Eugene "Mercury" Morris was one of the first football names I knew. He was a star running back on the great Miami Dolphins of the early 1970's. I loved his 1973 Topps card showing him wearing a headband and blowing a bubblegum bubble while sitting on the sidelines.
After retiring, he spent some time in jail on drug charges. I sent him an autograph request in jail and he responded positively with the signed cards and a long hand-written letter thanking me and proclaiming his innocence. This was one of the coolest responses I ever got.
I had the chance to meet him and thank him years later at a show in Oaks, PA. He was soft-spoken, but very nice. He seemed genuinely happy to be there meeting fans. It was great to see.
Lately, he has been following the Washington Redskins, because his nephew Alfred Morris plays for them. I always love it when multiple family members play pro sports. How col is that?
While putting this post together, I wanted to create a "Card That Never Was" for Morris, who finished his career in 1976 with the San Diego Chargers. Knowing he was a big star with the Dolphins, I figured there would be a ton of available pictures of him with them, but I thought there would be some shots of him with the Chargers. It appears I was wrong. I could not find any of him with SD. I will put out the challenge to fellow virtual card creators to make a 1977 Morris Chargers card.
Mercury Morris and me in Oaks, PA-October 2010.