Monday, December 23, 2013

Welcome to the NFL Edwin Baker

Former Spartan running back Edwin Baker made his NFL debut during week 15 against the Chicago Bears.  Baker who was originally drafted by San Diego in the 2012 NFL draft has bounced around a few practice squad teams prior to his debut.
For the game, Baker rushed for 38 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown.  He also caught four passes for another 46 yards. 
2009 Razor All Amercan #8

This card is from the 2009 USA Army All American game that showcases high school seniors.  This is the first year that a set was produced for the game and one has been done for each year since.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Big Ten Champs!

MSU became Big Ten Champs when they defeated Ohio State 34-24 in the conference championship game this past Saturday.
Here is a couple football cards that I own from two of the stars of the game.
Quarterback Connor Cook was named the MVP of the game.  Cook threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns while going for 24 of 40 passing.
2011 Big 33 Ohio

Linebacker Denicos Allen made the play of the game on defense when he stopped OSU quarterback Braxton Miller on a fourth and short run late in the fourth quarter.

2009 Big 33 Ohio
These cards came from the Big 33 sets.  The Big 33 game is a high school game each year and is dubbed as the "Super Bowl of high school football".   It features the best high school seniors out of Pennsylvania against for what was many years the best out of Ohio.  Although, recently Maryland has taken Ohio's place in the game.   The first game was played in 1957 and has had many future Spartans particpate in the games such as Javon Ringer, Herb Adderley, Jeff Smoker, Brian Hoyer and Jerel Worthy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Some not so good news on a former Spartan

NFL and it's problems with concussions and brain trauma has been all over the news lately.  Rightfully so, as we all need to be fully aware of this issue and find some solutions.  One of the former NFL players who has recently discovered to have a chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is former Spartan Joe DeLamielleure.
1974 Topps

DeLamielleure was an All American offensive lineman for Michigan State in 1972 and went to play in the NFL from 1973-1985.  He was named to Pro Bowl six times and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of fame in 2003.
Above is his 1974 Topps rookie card.  During his time in Buffalo, he was the Buffalo offensive line that was dubbed the "Electric Company", as they were the ones that turned "The Juice" (O.J. Simpson) on.

Monday, November 11, 2013

In the NFL record books

During the week nine game against the Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback tied the NFL record of throwing seven touchdown passes in one game.
If you are unaware, Foles is a one time Spartan.  He was a part of the MSU football team, but never made it as a starter.  Kirk Cousins won the job and the transfer of then quarterback, Keith Nichol into the program,  Foles was the odd man out.  He decided to transfer to University of Arizona and had a successful career there.
Before leaving MSU, Foles did manage to play in one game, going 5-8 passing for 57 yards.  With Foles playing well in the NFL, I think it gives another example of how Coach Dantonio has an eye for talent.
Here is Nick Foles 2012 Topps Chome rookie card:



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Newest member to MSU's Ring of Honor

Lost in the middle of the demolition of University of Michigan by MSU is that former linebacker Percy Snow was honored.  He became the latest member of the Ring of Honor
1990 Proset


Percy Snow was a star linebacker from 1986-89.  He was the starting middle linebacker on the 1987 Big Ten Championship and 1988 Rose Bowl winning teams.  For the 1989 season, he won All-American honors and became the first player ever to win the Lombardi and Butkus awards in the same season.
Snow was a first round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs and played for them for a several seasons.  Of course, he is also the older brother of Eric Snow who later starred on the MSU baskeball team.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

One of my most wanted captured

I found one of my cards off my most wanted list.
2000-01 Topps Finest Finest Moments insert card of Mateen Cleaves:

It is pretty obvious why I like this card. It shows Mateen after winning the 2000 NCAA national championship.  Perferctly shows him wearing the net and holding up the trophy.  Perhaps my most favorite MSU memory and Cleaves will forever be one of my all time favorite Spartans.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Have Every 2013 NFL Rookie....So Far

I received my first Dion Sims card in the mail today:

2013 Score

With this, I am now up to date with having every MSU  2013 NFL rookie that has cards released.  The list includes: Johnny Adams, Le'veon Bell and Sims.  I am hoping that will be a Will Gholston coming out this year.  Never a guarantee with him being a mid round defensive player.
Also, Sims is now my 202nd MSU football player that I have a card, 149 of them have played a game in the NFL.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thanks Bro!

