Monday, February 23, 2015

1962 Fleer Curtis McClinton, AFL Rookie of the Year

In 1960 Curtis McClinton was picked by the L.A. Rams in the NFL draft. He chose instead to return to the University of Kansas for 1 more year. He helped the Jayhawks to a 33-7 victory over Rice in the Bluebonnet Bowl. He was drafted again in 1961. This time by the Dallas Texans in the AFL draft. He netted 937 total yards for the Texans and was selected to the AFL All Star game in 1962.  He was named the Offensive MVP of the All Star game and later was named the AFL Rookie of the Year. The Texans went on to win the AFL Championship in 1962.

The following season the Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs. McClinton Played with the team through the 1969 season and scored the first touchdown ever for an AFL team in Super Bowl I. He was also a member of the Super Bowl IV Champion team in 1970. That was in his final year in football and he was relegated to back-up tight end.

The card you see above I colorized from a black and white photo as pictures of early AFL players are tough to find. During my search I came across a terrific painting of McClinton done by John Lipscomb. I contacted him to ask permission to use it. He informed me that the painting was now owned by Curtis McClinton himself  but thought that use of the watermarked version would be okay.

I included this version as well. I just thought it looked bad-ass, despite the watermark. The action and the colors and the old-school uniforms really make it stand out.

Click here to see the original painting and more of John Lipscomb's work.

The NFL Rookie of the Year in 1962 was also drafted by the Dallas Texans. Ronnie Bull was also drafted in the 1st round by both the Chicago Bears a week later. George Halas talked him into playing for the Bears. He even managed to make it onto a 1962 Topps card.  And it really is a great looking card. Although the main photo has him in his Baylor Jersey, the inset photo appears to be from the College All Star game in Chicago.

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