With another college football season upon us, there’s no better time than now to start a Heisman Trophy collection. Many members of this elite gridiron club are more than happy to sign for free. All you need is an item, postage and some patience. Not surprisingly, the older guys are more likely to sign than the latest winners. These days, when a player wins the Heisman, his through-the-mail signing days are long gone and replaced with a lucrative contract and an exclusive autograph deal with one of the big companies.
If you send out a lot of college football requests, you may have an outside shot at snaring a Heisman hopeful when they are still freshman or sophomores. By the time they are upperclassmen, their autograph gets tougher and tougher to obtain.
As always, if you want some of the premier names, it’s going to cost you. Many of the winners are deceased. Legends like Bo Jackson and Barry Sanders are available on the show circuit, but they aren’t cheap.
The first Heisman winner, Jay Berwanger, was automatic through the mail. He signed multiple items for me several years ago before he died in 2002, and though his autograph isn’t rare or even pricey, it’s one of my favorites.
What to Get Signed?
When choosing an item to get signed for your Heisman autographs there are many options. “The Heisman Collection” is a boxed set of cards that depicts each year’s winner and can be picked up for around $10. Each series includes 20 cards. There have been a few other sets that have included Heisman insert cards over the years. They also make a full-size and mini Heisman Trophy helmet that works well for in-person opportunities. There was even a set of Heisman Starting LineUp figures that are relatively cheap on the secondary market. It’s even fun to collect the standard index cards and mount all of them with a picture of the trophy in the center.
Some Heisman Trophy Winners fall flat on their faces on the NFL turf. Guys like Jason White, Danny Wuerffel, Chris Weinke and Eric Crouch struggled in the faster, ultra-competitive NFL. But hey, you can never take the hardware away from them and they will always be considered college football’s best.
White won the Heisman as a junior, tossing 40 touchdowns for the Sooners. His senior year he lost the honor to Matt Leinart and wasn’t even drafted. He did get a shot with the Tennessee Titans, but an injury ended his career before it even started. It remains to be seen if Leinart will ever become a premier quarterback with the Arizona Cardinals. Wuerffel was another great college QB that struggled in the pros with four different teams. Weinke won the Heisman when he was an old man at 28 years of age at Florida State. In the NFL he’s been warming the bench for the 49ers. Crouch never played a down in an NFL game after winning the Heisman for Nebraska in 2001. He rushed for mor e than 1,000 yards and threw for over 1,500. He wasn’t happy when St. Louis moved him from quarterback to wideout in training camp and eventually retired.
All four of these former Heisman Winners sign through the mail. The addresses can be found at www.autographchaser.com.