I received a package of MSU Spartan cards in the mail yesterday from my brother.  Here is some of the highlights:
A couple Kirk Cousins rookie cards:
2012 SP Authentic
2012 Topps Platinum


My first ever Le'veon Bell card (he will fit in nicely between Anthony Bell and Myron Bell in the binder):
2013 Press Pass

and for hoops, a Draymond Green Panini Past and Present rookie card. (I love the story of his first NBA points on the back)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Last Time vs Youngstown St

The last time MSU played Youngstown St was the 2011 season opener.   MSU won the game by the score of 28-6.  One of the stars of the game was senior wide receiver B.J. Cunningham.
2012 Upper Deck #59
He had nine receptions and 130 yards with a touchdown also.  By the end of the game, his nine receptions tied Matt Trannon for the all time lead in MSU for receptions at 148.   Cunningham is the current all time leader at MSU with 218 receptions and 3,086 receiving yards.
2007 Playoff Prestige #220


It gives me a chance to show you a B.J. Cunningham and Matt Trannon rookie card that I own.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013 MSU Athletics Hall of Fame Inductees

Today is the ceremonies for the inductions of the new members of MSU Athletics Hall of Fame. They are: former volleyball star Jenna Wrobel, football player and coach Hank Bullough,

2000 Press Pass Autograph
Morris Peterson(1995-2000): One of the Flintstones, an All-American and the leading scorer on the 2000 National Championship team.

2002-03 Bowman #118
Ryan Miller(1999-02): 2001 Hobey Baker winner and holds the NCAA record with 26 career shutouts. Finished his career with a 73-19-12 record and a goals against average of 1.54

1990 Collegiate Collection #144
Kip Miller(1987-1990) 1990 Hobey Baker winner. Led nation in scoring as a junior and senior. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Domata Peko

Keeping up with the theme of current or future Spartans with family members who played at MSU prior. I will give you another.  Current offensive lineman Fou Fonoti is the cousin of former gridiron stars, Tupe and Domata Peko.
2011 Bengals Season Ticket renewal set

Domata Peko was a starting defensive lineman and one of the few bright spots on defense during John L. Smith's tenure at MSU.  Biggest highlight is his fumbe recovery for a touchdown against Michigan in 2005:

He, currently,  has been a fixture on the Cincinnati Bengal defensive line since being drafted by them in 2006.  Despite having his own bobblehead as a Bengal, he has no mainstream NFL card. His only card I could find is a six card set as a part of season ticket renewal package.
Domata's older brother, Tupe, was a starting offensive lineman for MSU in 1999-2000 and went on to play for Indianapolis Cots for three years.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Jim Morrissey

In my last post, I mentioned that Byron Bullough has verbally committed to play for MSU starting in the fall of 2014.  He is not the only son of a former Spartan star to announce his commitment to MSU.  Joining Bullough in the class is Matt Morrissey.  He is the son of former MSU linebacker Jim Morrissey
1991 Upper Deck

The elder Morrissey was a linebacker from 1981-84 and made  an All-Big Ten team.   He went on to play for nine seasons in the NFL, mostly for the Chicago Bears.  He was a part of the Chicago Bears Super Bowl 1986 championship team and the Super Bowl Shuffle:

Morrissey also is the last Chicago Bear to wear #51 before retiring it for good in honor of Dick Butkus.  Also of note, Matt's older sister, Anna, is a member of MSU's womens basketball team.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bulloughs

This fall, the MSU football team is lead by captain Max Bullough on defense and will feature his brother, Riley, as a running back.  They are not the only Bulloughs to play football at MSU.
2003 TK Legacy #7  #8  #6

Their father, Shane, was a star linebacker from 1983-86 and earned All-Big Ten and Academic All American honors.
Uncle Chuck was also a linebacker and starred from 1988-1991.  He also won All-Big Ten honors during his tenure at MSU.  Chuck played briefly in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.
Grandfather, Hank, is the patriarch of the family tradition.  He played from 1952-54 as a guard. He helped lead MSU to their undefeated national championship season of 1952.  Later he would become MSU's defensive coordinator during 1965-66 national championship seasons at MSU.  He also became a defensive coordinator in the NFL and had a brief stint as a head coach for the Buffalo Bills.
Not pictured(because he doesn't have a card) is Bobby Morse. He is an uncle of Riley and Max.  He was a running back during the 80s.  Longtime Spartan fans will always remember his punt return touchdown at Michigan in 1984 that helped propel MSU to a victory.  Morse played several seasons in the NFL as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints.
One other note, Max and Riley's younger brother, Byron, has verbally committed to play for MSU beginning in 2014.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

