Thursday, February 21, 2019

1967 NFL / AFL Rookies of the Year

In case you were wondering why my last post was a recap of cards I already posted, it is because the last post was two and a half years ago. Even I forgot where I left off. Plus I had a bunch more NFL/AFL rookie Cards That Never Were all set to post. I just needed to do a little research.

Since I need to clean up a few abandoned projects, this seems like a good place to start.


Another year, another award. In 1967 the Associated Press (AP) started their own awards for offensive and defensive Rookies of the Year. So the Breakdown is this: AP offensive: Mel Farr, defensive: Lem Barney. NEA: Mel Farr. TSN AFL: Dickie Post. NFL: Mel Farr. UPI AFL: George Webster, NFL: Mel Farr.

1967 was the first year of  what was called "the common draft". Instead of 2 separate AFL and NFL drafts competing for players, the two leagues participated in a single draft. This was an early part of the eventual merger of the leagues. Webster and Farr were both first round picks. Barney went in the 2nd and Post in the 4th round.

In 1967 the NFL football cards were still being produced by Philadelphia. Topps was still producing the AFL cards. Neither set included any of the four Rookie of the Year award winners. In fact, none of these award winners would be put onto cardboard until the 1970 set. That's right nothing for the first 3 seasons for any of them. Wow.

Mel Farr was the clear winner. He won all 4 AP, NEA, TSN and UPI Rookie of the year awards. The halfback out of UCLA primarily played fullback his rookie season in Detroit. He had 1177 combined rushing and receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl his rookie year as well. He had knee injuries requiring surgeries in both 1968 and 1969. He played for the Lions until after the 1973 season. Detroit traded him to the Oilers and he announced his retirement 12 days later

The AP chose Farr's teammate and future Hall of Famer, Lem Barney, as the defensive Rookie of the Year. The 7-time Pro Bowler from Jackson State played for the Lions his entire career as well. He retired after the 1977 season.

The Sporting News chose Chargers halfback, Dickie Post AFL ROY. His best season was 1969 when he led the AFL with 873 yards rushing. The University of Houston alumni spent most of his career in San Diego. He played briefly for the Broncos before returning to Houston for the final 7 games in 1971.

UPI's choice for AFL ROY was Oilers linebacker George Webster. The Michigan State product was an AFL All-Star in each of his first three seasons. He played 10 seasons in the pros for the Oilers, Steelers and Patriots.

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