Monday 23 April 2018

Blog Bat Around - Autograph team

I've decided to try and contribute to Zippy Zappy's Blog Bat Around but with one major difference.

My favorite team is a football team, and my main collection is of the Cleveland Browns. I don't think that I could put together an autographed baseball line-up, can I put together a full team of the Browns?

To save me pulling cards out of my collection, I will borrow the images of cards that I own from the Trading Card Database. I don't feel bad about doing so, since a lot of the images of these cards were probably submitted by me in the first place.


1992 Pro Line Portraits - Autograph

I've got autographs of a lot of Browns quarterbacks, but really this came down to a choice between Otto Graham, and Bernie Kosar. Although I grew up watching Kosar play, and he's one of my favorite players, I have to go with the Hall of Famer here.

Running Backs:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

What can I say? I'm going with an all-Leroy backfield.

I wish I had a Jim Brown autograph. If I did, of course he would have been included.

I was tempted to include a Tommy Vardell autograph, as I was so thrilled when I got it, but Hoard makes for a better player on the team.

Wide Receivers:
1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

I had a lot to choose from in wide receivers, but can't resist having two Hall of Famers here. The receiver spot will also have some reinforcements on special teams if needed.

Tight End:
1997 Upper Deck Legends - Autographs #AL-154

We're off to see the Wizard!

Offensive Line:
2007 SP Authentic - Gold #276 (#/25)

I don't think that there was any question at Left Tackle.

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

Or any question at Right Tackle.

2010 SA*GE HIT - Autographs Silver #A36

I don't have many options for the O-Line, but Lauvao made 44 starts at Right Guard in four seasons with the Browns before moving on to the Redskins, where he has started for the last four years when he hasn't been injured. I think that makes him a very serviceable member of the offensive line.

2015 Panini Contenders #173

Left Guard is my stretch. Cameron Erving was drafted as insurance at Center, and as a possible replacement for Alex Mack if he were to leave (which he did), and also at Tackle, which he also played at Florida State. Erving really didn't work out at those positions, but in his time with the Browns he did start four games at Guard in 2015, two at Left Guard, and two at Right.

1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

An honorable mention at Center goes to Alex Mack, but his autograph is on a dual autographed card shared with a Bengal, so even if Frank Gatski wasn't a Hall of Famer, I may have had trouble including Mack's card anyways.


Because it fits my collection better, and because historically I believe that the Browns have played it more years than they haven't, I'm going to go with a 4-3 defense.

Defensive Line:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

Bill Willis didn't play in a 4-3. He played in the middle of what gets listed as 5 defensive linemen and 2 linebackers. I think he'll be fine in the middle of the 4-3.

1992 Pro Line Profiles - Autographs #327

I wanted to go with Bob Golic as my second interior defense lineman, but I just couldn't ignore Michael Dean Perry. Here's a link to the Golic card if you want to see it.

2016 Panini Absolute - Rookie Ink Silver #18 (#/399)

I like Emmanuel Ogbah coming from one end, and would love to pair him with Myles Garrett but I don't have an autographed Garrett card yet. I have an autographed football, but not a card.

1992 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

During the last four years the Browns played in Cleveland before the move to Baltimore, Burnett had 35.5 sacks. He made the Pro Bowl in 1994.

1994 Pro Line Live - Autographs (#/2000)

As I've mentioned on this blog many times, Clay Matthews is one of my favorite players. I think some of my friends were sick of me showing this card to them when I first got it. He's a linebacker that can rush the passer, or drop back into coverage.

2009 Philadelphia - Signatures #PS-DQ

A tackling machine in the middle of the field with D'Qwell Jackson.

2006 SP Authentic #185 (#/1175)

I thought about putting Barkevious Mingo in the second outside linebacker spot just to include his name, but I think that Kamerion Wimbley helps make it a better autograph team, especially if he duplicates the 11 sacks from his rookie year.


I don't own any autographs of Hanford Dixon or Frank Minnifield, who started the Dawg Pound and the barking, but I would definitely have to consider this next player even if I did have autographs of both of them. 

