Cups of Coffee
A page at pro-football-reference.com called Cups of Coffee lists all of the pro football players who appeared in exactly one NFL, AFL, or AAFC game. Of course, when I discovered the page, I wondered if any of the players had appeared on old football cards. I perused the list and came up with these.
Larry Joe played one game for the AAFC's Buffalo Bills in 1949. He had a pretty good game, gaining 82 all-purpose yards. Joe appeared on a 1948 Leaf football card--one of the tough high numbers--with Penn State. I did a quick web search for Joe and found that he still holds the Penn State record for career kickoff return average.
Tom O'Malley played one game for the Green Bay Packers in 1950, throwing 15 passes for 4 completions and 6 interceptions. Ouch. O'Malley then went to Canada to play three seasons for Ottawa Rough Riders. He appeared on one Canadian card, a 1952 Parkhurst.
Dick McKissack played in one game for the NFL's Dallas Texans in 1952, two years after he was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams. If you count variations, he appeared on two cards in the 1950 Felt Backs set: a brown one and a yellow one. (The price guides assign higher prices to the yellow 1950 Topps Felt Backs, but the brown ones are actually scarcer.)
Ronnie Knox played in one game for the Chicago Bears in 1957, but he did not throw a pass. It appears that he was the fourth-string quarterback, a rookie playing behind three veterans. Topps, oddly, printed cards of all four Bears quarterbacks in 1957. Knox also spent a few seasons in the CFL, and he appeared on a couple of CFL cards.
After a solid five-year career with the Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Alouettes, Avatus Stone played in one game for the NFL's Baltimore Colts in 1958. He punted once in that game, for 28 yards. Stone is pictured here with Ottawa on a 1954 Blue Ribbon card. In 1955, still with Ottawa, he won the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy, awarded to the "player best exemplifying skill, sportsmanship, and courage" in the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union.
Jim Yeats appeared in one game for the Houston Oilers in 1960, but he did not have any stats. The card pictured here is his 1960 Fleer card. Unfortunately, on his only card, Fleer misspelled his name. I heard from one of Yeats's relatives a few years ago, and she told me that he was with the Packers in 1958 and 1959, and that he was still with the Oilers in 1961. He apparently did not see playing time those years, at least in the regular season.
Buddy Allen had three carries in one game for the Denver Broncos in 1961. He apparently at least tried out for the Oakland Raiders the year before, because his only card is the 1960 Fleer card shown here. It is possible that he was on the Raiders' roster in 1960, but the rosters I have found online show only the players who actually played in regular season games.
Tight end Aubrey Linne played in one game for the Baltimore Colts in 1961. He then spent two seasons in the CFL, playing for the Toronto Argonauts and Edmonton Eskimos. He is pictured here with the Argonauts on his 1963 Post CFL card.
Don Jonas played in one game for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1962, but he did not get any stats. Jonas went on to play in the semi-pro Atlantic Coast Football League and Continental Football League, and in 1970 he moved to the Canadian Football League. The card shown here is Jonas's 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL card. He also appeared on two 1972 O-Pee-Chee cards. Cflapedia.com has a nice summary of Jonas's post-NFL career.
Ed McQuarters played in one game for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965. In 1966 he moved to Canada to play for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and he stayed with the Roughriders until 1974. McQuarters collected numerous awards for linemen in the CFL, and he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He is pictured here on his 1970 O-Pee-Chee CFL football card.
Quarterback Benjy Dial played in one game for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967, completing 1 of 3 attempts for 5 yards. Dial went on to play for the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1970 and 1971. As far as I know, the card shown here, a 1971 O-Pee-Chee, is Dial's only CFL card. O-Pee-Chee, unfortunately, misspelled his first name.
Quarterback Greg Barton appeared in one game for the Detroit Lions in 1969. He threw a single pass, which went incomplete. After his stint with the Lions, he moved to the CFL and played two seasons for the Toronto Argonauts. The card shown here is Barton's 1971 O-Pee-Chee CFL card; he also appeared on a couple of 1972 O-Pee-Chee cards.
Steve Haggerty played in one game for the Denver Broncos in 1975, but he did not get any stats. Here he is on a 1974 Colorado Playing Card, though he had transferred to UNLV for the 1974 season.
Sylvester Croom played in one game for the New Orleans Saints in 1975. He is shown here on a 1973 Alabama Playing Card. Croom went on to a long coaching career. In 2004, at Mississippi State, he became the first African-American head coach in SEC history. He has also coached twenty years in the NFL. He is currently the running backs coach for the Tennessee Titans.
Mark Burke saw playing time for the Philadelphia Eagles in the last game of the 1976 season. He returned one punt for fourteen yards, not too shabby. He appeared on the 1974 West Virginia playing card pictured here.