Saturday, April 23, 2016

Rookie Blue-out part 8: going defensive back in time

Over the last couple months of 2015 I made a big push to acquire lots of cards for my Michigan Football RC PC, and between Sportlots and COMC I made a ton of progress.  Now I'm slowly but surely showing them off in various bunches.  Hit the link above to see the album or have a look at my checklist here.  (You can also use the links in the "Rookie Blue: Michigan Football rookies collection" section on the right sidebar)  Click here for all posts in the series.

Anything formatted in this style indicates what I consider to be a Michigan uniform photo, regardless of airbrushing, etc.

There's a bunch of new players--all of whom were defensive backs in college--in today's post, so I'll probably be relatively brief in introducing them.  On with the cards!:
Terry Barr (1959):  Topps

Barr was introduced in this TK Legacy auto roundup.  He had a pretty nice career with Detroit, and also saw time on the offensive side of the ball.  I should look into how many Wolverines went on to play for the Lions.  Anyway, this is a very cool vintage card, one of very few pre-1960s I own.
Keith Bostic (1988):  Topps

Bostic went to high school kitty corner from the Big House so his journey to college didn't take him very far.  After a productive Michigan career as a turnover machine in the late 70s, Keith was drafted by Houston in the second round of '83.  He played seven pro seasons, including one with Cleveland, and his Pro Bowl '87 campaign (his second-to-last) apparently earned him the right to appear on this Topps card.  Here's another example of an 80s Topps football design being far, far superior to the baseball equivalent.
Dave Brown (1980):  Topps

Brown was an outstanding S/CB and PR for the 1972-74 Wolverines teams that went 30-2-1, and his performance earned him enshrinement into the college game's Hall of Fame and a first-round selection by the Steelers in 1975.  He won a Super Bowl ring with them during his rookie season before being chosen by the Seahawks in 1976's expansion draft.  Brown spent his next 11 seasons with Seattle putting up some nice numbers, then closed out his career with three campaigns in Green Bay.  All told he amassed 62 interceptions (5 returned for TDs) and 12 fumble recoveries over his 14 years in the league--a very nice career indeed.  He passed away at the young age of 52 from a heart attack in 2006, but is forever memorialized in Atlanta and on this Topps card (which came out five years after his rookie season).
Evan Cooper (1989):  Topps Traded

Cooper was a corner and return man out of Miami who enjoyed four good years in Ann Arbor from 1980-83.  The Eagles chose him in the fourth round in '84, and over four years in Philly he saw action as a punt- and kick-return along with both DB positions.  He then finished his career with Atlanta over the 1988 and '89 seasons, and put up his best defensive stats in his final season which saw him focus on the safety spot.  Topps finally got him on some cardboard in their '89 Traded set (which, again, looks miles ahead of the baseball version!), and now I bet you're seeing a pattern with some of these pre-90s guys.
Thom Darden (1974):  Topps

Darden, another Ohio native who came north and enjoyed success with Michigan, played for Bo's first three squads from 1969-71 as a highly-decorated conference player.  The original Browns grabbed him 18th overall in 1972, and he rewarded them with nine seasons that saw him set several team interception marks that still stand today, including career total (45) and single-season (10 during his Pro Bowl 1978 campaign).  Here he is rocking a great Afro on a Topps first-year that came out a couple years after he was drafted.
Leon Hall (2007):  Donruss Classics (#0856/1499), Donruss Gridiron Gear (#183/599), Finest, Playoff Prestige, Score, Topps Chrome, Topps Total

Hall has "only" 23 cards for me to chase, and these seven take a nice bite out of that number (I have 13 for now).  This is an interesting mix with a pair of Panini numbered issues, an outstanding college uni card from the excellent '07 Prestige set, cards from Topps' bread-and-butter Finest and Chrome products, and lower-end stuff from Score and Topps Total.
Mike Harden (1985):  Topps

Harden came out of Memphis, Tennessee to play for Bo's Wolverines from 1976-79 before Denver grabbed him in 1980's fifth round.  He spent nine years with the Broncs, putting up 33 INTs and 4 TDs along with a punt return score, then finished his career with the Raiders (including 5 more picks).  Harden had to wait until '85 for this RC after putting up career best numbers the year before.
Dwight Hicks (1982):  Topps

