Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1979 Topps #141 and 1979 O-Pee-Chee #65 Tom Paciorek

Today's cards are both from 1979. It's Topps #141 and O-Pee-Chee #65. Both feature Tom Paciorek.

You may notice the two cards look virtually identical. The main difference is the logo in the bottom left corner. Also the card is numbered differently as the O-Pee-Chee set has fewer cards than the Topps set.

O-Pee-Chee was a Canadian candy and trading card maker that licensed the Topps products to be printed and distributed in Canada. Basically it's a minor variation that's not as fun as the too many variations available for newer cards.

Topps Front

Topps Back

OPC Front

Monday, May 18, 2009

2001 Topps XFL Gridiron Gear #8J Chuck Clements

Chuck Clements was a very prolific passer for the University of Houston from 1993 to 1996 during a very difficult stretch for the football team.

  • Chuck is 9th and 10th for most completions in a season (245 in 1995, 223 in 1996)

  • 6th in most attempts in a season (437 in 1995)

  • 10th in TD passes in a season (21 in 1996)

  • 10th in plays in a season(474 in 1995)

  • 4th in career completions (683)

  • 4th in career pass attempts (1,192)

  • 6th in career passing yards (7,112)

  • 6th in career TD passes (43)

  • 4th in career plays (1,284)

  • 6th in career total offense (6,893)

In 1995 he was first team All-SWC and in 1996 he was first team All-CUSA.

In 1996, he led the Coogs to the 1st C-USA Conference Championship and the Liberty Bowl against Syracuse.

In 1997, he was drafted by the New York Jets in the 6th round where he played one season.

In 2000, Clements was the 5th pick in the XFL draft for the Las Vegas Outlaws. Unfortunately he was injured in the pre-season and didn't get to play before the league folded.

In 2002 he played for the Ottawa Renegades in the Canadian Football League.

Today's card is a fun but strange collectible, the 2001 Topps XFL Gridiron Gear #8J. It features a piece of practice worn mini-camp jersey. It also features a practice picture with Chuck getting ready to throw the strange looking XFL ball.

The back features another picture of Chuck in practice along with a description of the memorabilia piece.

I love the layout of this card. It's a bit over the top, but this is the XFL we're talking about so I expect something crazy. The only disappointing aspect to me is the lack of statistics. I guess that can be expected though because what stats would be shown? It was the first year of the XFL. Most players in the XFL were guys who couldn't make an NFL roster. The best choice for stats might be college, but there's a several year gap between his college days and the XFL. So no stats was really the only option.

Monday, May 11, 2009

1995-96 SkyBox Premium #47 Hakeem Olajuwon

NBA Playoff time always brings back memories of the Houston Rockets' championship years. Today's card, the 1995-96 SkyBox Premium #47 featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, really makes me remember the 1994-95 championship finals.

The card front features Hakeem backing down Shaquille O'Neal of the Orlando Magic, the Rockets' finals opponent. The Rockets swept the Magic 4-0. Olajuwon averaged 32.8 points per game versus Shaq's 28. Olajuwon also won his second Finals MVP.

A Cougar bonus on the front of the card... Carl Herrera can be seen in the color-stripped background.

The back of the card features a fun photo of Olajuwon heading a soccer ball. It also features five years of stats and a translation of his last name. The card says "Olajuwon" means "always being on top." I'd never heard that before. Card collecting can be educational.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

1990 Topps #359 Jason Phillips

Who is this Detroit Lion? It's current University of Houston co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach, and recruiting coordinator Jason Phillips.

Before his promising coaching career, before his NFL career, Jason played football at UH. He only played two years at UH from 1987-88, but in that time he made a major impact.

  • Both years he led the nation in receiving yards.

  • He had 11 100 yard receiving games out of only 23 games played.

  • He scored 4 touchdowns in a 66-15 win against UT in Austin. (I attended that game. What a glorious day.)

  • He has the second most receptions by a Coog in a season with 108. He also has the 6th most receiptions with 99.(Manny Hazard owns the record with 142)

  • He has the 3rd most receiving yards in a season (1444 yards in 1988)

  • Phillips has the 2nd most touchdown receptions in a season (15 in 1988)

  • Despite playing only two seasons, he is 5th in all time receptions

  • 7th in all time receiving yards

  • In 1988, he partnered with James Dixon to be the 1st teammates to each have 1000 yards receiving

  • In 1988, Phillips ranked 1st in the nation in catches per game while Dixon was 2nd

He won plenty of awards too. Southwest Conference player of the year in 1987. SWC All-Decade team of the '80s. First team all SWC in 1987 and 1988. UPI All American Honorable Mention in 1987. Consensus All American in 1988. In 2006, he was inducted into the Houston Hall of Honor.

Jason was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 10th round. He played 5 years in the NFL for Detroit and Atlanta. He played 2 years in the CFL for the Birmingham Barracudas and the Hamilton Tigercats.

Phillips then moved on to coaching where he may make an even bigger impact on the game. He served as an intern in the NFL for Houston and Minnesota. He came home to UH in 2003. He left to the dark side at Baylor in 2007, but he saw the light and returned to UH in 2008 joining Coach Kevin Sumlin in creating the #2 offense in the nation.

Let's hope that Phillips has a long and successful career coaching at the University of Houston.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

2005-06 UD Portraits Signature Portraits 8x10 #EH Elvin Hayes

OK... time to get serious about this blog again. Sorry for the vacation.

Here's my latest Elvin Hayes "card" acquisition, 2005-06 UD Portraits Signature Portraits 8x10 #EH. Why "card"? This is definitely not your standard sized card. Instead it's an 8x10 autographed "picture". But it's not just a picture either because the backs of pictures are generally blank. It has a certification that this is a legitimate autograph. I also has a short narrative on Hayes' skill set and career.

Obviously this didn't just come in the classic wax pack. 2005-06 UD Portraits was sold in a box that came with 6 more traditional cards and one autographed 8x10 per box. Of the 6 cards, 2 were memorabilia cards.

To me, the best thing about this collectible is the ability to display it. While standard size cards can look amazing, they can also look very cheesy when you attempt to display them. With an 8x10, this can be framed and displayed like any picture. Pair it up with a Hayes Bullets or Cougars uniform, and you've got a nice Elvin Hayes shrine to be proud to display.