**Contest Closed** Anthony Armstrong receives his first Rookie Card

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By Andrew Tolentino | Football Editor

As featured in the soon-to-release May issue of Beckett Football, this hard-signed Anthony Armstrong card can’t be pulled from any pack.

Since Armstrong came up the hard way — namely through the AFL and the IFL — his NFL debut wasn’t an obvious priority for college-sensation-centric manufacturers. In fact, when the video was shot, the rising Redskin receiver’s Rookie Card was limited to a single Panini America product — 2010 Certified Football.

However, having strolled the same halls of Newman Smith high school as Armstrong,  I’ve always been a fan. After watching his Facebook page explode with congratulatory comments throughout his breakout season — seeing a friend seize his dream — I invited Armstrong to film a special edition of Box Busters.

Defined by humility and hard work, the hometown hero came back to Dallas to see his family — and to introduce himself to the hobby.

Bringing the rookie goods and more, Panini’s Tracy Hackler — an avid Dallas Desperados fan — joined us for the video and helped me pay special tribute to an old friend’s achievements. As the video reveals, Hackler provided a few Special-Edition- stamped Rookie Cards for Armstrong to see and sign.

We just happen to have one hand-signed 2010 Certified Armstrong card and one Armstrong-autographed 2008 Donruss Dallas Desperados card available to win in exchange for a randomly-selected comment on this post.

Good luck and enjoy the video.

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Andrew Tolentino is the editor of Beckett Football. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at atolentino@beckett.com. Follow his tweets at twitter.com/tolentinotweets.

62 Comments

  1. Posted March 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to see a local kid make good… even better when he works from the Indoor Football League to Arena Football League to the big show aka the NFL.

  2. Anthony Chu
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Great Box Busters video! I like the story and heck, it’s even nice to see Hackler make a cameo.

  3. Brendan
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    What about his 2010 Contenders card? Doesn’t that one count as a rookie card as well?

  4. JC
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Pulling for Anthony to keep it up w/ Redskins

  5. Leslie Westbrook
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    That’s awesome of him to come shoot a break with you. It definitely adds another layer of coolness to a box break video when an actual player is doing it.

  6. Matthew Gray
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Awesome video! Interesting story and its always good to see someone work their way into a professional sport.

  7. Darin Amundson
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    That was an awesome video, very entertaining, and quite a coup for andrew to pull it off.
    I loved the dialogue. Anthony seems like a very nice, down to earth kid. I loved hearing about him going to Target and buying some packs to try and pull his own card, surreal.

  8. Josh Dermott
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Love the video. Armstrong is definitely a humble guy.

  9. Trey Jones
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    It’s great to see a guy come back home and still be humble after all their success. The auto-shoes made it kind of awkward ha.

  10. ethan cahn
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Go Skins!!!!

    About time to see anthony get some respect!!!!!!
    HTTR

  11. Bryan H.
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see a guy like this get his what he’s worked so hard for. Makes me think of the old Playoff Unsung Heroes cards. I wish Panini would re-boot that insert line. There were some awesome autograph cards to be found of some really obscure players (at least obscure in hobby circles)

  12. graham aylor
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    His rise to the NFL and amazingly good play was one of the few bright spots of the dismal redskins season.

  13. Brian Dooley
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Great article/video. I’m definately now an AA fan!

  14. KC
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Miss the AFL. That’s an awesome story. Loved going to AFL games with my Boy. Congrats to Mr. Armstrong in making it to the NFL…

  15. Ryan Read
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Phenomenal edition of box busters! Double-A seems like a class act. Hope you have a long and legendary career. I absolutely would love to get one of those autos for my PC.

  16. tolentinotown
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Oops. That was an oversight on my behalf. When we filmed (early February), Contenders hadn’t been released yet. Good catch!

  17. tolentinotown
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and today is Armstrong’s birthday.

  18. Colby Bunner
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s cool to see a professional player get so excited about his own cards.

  19. Travis Makuk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s great to see someone work hard through the ranks to make it to the top. Go Anthony Armstrong! Hope he has a great career in the NFL working harder to make a difference everyday to his team and community.

  20. Ronald Doucette
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Awesome that’s really cool!

  21. Matt Riggins
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Awesome Video, Chris! Anthony was on my Fantasy team last year and saved my butt many-a-sunday. He’s really going to make some noise this season–just wait!

  22. Mike Buzzard
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    In an age where you see horrid stories about athletes who had eveything given to them in trouble. It’s great to hear a story about someone who worked hard and acheived his dream.

  23. chris bradley
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    I hope to see Armstong make it for years to come.I tend to always root for the underdog.He took the hard raod and deserves his success!

  24. Tony
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Albert Haynesworth could learn ALOT from this cat.

  25. Pamela Fortner
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I am so proud of Anthony! I knew him when he first stepped on campus at WTAMU. Always took pictures of him and loved getting to know him! I have followed him and than there was a time we lost contact. I was so happy to see him still pursuing his dreams and following his words of DETERMINATION! He is someone that makes a great role model and always is smiling He is one of a team that I went to every game in college; home and away and didn’t have any real family on but knew they were some special guys!

    Love to proudly display his picture in my office and would love to share his card and story to everyone that steps in my office or my life!

