Monday 3 October 2016

Cards from a fellow Browns fan

As most of you might guess, being a Browns fan can be difficult at times. Yesterday was tough with the Browns looking like they were driving to increase their lead in the third quarter before their fullback fumbled a ball away leading to three straight possessions that they turned over. (Although I feel that Duke Johnson actually recovered his fumble no matter what the league says.) And, of course, that follows last week's missed winning field goal against the Dolphins, and the previous week's blown lead against the Ravens. I just try not to get down about it.

In any case, it is nice to have fellow Browns fans and collectors out there that can relate to what I'm going through, and a week ago I received a package of cards from one such collector, Tony aka SFC Temple from The Trading Card Database.

The two of us are the top two contributors of Browns card scans in the database, and since our collections are listed there, it really allows us to create packages of cards that the other person will need which is always great.

Here is some of what I was sent.

In the file of "how didn't I have that already" comes this card.

1993 Playoff #32
Okay, it is because this card was listed as an Eagles card because it has a "signed with..." notation on the back.

Bavaro played the 1992 season for the Browns, catching 25 passes and 2 touchdowns. It was a short stint but I liked him being on the team.

Continuing with some cards featuring Browns signed by other teams.

Top (l-r): 2001 Upper Deck Top Tier #41; 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads #34
Bottom (l-r): 2016 Panini Prestige #48; 2016 Panini Prestige - Xtra Points Green #48
Although Vikings, Bills and Chargers collectors will argue that these cards belong to their collections, the uniforms still say they belong in mine.

There was also a great oddball card of Joe Thomas.

This appears to be the front of the card, although the card actually appears to be panels that pull apart and fold back. I'm not going to open this card to see what is inside though. From looking online, the card appears to be have been put out in 2013. News articles also mention Thomas doing Play 60 appearances in 2015 but I don't know if these cards would still be handed out then.

Here is what I guess to be the back of the card.

I'm sure it is no surprise to see a Wisconsin native working on an NFL program with the American Dairy Association. What a great card!

He also sent a bunch of cards that I needed from the early expansion days. I'm going to start with some 1999 cards that actually show the players in Browns jerseys.

Top: 1999 Upper Deck Victory #63
Bottom (l-r): 1999 Upper Deck Victory #381 and #402
Terry Kirby came to the expansion Browns after starting his career with three seasons in Miami and then playing three seasons in San Francisco. He ended up only playing the one season in Cleveland, scoring a career high 9 touchdowns (6 rushing, 3 receiving) in 1999 before moving on to Oakland for three seasons.

I'm sure that most people are already aware that Tim Couch was the first pick of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Kentucky.

Daylon McCutcheon was a third-round pick out of USC. He played seven seasons with the Browns, starting 96 games, and had 12 interceptions (2 for touchdowns), 7 sacks and 7 forced fumbles during that period.

There was also this insert of Tim Couch.

1999 Upper Deck PowerDeck - Auxiliary #aux-21

The rest of the 1999 cards showed the expansion players in their previous year's uniforms. Here is a sampling of those players.

Top (l-r): 1999 Upper Deck MVP #45 and #46
Bottom (l-r): 1999 Upper Deck MVP #49 and #50
Can you tell that there was a 49er influence on the expansion Browns? Carmen Policy and Dwight Clark were the President and Vice-President of the expansion team and no doubt acquired players that they knew.

Ty Detmer was the first starting quarterback for the expansion Browns. He started the first and last games of the season with Tim Couch starting the fourteen games in between. In September 2001 he was traded to the Detroit Lions where he played from 2001-2003.

Marquez Pope only played the one season in Cleveland before moving on to Oakland for two seasons. In his season with the Browns he started 15 games and had 2 interceptions and a forced fumble.

Antonio Langham was the #9 pick in the 1994 NFL Draft for the Browns. The expansion Browns then chose him with their last pick in the expansion draft. He played his one comeback season with the Browns before moving on to New England for his final NFL season in 2000.

Top (l-r): 1999 Pacific #102 and #106
Bottom (l-r): 1999 Skybox Metal Universe #127; 1999 Upper Deck MVP #47
Damon Gibson, Freddie Solomon and Justin Armour were all selected by the Browns in the 1999 expansion draft.

Damon Gibson had two punt returns for the Browns in 1999 before playing in Jacksonville and Atlanta from 2000-2001.

Neither Freddie Solomon or Justin Armour ever played for the Browns. Solomon moved on to the Arena League after 1999, and Armour played the 1999 season with the Baltimore Ravens.

After playing five seasons with the Redskins, Shepherd played nine games of the 1999 season with the Browns, catching 23 passes. He then finished his career playing with the Dolphins in 2000.

Moving on to cards from the 2000 season.

Top (l-r): 2000 Pacific #88 and #94
Bottom (l-r): 2000 Pacific #85 and #92
Two more ex-49ers in Marc Edwards and Irv Smith. Edwards played the 1999 and 2000 seasons with the Browns before moving on to New England, Jacksonville and Chicago from 2001-2005. Smith's 1999 season with the Browns was his last in the NFL.

Karim Abdul-Jabbar was acquired by the Browns from the Dolphins in October 1999. His tenure with the Browns was the rest of the 1999 season.

Jamir Miller was probably the best player on the early Browns expansion teams. In 2001 he made the Pro Bowl and was named as a First Team All-Pro. In typical Browns fashion, during a pre-season game the following year he tore his right Achilles tendon which turned out to be a career ending injury. He was the only Browns Pro Bowl player from 1999 until the 2007 season.

L-R: 2000 Stadium Club #108; 2000 Fleer Tradition #181
When I saw the photo on this Kevin Johnson card I was hoping that it would be the touchdown celebration after catching the Hail Mary pass that gave the Browns their first victory in the 1999 season. Sadly, it wasn't. They wore white that game. I still love the photo though.

Errict Rhett came to the Browns from the Ravens for the 2000 season which was his last in the league.

Top: 2001 Fleer Tradition #78
Bottom: 2001 Pacific #104
Rickey Dudley is another player who only played one year with the Browns. He came to the Browns after five years with the Raiders, and went on to play three years with the Buccaneers winning a Super Bowl with them after the 2002 season.

This is a great action shot of the late JaJuan Dawson who played for the Browns from 2000-2001. Sadly he died on a boating trip in July 2015.

Top: 2001 Topps #333
Bottom (l-r): 2001 Topps #309 and #168
Here are a couple of high draft picks for the Browns. Gerard Warren was the 3rd Overall pick of the 2001 NFL Draft, while Courtney Brown was the 1st Overall pick of the 2000 NFL Draft. Both played for the Browns through the 2004 season, and then both moved on to play for the Denver Broncos in 2005. Brown's career was greatly affected by injuries, while Warren played in the NFL through the 2011 season.

Tony, thanks for the great cards!


  1. That Play 60 oddball looks fun - I might have to try and dig one of those up myself. Never seen those before.

  2. The Browns need to make sure they didn't build their field on some ancient Indian burial ground. It is always one step forward, two steps back for them. They are cursed.