Sunday, February 26, 2017

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:

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