Monday 28 November 2016

Collection spotlight on Paul Warfield

Looking at my sports calendar I discovered that Hall of Fame player Paul Warfield was born on this day in 1942.

Like last week, with Bernie Kosar's birthday, I figured this would give me a good opportunity to do a spotlight on Paul Warfield's cards in my collection, borrowing scans of the cards from The Trading Card Database. (Some of the scans are ones that I've contributed to the site.)

1965 Philadelphia #41

Paul Warfield's rookie card is the first big card purchase that I ever made. I noticed that a local store had a copy of it in its display case for a couple of years in the early 1990s, and I always had my eye on it every time that I went in. My roommate at the time, a fellow collector, would notice me go back and look every time we were in the store. One day we had a discussion and he asked me how likely would it be that I would ever see another one of these to pick up. Although there were regular card shows, being in Canada hockey was predominant, with baseball right behind. Junk wax football was easy to find, but vintage was tough. He helped me convince myself, and I used money from an income tax refund to pick up the card. It became the feature of my collection.

In a way, I wish that I had scanned my rookie card because it is in very nice shape, but I don't remember it being as white as this scan that I borrowed.

2006 Press Pass Legends #74

Paul Warfield was born in Warren, Ohio on November 28, 1942. He was raised and went to high school in Warren before attending and playing football for The Ohio State University.

I own 36 different Paul Warfield cards, and the above card is the only Ohio State card that I have in the collection. I also have just over a dozen new cards of his coming with my COMC Black Friday shipment, but I don't think any of them are college cards either. I'm a little surprised that I don't see as many college cards for him as opposed to some of the other selected players.

1992 Sunoco Browns Hall of Fame #10

in the 1964 NFL Draft, Warfield was the Browns first round pick, number 11 overall. He had a very good rookie season with 52 receptions for 920 yards and 9 touchdowns, helping the Browns win their last NFL Championship.

In 1970, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins for the 3rd overall draft pick, Purdue Boilermakers All-American quarterback Mike Phipps. (Phipps had a disappointing Browns career that eventually saw him replaced by Brian Sipe after an injury in 1976. The good news, though, is that the Browns traded him to the Bears in 1977 for a 1978 first round draft pick that was used to draft Hall of Fame player Ozzie Newsome.)

2006 Donruss Gridiron Gear - Player Timeline Red #PT-37

After five seasons, and two Super Bowls, with the Dolphins, Warfield spent one year playing in the World Football League before returning to the Browns for the final two seasons of his career.

1977 Topps Mexican #185

Paul Warfield retired after the 1977 season, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1983. He finished his career averaging over 20 yards per reception, and scoring a touchdown every 5 receptions.

The only autographed card that I own of Paul Warfield is from the 1991 Pro Line Portraits set.

The lowest print run of a serial numbered card that I own of him is numbered to his uniform number.

2014 Panini National Treasures - Century Numbers #126 (#/42)

I do not own any memorabilia cards of Paul Warfield.

I am happy that modern sets still include cards of retired players. It allows me to add new cards of Hall of Fame players in their vintage uniforms. With the current Browns team at 0-12 it is nice to get reminders that things were great for the Browns once, even if it was before I was born.

2005 Upper Deck Legends #48

2014 Panini Prizms - Prizm #103

Happy 74th Birthday Paul Warfield!

Friday 25 November 2016

Collection spotlight on Bernie Kosar

Noticing that today is Bernie Kosar's 53rd birthday, I figured that I would shine a little bit of a spotlight on Bernie Kosar with cards and toys in my collection.

2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot - Signatures #SS-BK

1993 Pinnacle #359

Bernie Kosar was born in Youngstown, Ohio on this day in 1963. He was raised in Boardman, Ohio and attended and played football at Boardman High School.

1992 Pro Line Profiles #101

After Boardman High School, his football continued at the University of Miami.

2014 Upper Deck #32

In 1983, Kosar led the Miami Hurricanes to their first National Championship.

In 1984, Kosar's Miami Hurricanes were involved in two very notable college football games.

In the first, on November 10, 1984, Bernie Kosar led the Hurricanes out to a 31-0 halftime lead against the University of Maryland. Future Buffalo Bills quarterback Frank Reich then brought the Terrapins back to win the game 42-40.

