Category Archives: Pro Football HoF

Winslow Sr., Kellen

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: TTM 2021, C/o Home
SENT: 9/22 RECEIVED: 10/15 (23 days)
* Fee Enclosed

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Kellen Winslow played TE for the Missouri Tigers from 1975-78.
  • Concluded college career with 71 catches, 1,089 yards, and 10 touchdowns.
  • First round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1979.
  • He’d become a catalyst for the Air Coryell offense and lead the NFL in catches in both 1980 (89) and ’81 (88).
  • His 89 reception in 1980, shattered the record previously held by HoFer Mike Ditka.
  • Caught 5 TDs in a single game, tying the NFL record in ’81.
  • Put together perhaps one of the finest post season single game performances, catching 13 passes for 166 yards (TD), and blocking a FG to send it to OT in ‘The Epic’ at Miami.
  • Had a career high 1,183 yards and 88 catches in 1983.
  • Played for the Chargers through 1987, retiring after the season.

ACCOLADES:

  • Pro Bowl 1980-’83, ’87
  • All-Pro 1980-’82
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • #73 Greatest Football Players of All-Time (Sporting News)
  • NFL 1980s All-Time Team
  • NFL 75th Anniversary Team
  • NFL 100th Anniversary Team
  • College Football Hall of Fame
  • San Diego Chargers #80- Retired
  • San Diego Chargers Hall of Fame

NOTES:

It can not be understated how much Winslow had an effect on the pro game. Tight ends during the 70s had become almost an afterthought during the Dead Ball Era. Winslow revolutionized the position, breaking Ditkas catch record, and had 2 back to back 1,000 yard seasons, and later a 3rd- something forgotten about since the 60s.

Winslow was always on my short list of players I might not ever get, so when he popped up, I wrote this letter and pretty much had this card in the mail to him the next day. I added a donation to grease the wheels, and he gladly signed it, adding the HOF inscription.

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Dawson, Len (2) (1935-2022)

CARDS: Topps 1970, Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: TTM 2020, C/o Home
SENT: 4/24 RECEIVED: 5/2 (8 DAYS)
FAILURE: TTM 2010, C/o Home

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

See Also: Len Dawson

NOTES:

After I got Len’s autograph back in 2016, a lot of rumors started up that perhaps he was being ghost signed. I did pay a small fee for his autograph and got these back quite quickly. The biggest hang up that the TTM community had over his autograph was the fluidity of it, and how the ‘L’ and the ‘D’ were just too… loopy, almost feminine, and that they changed styles.

I could see their concerns, but regardless felt confident enough to get Len on these two set needs. My reasoning is that as people do get older their autographs do change, and that I’d seen a lot of these ‘loopy’ autographs be passed off as certified and also as authentic. I, myself was very happy to not only get these two back in a very short period of time, but also that he inscribed them with his HOF year.

EPITAPH:

8/24/22- Len Dawson was moved to hospice in the last few days, where he passed away at the age of 87.

Guy, Ray (1949-2022)

Upper Deck Legends 1997, #AL-111

CARD: Upper Deck Legends 1997
ACQUIRED: EBay, 2021

CAREER SNAPSHOT:

  • Ray Guy was an incredible athlete that played 3 positions (K, P, SS) for Southern Mississippi from 1970-72.
  • Over his time at the school he set multiple single game and career records.
  • Became the first punter to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (1973).
  • Right out of the gate, averaged 45.3 yards per punt his rookie season.
  • From there he led the NFL in punting average in 1974 (42.2) and ’75 (43.8).
  • Punted a career high 96 times for 4,195 yards in 1981.
  • Over his career he had a streak of 619 punts without being blocked.

ACCOLADES:

  • College Football Hall of Fame
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame
  • Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
  • NFL All 1970s Team
  • Golden Toe Award
  • NFL 75th Anniversary Team
  • NFL 100th Anniversary Team
  • Pro Bowl 1973-78, ’80
  • All-Pro 1973-78
  • Second Team AP 1979-80

NOTES:

Ray was greatly disrespected by not being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame sooner. This was due to the fact that there is a longstanding stigma against special teams players. He was finally elected in 2014… and promptly stopped signing TTM.

I waited to acquire Ray’s autograph until the prices started dropping. Thankfully before the prices spiked again after his passing, I was able to pick his certified up on his Legends card.

EPITAPH:

Ray passed away on November 3rd, 2022 at the age of 72 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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