Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Vince Dooley's Tales From The 1980 Georgia Bulldogs

                        This book, by former Georgia coach, Vince Dooley, along with Blake Giles, is a wonderful find.
                        Written in 2005, it describes the NCAA championship season of the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs.  Perhaps the most intriguing thing in the book, is that Herschel Walker dislocated his shoulder on the second offensive play of the game, in the 1981 Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame.

                        I have seen films of that game, and that play in particular.  Herschel takes a punishing lick as he goes out of bounds on a toss sweep.  It's easy to see as his arm is hanging limp, that something is very wrong.

                        The head trainer, Warren Morris, told coach Dooley that Walker was finished for the day.  Imagine the thoughts of the players and coaches in the biggest game of the year, now realizing that their star player, the guy who had carried them all season, was out of the game.

                        Herschel would have none of it.  He asked the team doctor to try and put the dislocation back into place.  Ignoring what had to be intense pain, Walker went on to rush for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the rest of the Georgia offense had negative yardage.

                        The Georgia Bulldogs defeated Notre Dame, 17-10, and Walker was named the game's MVP.  When the final votes were tallied, Georgia was named National Champions.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Autographed Panel Football

     I bought this autographed white panel football, signed by Herschel, several years ago.  It's in a case, but the flash, and the cluttered background makes the photo a little busy.

                Here are a few more pics of some Herschel Walker memorabilia.

2004 Playoff Honors Alma Mater Materials

      I picked this up off E Bay.  I now have 571 different Herschel Walker cards in my collection.  I've uploaded them to the Trading Card Database, and am gunning for 600.  The total of empty spots on there is over 800, but a lot are printing plates examples, which I'll never get.

      I like the look of this card:

Sunday, February 26, 2017

USFL Game Used Jersey Road Version

             I purchased this item from a fellow named Mike Perrotta, in 1997.  At the time, he was the owner of Gridiron Collectibles.  He told me that he bought the jersey at one of the National Card Shows.
             It is purported to be a game used authentic road jersey worn by Herschel Walker, sometime during his USFL career.

             I contacted Phil Wood, a noted game used jersey expert, and sent him a photo.  While he told me he could not authenticate a jersey with just a photo, he said the font and lettering looked correct, and that the Generals did use Champion as their supplier at the time.

             The jersey also has several repair marks, which are consistent with having seen game use.  I paid $750 for it.   No idea what it'd go for now,  but I have no intention of selling it.

            Herschel has autographed the jersey with the "Good Luck" inscription, in the upper right.


1984 Topps USFL #74

           This is Herschel's rookie card.  From the inaugural 1984 Topps USFL set, which contained 132 cards.  As can be seen, his is #74.   I always thought this was a very sharp looking set.  Pricewise, it is Walker's most valuable base card, though some later issues of autograph and jersey swatch issues sell for more.

          Below is a picture of his NFL rookie card, if you will:

             This is from the 1987 Topps Football set, which features Walker for the first time in a Dallas Cowboys uniform.  Nice card with a clean, clear back.

A Collection of Cards and Memorabilia Representing Herschel Walker

                  As a long time fan of Herschel Walker, this blog represents my collection of trading cards and memorabilia from his career.

                     A single player collector will never find everything pertaining to his area of interest.  Besides the high cost involved, new items are constantly being issued.  There are also many "1 of" cards, and such variations as printing plate editions, that make a master collection next to impossible.

                    I instead strive for a collection that, while it may not be all inclusive, will be a broad representation of Walker's career.

                    Many feel that Herschel Walker is the greatest running back in  NCAA history.  His 3 year total of 5, 259 yards is mind boggling.
                   After his breakout freshman campaign, in which he led his Georgia Bulldogs to the 1980 National Championship, he continued to put up huge yardage totals in both his sophomore and junior seasons, despite everyone knowing he would be carrying the ball around 30-35 times a game.

                  Herschel was awarded the Heisman Trophy, college football's highest individual honor, after the 1982 season.

                   Walker left after his junior year, to sign a multi million dollar contract with the fledgling United States Football League.   With it's games held in the spring, rather than the fall, the league was somewhat of a novelty, but the league did have it's share of top players, such as Jim Kelly, Reggie White, Sam Mills, and later on, guys like Doug Flutie.  But none were given more hype than Herschel.

                    In his first USFL season, Walker rushed for 1,812 yards for his team, the New Jersey Generals.  His stats dipped a bit the second season, as he rushed for 1,339 yards in that campaign.  But in his third year, Walker set an all time Pro Football rushing record, with 2,411 yards gained.

                     Sadly, the league folded after just those 3 seasons.  In 1986, Walker entered the NFL, as he had been selected by the Dallas Cowboys as a fifth round pick in the 1985 draft.  Walker had already signed an extension to play with the  Generals until 1989,  but the NFL was hoping the USFL would fold, and they did.

                 Herschel had success in Dallas,  rushing for 1,514 yards in 1988, but the following year,  he was traded to the Minnesota Vikings in a blockbuster trade in which the Cowboys received several high round draft picks.

                Using those picks to their advantage, Dallas bloomed into a dynasty, while Walker had a decent, but unspectacular stint with the Vikings.

               He left Minnesota to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1993.  There he had  a rebirth of sorts, rushing for 1,070 yards in his first year there.  He played two more seasons with the Eagles, played one with the N.Y. Giants, and finished his football career back with Dallas, largely as a kick return specialist.

             After retiring from football,  Walker remained in awesome physical condition, even competing in, and winning 2 mixed martial arts fights, in his late 40's.

            In 2008, Walker revealed that he had suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder.  He wrote a book, "Breaking Free",  in which he said that his life had been lived through several "alters",  or different personalities.

           Though controversial, the diagnosis may give credence to the fact that Walker always seemed to have a restless type of personality,  doing such varied things as dancing for the Fort Worth ballet,  and being involved in bobsled for the 1992 Olympic Games.

           Now a very successful businessman,  Walker still is in the public eye, long after his athletic career ended.  He appeared on the television shows,  Rachel vs Guy Celebrity Cook Off,  and was also a contestant on season 8 of the Celebrity Apprentice.

            And now,  for the collection: