In looking to keep the Pearl Jam/card combination train rolling, here is another song/card pairing. This one has less to do with the song lyrics or title and more to do with the album cover. I’ll explain.

Title: Alive
Album: Ten
Correlation: As I said, this one has essentially nothing to do with the actual song, so maybe it’s cheating a bit. It does, however, have everything to do with the cover of the “Alive” single. Still not following? Click here. Now do you get it? Emmitt may not be 2D and his nickname was, to the best of my knowledge, never “Stickman”, but I think he does an awful good impression all the same.

And now for your viewing pleasure, I present the “Alive” music video. I won’t be able to show a video for every song/card pair, but I’m 2/2 so far. Oh, and a bit of trivia, the bass player, Jeff Ament’s dad can be seen crowd surfing in this video. Pretty cool stuff.

Oh yeah. That’s nice. I don’t know how long I’ll keep this going, but it is already turning out to be fun.

For me anyway.


Long-Term Relationship


Every so often, Man finds a companion from which he quickly realizes he will never depart. Be it the cute high school sweetheart, a loyal dog, or a well-worn pair of jeans, Man has a propensity to stick with something that’s true and something that he feels completes him.

There are, no doubt, several such objects of affection in my life. I met my best friend about five and half years ago in a freshman Bible study at Penn State. I still drive the car I bought when I was 16, a 1992 Camaro Z/28, over eight years later. I met my wife when we wound up with identical schedules in eighth grade, just over 11 years ago. But longer than any of these loves, one item has been an object of my affection for what is now pushing two decades.

My copy of the 1991 Fleer #237 base card.

1991 Fleer #237 Emmitt Smith
My first true (collecting) love

The details of our first date are a bit sketchy in my mind after all these years, but there is no doubt it was love at first sight. I imagine this card came into my collection via a trade with one of my brothers. All three of us bought packs of baseball, football, and basketball cards with birthday money and any other funds we happened to obtain. I never had any luck pulling my favorite players, so my oldest brother usually helped me out. I always treasured our relationship (I’m talking about the card again, although I suppose my brother is alright, too) and she was one of the first cards I slipped into a penny sleeve and toploader once I got into that sort of thing. When I bought my first Beckett Football Monthly, there is little doubt she was one of the first numbers I looked up.

Over the years, there have been many other cards that have come into my life (I currently have 656 Emmitts cateloged on Flickr, although I still haven’t gotten around to scanning and uploading my National Card Show loot), yet she has always had a special place in my heart. Sure, time hasn’t been kind to her looks, what with the scuffed surface and dinged corners, but she is still a beaut in my eyes. Hell, even after seeing newer and sexier cards, she’s still got a fine back side, if you know what I mean.

1991 Fleer #237 Emmitt Smith back
Nice ass, Ms. 1991 Fleer #237

When I first got into writing love letters about cards (a.k.a. when I started this blog), she was the first I ever featured. When I get burned on buying a young high-end box and pull nothing but plain swatches of offensive linemen, I know I can always run back to her for comfort, reminding me of how simple life used to be. I admit, I have a bad habit of looking at other cards online, longing to hold them in my hands, but it’s her that I always return to. She has never left my favorites box and I know she’ll always have a place there.

So you can have your fancy auto patches, Mr. Case Breaker. And you can run wild with all your short prints, Mr. Set Collator. But as for me, I’m sticking my 1991 Fleer #237. My first true (collecting) love. My long-term relationship.

Heisman Highlight: Billy Cannon


Heisman Highlight

Name: Billy Cannon
Position: Back
College: Louisiana State Tigers
Class: Senior
Winning Year: 1959 – 25th Award
Official Heisman Profile: Click Here

Interesting Notes: Cannon was a “shifty, slashing” rusher with big-play potential that included a nearly 24-yard kick return average and a 40.3 yard punting average…won the Heisman in a landslide, sweeping all five regions…went on to have a successful professional career with the Oilers, Raiders, and Chiefs…was an All-Pro at two different positions for two different teams…continued his education and earned his D.D.S. during his professional playing career and currently works as an orthodontist.

1960 Fleer #66

Featured Card: 1960 Fleer #66. Despite a solid college and professional career, Cannon does not appear to command a premium in the hobby. A copy of this card can be added to your collection for around $25.

NOTE: You can find all of my Heisman Highlight Features by clicking the post banner above.

Help a Fellow Collector


In my opinion, one of the best things about blogging is “meeting” tons of new collectors. I may never get to meet these new friends in person (unless I can get to the National in Baltimore in 2010), but I feel like I have gotten to know a few of them pretty well. Even the occassional passer-by who takes a moment to leave a comment on an old post is a welcome acquaintance. It is really cool when I am able to help that person out in some small way. For a few, this has been through trades to help them with set collation. For others, it has just been providing some information consolidated into one place. For a few others, I am hoping to take it to a new level.