  26. Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    dez bryant should take some tips from armstrong in how to be a role model for kids

  27. Greg Macalinao
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    great video and great to see Hackler again

  28. Joe Soltysik
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see him finally get a card! He was a nice addition to the Skins and I look forward to seeing what he can do next year!

  29. George McFly
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    I really like seeing a kid go from the Arena Football League to the NFL…

  30. Samuel B
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Congrats, Anthony! As a big time ‘Skins fan, this is a story I love to see. Fingers crossed for the drawing!

  31. Alvin Yam
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Great to see someone Newman Smith make it to the NFL, especially taking the hard route he took.

  32. jon belk
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see tracy back on a Beckett video and nice to see Anthony armstrong good story

  33. Justin Abraham
    Posted March 29, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    Man I love it when AFL players make it to the big leagues, keep it up Armstrong

  34. scrapiron
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Armstrong came through for me last year in Fantasy!!!! Good luck next season… if there is one…

  35. Jordan Gohman
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    Nice to see hard work pay off, seems like a pretty grounded kid. The fact that he took time to come in and do this is great, can’t say I think many other up and comming stars would do it. Hard not to cheer on a guy like Armstrong.

  36. Andy
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Seems like a really nice guy!
    Love the cards!

  37. Mark A Wines
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Awesome to see such a great guy reach his goal and excel… Go Anthony!!! Go Skins!!!

  38. Joshua Woodland
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    thats amazing for him he would be happy to hear that i won my fantasy league and he was on the team good luck armstrong!

  39. kent chisler
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Awesome to see that hard work is paying off for Anthony and he is getting the respect he deserves. So tired of the prima donnas getting the millions and not putting for the effort. The Mannings, Brees and Armstrongs of the NFL need to be rewarded and respected.

  40. Tom G
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Great article, really anyone who follows fantasy football had to be aware of this kid during the course of the season due to the seemingly perpetual state of upheaval the Redskins receiving core seems to be in. Hopefully last season was a sign of things to come and not another in the line of disappointments for Washington. Anyone know where Devin Thomas is these days?

  41. David Aguero
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Nice to see one of the Desperados make it to the NFL. Watched them while they were still active. Wish him luck next year.

  42. Paul
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Always fun to see someone emerge from the shadows

  43. Matthew Gilman
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    He had an awesome season. And things can only go up for him in 2011. Whether its Rex Grossman throwing to him or a rookie QB. Anthony will come down with the catch. Congrats to him on a great 2010 season and good luck to him in 2011. And the cards look great. So doesnt his auto!

  44. JClions
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Yea this guy really came outta no where, but then made himself a definite option for a Redskins receiving group who was in dire need of some help. Hope he can keep it up after working as hard as he had to to get there, and not just being signed to millions without proving anything ;-).

  45. Scott Neuroth
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Great story and being from Iowa it reminds me alot of Kurt Warner’s Story. Great to see these kinds of guys succeed!

  46. Kevin Boustany
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Great to see one of the Redskins’ brightest moments of the season. Huge fan of AA, hope he stays with us for a long time!

  47. Pete Borini
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Nice story…and a nice card. AFL well-represented!

  48. Posted March 30, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Watched Anthony play in my home town for the Odessa Roughnecks, thought he could play in the N.F.L. then. Great to see him make it in the Big Show. Awesome season.

  49. Zach Thiel
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Not quite the success as Kurt Warner when he came out and shocked us all but I still remember trying to hunt down Kurt’s very first card out 1999 Pacific rookie card with Tony Horne on as well before the Contenders, etc.

  50. Dave Newton
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Best of luck out to Mr. Armstrong and nice job on the break.

  51. Clint Neidig
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    So glad to see Anthony get some recognition for his tremendous rookie season. I hope he continues catching passes for the ‘Skins for years to come. HTTR!

  52. suzanne cooper
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    GREAT video!!!! Congrats to Anthony on making the NFL….Loved the arena football….I have many, many, baseball cards but not one authentic signature. This one would be a great first!!!

  53. Drew Austin
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    It’s good to see someone work hard and make the NFL a non-traditional way. I hope he has a great season next year too, if there is one.

  54. Rich Esposito
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    awesome video! love anthony!

  55. James Wong
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s an awesome story. He is a hero. It’s exciting to see him opening packs. He’s going to be a star in NFL.

  56. Jin Min
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    one of the biggest surprises of last year. Seems like a cool dude and i would kill to have one of those autos.

  57. Jordan G
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Seems Like a cool guy I wish him all the best

  58. Oliver cyment
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    This guy looks awesome!!

  59. Rich
    Posted April 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Team Armstrong and Hail to the Redskins… Enough said!

  60. kris burak
    Posted April 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Great story! His autograph is really nice looking too.

  61. Chris Hendrix
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Tolentino, Anthony Armstrong, and Tracy Hackler are my favorite 3 people in the world.

  62. tolentinotown
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Travis Makuk has been selected as the winner of Anthony Armstrong’s autographed 2010 Certified Rookie Card and David Aguero has been selected as the winner of Armstrong’s autographed 2008 Dallas Desperados card. Congratulations, gentlemen!

    Thanks to everybody for commenting and be on the lookout for your words in the next Beckett Football Editor’s note!

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