Friday, July 30, 2010

Former Houston Oilers Tight End Mike Barber

Growing up on football in the 1970s and 1980s, it was hard not to be amazed by the talents of Earl Campbell. The Tyler Rose seemed, at times, unstoppable. I remember always looking up the agate in Monday's paper to see how he had done -- wow has the Internet changed that.

Well it was hard not to get wrapped up in the rest of the Houston Oilers, too. So it is today's addition to the collection that is bringing a lot of those memories back.

Mike Barber was a tight end on the Oilers teams from 1976-1981. He also spent several years with the Los Angeles Rams (1981-85) and Denver Broncos (1985), but is it with those Oilers that I will always link him.

He caught 222 passes in his career, good for 2,788 yards and 17 TDs.

Day of the Year: 209
Number of Autographs This Year: 234

Monday, July 26, 2010

July 26 Report: New Orleans Saint and Former USFL Champions Quarterback Bobby Hebert

Getting the week off to the right start, adding a pair of signed items to the collection from Bobby Hebert.

I first saw Hebert play in the USFL, which is a league I am still quite fond of to this day. Hebert starred for the Michigan Panthers and Oakland Invaders. He passed for the most yards in USFL history (10,039), not bad considering the league also boasted future Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.

Hebert led the Panthers to the USFL championship in 1983, and he was named the game's MVP. That year he was also Player of the Year.

Hebert would later go on to play in the NFL, for the New Orleans Saints and the Atlanta Falcons. He was a Pro Bowl QB in 1993.

I'm happy to add items from both of Hebert's leagues today. I simply love the inscription on the 3x5 card, which is a boost to my USFL collection.

Day of the Year: 205
Number of Autographs This Year: 233

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 22 Update: Former Ryder Cup Player and Current Champions Tour Star Gil Morgan

Gil Morgan, who won seven times during his PGA Tour career, signed a Ryder Cup trophy photo for me. Morgan played on two Ryder Cup teams -- 1979 and 1983

Morgan has had much more success on the Champions Tour since joining it. As of this writing he ranks third all-time in victories on that Tour with 25 wins. Three of those wins were major championships, two Traditions (1997 and 1998) and a Senior Players Championship (1998).

Day of the Year: 201
Number of Autographs This Year: 232

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 21 Report: LPGA Tour and Solheim Cup Star Kelly Robbins

The successes continue to come in sporadically this time of year, so any day I add a success is a great day!

Today I've added another signature for my Solheim Cup collection, courtesy of Kelly Robbins. Robbins has won nine times on the LPGA Tour, including a major championship at the 1995 LPGA Championship.

She made six consecutive Solheim Cup teams beginning in 1994 up until 2003.

Day of the Year: 200
Number of Autographs This Year: 231

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 16 Report: Golf Hall of Famer and British Open/PGA Championship Winner Nick Price

A day late getting this up, but a great success to report.

One of golf's all-time great guys -- not to mention great champions -- returned a pair of major championship trophy photographs.

Nick Price, who won the British Open in 1994 and the PGA Championship in 1992 and 1994, personalized and signed photos of the Claret Jug and Wanamaker trophies.

Price was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame in 2003. His international record is remarkable, winning more than 50 times around the world including 18 times on the PGA Tour. He's also won on the European Tour, South African Tour and Japan Golf Tour. Price has added three wins to date on the Champions Tour, too.

Day of the Year: 196
Number of Autographs This Year: 230

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15 Report: Golf Hall of Famer Betsy Rawls and Left-Handed Golfer Vic Wilk

Simply put Betsy Rawls is one of the very best women to ever swing a golf club. The Hall of Famer won 55 times in her career, including eight major championships. The only women to grace the winner's circle on a more regular basis were Kathy Whitworth, Mickey Wright, Petty Berg and Annika Sorenstam.

Rawls may have been at her best in the U.S. Women's Open, claiming four of them between 1951 and 1960. She won the Vare Trophy and was Player of the Year in 1959.

On the men's side I added another autographed golf glove from a left-hander to my collection of signed gloves from Southpaws who have won professionally.

Vic Wilk won the Knoxville Open in 1994, becoming the first lefty to win on the Nike Tour. Today that Tour is known as Nationwide Tour.

Wilk, who will join the Champions Tour next year, was kind enough to inscribe the glove with his famous lefty accomplishment.

