Ara Parseghian is among the legendary names in the history of Notre Dame football — a program with plenty of legends — but you wouldn’t necessarily know that by looking at trading cards.
You’d think there’d be plenty to collect for the coach who led the Fighting Irish for a decade and went 95-17-4 with two national championships but there really isn’t.
“Among his many accomplishments, we will remember him above all as a teacher, leader and mentor who brought out the very best in his players, on and off the field,” Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins told The Associated Press about the coach who died Wednesday at age 94. “Whenever we asked for Ara’s help at Notre Dame, he was there.”
Odds are you don’t know the name Konrad Reuland.
He enrolled at Notre Dame in 2006 with dreams of gridiron glory but had no recorded statistics in seven games played. He transferred to Stanford where he caught 27 balls for 351 yards and a touchdown over two seasons.
The tight end went undrafted in 2011 but caught on with four NFL teams over five seasons, mostly practice-squad work, but he did play in 30 games (starting four) for the Jets and Ravens — the last coming in 2015.
But these aren’t the reasons you could now hear his name.
The NFLPA Rookie Premiere is here and that means more than 40 newly drafted NFL players are already signing, signing and signing some more before donning their pro uniforms for trading cards.
Among those who have signed so far is Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, who just might have the most-dynamic autograph of the bunch.
It’s February and that means that we’re set for the Super Bowl and some mass-marketing from SI.com over the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
And in reality the hype for both already has begun.
The last time we saw Ronda Rousey, she was suffering the first loss of her UFC career. Up next she’ll be in the annual issue for the second year in a row. More publicity won’t hurt her already-in-high-demand cardboard. She’s one of a long list of athletes to appear in the issue and part of an even longer list of models who appear on cards and have certified autographs and even memorabilia cards for collectors to chase.
For the traditional models, there actually were SI Swimsuit card sets released each year from 2003 to 2009 from Stellar Collectibles and then a later retrospective set. In those sets, we got autographs, memorabilia cards and even paint cards from photoshoots. Meanwhile, for many of the athletes who have appeared in the issue since, there are autograph appearances in sets like Topps’ Allen & Ginter (and many other sets) where collectors can also sometimes find the models. Kate Upton and Chrissy Teigen have been found there for example, and they sell very well.
Here’s a rundown of a few sports stars who we’ve seen in the issue.