Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Some Early Herschel Walker Endorsements

     When Herschel Walker turned pro in 1983, he had an opportunity to commercially endorse several products, but limited himself to just a few.

     He signed a $1.8 million contract with the Addias shoe company, over a 10 year period.  Here is a poster from that era of Herschel stumping for the shoe giant.

    Gotta love the short shorts of that time period.  

     Walker also inked a 5 year, $100,000 deal with Franklin Sporting Goods.   Shown is a plastic football kicking tee I have,  with his picture on it.  The tee was part of a package of a football, tee and pump, to inflate the ball, but I only have the tee.

     Supposedly, Herschel also signed a million dollar deal with McDonald's in 1983, but I have yet to see any ads showing him and the famous fast food company.

     Those sums of money don't seem all that impressive in this day and age, but at the time, Walker was easily one of the highest paid athletes in the world, on and off the field.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Top Ten Most Wanted Herschel Card Captured!

   The Hoard is proud to announce the capture of a card on its Top Ten Most Wanted list.  This is the 1996 N.F.L. Properties It's a Fact card of Herschel Walker #16.

    To be honest, I didn't even know this card existed until the Trading Card Database put up an empty space for it on Herschel's 1996 page.  I already had the 1995 version, which is exactly the same as this card, except for the 1996 date on lower left of the reverse.

    Also, the picture on the front of the card showing Herschel jumping rope, is the same photo used on the 1993 Pro Line Profiles #597 card.

    This is the first on my Top Ten list that I was able to nab.  An exciting find, and at a real steal.  I have removed this card from the list at  the right of this blog page, and replaced it with another Walker card I am seeking.  That is the 1996 Summit Artist's Proof #133.

    This card is #582 on my quest toward 600 different Herschel Walker cards.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

#581 1995 Collector's Edge Excalibur 22K Sword and Stone Diamond 17.1

      I've been on a roll lately, as far as picking up new editions for the Hoard.  This is yet another example from the 1995 Excalibur set.   This is the Sword and Stone Diamond Edition.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#580 Leaf Rookies and Stars Great American Heroes Autographs

      Just 20 cards to go, as card #580 joins the Hoard.   This is the autographed version of the 2005 Leaf Rookies and Stars Great American Heroes set.

      The price for this was all over the map, with one guy asking $95.  I ended up getting this one for $39.

     The card is serially numbered to 100, with this being #48.

Monday, April 17, 2017

My Only In Person Autograph from Herschel

     Despite having a large number of Herschel Walker autographs in the Hoard, I was able to meet him, and get an in person signature only once.

      That memorable day came in 1995.  Herschel was playing for the New York Giants at the time, and I happened to read that he would be appearing at something called the HeathSouth, "Go For It Roadshow", in nearby Erie, Pa.

     I asked my wife if she would be interested in going with me, as I had hopes of maybe seeing Herschel, and snagging an autograph.  She gladly obliged, and being from Erie, knew the layout, and how to get to Veterans Memorial Stadium, where Walker would appear.  I took along a Sports Illustrated magazine to get signed, but realistically, had low expectations of getting it signed.

     I discovered after the fact, that the "Go For It Roadshow", was a traveling show sponsored by HealthSouth Corporation, in which professional athletes talked to school kids, and encouraged them to exercise, avoid drugs, and generally live healthy lives.

     Many famous athletes appeared at one time or another.  Herschel, Bo Jackson, wrestler Lex Luger, and female bodybuilder, Cory Everson, among others. The Roadshow ran from 1995 to 2003.

      We arrived early, and as I was walking in, I noticed a local radio station van.  The side of the van was opened at the top half, with a mesh like window screen.

      Inside, the radio guy was conducting an interview, and the guy he was talking to was none other than Herschel Walker!

      I walked towards the van, and another guy near me said, "That's Herschel".  The radio guy put his finger to his lips to say "Shussh".   We just stood their and waited, and I told the other guy I hoped Herschel would sign my SI.  He had some original artwork that he hoped Walker would autograph.

     When the interview ended, Herschel stood up and exited the van.  As he did, I said, "Mr. Walker, would you please sign my Sports Illustrated magazine?"

      He reached out and took my magazine, and sharpie, and signed it with a nice, bold signature. I thanked him again.  He said, "You're welcome", then signed the other guys artwork, and moved away with a local police officer escorting him.

      Standing there looking at Herschel, I was amazed at the size of his arms, and took particular note of the many scars and scabs he had on them, doubtless from a lifetime of football hits.