The second game, on November 23, 1984, was the famous Hail Mary pass from Boston College's Doug Flutie, leading to their 47-45 win over the Hurricanes.

Combine that with the famous AFC Championship games that the Browns lost to the Broncos and Bernie Kosar has really been involved in some heartbreaking losses.

After graduating early with a double major in Finance and Economics, and after some playing the system to allow himself to be eligible for the NFL Supplemental Draft, where the Browns had traded for the first pick, as opposed to the regular NFL Draft where he wouldn't get to play for his Browns, he found himself drafted by the Browns with that first pick of the 1985 NFL Supplemental Draft on July 3, 1985.

1985 Coke / Mr. Hero Cleveland Browns Card #6

Bernie Kosar started the 1985 season as the backup quarterback to Gary Danielson. After Danielson was injured in the fifth game, Kosar, at the age of 21, became the new starting quarterback for the team. Riding the running game featuring the 1000 yard seasons of Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner, the Browns won the AFC Central with a 8-8 record. The season finished with a 24-21 loss to Dan Marino's Dolphins in the playoffs.

The Coke / Mr. Hero cards are the only Kosar cards I know of from during his rookie season. I like oddballs so I think it's great!

1986 Topps #187 - RC

I told the story in a previous post on how I got my first Bernie Kosar rookie card. I have a few of them now, and many years ago started to put together a set for 1986 Topps. I should really try to find my partial set to see how close I got, and if I can finish it.

1988 Topps #215

Not a bad person to share a card with. Too bad the 1987 season ended with "The Fumble" in the AFC Championship.

1990 Sports Illustrated for Kids #194

I'll probably show a few oddball cards. They are the ones that people haven't seen as often, and I always get so happy when I find a new oddball for my collection.

1991 Domino's The Quarterbacks #5

When I first heard about these cards I was disappointed since we didn't have Domino's Pizza in Ottawa. Luckily it seemed to be during a time of weekly card shows, and I found a dealer that had acquired a bunch of the Domino's cards. I can't remember what I paid for this card, but I do remember it being a premium because it wasn't available here. It couldn't have been too bad or I would have let it pass, but I have memories of being happy getting it.

1992 Collector's Edge - Prototype #6

I really like the Collector's Edge cards when they first came out. As much as I love the old vintage cardboard now, I really liked the plastic Collector's Edge cards back then. I kind of laughed at their gimmick of putting serial numbers on the cards but that didn't stop me from looking to see how low a number I could get.

1992 SkyBox Primetime #184

Woo hoo! Top Gun poster card! So cool!

But I think I prefer his Team MVP card from the same set more.

1992 SkyBox Primetime #190

I love the dog in the background.

1992 Upper Deck - Gold #G24

Okay, this card kills me. It is obviously from the NFL Quarterback Challenge that they used to hold. But it seems to be trying to show mobility. I was hoping to find a video clip of a comedy routine that I saw, that I think was Drew Carey, that joked about Kosar's mobility. The comic would hit the microphone stand and as it wobbled, he would say that it was Kosar scrambling.

1993 Fleer Fruit of the Loom #5

There were two oddball cards that used the 1993 Fleer card, this one and a Shell FACT card.

1993 Pacific Prisms #16

This is the first shiny card set that I remember.

1993 Upper Deck NFL Experience #24

This "Super Bowl Dreams" card has the following quote on the back:
"Every team deserves a shot at the title. I'm going to give it my all to make sure the Browns make it to the big game."
Well, Bernie Kosar made it to, and won, the Super Bowl in 1993, but with the Dallas Cowboys. He was released by the Browns during the 1993 season due to "diminishing skills" and was signed by the Cowboys as a backup to Troy Aikman. He replaced an injured Aikman in the NFC Championship game, going 5-9 passing for 83 yards and a touchdown. In a nice move, he was sent in to the Super Bowl for the final kneel-down of the game.

 After the 1993 season, Kosar signed with the Miami Dolphins which led to a Browns card with a Dolphins logo on it.

1994 Fleer #280

See, look at the uniform, it's a Browns card.