A few weeks ago, a fellow collector, Ron, asked if I had any way to help him track down a copy of Mike Michalske’s 1975 Fleer Hall of Fame card, as featured in a past HOF Spotlight post. He noted that he was an old time Packers collector and has been searching for the card for quite a long time. I began searching around with no luck. I was able to locate a few autographed copies for around $100, but nothing else. I guess there is a reason I was only able to find an autographed image for my HOF post.

So I turn to you, my loyal and longtime readers (and you, too, Mr. Occassional Passer-by). If you happen to have a copy of this card you could spare or know where Ron could possibly obtain one, please let me know. For obvious reasons I will not publish his email address, but if you contact me, I will be sure to pass along any possible leads.

HOF Spotlight: Dan Fortmann


Name: Dan Fortmann
Position: Guard
Pro Career: 1936 – 1943
Team Affiliation(s): Chicago Bears
College: Colgate
Induction Class: 1965

Brief Bio: From young whipper-snapper to all-time great, Dan Fortmann was determination personified. Selected by the Chicago Bears in the very first NFL draft in 1936, Fortmann became the youngest starter in professional football at just 20 years old. Also considered too small for the NFL, many wrote him off as a bad pick from legendary owner George Halas. Fortmann proved them wrong. He helped to anchor a dominant Bears line that won three league championships and two other divisional titles during Fortmann’s 8 year career. An outstanding blocker on offense and tenacious tackler on defense, Fortmann was selected first- or second-team All NFL in every year of his career.

Career Stats: 86 games played; 8 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery TD

1975 Fleer HOF

Featured Card: 1975 Fleer Hall of Fame #20. As a lineman, Fortmann did not receive much attention in the collectibles world, despite his brilliant career. Like many early football stars, he has been included in many HOF themed sets, like this 1975 offering from Fleer. Most similar cards will run in the $1-$2 range while autographs will fall into a $75-$100 range on eBay. Certain people are willing to make a quick dollar at any sacrifice of character possible, so always be aware of forged autographs. If the seller looks reputable, has great feedback ratings, and the autograph does not look “off”, you should feel safe to pull the trigger.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.

HOF Spotlight: Art Rooney


Name: Art Rooney
Position: Founder, Administrator
Pro Career: 1933 – 1988
Team Affiliation(s): Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers
College: Georgetown; Duquesne
Induction Class: 1964

Brief Bio: ”If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” If anyone in NFL history has lived those famous motivational words, it was Art Rooney. Rooney purchased the Pittsburgh football franchise in 1933 and waited more than 40 years before winning his first championship. In the 1970s, all of the pieces of the puzzle finally landed into place as the Steelers became the first decade-long dominator in the NFL, winning an unprecedented 4 Super Bowl titles in six years. Not only did Rooney build a storied and successful franchise, currently the owner of more Super Bowl rings than any other NFL team, he was also a great contributor to the NFL, serving as a guiding light in the early days of a struggling league. Rooney proved success could come by showing love, friendship, and grace, rare traits even in his time.

Featured Card: 1975 Fleer Hall of Fame #78. As a franchise owner, obviously Rooney does not have many cards. The one featured above was produced at the height of his success in the mid 1970s, and several HOF focused sets have included him since then. Trivial Beckett value of the featured card is $0.75. Most Rooney base cards can be picked up for around $1-4. Rooney’s autograph appears to be valued at just over $100 as index cards, photos, and cards all seem to be selling in the $125 ballpark. Obviously Rooney is a very recognizable name in the Pittsburgh area, so finding a seller in the southwestern states may prove useful in saving a few dollars if you are looking to add Rooney to your collection.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.

HOF Spotlight: Mike Michalske


Name: Mike Michalske
Position: Guard
Pro Career: 1926 – 1937
Team Affiliation(s): Green Bay Packers; New York Yankees
College: Penn State
Induction Class: 1964

Brief Bio: An innovator in a tough position, Mike Michalske became the first guard to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Considered one of the toughest positions in the 1920s and 30s, Michalske’s jobs as guard included taking on the biggest opposing linemen head-on, stopping the running game, and getting around the line to break up the passing game. Despite his tough position, Michalske became known as “Iron Mike” due to his true 60-minute workhorse demeanor and the fact that he never got injured or missed a play in his entire career. Anchoring the line, Michalske helped the Packers win championships in 1929, 1930, and 1931, while earning himself All-NFL honors in 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1934, and 1935.

Career Stats: 122 games played; 1 safety; 1 interception TD; 1 fumble recovery TD

Featured Card: 1975 Fleer Hall of Fame #56. Playing a position that rarely receives popular recognition and in an era before mass produced football card sets, we look to this HOF focused set from 1975 for a Michalske card. Trivial Beckett value is $0.75. Most base cards of Michalske listed on eBay carry a $2-$5 price tag while autographed cards (like the one pictured) run in the $80-$125 range. Similar to any HOF autographed card, do some research before you purchase. A PSA or other authentication is a plus. Also, look at online images of the player’s autograph and then see if the autograph on the card you wish to buy looks similar. If something just doesn’t look right, it’s probably better to walk away than risk spending >$100 for a forged autograph.

NOTE: You can find all of my Hall Of Fame Spotlight Features by clicking the HOF Spotlight banner above.