My final eBay purchase from 2013 was a steal of a deal on 12 TK Legacy Michigan cards. I worked with a fantastic seller who had (and still does have) a bunch, and because I love the set so much, I contacted him to see if he'd give me a bit of a discount on a larger purchase. His prices were already generally reasonable (plus they were OBO, which is nice), but he proved to be very receptive to my request, giving me even a slightly larger discount than I expected. In the end, I nabbed 12 autographs for under $75 delivered. I owe a great deal of thanks to user bunbunben for the cards you're about to see, and I might just have to add more from him this year. Regardless of whether or not I do, I recommend him as a quality eBay seller, which is increasingly rare these days.
So here's the exciting haul:
|Captioning this picture because the maize almost exactly matches my background!|
Casey Close 2004 TK Legacy Varsity Club auto
First up is this autograph of former Michigan pitcher/outfielder and current super-agent Casey Close. Although he's a native of Columbus and married to Fox News harpy Gretchen Carlson, plus a sports agent (ew!) I won't hold all that against him. He had a very nice career in Ann Arbor from '83-'86, starring as a hitter that appeared all over the record books. The Yankees drafted him in the 7th round in 1986 (a round before teammate Hal Morris!), but he never rose about AAA with the Yanks or Mariners.
Agency proved to be his calling, though, especially when he began representing Derek Jeter. He also scored a nice deal for future Yankee and fellow Michigan alum Drew Henson. Nowadays his clients include Clayton Kershaw and some guy from Japan named Tanaka. Basically, Close has the option to sleep on a pile of money with many beautiful women, or Gretchen Carlson. This is my first card of him at all, and there's not many more to be found, so I'm happy to have it in my collection!
Ok, onto the main portion of the post: the M Go Blue football autographs. I've casually picked these up for a while, trying to nab all that I could in case I ever wanted to chase the set. I still do that from time to time, knowing there's many I may never find, at least at reasonable prices (see: Ford, Gerald), and there's a LOT. But it's still fun to add them since most of them are players who've never appeared on any other card, and I really learn a lot about the program through the set.
So I've created a new widget on the right side of your view that tracks my progress, both in album and checklist form. Please check them out to your heart's content, and if you ever find something I don't have, especially for under $5, please let me know!
Here's the 11 new additions this time:
Gordon Bell 2003 TK Legacy auto
Bell was a RB from '73-'75, and though he played in the shadow of Archie Griffin, he was quite a good back himself, compiling numerous records (that have since been broken). He was taken in round four of the '76 draft by the Giants, one pick before future HOF LB Harry Carson (also of the Giants), and played for New York and the St. Louis Cardinals from '76-'78.
Jim Betts 2004 TK Legacy auto
Betts was a backup QB and S from 1968-70 who had an awesome fro (click the link!) and successfully challenged new coach Bo Schembechler's facial hair policy. He was a 10th-round pick in '71 (the same draft that produced HOF teammate Dan Dierdorf) by the Jets, but an eye injury derailed his pro career, though he played in the CFL briefly.
Dennis Brown 2003 TK Legacy auto
Besides being impeccably named, Brown was a QB for the Wolverines from 1966-68, putting up some nice numbers in his last two years and earning first team All Big Ten honors in '68. After graduating he went on to a coaching career as an assistant for Bo Schembechler (1972-79) and DC for West Virginia ('80-'86) and Arizona State ('87-'88).
Don Canham 2002 TK Legacy auto
Of all the autographs I added this time, I'm most excited about Canham's. He had a great run as Michigan's track coach before serving as one of the school's greatest athletic directors, from 1968-88. He turned around a moribund program by hiring legendary coach Bo Schembechler and marketing the hell out of the team, turning it into the sellout machine it remains today. He's also responsible for the renewal of the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry (which will end after the 2014 season due to the Irish's lack of fight). His amazing career culminated in having the school's natatorium, home of the water polo, diving, and swim teams, named in his honor. He passed away in 2005, but thankfully his legacy will live on for a long, long time.
Tom Dixon 2004 TK Legacy auto
Dixon was an all-time great Michigan center, appearing for the 1980-83 teams, including every game of his last three seasons. He ended his career as a first team All American and earned a post-grad scholarship after doing quite well as a pre-med football player!
Dan Dworsky 2003 TK Legacy auto
I actually wrote about Dworsky back in this post when I picked up one of his other autos which came from the Special Career set. He was a multi-positional player on back-to-back champs and went on to become a well-known architect.
Mercury Hayes 2005 TK Legacy auto
I was surprised to realize that I didn't have any hits of Hayes until I looked up his checklist and found out this is his only one! One of the greatest names in Wolverines history (literally, although he was a very good player too), he was a standout WR and return man from 1992-95, and paired up with Amani Toomer to form a duo that amassed more than 2000 yards each together. The Saints picked him in the 5th round in 1995, and he bounced around the league to Atlanta and Washington before ultimately landing in the CFL for a couple years.
Mike Mallory 2004 TK Legacy auto
Mike was a standout LB from 1982-85, playing on some pretty good defenses, especially the '85 squad that gave up fewer than seven points per game, and finished ranked #2 after a 10-1-1 campaign. He's been an assistant or coach at the college and pro level ever since 1986 and currently serves as the Jags' special teams coach. He most definitely comes from a football family as his dad was a college coach and his brother Curt (whose autograph I already had) also played at Michigan and went into coaching.
Norm Purucker 2006 TK Legacy auto
I can't find much on Purucker, a HB who played a bit for Michigan from 1936-38. He was part of a couple terrible teams before the Wolverines improved to 6-1-1 for his senior year.
Ron Simpkins 2003 TK Legacy auto
Simpkins starred for the Wolverines as a LB from 1976-79, ending his career with more than 500 tackles--which made him the school's career leader at the time--and 29 TFL. He was named an All-American at the position his senior year, then was drafted by the Bengals in the 7th round the following year. He stuck in the NFL with Cincy through 1986, then finished his pro career with the Packers in '88.
Walt Teninga 2003 TK Legacy auto
Teninga, who apparently went by "Wally," was a HB as a contemporary of Dworksy who also played for the '47 and '48 undefeated champs. He played during 1945, missed a year while with the army, then came back for the 1947-49 campaigns, meaning he played for legendary coach Fritz Crisler's 1947 "Mad Magicians, plus Crisler's '45 squad that introduced the idea of separate offensive and defensive groups to college football. He was drafted by the Giants in the 17th round(!) in 1949, but instead went on to become a fairly successful businessman.
Well, that's it for today, but I'm happy to see my collection for this set grow to 62, with another trio due to get posted, uh, eventually. With the set size somewhere around 180, I've got a long way to go, but again, if you guys see any I don't have for $4 or under, that's an automatic buy for me. By the way, this haul puts me a bit closer to 800 football hits and it ups my unique football subject total to 134! Like the cards above say, GO BLUE!