T.J. Turner 2001 Bowman

Through the first two games of MSU's 2013 football season, sophomore defensive end Shilique Calhoun has scored three touchdowns.  He is the first defensive player to score three touchdowns in one season since T.J. Turner in 1999.
2001 Bowman #263

During Turner's junior year of 1999, he scored two touchdowns on fumble recoveries and the other on a pass interception.   The interception was off of future Super Bowl MVP and Purdue quarterback Drew Brees and was ran back for 88 yards to the endzone.
Later, Turner was a seventh round pick of New England Patriots and played in two games for them during the 2001 season.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Kevin Vickerson 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot

Tonight is the opening of the NFL season. It matches up the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens.  The only Spartan on the active roster between the two team is defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson of the Broncos.
05 UD Sweet Spot #145

He has been a starter for several years now for Denver after being originally drafted by Miami Dolphins. Mostly because former MSU coach Nick Saban was the Dolphins coach at the time. He was a member of Miami's practice squad and then worked on his craft in NFL Europe.  Vickerson made his NFL debut with the Tennessee Titans soon after before becoming a Bronco.
Couple other notes.  This is Vickerson's only trading card.  Also running back Edwin Baker is on Denver's practice squad currently.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Super Spartan Collection

Before I go any farther with this blog, I probably should give you some background on how I started my MSU collection, some highlights of it and my main focus of it.
I grew up as a big baseball fan and baseball card collector. My younger brother focused more on football and still have each as own favorite.  All this time growing up, I was always a fan of Michigan State University and watched the teams almost on a religious basis.
As I was collecting baseball cards, I tried to complete sets and accumulate as much as I can of others. But the plentiful wax of the late 80s and early 90s turned more into limited edition/higher costs sets. I, then shifted my focus on MSU players. Trying to get as much different cards of all the different players who played at MSU in all four major sports.
Buddy of mine I met while at MSU did the same. Together we cross referenced media guides/set checklists, etc. and came up with a database of cards of MSU players. We search high and low, near and far for all Spartans.
My collection now includes 38 different baseball players 25 of which played in Majors. 57 different basketball players (32 NBA players), 202 different football including 149 NFLers, plus others from CFL, Arena League and NFL Europe and 92(69 NHLers) hockey players.  I have a trading card of every Spartan who played in NHL except for one( Jim Cunningham played for Flyers in one game in late 70s and has no cards).  All of this takes up nine full 3-D ring binders and have autographs and jersey cards among.
Other highights include:  Autographed mini football helmets of Kirk Gibson and Bubba Smith.  Tom Izzo's first two Big Ten Championship team signed schedule posters, Magic Johnson signed book and a NBA program signed by Terry Furlow from the 70s. Also have the program and ticket stub from the 2001 Cold War hockey game vs Michigan.
Today, with amount of different sets and high priced inserts, I stopped focusing on ALL MSU cards.  I try to get the new pros each year and look for guys who has been in the professional ranks who has yet to be on a trading card. I also like to get cards when they are on new teams and possibly, at least one per year.  Sorta like following their careers through trading cards.  Plus whatever else that tickles my fancy.



Monday, September 2, 2013

My Most Valued Spartan Card

I have been asked before what is my most valued Michigan State card.  It usually means more of a monetary value, but to me, it has more sentimental reasons.
1996 Pacific NFL Regime #32
Mill Coleman was a star wide receiver for MSU during the early 90s after playing quarterback in high school.  During his time at Farmington Hills Harrison, he won a state title and broke career state passing records. But before his days at Harrison High he was a classmate/friend/baseball teammate in Albion, Michigan of mine.  Yes, I have a professional trading card of a childhood friend. Pretty cool, isn't it?
While at MSU, Coleman caught over hundred passes over his career before a season ending knee injury midway through his senior season.
Professionally, he was a member of the Chicago Bears practice squad and later played for CFL's Montreal Alouettes.  Another knee injury ended his football playing days and now he helps run a football camp in the Detroit area.