Kosar played three years as a backup with the Dolphins to finish his career. He is credited with the idea for the fake spike that Dan Marino used to win a game against the Jets.

There have been quite a few new Kosar cards since he retired. This one is one of my favorites.

2010 Panini Classics #203 (#/999)

Look at the hand-warming pocket on the front of the jersey! Isn't that awesome! And the helmet really looks askew.

I only own two memorabilia cards that claim to have pieces of a jersey won by Kosar in a game.

2010 Panini Classics - Classic Singles Jerseys #1 (#/299)
2010 Panini Certified - Fabric of the Game #13 (#/250)

Here is the lowest run serial numbered Kosar card that I own.

2014 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions - Mini Foil Magician Red #37 (#/14)

My Bernie Kosar card collection currently sits at 150 cards. This ranks 6th in my collection.

I know that I had a Bernie Kosar poster on the wall in college, and that I still have it rolled up with the rest of my posters from those days. I'm not going to show it, but I will finish with a couple of photos.

Starting Lineup figures for 1988 and 1989
Both versions of 1990 Starting Lineup figures

Happy Birthday Bernie!!!

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Completing a team set - 1988 Panini Stickers

I recently received a message on The Trading Card Database from the member by the name of 'blackshirts' asking if I had any interest in picking up eight stickers from the 1988 Panini NFL Stickers set that I needed.

Since they were the last eight stickers I needed for the team set, I was thrilled that he asked, and after he gave me an acceptable price, I quickly agreed and forwarded him the payment. He mailed the stickers out that day, and they were waiting for me when I went to my PO Box.

I actually started buying these stickers when they came out - they were one of the first NFL sets that I came across. I still have my incomplete sticker album, missing 13 stickers. My Browns page is mostly complete, missing only the helmet card seen below.

In the 1988 Panini Stickers set, there were three foil cards per team. The team helmet, the team uniform, and then a half sticker with the team name.

As you can see the Browns shared their sticker with the Cowboys. Why the Cowboys? At the time, alphabetically, Cleveland was the third team in the AFC (after Buffalo and Cincinnati), while Dallas was the third team in the NFC (after Atlanta and Chicago). Pretty simple.

Since the number 85 was used for the uniform sticker, I feel compelled to mention that wide receiver Clarence Weathers wore number 85 during the 1988 season. He caught 29 passes and 1 touchdown during the season.

The backs of the foil cards were different than the rest of the stickers as they were cards unlike the paper that one would normally peel off the back of a sticker. What did they have on their backs? Let's see.

The helmet sticker back showed the team's stadium. The uniform sticker back showed the team's Huddles character, while the backs of the team stickers showed a referee showing one of the official's signs.

The team pages consisted of 11 individual players and one action sticker. The book also had pages for All-Pro players as well as a couple of featured players for the AFC and NFC pages in the middle pages.

The sticker to the left is the Brown's action sticker. It appears to show Bernie Kosar in the middle of dropping back into the pocket after taking a snap.

Although it looks like the photo on the sticker to the right may have been taken just after the first sticker, you'll notice that he has white long sleeves in the first sticker, and no long sleeves in the second one, so they are from a different game. The second sticker is part of the AFC page in the middle of the sticker book. (The other featured AFC player is the Seahawks' Curt Warner. I mean, everyone remembers the Running Back Curt Warner don't they?)

The regular player stickers are numbered alphabetically in each team's page, so here are the first four Browns players in this set.

Earnest Byner had two terms as a Running Back with the Browns, from 1984-1988, and then again from 1994-1995. He joined with Kevin Mack in 1985 as a running back tandem where both of them ran for over 1000 yards.

Hanford Dixon was a Cornerback that played his entire nine year career with the Browns from 1981-1989. He created the Dawg Pound in 1985 with fellow cornerback Frank Minnifield. Dixon made three Pro Bowls, and was a two-time First team All-Pro.

Bob Golic was a Nose Tackle for the Browns from 1982-1988. A three-time Pro Bowl player with the Browns, after retiring from the NFL he was a regular cast member of "Saved by the Bell: The College Years".

Mike Johnson was a Linebacker for the Browns from 1986-1993, making two Pro Bowls during that time.

