Thursday, August 28, 2014

Introducing My Favorite Football Player of All Time - Ronnie Lott

Much of my collecting focus has shifted to baseball but I still do have collecting interests outside of my favorite sport.  One of my favorite collections has gotten very little attention on this blog, if my tagging is correct I have only featured one of his cards and it was towards the end of a Mail Day post.

With my fantasy draft happening this weekend and football season virtually upon us, I thought I would share some of the cards of my favorite player, Ronnie Lott.  Lott is a Hall of Fame defensive back who played college football at USC, was drafted by the 49ers (my two favorite football teams) and also played with the Raiders and Jets.  He has a few cards with the Chiefs who he tried out with but never played.

I had the chance to meet Lott a couple times.  The 49ers used to train in Rocklin, very close to where I grew up, and we would go and watch practices quite frequently.  My dad was an insurance agent and Lott's uncle was a client.  When his uncle found out I was going to attend USC he set up a time for me to meet Ronnie after a couple different practices.  It was very cool at the time and remains a fond memory.  Ronnie was close to his uncle (I believe the uncle was best man at his wedding) and they were friendly with each other and with me during the meetings.

With the connections to my favorite college team, my favorite pro team and the meetings it is easy to see why he is my favorite. Couple that with his famous toughness, his ability to hit as hard as anyone ever and his presence on 4 Super Bowl winning teams and it just doesn't get any better.

I have been scanning his cards for a while without posting so here are some of my more recent acquisitions.  I suspect I will crack open the binder and share some of my favorites at some point during the football season.

 First up are his two rookie cards, a nice All Pro card as a rookie and an In Action photo as well.  This was from 1982, back in the day where you didn't get a card until you had played a season.  These 2 cards are newer to me but I have had copies in my collection for quite some time.  I just ran across them for a too good to pass up price.

 This card came from 2011 Panini Playbook, not the greatest card design but it is pretty solid.  Over the last 3-4 years Ronnie's signature has gotten quite a bit sloppier, I don't have a better one in this post but will share one sometime soon.  As you will see, he has quite a few recent cards wearing uniforms other than the Niners so I always get happy when I see the Niner Red and White.  This card is serial numbered 35/49.

 Perfect evidence of the presence of Ronnie featured on other teams.  He only spent 2 of 14 years on the Jets but has a lot of cards with them.  This is also from the 2011 Panini Playbook release and is numbered 37/49.

 These are two cards from 2012 Certified and are the Fabric of the Game cards.  The top one is the regular card numbered 058/199 and the bottom is the Prime version numbered 08/49.  The white on the prime comes from a number or stripe while the white swatch is from a white jersey.  Niners patches from this time period don't get too exciting.

 Another card from the 2011 Certified release, this one is the Fabric of the game with the team name diecut jersey swatch.  it is numbered 23/25 and is a great looking card, one of my favorites.

 The final 2012 Certified card in this post features Ronnie from his two years with the hated Raiders.  That was a tough move for me to swallow. The Niners during this time period followed a "get rid of them a year early versus a year late" philosophy which saw my favorite players like Lott, Roger Craig, Joe Montana and Jerry Rice all leave my team prior to retirement.  This card is the gold version with a nice patch and is numbered 31/49.

 This cards is obviously another Jet card and features a great 3 color swatch from 2012 Limited.  It is numbered 38/49 and is a great looking card, both the design and swatch.

 This card is a nice dual HOFer swatch with Eric Dickerson also featured.  Two players who are better known for their careers prior to joining the Raiders.  This one comes from 2012 Panini Momentum and is numbered 014/149.

 This card from 2013 Goodwin Champions shows to what lengths a player collector will go to in order to grow his collection.  Other than the fact that my favorite player is featured, there is really nothing redeeming about this card.  Next...

 Here are two nice looking cards from 2012 Press Pass Legends Hall of Fame.  Even though the 49er logos are airbrushed from his helmet, both these cards look really nice.  The top is 15/35 and the bottom is 19/50 with the only difference the color of his name and the Hall of Fame product plate.  There are a few versions of these but these are the only two I reeled in.

My final card to show in this post is my favorite. It comes from 2012 Fleer Retro Football.  It showcases Lott in his USC uniform with a throwback Autographics design.  Upper Deck's production of cards featuring players in their college uniforms is great for a college collector like me.

I have over 700 different Ronnie Lott cards in my collection and back when I was active on Sports Card Forum I was deemed a Lott super collector (however I have since run into another collector who has a more extensive collection than me).  With the Giants stinking up the joint over the last several weeks, I am sure ready for some football!

1 comment:

  1. I still live very close to Rocklin, and while the 49ers are one of least favorite teams, I couldn't help but be a closet Ronnie Lott fan.