2010 Panini Rookies & Stars #280 (#/299)

Even though I'm not a huge fan of manufactured relics, I like this card. It just looks nice with the helmet.

1995 Pro Line - Autographs (#/1200)

Other choices here included Eric Wright and Buster Skrine. I'll go with this former first round pick instead.

1994 Pro Line Live - Autographs (#/1030)

Eric Turner had a great 1994 season, leading the league with nine interceptions, and being named a First-Team All-Pro.

2013 Panini National Treasures #291 (#/99)

After a few years as a backup safety, and getting a few starts after injuries to the starters, Jordan Poyer won a starting job with the Browns in 2016. During the sixth game of the year, his season ended on a punt after he was hit by an illegal blindside block and had to be rushed to the hospital with a lacerated kidney and possible concussion. After the season, as a free-agent, he was signed to a four-year contract by the Bills, and had a good season with them. He was the best option that I had as a second safety.

Special Teams:

Punt Returner:
1998 Ron Mix HOF Autographs - Platinum (#/2500)

I had to find a way to get another Hall of Famer's autograph into this lineup. He can fill in at running back and wide receiver. He had three punt return touchdowns, along with three kickoff return touchdowns, in his four seasons with the Browns. Mitchell is tied for second as the all-time team leader in both return categories.

Honorable mentions to Eric Metcalf and his five punt return touchdowns, but I don't have one of his autographs, and to Travis Benjamin and his three punt return touchdowns.

Kickoff Returner:
2012 Panini Totally Certified - Blue Signatures #9 (#/25)

I don't think that I could leave Josh Cribbs off the team with his eight kickoff return touchdowns. He's also tied for second in punt return touchdowns with three.

2011 Panini Prime Signatures - Autographs Printing Plates Cyan #69 (#/1)

Wait a second? Gary Collins looks like a receiver! Yes, he is, with stats similar to Hall of Famer Lynn Swann. For his first six years in the league, he also did double duty as the team's punter. During his career, he punted 336 times for a 41.0 yard average.


Hmmmm, well, here is a problem. I don't have an autographed kicker's card. I really should rectify that by getting a Lou Groza autograph. They're out there, just for more than I've wanted to spend at any given time.

If you can't have a kicker, then maybe you should have a Coach that is secure enough to keep going for it on fourth down.

1991 Pro Line Portraits - Autographs

I traded to get my autographed Bill Belichick card in the early 1990s, and it was the first Browns autograph in my collection.

There we go, a little different than the autographed baseball lineups in the Blog Bat-around, but what can I say? I'm a football guy!

Thanks to Zippy Zappy for getting things going, and thanks to all of you for reading!


  1. I love it. Not to give away any spoilers, but I just finished drafting my Browns Franchise 9 post and I'll think you'll be pleased. I'll post it closer to training camp. This team is almost a greatest Browns ever post, not just an All-Autograph team. Impressive.

  2. To this day is still amuses me, but in a bothering way, that Pro Line had the players sign the back of the cards. I like the way that Bobby Mitchell signed around his numbers and under his jersey collar.

  3. Normally not a fan of backside autographs, but with that design those look pretty sweet. Nice post.

  4. Congratulations on putting this team together. I thought about putting a football team together... but I don't think I have enough offensive linemen.

    And wowza... a Belichek autograph? That must be worth some serious dough. Very very cool.

  5. I'm doing a Non Pirates version today. This was a great spin on Zippy's Blog Bat Around.

  6. Very nice, always a blast to see this done in non-baseball formats.

  7. When I saw the title, I hoped to see Gatski mentioned. I'm very glad that I did.

  8. what, no Ernie Davis or Jim Brown, or even a Kevin Johnson for WR? Don't you like Syracuse Orangemen?

    1. If I had a Jim Brown or an Ernie Davis autograph, it definitely would have made the list. Feel free to send me one if you would like! :)

      As for Kevin Johnson, although he is a favorite of mine, and I have plenty of his autographed cards, as well as an autographed football, I just couldn't put him ahead of the two Hall of Famers.