Barry Sanders Cards and Memorabilia Guide

Barry Sanders

Date of Birth: 7/16/1968
Rookie Card Year: 1989
Investment Rating: 8.0


Barry Sanders was a rare talent who took the NFL by storm, becoming one of football's greatest running backs of all-time. He then shocked everyone when he walked away from the game at the height of his ability and popularity. Now a Hall of Fame player, Barry Sanders cards and memorabilia remain in high demand.

Shop for Barry Sanders Cards on eBay.

Lightly recruited out of high school due to size concerns that were leveled at him throughout his career, Sanders accepted a football scholarship to play at Oklahoma State. Showing the incredible depth the team had at running back, Sanders spent two years as Thurman Thomas' backup before getting his chance to handle the majority of the carries. Although he only played one season before declaring for the draft, Sanders made the most of it by setting 34 college records and leaving with the Heisman Trophy.

Despite the aforementioned size concerns, the Detroit Lions took the 5'8" running back with the third pick overall of the 1989 NFL Draft. Barry Sanders was the first running back selected in the draft which featured multiple elite players, including Troy Aikman, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders. Barry Sanders made an immediate impact with the Lions and was awarded the 1989 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

The ten-year veteran was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in every season and never rushed for less than 1,100 yards in any of those years. Sanders retired in 1998, one year removed from his best season where he ran for 2,053 yards and 14 touchdowns. He retired less than 1,500 yards away from breaking Walter Payton's all-time rushing record and was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 2004.

For years, Sanders would not publicly acknowledge why he left the sport, but eventually let it be known that the strain of losing had ruined his competitive spirit. Barry Sanders is one of the greatest running backs and football players of all-time and his rookie card deserves a place in any football card collection.

In spite of Sanders' amazing ability and NFL contributions, his rookie cards are very reasonably priced. All three Barry Sanders football rookie cards are highlighted below. The cards were part of the huge print runs of the late-1980's, so prices are generally cheap outside of Gem Mint copies.

Barry Sanders Rookie Cards

1989 Pro Set Barry Sanders RC #494

Another common rookie, the card shows the only action shot of the group and the image is from Sanders' college days. The borderline-obnoxious, orange/red boarder almost matches the main color of his alma mater, Oklahoma State. The lined sides give the card a choppy look and make it easy to spot the centering issue that a lot of these cards have.

1989 Score Barry Sanders RC #25

Barry Sanders' 1989 Score card is the pinnacle of his rookie cards. The close-up image of Sanders shows a young player who looks more suited for a high school classroom than an NFL field. It would not be long until he was one of the most-feared running backs in the NFL. Overall, the card has a classic feel but the green boarder tends to dominate the card.

1989 Topps Traded Barry Sanders RC #83T

Barry Sanders' Topps Traded card has a nice and simple layout. This card is the only one that shows Sanders in his Lions' uniform and offers collectors the best rookie image of the three.

Top eBay Listings

s4240 - 1999 Stadium Club Chrome Previews #C9 Barry Sanders Lions Football Card

s4235 1999 Upper Deck Hologrfx Future Fame #FF6 Barry Sanders Detroit Lions Card


Dan Marino RC, John Elway RC, Barry Sanders RC, and Reggie White RC

1991 BARRY SANDERS - Pinnacle Football Card- #250 -Detroit Lions - Nm mt - Rare

1996 Laserview Barry Sanders Autograph Detroit Lions HOF Inscriptions Pinnacle

1996-97 #8 Barry Sanders Topps Finest Refractor Jumbo 4" x 5 5 8" Pro Bowl

Barry Sanders plaque w 1995 Action Packed MNF 24k gold team RARE

1992 BARRY SANDERS - Bowman Football Card - #170 - Detroit Lions - Nm mt

1992 BARRY SANDERS - Ultra "Award Winners" Football Card- #8 - Detroit Lions -NM

Barry Sanders 2007 National Treasures Jumbo Jersey Ser#d 21 25 Detroit Lions

1993 Topps FantaSports #44 Barry Sanders - NM

2004 SP Authentic Barry Sanders Autograph 48 50 Dual K. Jones Detroit Lions HOF

1999 Barry Sanders Topps Chrome Seasons Best Refractor BGS 9.5 GEM MINT Pop 3

1999 Donruss Gridiron Kings Barry Sanders Detroit Lions #GK20 Football Canvas

1994 Score Gold Zone #1 Barry Sanders - NM-MT
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Autograph Guide

Barry Sanders Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Barry Sanders' authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Tristar, and Mounted Memories. 

Barry Sanders Cut Signature Exemplar

Barry Sanders Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Barry Sanders signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics, depending on when in his career the item was signed. Other characteristics that play into his signature style are the particular item and venue. Look for the following signature features:

  1. Barry Sanders' signature is not as consistent as other signers. It can vary greatly between legible and messy, but still exhibits the same general look.
  2. The signature begins with a large "B" that does not connect at the bottom, and loops around back to the remainder of the signature.
  3. The pen lifts and then starts with the "a" and moves quickly to the "y" with a slight squiggle to imply the "r-r".
  4. The last name starts with a large "S" that resembles a figure eight.
  5. Again, the "a" is legible but only the "d" is clear among the remaining letters.
  6. The signatures ends with an outward line that loops and comes back.

Barry Sanders Signed Football Pricing:

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Barry Sanders Signed Jersey Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Jerseys

Barry Sanders Signed Helmet Pricing:

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Barry Sanders Signed Photograph Pricing:

Active Listings for Barry Sanders Signed Photographs

Top eBay Listings

Barry Sanders Signed 11x14 Photo Autographed JSA Detroit Lions E01647 = PSA

Barry Sanders Framed Jersey Signed JSA COA Autographed Detroit Lions

Barry Sanders Signed 8x10 Photo PSA DNA Lions HOF

Barry Sanders Signed Jersey THROWBACK Framed GORGEOUS PSA DNA JSA RARE!


Barry Sanders Autographed Football Official NCAA Game Ball PSA COA Auto Signed

Barry Sanders Signed Oklahoma Cowboys Autographed Jersey Detroit Lions HOF JSA


Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40899

Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40898

Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40897

Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40896

Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40904

Barry Sanders Autographed Signed Magazine Page Photo OSU PSA DNA #S40901

1989 Topps Traded BARRY SANDERS Rookie RC Autograph Signed PSA DNA GRADE 9 MINT

Barry Sanders Signed Autographed Full Size Helmet JSA LOA Lions HOF MVP OKST
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More Info

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 |  E-Mail Author | 
Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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