Friday 30 October 2015

Collection showcase on Kevin Mack

Last June, the Cleveland Browns held a Fan Fest at the Cleveland Convention Center. One of the panels celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Dawg Pound, and had former players Hanford Dixon, Bob Golic and Kevin Mack sharing stories.
1986 Topps #188 - NFL rookie card

Kevin Mack played for the Clemson Tigers, and was a part of their 1981 National Championship team. Following his collegiate career he played one year in the USFL with the Los Angeles Express. He was then chosen by the Browns with the 14th pick of the 1st round of a 1984 supplemental draft of USFL and CFL players. He went on to play nine years for the Browns, rushing for 5,123 yards and 46 touchdowns to go with 1602 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns.

Looking at my collection statistics on The Trading Card Database, I currently have 80 different Kevin Mack cards in my collection, all from the "junk wax" era. They aren't junk to me!

He rushed for over 1000 yards during his rookie season of 1985, and made the Pro Bowl. His season stats are shown below.

1986 Topps - 1000 Yard Club #19
Another thing to note from that season was that Kevin Mack was part of the third tandem, along with Earnest Byner, to rush for 1000 yards in the same season. (Byner passed the 1000 yard mark on the last play of the regular season.) Here is a great article on  their relationship. And below is a card from The Idols subset of 1991 Pinnacle that shows the two together.
1991 Pinnacle #376

Nice to see teammates so close

If you asked me what my favorite Browns card was from my collection, the following card by Pro Set would probably be the first that came to mind. It isn't a valuable card, it isn't an autograph card, but it is an insert card - one that I was thrilled at getting when I pulled it from the 1991 Pro Set Platinum set.
1991 Pro Set Platinum #PC5
Card titled "Touchdown!" featuring a photo by Louis DeLuca of the Dallas Times Herald
This glossy, premium set is a favorite of mine even though the cards didn't show any information on their front other than the set logo. Normally I don't like that, but I love so many of the photos used in this set.
Another action shot follows, from the depths of time when I was young and could look forward to seeing the Browns in the playoffs:
1988 Fleer Team Action #72

Little did I know the years of heartache (and hatred of John Elway) that would follow this game.
At the Fan Fest, it was fun listening to Hanford Dixon talk about how in training camp he would look to see when Kevin Mack was lined up to run, and then how he would try to arrange it so that he wasn't lined up to face him in whatever drill they were working on. Kevin Mack then echoed Dixon but said that the running backs would try to avoid having to face LB Chip Banks.
The great thing about cards is the variety of what we get to see. It is nice to see painted cards. I wonder how many players try to get the original art after the cards come out.
1992 Upper Deck #77

I'm not sure how I prefer having team checklists, like the painting above, or headshots of the team leaders like you used to see on the old Topps cards. Regardless, the art on this is great!
I'm going to finish this post off with a couple of Wild Cards:
1991 Wild Card - 50 Stripe #55
I might as well show that I have a 50 Stripe (along with the 5 and 20). I still need to find the 10, 100 and 1000. I don't have any of the 1992 Kevin Mack Stripes, and only have the 10 Stripe for 1993. Speaking of the 1993 card:
1993 Wild Card #39
Kevin Mack is waving bye to this post!

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