Sunday, March 4, 2012

More Michigan football rookies!

Back in January, a bet/trade package with Adam gave me the kick in the pants I needed to start a Michigan football rookie card PC.  The first two cards in that collection were pretty sweet:  1955 Topps All-Americans of Harry Newman and Benny Oosterbaan.

Well today I'm finally getting around to adding to that album a bit, so here's nine more Michigan RCs, with an emphasis on Michigan uniforms wherever possible:

Braylon Edwards 2005 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects RC:
Today's #1 is a guy who wore #1 for the Maize and Blue, and he's not the only one.  This is a great shot of Bray-Bray picking up some YAC, and the only thing I don't like is how the photo kind of fades to a white border, and essentially nothingness.  I just prefer full-bleed photos most of the time, I guess.  I really like the design otherwise, and this is a great action shot of Edwards with the Wolverines for sure.

 Brian Griese 1998 Fleer RC:
This card and the next go perfectly together, which really works out for me.  Griese never became more than a journeyman backup that bounced among several teams in the NFL, but for a former walk-on (bloodlines notwithstanding, and that's definitely not everything if you've ever read Outliers) he at least had an excellent college career that earned him an NFL look.
I absolutely love the design of this set and can't thank Fleer enough for using college photos of these rookies.  What a great shot Fleer chose for the card too!

Charles Woodson 1998 Fleer RC:
Woodson was simply dominant during Michigan's 1997 title run and was easily one of the greatest Heisman-winners ever, so his jump to the NFL (and the Raiders) was inevitable.  Of course, later he'd become one of a select few players to win the Heisman, an NCAA title and a Super Bowl ring.
Like the Griese, this is just a wonderful card.  I love that you can see a Michigan sign in the background, and the fact that nobody's around Mr. Heisman makes me think this was a freeze frame of him at the start of a punt return, such as the one during which he scored in that year's Ohio State game.  This card gets an A+++.

David Terrell 2001 Donruss Elite RC (#405/500):
I picked this guy up more than a year ago in a group I acquired via Blowout, which made for an awesome post.  There were plenty of others I could have chosen, but the first one I picked for the album is this shiny, numbered card of the former #1 (told you) about to make another catch.  He may have been a bust as an NFL first-round pick, but his play at Michigan inspired me to pick up my first Michigan football jersey--you guessed it, #1.

 Leon Hall 2007 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects RC (#122/299):
This is another of the great cards Adam sent me in his last package.  I'm definitely glad he did because I didn't really have anything from the DPP set that year, and definitely not any of the Wolverines.  I hadn't even realized they decided to number the Chrome versions that year, which is pretty cool.  Considering the relative dearth of new Wolverines in the pros recently, seeing a Michigan player on a "Draft Pick" card is outstanding, and Hall has certainly proven himself to be an outstanding player, other than a recent injury.

Mario Manningham 2008 Topps Chrome RC:
This is one of two non-Michigan uni cards I'm featuring today, but after his Super Bowl performance, there was no way I was leaving out Super Mario, and this is definitely the best RC of him that I have handy.  I actually picked it up in a rare trade on Blowout last December, and it's definitely an upgraded version of his 2008 Topps RC, of which I have several.  The 2008 design was very nice and I really like the shot of Manningham in action, probably trying to catch another errant pass from Eli, who probably has that same stupid look on his stupid face. 

 Marlin Jackson 2005 Topps Chrome Draft Picks and Prospects RC:
From the same year as the Braylon, here's a Chrome version of DB Marlin Jackson's RC.  He's a guy who showed a lot of talent and promise while in school (despite a couple position changes) to the point where he was hardly thrown towards, then looked like he'd have a solid NFL career before multiple heartbreaking injuries robbed him of the chance.  Still, this is a pretty cool RC, and Chrome makes almost everything better!

Marquise Walker 2001 Fleer Showcase RC (#0014/1500):
Another former #1 WR, Walker definitely earned the distinction, leaving Michigan having set a buttload of receiving records (some or most of which have been surpassed by Braylon Edwards).  He also busted out in the NFL, but man was he a good wideout while he was here.  I remember him well because I really started paying attention to Michigan football during his tenure here.
Showcase tends to be a pretty nice looking set, and the artistic value of this one is very apparent.  Of course you've got the airbrushed uni and helmet, which always bugs me a bit ("Our helmet's got wings!"), but it's still a cool shot of Marquise lined up for a snap, with a sweet background and very nice border.  That it's numbered on the back just enhances its value to me. 

Tom Brady 2000 Fleer RC:
And a perfect way to close out this post is with arguably my best Michigan football RC.  Everyone knows the story of Brady getting picked in the 6th round, #199 overall, that year, then going on to win three Super Bowl rings and put up ridiculous numbers despite those odds.  Fortunately, Fleer (though they of course weren't the only ones) thought to include him in that year's base set on their multiplayer rookie cards.
I pulled this from a base set I was formerly working on but gave up on because I still needed so much of the set.  I may as well have anyway since he's the bulk of the value in the set.  Since I pulled this one out, I discovered I had another loose one, so now I'm basking in the relative opulence ("I has it") of having a pair of the HOF-to-be QB.  It may not feature him in a Michigan uni, but given his successes with the Pats, it doesn't really bother me.
Stachelski, by the way, chosen a round before Brady out of Boise St., played sparingly and had about as great a career as most of the QBs chosen before Brady.

I promise to add to this collection again soon because it's fun to have a look at some of my non-hit Michigan PC cards.  If that goes well enough I may even throw up a separate album for inserts, especially if enough people would be interested in such a thing.


  1. I like the Woodson as well as the Brady. Obviously I like them all, but those 2 stand out for me.

    1. Yeah, those two were definitely Topps. I may be able to flip a Brady RC to you sometime if that fits in your PC since I know that's not a Michigan uni card--just let me know.