Hicks was actually a sixth-round pick of the Lions back in 1978, but fortunately for his career, he never joined those losers.  After a year with Toronto of the CFL he ended up with the Niners, with whom he enjoyed quite a bit of success as the leader of the "Dwight Hicks and His Hot Licks" secondary.  In seven years in San Fran he picked off 30 passes (scoring three times) and won Super Bowls in 1981 and '84.  Hicks spent his final season, 1986, with Indy, then switch gears completely 10 years later and became an actor with quite a few movie and TV roles to his name!  He also had to wait a few years for his RC, but at least he didn't have to be pictured with the Lions.
Marlin Jackson (2005):  Absolute Memorabilia (#005/999), Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman's Best, Donruss Elite (#476/499), Leaf Certified Materials (#0179/1000), Playoff Honors (#356/699), Playoff Prestige, Score, SPx (#0079/1199), Throwback Threads (#196/999), Topps Chrome, Topps Total, UD Portraits (#421/425), Ultra, Upper Deck Kickoff, Upper Deck Legends (#465/725)

Wow, 17 new Marlin Jackson rookies!  That's a very nice total since I previously only had two in this collection, so I'm almost 2/3 done with his 30 first-years.  There's a ton to like here--lots of serial-numbering, plus the three college cards feature outstanding designs--and I'm very excited about the Bowman's Best card because I'm nearing the end of that rainbow, which I can't wait to show off.
Cato June (2003):  Bowman, Upper Deck MVP

These are actually the first two June RCs I'm showing off since I started this project, but then again he only has four; I'm short his Rookies & Stars and SP Signature cards from the same year.  2003 Bowman featured a pretty nice design, but I love the MVP card and its Michigan uniform, especially since June's wearing the legendary Charles Woodson's #2.  He actually ended up playing LB in the NFL, by the way.
Ty Law (1995):  Action Packed, Collector's Choice, Pro Line, Skybox Impact, Skybox Premium, SP Championship, Ultra

Speaking of legendary Michigan DBs, here's one of my favorites, Ty Law.  These seven--four of which are college cards, with a bit of obnoxious helmet airbrushing--give me eight of his 10 cards, and I'll soon be showing off the final two.  It'll be fun to have the full RC run of the two-time Super Bowl champ and future-HOFer.
Randy Logan (1976):  Topps

Logan, a Detroit native, was another early Bo player (1970-72), and he played safety throughout his final two college seasons, including his senior year after which he was named team MVP (for a very successful squad).  The Eagles grabbed him in 1973's third round, and he rewarded them with a solid 11-year career that saw him compile 23 INTs and 5 fumble recoveries, plus he appeared in 159 straight games for those Iggles.  Topps made him wait until after his third year to appear on this '76 Topps RC.
John Rowser (1972):  Topps

Rowser was a pre-Bo player (1963-66) who mainly played CB for coach Bump Elliott, and was selected by Green Bay in the third round of the '67 draft.  His career started on a high note as those Packers went on to win the NFL Championship and then Super Bowl II.  He was then flipped to the Steelers in '70 and gave them four nice seasons before finishing up his career with three more in Denver.  All told he compiled 26 INTs and 6 fumble recoveries.  Rowser is another guy that had to wait a few years for his RC and missed out on appearing with his original team.
Ernest Shazor (2005):  Donruss Elite (#296/499)

Shazor left a lot of Michigan fans scratching their heads when he bolted early for the NFL and unsurprisingly went undrafted, then appeared in just a couple games.  At least this Elite RC from 2005 looks completely awesome in typical Elite fashion.  I'm one away from his trio of rookies.
Morgan Trent (2009):  SP Authentic (#569/999), SP Threads, Upper Deck Draft Edition

I was happy to land this trio of Trent cards (especially the UD Draft card, obviously) as I now own all four of his first-years.  I'm a little surprised that the other two cards look so similar.  Anyway, knock another one off the list!
Rick Volk (1971):  Topps

I first wrote about Bob Chappuis' nephew in (surprise!) a post that included his TK Legacy auto.  A 1967 rookie with the Colts, he had to wait a few years for this nice colorful RC which came out a year after he helped Baltimore defeat Dallas with a pick in Super Bowl V.  This is a card that wouldn't entirely look out of place in '75 Topps baseball!

Ok, one post left in this series and then back to other stuff!

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