Sunday, May 27, 2007

1989 Houstonian

Let's move on to the next collectible that is created by the university, the yearbook. The University of Houston's yearbook is called The Houstonian. In general, I prefer sports collectibles, but yearbooks are a favorite of mine. You can check the sports teams, the fashions, the important campus happenings, and the biggest stories of the year. It's even better when the yearbook is from your time in school because you can see your friends.

This post is about the 1989 Houstonian. The football team went 9-3 including a 66-15 destruction of UT. The basketball team went a disappointing 17-14. The volleyball team was led by the greatness of Junior Julie Gates who was named to the first team All-Southwest Conference. The baseball team was led by Fred Hinojosa. Also on the team was Scott Sheldon, the future Texas Ranger who became the 3rd player in major league history to play every position in one game. The track team was led by current UH track coach, Olympic gold medalist, and twice holder of the 100 meter record.

Front Cover

Back Cover

Photo includes Andre Ware, Fred Hinojosa, Richard Hollis, Leroy Burrell, and others

Scott Sheldon


Bleacher Creatures

The controversial pimp & whore party. Who's the goofball in the shredded Def Leppard shirt, the spandex pants, and the dog chain? ;-) Did anyone else have a great time in college?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

1979 University of Houston Football Media Guide

Continuing our trek through various categories of collectibles, let's move on to items that are created by the university. The first collectibles falling into that category that I'll examine are media guides.

Media guides, as the name implies, were originally created to provide background information for media members covering games. Guides date back to the 1930s. Somewhere along the way though, things changed. Media guides became promotional material, recruiting tools, and moneymakers. Some schools had guides over 400 pages long in the early 00s. In 2004, the NCAA mandated a maximum limit of 208 pages on media guides.

Today's collectible is a football media guide from 1979. I do have this guide in my personal collection, and the photos below are of mine. First of all, let me say that I love the cheerleader uniforms on the back of the guide. I love the helmets on the player and the helmet buggy. That was a classic uniform.

The 1979 team is one of the greatest in UH history. The Coogs tied their best winning percentage at 11-1 (with 1973) and had their second best postseason ranking at number 5 (The Coogs were ranked #4 in 1976). They ended the season by beating top 10 Nebraska in the Cotton Bowl.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

1988 Hakeem Olajuwon Starting Line Up

I'm trying to cover several different collectible genres before randomly placing whatever I want on this site. So let's move on to the next collectibles group: Starting Lineup figures.

For those new to collectibles or those who only collect cards, Starting Lineup (frequently called SLU) was a series of action figures that featured stars from several sports. It was created by the Kenner Company in 1988. Kenner was later taken taken over by Hasbro who discontinued the line in 2001. The action figures usually came with a trading card too. For full value, the action figures should remain unopened in the original packaging.

Today's collectible is the 1988 Starting Lineup Hakeem Olajuwon. Since this was the first year for SLUs, it is obviously the first for Hakeem. Another Olajuwon SLU wouldn't be manufactured until 1992. The last Olajuwon SLU was released in 1997.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Congratulations to Wilson Whitley!

Wilson Whitley is being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Unquestionably the best defensive player in UH history. Whitley was the winner of the 1976 Lombardi Winner and was named Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Decade despite only playing one year in the SWC.

I had no luck finding Whitley collectibles. I'm sure he's on the cover of a magazine or media guide, but I couldn't find one. Whitley was such a great player that he deserved a blog post on a collectible site even if I didn't have a collectible to list.

If you have a collectible for Wilson Whitley, please provide an image/description, and I would be proud to post it.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

1968 Jack In the Box Elvin Hayes

Keeping with the theme of the last post of learning UH's history, let's look at an old school legend, Elvin Hayes. Hayes was probably the greatest college player in UH history. Winning the The Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Year award in 1968, Hayes scored 39 points and pulled down 15 rebounds per game.

Probably his most famous game of his college career was in The Game of the Century at the Astrodome where UH snapped UCLA's 47 game winning streak. 52,629 attended the game (a record at the time for any basketball game), and it was the first nationally televised regular season college basketball game.

Hayes was selected #1 in the NBA draft and led the NBA in scoring his rookie year. He had a fabulous NBA career spanning 16 seasons. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and was named one of the 50 greatest players of all time.

For today's collectible, let's look at an oddball card. For those unfamiliar with collecting terminology, an oddball is a card not part of a mainstream set. Frequently these cards come with food items or only have a limited regional release. Today's collectible is the 1968 Jack In the Box Elvin Hayes card. This card pre-dates Hayes' "official" rookie card in the 1969-1970 Topps set.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Eat 'Em Up Cougars: Houston Football by Jerry Wizig

Today's collectible is a book every freshman at UH should be required to read, and every alum should have a copy in their library. It is Eat 'Em Up, Cougars : Houston football by Jerry Wizig. This book provides a history of the University of Houston football program from inception to 1977.

While I was a student at UH, I went to every home football game, every home basketball game, tennis matches, volleyball matches, and others. I definitely wasn't your average apathetic student. But even doing all that, I didn't know the history of our football program. I knew we ran the veer in our heyday, but I didn't realize that Coach Bill Yeoman was the originator and how prolific the offense was. I didn't know the struggles of UH trying to join the Southwest Conference. The politics behind the struggles to join the SWC is still reflected today in the formation of the Big XII & university funding challenges. Growing up in Dallas, I was a huge Cowboys fan and Robert Newhouse was one of my favorite players. I didn't realize he went to UH until I started going to school there.

I found this book at the UH Library when I was a senior. It's getting harder to find a copy of this book although I see it on eBay every now & then. If you're a current UH student, you have no excuse not to read it since it is available at the UH library. The libraries for the city of Houston and city of Dallas both have non-circulating copies. It would be a pain to read it solely at the library, but if that's your only option, it's worth it. I'm guessing you could probably get a take home copy through inter-library loan.

Too many UH students and UH alum don't have the proper pride & enthusiasm for our university. One way to develop pride is to learn more about our school. Reading this book is a good first step. I just wish someone would do a book on Phi Slama Jama or the history of UH basketball.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Woody Williams/Houston Chronicle Firestorm

There is a great debate on regarding a recent article in the Houston Chronicle by Jose de Jesus Ortiz about pitcher Woody Williams. There are several threads debating what should be done about the slight of the University of Houston in the Chronicle and even more insulting responses from Ortiz.

Whatever side of the debate you fall on, this is a great opportunity to look at a Woody Williams card released by Topps earlier this year. It is the Topps 2007 Heritage Baseball #35 card. I love this set. It is based on the 1958 Topps baseball card design. There is just something cool about the old school designs. No chrome, refractors, holograms, etc needed. This set includes some of those features, but the Woody #35 is just a classic style, nice looking card.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Congratulations Kevin Kolb!

YEAH!!! Kevin Kolb was picked 36th in the NFL draft. I am so excited for him. Unfortunately he went to the Philadelphia Eagles. Since I'm a lifelong fan of the Dallas Cowboys, I'll have a very difficult time cheering for his team, but I hope he has great individual success.

In honor of Kevin being drafted, let's start this blog off with the 2007 Press Pass Autographed Kevin Kolb card. There are several variations of this card. There is the base, non-numbered edition. There are also limited silver and gold editions. In addition to the card variations, there are several signature variations. I've seen just a signature in either blue or red ink. There are also versions with Go Coogs! and his name, Go Coogs! and #4, and CUSA Champs and #4. There may be other variations.