Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paul Gruber

Sent: 10/25/11
Received: 11/12/11
Time: 18 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1989 Score, 1989 Topps, 1990 Pro Set, 1991 Topps
Item Received: 1989 Score, 1989 Topps, 1990 Pro Set, 1991 Topps.  All signed in blue Sharpie.

How's this for strange?  I had not sent a request to a former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star until October 25, when I sent to both Paul Gruber and Mark Carrier.  Letters went out on the same day, autographs came back on the same day.  As for Gruber, he was an outstanding and incredibly underrated left tackle.  He came into the league out of the University of Wisconsin and paid his dues on some truly awful late '80s/early '90s Bucs teams.  He was one constant in the Bucs lineup as they transitioned from perennial losers to contenders.  He retired in 1999, after twelve seasons in the league, just a few years before Tampa reached (and won) their first Super Bowl.  And, he is quite possibly the best player of his era to never make a Pro Bowl.

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