Sunday, March 18, 2012

New custom marks Don Maynard's CFL days

In my Feb. 2 entry, I presented my 1958 Topps-style "rookie card" of future Jets star receiver Don Maynard.

On the occasion of the unveiling of my second Maynard custom card, I'm going to reprint what I had to say about him from that earlier post . . .  

One of my favorite players on the World's Champion 1968 New York Jets was Joe Namath's favorite receiving target, Don Maynard.

In those pre-internet days, I didn't know too much about Maynard and it was only many years later that I became aware that he had begun his pro football career with the New York Giants of the NFL. They had made him a 5th round "future" pick in the 1957 draft.

The Giants used Maynard primarily as a kick returner. When the team's coaching staff moved on the following year, Maynard was cut in training camp by the new regime, who didn't think his West Texas look and personality fit the big city New York image. Maynard later said he could never understand why he had been let go, since he could run faster backward than most of the Giants' receivers could run forward.

I learned something else new about Maynard recentyly. He played the 1959 season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. That season Hamilton lost the Grey Cup to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. 

This custom card, my first in a Topps Canadian/O-Pee-Chee format, is my interpretation of what Maynard's card might have looked like if he had been included in that set.

Maynard joined his third professional league in three years when he became the first player signed by the New York Titans of the American Football League.

With the Titans/Jets, Maynard blossomed into a Hall of Fame (1987) receiver, leading the AFL with 14 touchdown catches in 1965 and 1,434 yards in 1966. In the 1968 AFL Championship game he teamed with Broadway Joe on six receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns to beat the Oakland Raiders 27-23 and advance to the historic Super Bowl III against the Colts.

Rather than attempt an extensive review of Maynard's life and career, I'll refer you to a 2005 posting by Jim Sargent on The Coffin Corner web site

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