Yesterday, the San Diego Chargers announced a press conference to announce the retirement of Ladainian Tomlinson. In honor of the greatest running back in San Diego Chargers history, I am showing off my slightly worn 2001 Topps Ladainian Tomlinson rookie card.
My first reaction upon hearing that Tomlinson would sign and then retire as a Charger was “What took so long?” After all he hadn’t played since 2009 (I tend to ignore his years with the New York Jets). Seriously, my initial reaction was being glad that he knew it was time to hang up his cleats. It was great to see that he buried the hatchet with the organization that let him go under some trying circumstances. Seeing him in the old Charger blue #21 jersey brought back a lot of memories.
Here’s my favorite memory of #21. As a Charger fan stuck on the east coast, I have very few opportunities to watch them live. One of my rare chances occurred during the 2005 season against the Washington Redskins at Fedex Field. The Chargers ended up winning that game in overtime 23-17. The last play of the game? Number 21 breaking free for a 41 yard touchdown run after giving a vicious stiff arm to safety Ryan Clark.