Sunday, April 24, 2016

Rookie Blue-out part 9: LBs and QBs and that's all, folks!

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.

Here they are:  the final cards from this series. (Though I do have more to show off in-hand from the same sources--COMC and Sportlots--and a couple others)  It feels nice to get this much closer to finish off showing pickups from 2015!

Today's position groups have nothing to do with each other besides having "back" in their names and being the only cards I hadn't shown off yet.  I didn't think there were enough of either bunch to have their own posts.  So here's the linebackers and quarterbacks!

John Anderson (1983):  Topps

Anderson played DE and LB for Michigan from 1974-77 and contributed to some extremely stingy defenses before the Pack snapped him up in the '78 draft's first round.  John gave them all 12 seasons of his career, finishing with the team's career mark for tackles, 1,020, which was only recently topped by A.J. Hawk, and was enshrined in the franchise hall of fame in 1996.  Here you can see he had to wait until '83 for his first card, and by that time he'd already played five seasons.
Prescott Burgess (2007):  Bowman Sterling, SP Authentic (#1306/1399), Topps Total, Topps TX Exclusive (#0509/1049)

Burgess has eight cards for me to track down and I already owned three, so thanks to these I'm only one away, and that last card is in hand!  From this bunch my favorite is the relatively simple and classy SP Authentic.
David Harris (2007):  Donruss Classics (#0199/1499), Donruss Gridiron Gear (#558/599), Donruss Threads (#671/999), Leaf Certified Materials (#0171/1500), Leaf Rookies and Stars (#745/999), Playoff NFL Playoffs, Playoff Prestige, Score, Select, Topps Performance (#023/359), Topps Total, Topps TX Exclusive (#0225/1049), Upper Deck, Upper Deck First Edition

Harris is a tackle machine (I think I say that literally every time I mention him) who doesn't get a ton of hobby love due to his position.  Fortunately his college play earned him a stout 24 RCs, and here's 14 of those to go with three I've already posted.  There's a lot of sets I like here, but my favorites are Classics, UD First Edition, and of course, Prestige.
Victor Hobson (2003):  Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Leaf Rookies and Stars, Topps, Topps Draft Picks and Prospects, Topps Total, Upper Deck Honor Roll (#1918/2003)

Hobson was pictured on 11 rookies in 2003, and here's seven of them--the first ones I've shown off of him since I started this project.  The rest of the cards are fine but I of course love love love the '03 Topps Draft set!
Jeremy LeSueur (2004):  Bowman, Playoff Honors (#238/425)

Here's a pair of new first-years of LeSueur, which is French for...uh..."the Sueur."  Actually, it's "sweat," which is pretty appropriate for an athlete.  Jeremy has nine total RCs and I now own three of them.  I've never been high on the Playoff Honors design from that year, but the Bowman set looks pretty nice.
Jonas Mouton (2011):  Absolute Memorabilia RC (#082/399), Certified RC (#502/999), Crown Royale, Panini Gold Standard RC (#290/299), Panini Gridiron Gear, Panini Threads, Rookies and Stars, Rookies and Stars Longevity

Mouton is one of the more recent rookies out of Michigan at a time when Ann Arbor's draft pipeline has slowed to a relative trickle.  I'm sure Jim Harbaugh will blow up that dam and release a deluge of talent once again.  Jonas was Michigan's only player to appear on RCs in 2011 and made it on nine of them, including these eight and another I'll be showing off soon.  Put me down as a fan of the first three designs, especially the incomparable Crown Royale.
Frank Nunley (1972):  Topps

Nunley was a Wolverine from 1964-66 before the Niners grabbed him in the third round of the '67 draft.  He played all 137 games of his 10-year career with San Fran, and most importantly, that's where he acquired his nickname:  "Fudgehammer."  Apparently he "looked like fudge but hit like a hammer."  That totally makes me want to track down a TK Legacy autograph of him.  Here he is on a '72 Topps RC, which was produced about halfway through his career.
Shantee Orr (2006):  Score

Orr is another Detroit native that headed west to Ann Arbor (and is a favorite of Tim of the Great Sports Name Hall of Fame).  After starting for the Wolverines in the early 2000s he went undrafted but was signed by the Packers in 2003.  He eventually found his way to Houston and spent the majority of his career, 4.5 years, as a Texan, appearing in 47 games with them from 2003-2007.  He finished the '07 campaign with Jacksonville, then his career with Cleveland.  Orr's NFL career wasn't entirely memorable, but he did last for an above-average six seasons after being a solid college player.  Shantee appeared on two 2006 RCs: this Score base as well as the higher-end parallel Select product (which I'll be showing off soon!).
Mel Owens (1989):  Pro Set, Score Supplemental

