Here's another post that goes to 11: 11 cards featuring six notable Wolverines running backs!
B.J. Askew 2003 Bowman's Best Blue auto (#100/499)
Technically I guess Askew is a fullback, but whatever. This is the Blue version of the regular auto I already own, and I have to say the blue background is kind of cool here. It looks like Askew went a bit off the sticker with the signature, but that's never stopped Topps before!
Brandon Minor 2010 Sweet Spot Signatures Variations Michigan auto (#053/100)
Minor really doesn't have many NFL cards to his name--I already have two of them, given that I previously purchased the slightly more common variation version of this card. That makes me appreciate this trio (which I'll have to complete sometime) all the more, although he's the kind of player I'd be really frustrated to pull in this product if I wasn't a fan of his alma mater; he's definitely a strange choice here, no?
Mike Hart 2008 Donruss Threads 'A' letter patch auto RC (#018/100)
Mike Hart 2008 SAGE HIT Silver auto
Mike Hart 2008 Select Inscriptions auto (#15/50)
Mike Hart 2008 Upper Deck Signature Shots auto
Mike Hart 2009 Donruss Threads Pro Gridiron Kings auto (#034/150)
Mike Hart 2009 Score Inscriptions auto (#062/100)
W00t! Six more Mike Harts! Go on, take a guess at which one's my favorite. If you guessed the Upper Deck Signature Shots auto, you win. The Donruss letter is sweet, but for my money, the UD card is as good as it gets, and I probably said the same which I picked up the Crable from the set. Give me an on-card auto of a player in his college uni on a card with no border, a gorgeous full-bleed photo and nothing else. Perfection!
That said, the others are fun too. I was thrilled to add another letter patch auto without breaking the bank, and the SAGE is my second (I have the Gold as well) from another set I think is outstanding. Old #20 now stands at 47 hits, good for fourth place in football behind Chad Henne's 48, and he's still one of only four players over 40 hits (Jake Long, Braylon Edwards). Not bad!
Tim Biakabutuka 1996 Classic NFL Rookies auto
This is now my seventh hit (sixth auto) of Timmy B, and third of him in a Michigan uni. Looks to me here like he's making a nice cut past a diving Penn State defender. If that photo is from 1995's game against PSU, (a loss, unfortunately), it would have been taken just a week before Biakabutuka's legendary 37 rush, 313 yard performance against OSU in in a 31-23 win over the cheaters from down south.
Tyrone Wheatley 1999 SkyBox Premium Autographics auto
Come on, how could you look at this card and NOT want it? Wheatley was simply one of the greatest backs ever to come out of Michigan--the school and the state. After his decent NFL career, he went into coaching, and his efforts paid off this year as he followed former Syracuse head coach Doug Marrone to the NFL's Bills where he'll be their (surprise!) RBs coach. Best of luck to a guy I hope to see coaching on NFL sidelines (if not Michigan's) for years! This is Wheatley hit #3 for me, by the way.
Tom Harmon 1955 Topps All American RC
Sometimes I just let things go alphabetically (by first name, sadly, which is annoying to someone like me) when posting, but today I wanted to close things with a bang, because this card was really one of my white whales since I learned about it last year when My Cardboard Mistress' Adam sent me a couple of Harmon's teammates from the same set. That spurred me towards a quest to acquire all seven of the Wolverines in the set, and Harmon was the last (and most expensive) one I needed. The prices on eBay didn't thrill me, and I decided to bide my time until I found one I was happy with. COMC stepped up with this beaut for $26. It really is in fantastic condition considering the price I paid, and I couldn't be happier to add one of the most significant cards in my entire collection. It will enjoy a happy home in both my rookie and vintage PCs.
Since I haven't discussed him on this blog much yet, Harmon was another one of those do-everything players from a bygone era. He starred for the Wolverines from 1938-40 as a single-wing RB and QB and a kicker to boot. An English major at UM, (HOLLA!) Tom was Michigan's first of only three Heisman Trophy winners thanks to an outstanding 1940 season in which he also won the Maxwell Trophy and led the nation in scoring for the second straight year, a stat that's never been matched. He was drafted first overall by Chicago in '41, ditched them for the AFL instead, then went off to war as a pilot, after which he was awarded at Purple Heart and Silver Star. His NFL career was brief--two seasons with the Rams--and he retired to a career of commentating (one of the first to make that transition) and acting. His son Mark followed in dad's footsteps, first as a QB (at UCLA), then as an actor, best known for Chicago Hope and NCIS.
Harmon was simply an amazing football player and athlete (also on the basketball team) and has gone down as one of the true legends of the school. I can't say enough how absolutely thrilled I am to have such a special card in my collection. I promise to show off all seven of the 1955 Wolverines together in a future post!