I'm sure that most bloggers have had people they don't know email them about their blogs. I know that I emailed some of you before I started blogging, before any of you knew who I was.
I received one of those emails a couple of weeks ago, from a person that wondered if I would be interested in some 2006 DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Cleveland Browns cards. He sent me some photos that showed 23 different Browns cards, and I started to look around for information about them. I came up empty.
I had heard about DAV cards before, but my searching didn't turn up any Browns DAV cards. I assumed they were a stadium giveaway of some sort, but I couldn't find any stadium promotions from 2006 for these cards.
Needless to say, upon hearing about these cards that I knew nothing about, I wanted them, and thought that the amount that was asked for was fair so I bought them.
The cards are 5" x 7".
After going through the cards, I'm assuming that it isn't a complete team set. Too many players from skill positions are missing.
Looking at Charlie Frye's picture, you can see that his jersey has the team's 60th Anniversary patch, which means that the photos from this set were taken during the 2006 season.
I could believe that there was only the one quarterback card in the set, as Charlie Frye was the starter with Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey as backups for the season. Neither of them would have been well known with the Browns at that time, and if you had limited numbers of players that you could put in a set, you might just want the starter.
The running backs for the 2006 Browns were led by Reuben Droughns, with Jason Wright and rookie Jerome Harrison. They also had fullbacks Terrelle Smith and rookie Lawrence Vickers.
I would expect to see a couple of these backs represented in the set. However, only one was found in the cards that I purchased.
I would think that a Reuben Droughns card would have been made, but am very happy to see this Terrelle Smith card.
This is my first Terrelle Smith card, and he doesn't have any cards listed on the Trading Card Database after 2003, when he was with the Saints. This may be the only card out there that shows him with the Browns.
I would also imagine that the stable of pass catchers should have more cards than those that came to me.
The Cribbs card is the first to show a player in a brown jersey, which shows that these photos were taken at different games.
Darnell Dinkins doesn't even seem to be in the Trading Card Database yet, so this would be his first card when I track down a checklist and add the set.
I can't see how a 2006 Browns set wouldn't have cards for wide receiver Braylon Edwards, and tight end Kellen Winslow, and would imagine that some of Joe Jurevicius, Dennis Northcutt and Steve Heiden could have received cards. Depending on how big the set was, there might even be an outside chance of third round draft pick Travis Wilson receiving a card. A lot of the other rookies are in this set.
A joy for me, among these cards, was seeing the two lines being well represented.
During the 2006 season, the offensive lineman with the majority of the starts were:
LT Kevin Shaffer - 16 starts
LG Joe Andruzzi - 14 starts
C Hank Fraley - 16 starts
RG Cosey Coleman - 15 starts
RT Ryan Tucker - 9 starts
The Long Snapper was Brian Pontbriand.
The only time the Browns played the Lions during 2006 was during the second pre-season game.
This is my first Kevin Shaffer card even though he has a 2007 Topps Total card that he shares with Hank Fraley and Ryan Tucker. I really should look for a copy of that card.
As with the Shaffer card, this is my first card of Hank Fraley. Once again, I have to find that 2007 Topps Total card.
Okay, I've put this card in with the offensive linemen because that is what it is listed as, but Andrew Hoffman was drafted in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft as a defensive tackle. He was on the Browns practice roster for 2005 and 2006.
This appears to be his only football card.
As far as I can tell, this is Ryan Pontbriand's only card. You have to like getting a card of the Long Snapper, and having the card identify him as such by his position.
From the long snapper, we'll move on to the punter.
I love this photo!
It is nice to get this card of Dave Zastudil, as the two cards that I already own of him are shared Topps Total cards. It is good to have a card of him by himself.
There was no card in my purchase of kicker Phil Dawson. I would think that the set should contain one.
Moving on to the defense, we'll start with the cards from the defensive line.
Babatunde Oshinowo was the Browns sixth round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in the final game of the 2006 season, his only career game with the Browns.
This is my only card of him, but he has cards with the Browns in the 2006 SPx set.
This card is my second Browns card of Ted Washington, removing him from the list of players with one card in my collection. The Browns were Washington's seventh, and final, NFL team in his seventeen year NFL career.
As far as I can tell, this is Ethan Kelley's only football card. He played three seasons with the Browns, from 2005-07.
This photo appears to be taken against the Bears, which would make it from the fourth 2006 pre-season game.
Nick Eason played with the Browns from 2004-06 before moving on to the Steelers and Cardinals.
As far as I can tell, this is Nick Eason's only Browns card.
It is nice to have cards for this bunch of defensive linemen, but there aren't cards for two linemen that started a majority of the Browns games in 2006 - Alvin McKinley and Orpheus Roye. It is quite possible that neither of them would have been in the set.
Moving back on defense, the usual starting linebackers were:
Willie McGinest - 13 starts
Andra Davis - 14 starts
Kamerion Wimbley - 15 starts for the Browns first round draft pick in 2006
D'Qwell Jackson - 13 starts for the Browns second round draft pick in 2006
It is nice to add this card from D'Qwell Jackson's rookie year. I had forgotten that he wore 58 for his first two seasons with the Browns before switching to 52.
I like the photo here of Chaun Thompson, but we can't see the front of his jersey, meaning we can't see if the anniversary patch is on the jersey. If it is from the 2006 season, then the photo is from Week 8 when they played the Jets. The previous time that the Browns and Jets played was in the 2004 regular season.
This game appears to be against the Bengals. The Browns played the Bengals in week 2 of the 2006 regular season.
This is the second Matt Stewart card in my collection, and we can see that he has the number 52 that D'Qwell Jackson will eventually switch to. After four seasons with the Falcons, Stewart payed for the Browns in 2005 and 2006.
Another photo from the Lions pre-season game.
David McMillan played with the Browns from 2005-07. Outside of this card, it appears that he only has a card in the 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot set, which I already own.
From the regular starters, there are no cards of Willie McGinest and Kamerion Wimbley among the ones that I bought. I would imagine both should be in the set. McGinest was a well known linebacker that was signed from the Patriots in March 2006, and Wimbley was the Browns first round draft pick in 2006. Based on the other 2006 draft picks being in the set, I can't see how Wimbley wouldn't be included.
Finally, we'll wrap this post up with the cards from the defensive backfield.
Brian Russell started 12 games at free safety in the 2006 season. This card is my first solo card of Brian Russell. I have two Topps Total cards that he shares with another Brown.
Brodney Pool started eight games for the Browns in 2006, some at safety, and some at cornerback.
Perhaps more was expected of Antonio Perkins than what he ended up playing, and that is why he is included in this set. Unfortunately, he just seems to be an odd inclusion in the set.
The other main starting defensive backs for the Browns in the 2006 season were Sean Jones (started all 16 games at strong safety), Leigh Bodden (started 9 games at cornerback), and Daven Holley (started 12 games at cornerback). They are players that I would expect to see in a comprehensive team set.
I really hope that I can find out more information about this set. I would like to find a checklist for the set, and information on how the set was distributed, and when they were passed out. I also wonder if they made sets for any other years. If anyone knows any of that information, please let me know.
I suppose that I could try and contact the Cleveland area branch of the Disabled American Veterans, and see if someone there remembers something about this, and if they have any records. If I find anything out, I'll make sure to post an update to this.