Bernie Kosar was the local boy (from Boardman, Ohio) made good. Three times he brought the Browns to the AFC Championship only to lose to Denver. He played for the Browns from 1985 until his surprise release in 1993. Many Browns fans have not forgiven Bill Belichick for Kosar's release.

As I mentioned above, Kevin Mack joined Earnest Byner in rushing for over 1000 yards in 1985. A two-time Pro Bowl player, he played his entire NFL career with the Browns from 1985-1993.

I am a firm believer that Clay Matthews should be in the Hall of Fame. Son of former 49er Clay Matthews, and father of current Packer Clay Matthews, he played in four Pro Bowls, and was a three-time All Pro Linebacker that played with the Browns from 1978-1993.

Gerald McNeil was a Kick-off and Punt Returner with the Browns from 1986-1989. He was a Pro Bowl player in 1987.

Frank Minnifield was the Cornerback opposite Hanford Dixon for most of the 1980s. A four-time Pro Bowl player, he spent his entire career with the Browns from 1984-1992.

Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome played Tight End and is the Browns franchise receptions leader, his career lasting from 1978-1990. The Browns had two first-round picks in 1978 and selected Newsome and Clay Matthews. A little bit better than their recent record with two first-round picks.

Cody Risien played eleven years with the Browns from 1979-1989. A 7th round draft pick, he started 10 games in his rookie season at Left Guard before starting every other game he played in his final ten years at Right Tackle. He went to the Pro Bowl in 1986 and 1987.

We'll finish off with the Browns All-Pro sticker from the set.

Finally, both Dawg Pound Cornerbacks shared an All-Pro sticker in the middle of the sticker book. It makes for a good way to finish this post. Woof! Woof!

Tuesday 22 November 2016

eBay blaster equivalent purchase

After receiving a Leaf Certified - New Generation Jersey card of Corey Coleman from Matt in his trade shipment recently, I noticed that there were two other Browns represented in that insert set, Ricardo Louis and Cody Kessler.

I looked on eBay, and saw a seller with one at a good price so I decided to take a look at his other items to see if I could combine a bunch of cards to combine shipping. He did, and for around the cost of a blaster, here is what I bought.

2016 Panini Certified - New Generation Jerseys #25

Here is the card that started it all. Louis only received one target last weekend versus the Steelers, after none the previous two weeks. He is getting over a hamstring injury, and having his playing time reduced after Corey Coleman returned from his injury.

L-R: 2006 Fleer Hot Prospects - Retrospective #RE-BE (#/699); 2012 Topps - Gold #339 (#/2012)

I am now up to 230 different Braylon Edwards cards in my collection, making him third behind Tim Couch and Kevin Johnson. Still plenty more out there of all three players to find. I miss Fleer and their various sets and inserts.

I have 9 different Billy Winn cards, seven of which use this photo - the main Topps card along with this Gold parallel, and the Topps Chrome card along with four parallels.

L-R: 2014 Panini Elite - Status Gold #189 (#/199); 2014 Topps Chrome - Camo Refractors #202 (#/499)

I didn't realize that Terrance West had passed the century mark in my collection. He is now up to 104 different cards, ranking him 18th in my collection. With only two years worth of cards he is way ahead of a lot of longer tenured Browns.

L-R: 2014 Panini Spectra - Gold Prizm #32 (#/25); 2015 Panini Immaculate #79 (#/99)

I might as well continue looking how many cards I have of each player. I only have 26 cards of Brian Hoyer, ranking him tied for 93rd with Otto Graham. I guess that not being drafted by the Browns limits all those rookie cards to chase and keeps the numbers down even though he is a quarterback.

Manziel, on the other hand, is tied with Eric Turner for 11th on my list with 116 different cards. I think he'll keep climbing that list.

I really like both of these cards. Both are thick. Based on other cards that I own of it, I'm not generally a big fan of the Spectra set itself but the Gold Prizm really stands out when you see it in person.

This is my first Panini Immaculate card, and it is appealing, but I'm not going to buy the really expensive six card boxes for the high-end collectors (speculators?). I'm happy enough to pick up the cheap, disappointing remainders from them.

