Wednesday 12 June 2019

Express mailing from the Herschel Hoard

Recently the Herschel Hoard blog had a couple of posts on the 1988 Topps Stickers, and the many possible variations of the stickers with the various sticker back cards.

I knew where my 1988 Topps Stickers were, so I dug them out to see if I had any different variations that I could add to the hoard. I had two different variations so I sent off a message to get a mailing address where I could send the stickers. I didn't expect anything back, but knowing the blogging community was not surprised to get a message back asking if I wanted a specific card off of my wantlists posted on my blog.

Okay, I wasn't surprised to get a message asking if I wanted a card in return, but I was shocked when I saw the card being offered.

I don't have a "most wanted" or "white whale" sidebar on my blog. I have thought of adding one many times, and still might, but I just never seem to get around to it.

If I did have one, however, the card being offered would have been on it.

I have seen the card available at shows in Syracuse, but really didn't want to pay the hometown premium on the offered card, but it was a key card that would eventually have to be added into my collection.

1962 Topps #36

A beautiful card of The Elmira Express, the first black winner of the Heisman Trophy, Ernie Davis.

His story was told on film in the 2008 film The Express: The Ernie Davis Story.

After being drafted first overall by the Washington Redskins in the 1962 NFL Draft, the Browns traded future Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell to the Redskins to acquire Davis to pair in the Browns backfield with fellow Syracuse alum Jim Brown.

During the summer of 1962, while preparing to play with the College All-Stars against the Green Bay Packers, after tests while ill, Ernie Davis was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia. He never played for the Browns, but was allowed to practice with the team, and appeared in uniform for an August pre-season game, where he was spotlighted running on the field, but did not play.

Ernie Davis passed away at the age of 23, in Cleveland, on May 18, 1963.

I'm so thankful to add this meaningful card to my collection.

(The scan seemed to pick up a lot of white specks on the black border of the card. They sure don't seem to be anywhere as noticeable while the card is held in hand. The card is amazing!)

This Ernie Davis card also came with a few friends.

1973 Topps #79

You have to love those old single bar facemasks that kickers used.

Don Cockroft was a longtime kicker for the Browns, acting as both the punter and placekicker from 1968-1976, and then continuing on as only the placekicker from 1977-1980.

1973 Topps #429

Yes, the kid in me is laughing at his name.

Fair Hooker played six seasons in the NFL, all with the Browns from 1969-74, catching 129 passes and 8 touchdowns.

I love the card backs with their cartoons for the 1973 set, so I figured that I would show them.

One last card also came in the package.

1976 Topps #438

When Doug Dieken took over at left tackle for the Browns, it was a big deal. He became the third left tackle in the franchise's history, after Lou Groza from 1946-1959 (in the AAFC and NFL), and Dick Schafrath from 1960 until Dieken took over in 1971. Dieken was the left tackle until 1984.

Oh, and looking at the card back, can you guess the mystery Brown? If you can't, re-read an earlier part of this post and you will realize who the Browns punter was in 1973.

I'm extremely grateful to the Herschel Hoard for these cards. Thank you very much.


  1. That was a nice return! I too have thought about adding a most wanted list, but I don't know if that's the sort of thing that I want people to be bombarded with once they start scrolling down the blog, I feel like it would make me look needy and/or greedy -- I'm sure that I'm only one who worries about such things, as pretty much everyone else has one, and they never get any flak for doing so.

  2. My pleasure, Angus. And just to add to the comment by Jon, my most wanted list is never looking for a freebie, it's just out there in case someone has something I'm looking for, and would be willing to sell or trade for.

    1. I think it can also be used as a reminder to look for those cards on the lists.