Day of the Year: 195
Number of Autographs This Year: 229

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14 Report: Former Florida Gator and New York Jet Derrick Gaffney and LPGA Tour and Solheim Cup star Michelle McGann

A pair of successes to report today, which is always a welcome bit of news.

First up is that of Derrick Gaffney. Gaffney was a standout at the University of Florida before being drafted by the New York Jets in the eighth round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He made an immediate impact and proved well worth the pick, catching 38 passes in 1978 for 691 yards and 3 TDs.

He was a steady performer for the Jest the rest of that decade and continued to contribute regularly through the 1984 season.

This is a great add to my collection because he went to high school locally where I live and also went to UF, which is a sub-collection I have going.

Secondly today I added a pair of signatures from LPGA Tour winner and U.S. Solheim Cup star Michelle McGann. McGann, who has one of the greatest smiles in all of sports, halved a pair of matches against Annika Sorenstam at the 1996 Solheim Cup and defeated the top player in women's golf, Laura Davies, in singles play.

Unfortunately McGann's signature on my Solheim Cup photo was smeared pretty badly in the mail. The good news is she wrote me a terrific note on her personal notecard talking about her Solheim Cup memories.

Definitely one I will want to show prominently, so I will probably go back and ask her to sign another photo with the hopes it doesn't get ruined in the mail. I'd like to have the photo and the notecard displayed together.

Day of the Year: 194
Number of Autographs This Year: 227

Monday, July 12, 2010

Former New Orleans Saints Running Back Dalton Hilliard

Well this week is starting off with a success, which is a welcome sign considering the sluggish pace of late.

I'm quite happy to add the signature of Dalton Hilliard to my collection.

I first saw Dalton Hilliard play in the 1980s when he was a star at LSU. It was no surprise to me that Hilliard has a 1,200-plus yard season in 1989. He also made the Pro Bowl.

Sadly injuries cut short the career of a terrific SEC talent. He finished his NFL career with 4,164 yards and 53 TDs.

Day of the Year: 192
Number of Autographs This Year: 225

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 9 Report: Ryder Cup Player Jerry Pate

Definitely been in the longest autograph drought since this autograph project began. It's been a long eight days waiting for a new success, but it is finally here.

So hopefully this is the start of a new streak!

Today's success is another in my Ryder Cup player collection. This one comes from Jerry Pate, who had a distinguished amateur career before turning pro. He represented the U.S. on Walker Cup teams and won the U.S. Amateur in 1974.

His first professional victory came at another USGA Championship -- the 1976 U.S. Open. He has eight PGA Tour wins in all and has claimed a pair of victories to date on the Champions Tour.

He played on the U.S. team that won the Ryder Cup in 1981.

Day of the Year: 189
Number of Autographs This Year: 224

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1 Report: Former Chicago Bears Player Revie Sorey

Apologies for the brevity of the last three posts, but I had a quick out-of-towner thrown on me at short notice I had to tend to.

So I'm back but trying to play catch-up on a lot of things, including this blog. Which is a good thing because it means autographs are still being acquired.

Today's addition comes from another of those NFL payers from the 1970s and 1980s which is so dear to me. Revie Sorey, an All-Pro guard for the Chicago Bears (1975-83), signed a pair of football cards to go into the collection.

Before playing with the Bears Sorey competed at Illinois collegiately.

Day of the Year: 181
Number of Autographs This Year: 223

June 30 Report: PGA Tour Winner Duffy Waldorf

Two days in a row now that I've added cards to my 2001 Upper Deck Golf card set.

Duffy Waldorf signed two different cards of himself from the set, which is terrific.

Waldorf has won four times to date on the PGA Tour, most recently at the 2000 Disney event. Prior to achieving stardom on the Tour, Waldorf was an accomplished amateur played from UCLA.

Waldorf twice was an NCAA All-American and was selected as the College Player of the Year in 1985. He also represented the U.S. on the Walker Cup Team.

Day of the Year: 180
Number of Autographs This Year: 222

June 29 Report: PGA Tour Player Greg Kraft

Greg Kraft has been a long-time player on both the PGA Tour and its developmental tour, the Nationwide Tour.

He has won on each circuit, claiming the 2008 Puerto Rico Open on the PGA Tour and the 2005 Northeast Pennsylvania Classic in 2005.

Kraft signed this Upper Deck for me in my quest to get as many from the set signed as possible.

Picture to follow later.

Day of the Year: 179
Number of Autographs This Year: 221