      Unknown to me at the time, my wife had a camera, and was snapping pictures at the time. Now for the bad news.   This was before we had digital cameras, so unfortunately, the film was old and the resulting pictures were double exposed.

      I took the best available to show here. To avoid any issues, I cropped the other people out, and also blurred out the logo and license plate of the radio station van.

     Later on, I had the photo enlarged and sent it to Herschel at a private signing, where he autographed it for me.  You can see the guy holding his artwork waiting to get it signed, and you can just make out the police officer, behind Herschel's right shoulder.

    Here's the actual magazine:
     The issue itself has damage.  There is chipping along the top, and a rip in Walker's jersey,  but the signature is intact, and the day remains a great memory for me.

Friday, April 14, 2017

#579 2002 Donruss Classic Materials Herschel Walker/Emmitt Smith

     Welcome to the Herschel Hoard, card #579, on my journey to 600 different Herschel Walker cards.
      This 2002 Donruss Classic Materials card, is a nice dual memorabilia card, contain a swatch from a game used jersey of Dallas Cowboy legend, Emmitt Smith; and a piece of a shoe, worn in a game by Herschel Walker.

      This example is a serial numbered card to 100, and as shown, this is  #81 of the set.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Herschel's Starting Lineup® Figures

     In 1986, Pat McInally, a former professional punter with the Cincinnati Bengals, noticed G.I. Joes®, and other action figures in a store, but took note of the fact that none depicted sports figures.

    McInally took his idea to a college friend, who was working for the Kenner Toy Co., and the pair decided to start manufacturing sports figures.

     1988 was the debut year for the plastic figures, which were about 4" high.  Popular sports heroes of the day were featured, with baseball starting things off, and other sports to follow.

     A sports card of the player was included along with each figure.   The figures were wildly popular, but were distributed on a regional basis, and it was therefore somewhat difficult to complete sets.

     The figures were made from 1988 until 2001, with the Hasbro toy company, eventually taking over for Kenner towards the end of the run.

    Recently, there has been talk that the figures may be making a comeback.

    Herschel Walker had a total of 6 different sets made.  His rookie figure, in 1988, with the Dallas Cowboys, showing him in a white road jersey.  A 1989 figure, in which he is shown in a blue home uniform, again with Dallas.  Also in 1989, he was included in a subset series called One on One, in which two figures came in each package.  In this example, he is being tackled by Dexter Manley of the Washington Redskins.

    The 1990 edition depicted Walker, who had been traded to the Minnesota Vikings, in a blue home uniform for his new team.   In 1991, that year's edition showed Walker in the white road uniform of the Vikings.

     Finally in 1998, Herschel was shown in his Georgia college uniform as a part of the Heisman Winners collection.

     Here are those figures, which I have in the Herschel Hoard.  Note that the plastic case covering each S.L., is a protective cover, and was not a part of original packaging.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

2008 SPX Winning Trios Walker/Forte/Stewart #4/25

          Card #578 joins the Herschel Hoard.   This is a 2008 SPX Winning Trios Jersey patch card of Herschel Walker, along with Jonathan Stewart and Matt Forte.

           This series depicted three football players and a swatch of jersey from each.  It was also a serial numbered card, of which there are 6 different versions.  Serial numbered to 25(shown here), serial numbered to 49, a patch card serial numbered to 5,  a card with no patches, just photos, serial numbered to 5,  a patch card serial numbered to 99, and an autographed version.

            I have today's featured card, the "99" version, and the patch "5" card, in my collection.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Breaking Free My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder

     This book, which came out in 2008, describes Herschel Walker's struggle with living with dissociative identity disorder.

     A controversial diagnosis, then and now; D.I.D., is what people used to refer to as multiple personality syndrome.

     Under the a psychiatrist's care, Herschel came to find that he had lived his life through a series of "alters", which would take over his natural personality, in order to navigate through life.  The various "alters" were give names such as the "warrior", and could be called on subconsciously  in order to guide Herschel through certain situations in life.

     When the book was released, many people were skeptical of the findings in it.  Herschel believed the cause of the disorder was the terrible bullying he received as an overweight child in school.  He also had a severe stuttering problem, about which he said he was teased constantly.

     However, others said that only very severe trauma, such as extreme sexual abuse, or even torture, was the only thing that could cause D.I.D.

     I can't judge what Herschel experienced.  But I did gain a lot of sympathy for him when I read the book.  Despite his football success, he did go through some very dark places in his life.

    The book is a good read, and Walker is brutally honest, even describing playing Russian Roulette at one point.