L-R: 2016 Panini Prizm - Rookie Autograph Prizms #RA-EOG; 2016 Panini Impeccable #28 (#/75)

I've just started collecting Ogbah cards so there is no point in looking his stats up, he'll be quite low. However this is my 53rd Duke Johnson card, putting him 50th in my collection, one card behind Vince Mayle.

Again, this Impeccable card is the first I own from that really expensive set, but I absolutely love the front of the card. Too bad the back is disappointing.

If I reduce this to the Large setting instead of X Large, I don't think you would be able to read the back. There is good information, but it is too dark and I don't find it very attractive, other than I like the Immaculate logo and that the Browns helmet really stands out on that background. Oh, well, it is only around $400 for a six card box, you can't ask for too much.

All in all, I am very happy with these cards for the price of a blaster. I know that there are probably lots of eBay sellers sitting on Browns cards that I am not aware of. I can only continue to hope that when I am looking for one card from one of them that it will lead to other great cards like these.

Monday 21 November 2016

2008 Score football parallels

In my post about the Fairfield repack that I picked up, I was surprised that a Super Bowl XLIII factory set card was included and mentioned that I would be posting about them soon. Now is that time.

Back in January I bought two parallel Browns team sets that were included in different color border factory sets sold for Super Bowl XLIII. I posted about them in February. In that post I mentioned that there were still four more parallel sets to pick up. I finally picked them up on eBay.

From what I have read, the red version in the top left corner were from the base Super Bowl XLIII factory set, and 2400 copies of that set were made. Along with that, there were 1200 copies of the blue factory set (top right), 500 copies of the green factory set (bottom left), and 250 copies of the glossy factory set (light blue, bottom right). These go along with the black factory sets (100 copies) and gold factory sets (800 copies) that I already owned.

Only the glossy set was numbered on the back, and all the cards in the team set shared the same number 235/500. The rest of the sets had the same back without the serial number.

Here are the rest of the players included in these factory sets.

Ah, look at that, I included Kellen Winslow, Jr. twice. I was wondering why I seemed to be scanning one too many card since I didn't count the Brady Quinn ones at the top of the post. Oh, well.

The Browns cards in the 2008 Score set are as follows:

67   Derek Anderson
68   Brady Quinn
69   Jamal Lewis
70   Josh Cribbs
71   Kellen Winslow, Jr.
72   Braylon Edwards
73   Joe Jurevicius
74   D'Qwell Jackson
76   Sean Jones
399 Martin Rucker
419 Paul Hubbard

You might notice there is no card number 75 in the Browns team set. Looking at my collection, I find that card 75 is a Browns card to me as it shows Leigh Bodden in his Browns uniform even though he is noted as having signed with the Lions.

This, of course worried me. By buying all these parallels of the team set, how was I going to get the one missing player?

That worry was alleviated by looking at the Lions Super Bowl XLIII factory set cards available at COMC. As it turns out, they took a new photo of Bodden in his Lions uniform to use for the factory sets. Phew.

As happy as I am to have completed the 2008 Score Super Bowl XLIII parallels, I still have plenty more parallels to chase from 2008 Score. Out of the 12 cards I consider to be part of my Browns collection (which includes the Bodden card), I only own 4 of the Glossy parallel, and 2 of the Artist's Proof parallel, while not owning any of the End Zone, Gold Zone, Red Zone or Scorecard parallels. For those counting, that makes 13 of each player to collect, except for Bodden who will only have 7.

Oh, wait. What's that? There is yet another parallel set?

The 2008 Score Select set, which is an exact parallel of the regular 2008 Score set, which means that I want to get the Bodden card. I currently own 5 of the 12 Browns, with another 5 sitting in my COMC purchases that I have waiting to be shipped to me.

Oh, wait, there's still more!

Here is the only Scorecard parallel that I currently own for 2008 Score Select.  Only 11 more to find. And sadly, Scorecard isn't the only Score Select parallel. There are also Artist's Proof, End Zone, Gold Zone, and Red Zone parallels to find as well.

So, if I ever manage to get all the cards, each non-Bodden player will have over two full pages of cards, while Bodden will fill up 13 card pockets in a binder. Crazy, isn't it?

But that is only talking about base cards. There are also the insert sets, and all of those parallels of the insert set in both 2008 Score and 2008 Score Select but I'm not going to get into those here.