Curtis, Mike (1943-2020)

Upper Deck Legends 1997, #AU-95

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2020


  • Mike Curtis played college ball at Duke from 1962-’64.
  • He’d go on to establish himself as one of the greatest athletes in Duke history, playing both LB and FB.
  • #1 pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1965 who planned to use him exclusively at FB.
  • Was also selected in the 3rd round of the 1965 AFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Made the transition to MLB in 1966 and the rest became history.
  • Played alongside ‘The Mad Stork’ Ted Hendricks, as the team lost Super Bowl III and won Super Bowl V.
  • Played for Colts from 1965-’75.
  • Joined the expansion Seahawks for ’76, eventually finishing career after the ’77 and ’78 seasons with the Redskins.
  • Started 125 of 166 contests over career.


  • Duke Hall of Fame
  • All-Pro 1968, ’69
  • Pro Bowl 1968, 1970-’71, ’74
  • Colts MVP 1974
  • AFC Defensive Player of the Year 1970


Mike Curtis was one of these sweeping cheap Ebay pickups I did at the beginning of 2020. As a not really big name, I waited this one out- and then promptly forgot to scan the card in when I got it, so it waited in limbo for a while before I tracked it down.

I could make an argument for Mike Curtis to be in the HoF, but I doubt he will ever get in, as defensive statistics weren’t well tracked or considered spectacular at the time. He was an absolute terror patrolling the middle of the field and was extremely effective covering the pass for a LB.


4/20/20- Mike Curtis passed away from CTE in St. Petersburg, FL at the age of 77.