First up, a thank you to all who have served (or are currently serving) our country- protecting the freedoms that we hold so dear and, often, sacrificing their own lives for that very cause.
Second, and this has nothing to actually do with the servicemen and women of our country, but congratulations to recent Hall of Fame inductee Warren Sapp- whose number 99 will be retired tonight when the former standout is inducted into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ring of Honor during half-time of the Buccaneers/Dolphins game. It's been a rough year for us Buccaneer fans, so let's hope we have two things to get excited about tonight.
2007 Topps Distinguished Service #DS22 Warren Spahn
I picked this card up at the September card show and intentionally held off from showing it until today. Spahn may have a large fan base because of his accomplishments on the field, but it's his service to our country which deserves the loudest applause. The back of the card tells us that he served as a combat engineer in the Battle of the Bulge, earning a bronze star and a purple heart.
President Warren G. Harding, the Twenty-Ninth President of the United States of America, has appeared in a number of card sets over the years- including the two pictured below. On this Veteran's Day, I'd be remiss not to mention that in 1921, Harding organized the Veterans Bureau- which, with two other agencies, would later become known as the Department of Veteran Affairs.
1956 Topps U.S. Presidents #31 Warren G. Harding
2002 Topps American Pie Presidential First Pitch Warren G. Harding Seat Relic
1998 Metal Universe #56 Warren Sapp
Yesterday's Tampa Tribune Online ran a list of 99 Things to Know About the Bucs '99, a few of which I thought I'd share with you.
- Averaged 43.5 yards per punt for Apopka High School, including an 80-yard punt
- Finished his high school basketball career with over 1000 points and 1000 rebounds for Apopka. He also received a scholarship offer to play basketball for Mars Hill College in North Carolina.
- Failed only one class while at the University of Miami: Public Speaking (I know, it's hard to believe). It was an 8am class; one in which he rarely showed up for. He received an F- despite completing all his assignments.
- The first NFL game he attended was the 1979 NFC divisional playoff game at Tampa Stadium between the Eagles and Buccaneers.
- First NFL victory came in Philadelphia, he won the NFC championship game in the final game played at Veterans Stadium, and won the first game ever played at Philadelphia's Lincoln Financial Field.
- Sapp's backup at defensive tackle for the U was Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
- Registered sacks against 29 NFL teams. Those he didn't get one against: San Diego, Miami, and Tampa
- Started "Sapp for Shoes", which donated shoes to needy children
- Speaking of shoes, after declaring bankruptcy in 2012, he auction off his collection of Air Jordan's (240 pairs) to help pay some of the creditors.
- Declined an offer from his alma mater to have the UM locker room named after him (for a donation, of course)- preferring to support other causes, such as children's pediatric cancer. "I told them there were more needy people than the University of Miami."
2008 Topps Mayo Warren Haynes autograph
I had to include Warren Haynes with the trio of other Warrens purely because of his name- making this a quad post. I had the pleasure of going to Portland, Oregon two weeks ago to see Haynes and his band, Gov't Mule, at the Roseland Theater. A phenomenal guitarist, Warren is a veteran musician who has played with some of rock's most influential artists and bands- he's been with the Allman Brothers since 1989, was previously a member of the Dickey Betts band, and tours with The Dead (living members of the Grateful Dead). His resume also includes recordings or performances with greats such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Mathews, and BB King. Warren has made impacted lives off the stage as well, being a major supporter of Habitat for Humanity. Every year since 1989, Warren has organization the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, a concert in his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, which benefits Habitat. This year's concert will be the 25th anniversary, and will feature Widespread Panic, Gov't Mule, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the Phil Lesh Quintet, among others.