbers made up for it en force.) 

Maynard was originally drafted by the New York Giants in 1957, but only played one lone season for them before bolting North to play for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL. He’d return shortly thereafter to the fledgling AFL in 1960- becoming the first signee of the then New York Titans (later Jets). Over the next 10 seasons in the AFL he’d be named to the All-AFL team 4 times. In the final season before the AFL NFL merger, he’d help the Jets win Super Bowl III and notably graced the cover of the big game’s program guide as well. 

Don joined the Rams in 73, but ultimately ended up on the St. Louis Cardinals for a lone season, retiring after a bout with the WFL playing for the Shreveport Steamer/ Houston Texans. 

Maynard played college ball for Rice, and later Texas Western (UTEP). He was a proven runningback and defensive back, but was unpolished gold at receiver. His number has been retired by the Jets,  got his gold jacket along the way, and has been a Grand Marshall for UTEP at one of their parades. He lives outside of the El Paso area, in relative anonymity. 

I had been wanting Don for sometime but I thought he was out of reach. I really liked these cards of his and always wanted to get them signed so I went ahead and took a shot with a small donation. In the end I also had a Pro Set Super Bowl III card that I opted to send to Matt Snell instead (because he should’ve been MVP). Still the Topps 1970 is iconic, while the Upper Deck Legends 1997 hits all the marks for perfection. 

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1866331183418.78887t

Newsome, Ozzie (2)

Cards: ProSet 1991 Legends, Upper Deck Legends 1997, Action Packed 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Home
Sent:  Received:   (days)
See Also: Ozzie Newsome

When I first restarted the TTM hobby about 10 years ago, I truly didn’t know what to expect. I just thought I’d hit some of the most memorable players that I remembered. Ozzie was a thorn in the side of the Oilers ‘back then’, and while I only had the pleasure of witnessing the tail end of his career, Ozzie had earned my respect by the end of it all. I had a lot of cards of his, and when I started collecting again, I just fired the first two out I could find, not knowing that there were so many other cards out there in the dark corners of the web.

Ozzie has a lot of good cards. The ProSet 1991 Legends card was a gimme. I had to do that since this was a really nice Merv Corning illustration. I didn’t really respect these cards back then but now, being there and seeing the hard work involved, I really like how this one turned out. The autograph- well that’s another thing.

The Upper Deck 1997 Legends card was a set need. I had no clue he was in this set until much later. It’s a great card and photo. Each being immaculate. The backs of these cards- well they leave much to be desired and are stuffed with a bit too much busy information.  Again the autograph is just sorta… there… but I really can’t complain can I?

The 3rd entry is possibly my favorite of the bunch is Ozzie’s Action Packed 1990 entry. It is just a beautifully framed action shot, and it is one of these rare straight on photos, so you see him making the grab from the view of a quarterback. I had to get it signed and it was the first one on the list after I got him the last time.

His 1991 Action Packed card just barely missed the cut. Again, another amazing shot. Also I saw his Upper Deck 2011 College Legends card, but it was a bit too late to send that one out. Still I am happy that he spent the time to autograph these three cards for me- or did he?

Ozzie has been dogged on and off for a few years as a stamper. These are not stamped. If they were, pooling would occur on the cards, and be extremely obvious on the Action Packed one. When I opened the return envelope I was just entirely too suspicious. Something was just off about the autographs. After tediously overlaying them up in Photoshop, all of the signatures nearly matched. There were just some very small differences between the autographs, but the height, weight, angle, and length from card to card were consistent. While there were distinct difference between all the autographs, I just had a hard time believing that he could nail them so closely without consciously knowing he was.

Later when I discussed this was others on a message board, they informed me that Ozzie’s autograph has changed over the year due to a possible health issue. He went back to apparently hand signing after it happened- and he hand signs everything. The other collectors presented similar signatures that had passed JSA and other authentication benchmarks, so I guess I can not look these gift horses in the mouth.