Our final LB today is another Detroiter, Mel Owens.  Owens played for Michigan in the late 70s and started his final two seasons, 1979 and 1980.  The Rams chose him ninth overall in 1981, one pick after Niners HOFer Ronnie Lott, and as with other guys I've mentioned today, he played out his whole career with the team that drafted him.  In nine years in L.A. he started 91 out of 122 games.  Of course he had to wait his whole career to appear on this pair of RCs from Pro Set and Score.


Larry Cipa (1975):  Topps

I actually have a TK Legacy auto of Cipa but never gave him a good write-up.  Cipa was a Wolverine from 1971-73 and backed up the impeccably-named Dennis Franklin, so he never really put up much stats-wise.  Back when the drafts went this many rounds the Saints took him in the 15th in 1974.  His career lasted all of two seasons--just eight games and three starts--but at least he got his RC pretty much as soon as possible thanks to this '75 Topps issue.
Todd Collins (1995):  Action Packed Monday Night Football, Action Packed Rookes & Stars, Bowman, Bowman's Best, Crown Royale, Flair, Pacific, Pinnacle, Playoff Absolute, Playoff Contenders, Playoff Prime, Pro Line, Score, Select Certified, Skybox Premium, SP Championship, Stadium Club, Summit, Topps, Ultra, Upper Deck

Here's the final 21 cards I needed of Collins' 23 first-years.  The second-rounder played 12 pro seasons so that seems fairly reasonable.  There's a lot of great cards to pick from here thanks to a bevy of brands and designs, but I'll surprise nobody and choose Absolute as my favorite.
Elvis Grbac (1993):  Bowman, Pacific, Power Update Prospects, Pro Set, Stadium Club

Here before you are all five of Grbac's rookies, and his name is spelled three different ways:  correctly (Bowman, Pacific, Stadium Club), as "Grback" (Power Update), and "Grabac" (Pro Set).  You'd think a five-letter last name would be simple, but I guess some folks have trouble with the fact he only has the one vowel.  Elvis' one college card is a typically ugly-as-hell early 90s Pacific, so let's give the win to Stadium Club.
Drew Henson (2004):  Bazooka, Bowman, Finest, Topps Total

This quartet of Henson RCs makes it look like the Toppsopoly reared its ugly head back in '04, but these are just the brands I was able to land this time.  Despite Henson's ultimate failure in the NFL, he was a big story as he returned to what was likely his better sport, football, in 2004, and for that reason he appears on a crazy 37 rookies.  I own just six of them, so I have a bit of a mountain to climb there.
John Navarre (2004):  Bazooka, Bowman, Topps, Topps Draft Picks and Prospects, Topps Total, UD Diamond Pro Sigs

Here's Henson's fellow 2004 QB prospect John Navarre.  The gumpy, statue-esque (and not in a good way) but winning signal-caller got 25 rookies that year, but there's some nice ones, especially that Topps Draft--the maize & blue really pop!  These are the first Navarres I've shown off for this project.
Denard Robinson (2013):  Bowman Sterling, Certified RC (#993/999), Elite RC (#111/799), Momentum, Panini Prominence, Prestige, Topps Magic, Topps Mini, Topps Platinum, Topps Prime Retail, Totally Certified

And finally, a guy I'm better just about anyone will know, even if they don't read this blog very often.  Shoelace is actually a pretty reasonable guy to collect--despite his (well-deserved) hype in college, his card prices don't always defy logic as much as others'.  Denard has 27 rookies to his name and this set of 11 gives me 22 of them.  Though there isn't a college uni card to choose here, I have no problem going with another fun Elite design.

And that's all!  It took nine posts and...checking...ALMOST FOUR MONTHS? get I can't even remember how many cards posted.  As of this post, I've shown off something like 814 cards for this project, giving me roughly 60% of what's been released to-date.

Now I'll finally get back to some trade packages and other stuff, but keep in mind future posts will include even more football rookies!


  1. It is funny how things have evolved with football rookies. In the late 90's early 00's if you were below the third round you would be lucky to get a Press Pass auto. Today you will be in every set.

    1. Very true, and unfortunately a lot of auto sets get watered down by undrafted guys, though occasionally that works out for college collectors like us.